• Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

How much does a divorce cost in 2022? – Forbes Advisor

ByWillie M. Evans

Jul 28, 2022

Litigious divorce, where the case is tried before a judge, is the most expensive type of divorce. There are a variety of other ways to resolve a divorce inexpensively.


In divorce mediation, an impartial third party helps the couple resolve the issues on their own. The terms they agree on are made in a mediated agreement that becomes the terms of the divorce decree. The goal of mediation is to provide the couple with the information and focus on common interests that will help them reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Unlike litigation, mediation allows both parties to “win” and leaves each party with greater satisfaction than in a litigious divorce. Some states require an attempt at mediation before going to court in certain circumstances, while others require it for almost all divorces.

Couples can resolve a divorce through mediation alone and avoid going to trial altogether, which greatly speeds up the divorce process. Legally, a divorce still has to be filed with the court and a judgment rendered by a judge, and many people still hire lawyers to help them with this process. Uncontested divorces that go through a mediator are easily incorporated into a court order and are much less expensive than a trial.

Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce can also save money by avoiding a trial. The collaborative divorce process shares many of the characteristics and goals of mediation. Instead of arguing the case in court, the lawyers agree to work only towards a settlement, which is then submitted to the court. Mediation and collaborative divorces are less expensive, primarily due to the reduction in billable time for professional legal help.

Voluntary representation

Not all divorces lend themselves to mediation or the collaborative process, but the costs of a divorce trial remain a significant hurdle for some couples who wish to legally end their marriage. Research now shows what family law attorneys have known all along: divorcing couples who can’t afford a lawyer have a much, much harder time accessing the court system. One of the most effective ways to solve this problem is through the use of pro bono or low cost legal aid.

These types of programs base eligibility on income (often a percentage of the federal poverty level) and, especially in cases of divorce, on factors such as domestic violence. A pro bono service may focus on a category of clients in need, such as single mothers or a particular identity or geographic group.

Some legal services offices are dedicated entirely to serving low-income and disadvantaged people and can be located more easily through resource pages on state or local bar websites or through legal clinics operated by law schools. . Law firms often maintain a pre-budgeted amount of time and resources for pro bono work. In each of these situations, funds or workload capacity to cover assistance tend to be insufficient.

Limited attendance representation

LAR, sometimes referred to as limited scope legal representation or limited legal aid, occurs when the client performs tasks requiring less legal expertise, which reduces the amount of work for the lawyer and saves money on fees. legal.

The LAR can be an effective compromise between the costs of professional representation and the risks of legal proceedings pro se. Lawyers working on a pro bono basis may find it easier to accept LAR divorce cases.

Legal aid organizations

For those who cannot obtain full pro bono representation or afford an LAR, there are other forms of legal assistance offering limited advice free of charge, such as clinics with volunteer lawyers. One-time appointments are the most common, but clients can ask specific questions and receive personalized advice.

In the absence of other options, assistance like this can be a smart move for people with simple, uncontested divorces and for pro se litigants. Like pro bono representation (and unlike LARs), participants are generally eligible based on income or other need-based factors.

This usa.gov page offers a number of resources for finding affordable legal aid solutions. Websites of law societies, nonprofit legal associations, law schools, and state judiciary branches may also offer similar information.