S. M. Edwards & Associates, LLC

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What does a Divorce Cost?

In divorce, certain issues must be decided and agreed upon before your divorce will be granted by the court. The two main areas that must be decided are financial division, and how will parents care for their children. If a couple cannot resolve these issues on their own, then the typical adversarial divorce process will probably be necessary to have these issues resolved for them.

On the other hand. If a couple is willing to talk to each other and work together, even if it is difficult, divorce mediation may be a preferred options. Divorce mediation is a far more economical process. If couples knew in advance what an adversarial divorce might cost; they might find the idea of mediation very appealing.

So, what is the potential cost of divorce when a couple decides to fight it out in court?

The following is an example of divorce costs from the book “ Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce”.
I highly recommend this book to anyone considering divorce. Divorce attorney fees are the primary financial cost of divorce. Attorney fees are charged by the hour and can range from $250 to $650 per hour. In this example $250 per hour is used.

Initial meeting and information gathering.     5 – 10 hours = 2,500

Discovery - 50 hours = 12,500

Preparing your information to give to your spouse’s attorney and reviewing information received.

Trial Preparation - 100 hours = 25,000


Pretrial meetings and possible depositions.
Pretrial motions     30 hours  =  7,500

Court time -       15 hours = 3,750

Expert fees - Usually around that same $250 per hour

Custody Experts     40 hours = 10,000

Actuary     15 hours  =  3,000

Vocational experts.     20 hours  =  4,000

Court reporters fees.     2500

Estimated Total     70,750

There are other potential costs not included in this list, for example private investigation fees.

Money is not the only cost in a divorce. What about your time? Time spent in preparation and in trial, whether personal time or time off work. 

After all that, there is the ability to appeal – more money & time before you can move on with your lives.

The example above is only an example. Actual costs will depend on how involved your case is. But, even a one-day trial with no experts can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally this is only one side. Both parties have to do the same thing.

When a trial ends there is usually a winner, and a loser, and most certainly resentment.

In Divorce mediation you can avoid these financial expenses by avoiding the court battle. 


Contact S. M. Edwards & Associates LLC, to find out how mediation can save you time and money


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Divorce Costs