The cost of a divorce can play a major role in whether a person chooses to end a marriage. In 2019, the average divorce cost about $15,000 per individual, and the average divorce case lasted at least four months. However, a divorce can last for more than a year if it has to go to trial, and its length can play a role in how much it costs to go through with it.
Generally speaking, ending a marriage costs less when there are fewer issues to work out. For instance, if parents agree about child custody matters, it may take less time to approve a parenting plan. If a former couple agrees about how to divide property or either party receives alimony, it can take less time to resolve the matter. However, fees may still apply even if the divorce is uncontested.
In the state of California, a divorce will cost at least $435 even if the case is not contested, and there is no lawyer. This is the fee to file for divorce in the state, and it is somewhat uncommon for a couple to end their marriage without legal representation. An attorney typically includes filing fees as part of their retainer.
While a person may experience a variety of emotions in a divorce, it is essential that he or she keeps those emotions in check. A lawyer may help an individual make decisions aimed at resolving a divorce in a timely, affordable and reasonable manner. However, if necessary, legal counsel may represent a person at trial or take other steps to help someone get a favorable outcome regardless of how long it takes. Typically, child custody and property division matters are resolved in separate processes.