How much does a divorce cost?

A new study has identified how much a divorce costs in each state. The study found that, in Alabama, the average cost of a divorce is $12,500; but, if the custody of children was at issue, the average cost arose to $18,800. This placed Alabama at 29th highest; however, it is relatively much higher when you consider the cost of living of Alabama.

There are a hosts of variables in the costs of a divorce. The study found the most common hourly rate for a divorce attorney is $250, legal fees typically account for the majority of the cost of a divorce. Custody and Child Support are issues which raise the costs. Location of the litigation within the state may affect the costs. The identity of opposing counsel may cause an increase in the rate if they are an attorney notorious to be difficult or unprofessional. Is there a need for emergency orders for child custody, possession of assets, or payment of debts?  Mediation may decrease the costs if successful.

An uncontested divorce is least expensive. You might also consider a “mediated divorce” before filing suit for a divorce with a court. The contested divorce is the most expensive route but is sometimes the only choice. (Note: just because a case begins as “contested” does not mean it cannot amicably settle after filing before trial.)

These were the averages from some sister states to Alabama:

  • In Tennessee,
    > Avg. cost of a divorce: $12,600
    > Avg. cost with children: $18,900
  • In Florida,
    > Avg. cost of a divorce: $13,500
    > Avg. cost with children: $20,300
  • In Georgia,
    > Avg. cost of a divorce: $14,700
    > Avg. cost with children: $22,000

California was the most expensive state to get a divorce:  The average cost of a divorce was $17,500 and $26,300 with children.