The primary factors that drive the cost of divorce are attorney fees and the complexity of the issues involved (e.g. division of assets, child custody, support). The more issues and the more complex they are, the more time an attorney spends on the case.
Given those factors, it would be inadvisable to compare what you might spend on a divorce with what an “average” couple spends in the U.S. However, if you must have a number, many sources suggest $15,000 as the average total cost of a traditional divorce.*
But here’s the good news. Overall, using alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) to settle a family law case greatly reduces the cost. In fact, Why Litigates attorneys, who have used both ADR and litigation, estimate that a custody case settled through dispute resolution can cost 70 to 90% less than litigation.
Typically, in a traditional divorce, each party hires their own attorneys whose main objective is to reach a settlement that’s in their client’s best interests. To that end, both attorneys dedicate any number of hours to collecting documents, preparing motions, conducting meetings, attending hearings, etc. If the case goes to trial, he or she must spend additional time in court. Each party pays for the time it takes their attorney to complete all those tasks.
With dispute resolution, a couple typically contracts with one impartial mediator to help them work through their issues, negotiate solutions, and reach a mutually acceptable settlement. The couple pays for the time the mediator spends meeting with them and drafting the divorce aggreement.
If you would like to talk about how ADR might work in your situation, please contact us at 508-556-0513 or email@example.com.
*US News and World Report