How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

A report by the U.S Census Bureau indicates that the average marriage only lasts eight years. If your marriage is ending, you will probably become anxious about the expense of getting divorced. The final cost of divorce is dependent on the choices you make as well as your family’s unique circumstances. It is almost impossible to predict the amount you will pay to facilitate the process without knowing the details. Below is a list of factors affecting the cost of a divorce.

Filing Fees

One of the first expenses the warring spouses encounter when filing for divorce is the filing fee. The amount varies depending on the chosen court but ranges between $100 and $500 in most cases. The cost is paid when filing the paperwork for divorce, and the spouse who files for divorce pays for it. If both spouses agree upon the divorce, they can split the cost to minimize the amount paid by each person upfront.


If one spouse is entirely dependent on the other during the marriage, that spouse is sometimes awarded alimony. Alimony laws were introduced in Texas in 1997, and the original statutes remained unchanged until 2011. Permanent alimony is not common these days, but many spouses are required to provide support until their former spouses start a life for themselves and get back on their feet. Alimony is based on the needs of the non-working spouse as well as the income of the working spouse. Losing an income is devastating, and paying the money to your spouse and getting your life together after a divorce can sometimes be stressful. Both spouses can struggle with alimony and divorce issues.

Moving Expenses

Once the divorce process is through, one spouse will most likely move out. If it is you, you must come up with the money to facilitate these moving expenses. You may have to seek funds to pay for the down payment of a new home, deposits to have utilities in your new home turned on, and a deposit to rent a new home. Such expenses can be significant but cannot be avoided when divorce happens. If your spouse is the one moving out, you may find yourself responsible for various household payments and bills which can be financially challenging.

Property Division

Division of the property has a significant effect on the overall cost of divorce. At least 90% of individuals marry before they turn 50, and these young couples tend to go all-in when getting married and combine many of their assets, such as property. While you may not have to pay for the division of assets, you lose valuables worth a lot of money. Depending on how the divorce process goes, you may divide various expensive things if you disagree on who will get them. Such assets may include items such as a car or your home. Sometimes, you can pay your spouse for half of an expensive or significant investment, or you may be required to sell it and split the funds you made from the sale.

Child Support

If you or your spouse file for a divorce but have children together, you may be required to pay for child support. In most divorce cases, one spouse is awarded physical custody of the children. In contrast, the other is awarded visitation and must pay various child-raising costs. Such payments are based on the income of both spouses and are designed to be fair to each party. Paying to receive child support may have significant financial impacts, and you may take some time to get used to it, which necessitates rearranging your finances.

Bill Responsibilities

The division of assets also comes with the responsibility of paying the bills. If you are awarded the car or home, you become responsible for bills along the way. Sometimes, you may be required to pay back deposits for utilities, pay off credit cards, or continue to pay those bills you agreed to take on for a property you no longer own. It may require re-evaluating your financial situation to find ways to pay the bills you were splitting with your spouse before the divorce.

Legal Expenses

Depending on the chosen attorney, there are various legal expenses when filing for divorce. A seasoned divorce lawyer has the expertise to move the process quickly and ensure that each spouse is treated fairly. Divorce that takes more time in court is accompanied by additional legal expenses that fall on each spouse. Hire a divorce attorney whom you trust to act in your best interest.

Divorce can be emotionally exhausting and time-consuming and is made even worse by piling expenses. However, if the decision to file for a divorce is mutual, the spouses can split the legal costs and fees. If you are thinking about filing for a divorce, consult a seasoned divorce lawyer to ensure a smooth process.

5 Tips for Cutting Costs During Your Divorce Trial

If you’re one of the 43% of Tennessee residents going through a divorce, you may need a prominent lawyer to help you through this situation. Unfortunately, these cases are most likely to cost you a lot of money and might make your life more difficult. That’s why it is important to take a few simple steps that can help decrease your costs and give you a better overall result that improves your divorce and minimizes cash loss.

1. Do Your Research

Understanding what you’re likely to pay is critical to avoiding serious financial issues. For example, you may need to pay a retainer fee, cover lawyer costs, pay for judge’s appearances, and much more. Try to research these costs and do what you can to cut down on them during your case.

While searching, make sure that you pay attention to your data use, as this may impact your costs. For example, data usage jumped from 12 GB to 16.6 GB in just one year, which could increase your overall cost if you get pinged for extra data usage on your internet server or phone.

2. Consider Settling When Possible

Most high-priced divorce cases occur in a trial because lawyers will get paid a lot of cash, and you may end up losing out when the divorce is completed. Work with your lawyers and your partner to settle your case, including handling child rights issues quickly and effectively.

That’s because battles over custody extend divorce trials beyond all reasonable bounds and end up costing a lot of cash. Trying to create a balanced settlement is key here, as it can eliminate much of the agitation or frustration that some might feel.

3. Split Home Improvement Costs

Some divorce costs may be separate from your trial entirely. For instance, improve your house before you sell it and split the profits. Instead of paying for this process alone, you can work with your partner one last time and split these prices to boost your dual profits.

For instance, you may install aluminum blinds in your home as the longest-lasting, low-maintenance window option in all sizes and split the costs with your partner. Doing so can not only help you save cash during your trial but help you both make more cash when you sell the house later.

4. Handle Some of Your Paperwork

Did you know you don’t have to have your lawyer do all of your legal paperwork for you? They might claim you do or try to do it for you, but you can do some of it yourself. That said, you should only do the paperwork that you fully understand to save yourself some money.

For example, basic paperwork like your initial filing form and other simple items can be filled out at home to save yourself the cash. If you feel uncomfortable with this paperwork, either have your lawyer do it for you or check out free online sites that help walk you through this process.

5. Minimize Lawyer Communication

Last, it is important to only contact your lawyer when absolutely necessary. Even phone calls may be billable hours by many lawyers during a divorce, so make sure that you limit your contact and only work with them when you have no other choice but to contact them.

When you do work with them, bite the bullet and create a detailed list of things that you have to discuss and resolve. Don’t let them take control of your meetings but move through each bullet point and discuss solutions. Doing so can help streamline your approach.

As you can see, it is possible to save money during a divorce if you’re intelligent and take the time to handle this process. Make sure that you consider these points when budgeting during your divorce and talk with your lawyer about any other steps you may take here.

Our Greatest Financial Challenges in Our First Year of Marriage

Financial Challenges of Marriage


Deciding to get married is just the first of many important decisions you make as a couple. However, many people forget that there are other considerations besides how you feel about each other. For example, how to combine your finances and plan for your future together. Many of us know that financial strain can create tension in relationships, and serious money troubles often lead to divorce. That’s why it was so important to my husband and me to evaluate our financial compatibility and address these issues from the very beginning. However, even the strongest marriages face obstacles. Here are some of the greatest financial challenges we have faced in our first year of marriage.

The First Financial Challenge of Marriage

The first challenge many couples face is planning the wedding. And, with an average cost of $28,000, it’s easy to understand why this is such a hurdle. That’s a lot of money to spend on a ceremony, especially if you already have debts or want to save for a down payment on a home.

However, our situation is a little different. I never wanted to have a huge ceremony and have already started to budget for a smaller wedding for about half the average cost. Unfortunately, two wrenches were thrown into this plan. First, my husband’s job awarded him a contract that will take him out of state for at least six months. In addition to the costs of maintaining our current household, he’ll also have to rent an apartment there. Second, we received news that my dad’s health was starting to rapidly decline.

Both of these factors affected our timeline. Speeding it would have been stressful and crazy expensive with limited venues available at the last minute. However, it was really important to me that my dad was part of it. So, we decided to have a small civil ceremony at the courthouse and postpone our bigger plans. Choosing to do a courthouse wedding now allowed my dad to be present. And, it gave us more time to plan the ceremony we had originally wanted. As an added bonus, there is less pressure and paperwork to take care of later as well.

The Greatest Financial Challenges

Without a doubt, the greatest challenge has been figuring out how to file our taxes. Although nobody looks forward to tax season – besides the IRS of course – our finances are especially complicated. In addition to my husband’s primary job, we both run small businesses. Furthermore, I lived overseas previously and have international accounts which make it even more difficult.

We both have personal CPAs who have helped manage our accounts and taxes for the last several years. Therefore, my initial response was to file separately until my finances are all domestically based.

However, I have never filed jointly before. So, I didn’t realize how much of an advantage this offers couples. While it is going to be tedious tracking and itemizing all our expenses and deductions, it makes sense financially. But, the next question was deciding who we should choose to continue handling our tax returns in the future.

The deciding factor here came down to which CPA was more familiar with our situation. Although I had worked with mine for a few years, my husband’s CPA has handled his and his parent’s taxes for nearly 20 years. And with him holding more assets, it made sense for me to switch.

Despite the financial challenges in our first year of marriage, it has also been an invaluable learning experience. Not only am I more familiar with tax laws, but it has also made me more diligent with my accounting and bookkeeping. It goes to show that not all challenges have to be obstacles.

My Personal Financial Challenges of Marriage

Even though we have been very transparent, there were personal financial challenges of marriage that I had not anticipated. While we had a clear plan and shared financial goals, I had mixed emotions about losing complete independence and the disparity in our incomes.

My husband has a good job and makes considerably more than I do. However, I have been self-sufficient and paid all my own expenses since I was 18. I got used to living on a budget and prefer to maintain a minimalist lifestyle and my own bank accounts. Part of this was from necessity, and part was due to my struggles in accepting financial help, even from my partner.

On the other hand, my husband wants to enjoy the money he works so hard far. While I agree that he deserves to splurge on himself, I still find it difficult to spend anything on myself. Every extra dollar goes straight into my retirement or investment accounts or our joint savings account.

His approach in helping me deal with my own issues and perspective on money is how I know we are building a relationship that will last. He utilizes my strengths to keep us on track to reach our financial goals. However, he also is very supportive and helps me to let go and live a little. Rather than continuing to live in survival mode, he has shown me why it’s important to spend money on things you enjoy as well. In my eyes, the balance we bring to our finances also translates into other aspects of our marriage.

Overcoming the Obstacles

By no means am I claiming to be a relationship or financial expert. However, I feel we have tackled difficult financial issues that cause many relationships to fail. After our first year of marriage, I believe my husband and I have built a strong foundation. And, if we continue to communicate and work through these challenges together, it will only get stronger. At the end of the day, I know I have a partner who trusts me and supports me. And that is more valuable and important than any financial problem we will face.

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