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Anastasia Greer
Legal Intern at JUSTLAW
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Why is Divorce so Expensive?

Divorce is an expensive affair. This account may be correct to some extent as the emotional discontent of separation often results in the involvement of an enormous amount of money. Broadly, the term divorce refers to the termination or a dissolution of marriage. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines ‘divorce’ as ‘the action or an instance of legally dissolving a marriage’. It is ofttimes true, that such a dissolution is resulted from a conflict and persistent disagreement between parties.

Ascertaining a universal cost of divorce is not possible as charges involved vary from not only region to region, but from one case to the other. Some cases may result in spending a fortune for attaining a divorce while others may cost comparatively less. In a recent research survey conducted by Martindale-Nolo on divorces in 2019, it was observed that an average cost of divorce was around $12,900 in the United States. Further, the average cost of a divorce in the United Kingdom stood at 14,561 pounds. In the presented analysis, it is highlighted that even on average a divorce is very costly.

It becomes imperative to explore what makes a divorce so expensive. Many factors can be attributed to an expensive divorce. One of the most important factors which tersely upsurge the cost of a divorce is the level of conflict or disagreement between the parties. The cost of divorce ultimately depends on the parties. If the divorce is born out of mutual consent then the cost would be lesser.

The cost of divorce is influenced by the complexity of the marriage. If factors such as  duration of marriage, custody of children, the division of assets, division of debts, and the rates of alimony, are impugned, then costs will increase. For example, under  Indian law, there is no fixed maintenance or alimony rate therefore, the amount depends on the discretion of the court and can be any varying amount.

Another factor which heavily affects the cost of divorce is the fee charged for attorney service. An average charge for an attorney for a divorce case would amount to around $100-200 per hour and these charges can also increase up to $400 or more per hour. Apart from these, there are some other miscellaneous charges which may include the court fee, paper work charge etc. A contested divorce which is likely to last longer in duration turns out to be a costly affair in consideration of the above-mentioned factors.

There are certain processes which can be adopted to avoid the pricey nature of a divorce and reduce the cost to a minimal. A non- contested divorce or a divorce by mutual consent is likely to decrease the cost of a divorce. Hiring an attorney for basic consultation and avoiding a full-time attorney can also help cut costs. Signing a prenuptial agreement, online divorce, mediation between parties etc. are some of the methods to minimize the charges associated with a divorce.

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If you are facing an impending divorce or are in the midst of one, consider JustLaw in your endeavors!

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