Understanding the Cost of Divorce


How much does it cost to get divorced? This is a common question for people seeking divorce advice in Pasadena, but unfortunately there is no easy answer. The cost of divorce varies widely because no two cases are alike. Some couples have children together, while some do not. Some couples have substantial marital property to divide, while others have very little in the way of combined assets. All of these things affect the cost of the divorce.

The "typical divorce" can cost between $15,000 and $30,000 to litigate. It is common for family law lawyers to charge a retainer of between $2,500 and $5,000. There are fees for filing the initial pleadings, responding to answer and/or counter petitions, preparing financial affidavits and mandatory disclosure compliance documents, preparing motions, and responding to motions. If your case requires special experts, such as a forensic accountant, there will be additional fees for this as well.

Mediation is usually cheaper than litigation, but it is not free. Many mediators charge around $300 per hour and there are fees for preparing documents such as a parenting plan or child support worksheet. In all, couples using a mediator can expect to spend between $500 and $3,000 to end their marriage.

Sometimes, people who are worried about the cost of divorce wonder if they can ask the other party to pay for their legal fees. It is possible to ask that your ex pay for your legal fees, but the court will not necessarily approve your request. Your financial need and your ex's ability to pay are critical factors in determining if your legal fees will be paid. Additionally, you should keep in mind that it is more common for courts to award partial legal fees than to grant full payment.

How Can We Help?

If you have questions about filing for divorce in Pasadena, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena family law attorneys can assist with many divorce related concerns, including alimony, child support, child custody, and visitation.