Money Matters: How Much Will Your Divorce Cost You?

2 May 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog


As you begin preparing for your divorce, it is crucial to consider every financial aspect. In an ideal world, divorces would be inexpensive and perfectly amicable. Unfortunately, you likely know that this is not the case. states that the average divorce costs approximately $15,500. However, this number can vary greatly; some people pay $1,000 or less while others pay $100,000. This post breaks down the potential costs of your divorce.

Child Support Costs

If you and your spouse have children, financial child support will be part of your divorce. There are many factors that influence how much child support you may receive or pay. Some of those factors include:

  • Whether or not you are the custodial or non-custodial parent. The custodial parent may receive child support from the non-custodial parent.

  • The income of the custodial and non-custodial parents. Income is one of the primary factors in determining child support.

  • The child's standard of living pre-divorce. For example, this may include the type of housing your child is accustomed to.

  • The type of calculation used to determine child support. Some states use an income shares model and others use a percentage of income models. Economic tables and income calculators are used to determine child support costs.

You can find helpful estimates for child support using online tools. Use Google and search for "child support calculator" or "child support costs in (your state here)" for specific figures.

Alimony And Temporary Spousal Support

Alimony and temporary spousal support are sums of money that you pay to your spouse or your spouse pays to you. The amount of money you pay or receive is determined by several different factors. A few examples are below:

  • The alimony laws in your state. For example, alimony in Kansas will not be paid for longer than 121 months.

  • The length of your marriage. In some states, permanent alimony is awarded if a couple was married for ten years or more.

  • The length of your separation, if applicable. Certain states use separation to define when a marriage ends.

  • Your income and the income of your spouse. Naturally, this is a major factor in how much support you will pay to your spouse or receive from your spouse.

Court Fees And Filing Fees

Lastly, there are the costs of filing for divorce and the fees imposed by the court. These fees vary greatly depending on your location and circumstances. For example, Massachusetts imposes a $200 divorce filing fee, and Colorado may waive filing fees if your income is limited. However, common costs you may be responsible for include:

  • Filing Fees

  • Summons Fees

  • Surcharges

  • Divorce Modification Fees

  • Paternity Testing (if applicable)

To get accurate and specific information on the total costs of a divorce, seek professional help. Set up a consultation with a local divorce lawyer, and explain your situation and desired outcome. When you provide your financial information, your attorney can help you determine the potential costs you are facing.