Family lawyers would love nothing more than to be able to give an easy answer to the question: “how much will a divorce cost me?” Unfortunately, that is very difficult, if not impossible, to do. The answer to that question is never the same for everyone.
We know it is easy to pay lip service to the idea that the true cost of divorce is the physical and emotional costs. However, we simply can’t ignore the financial side of it either. With a simple Google search, you’ll no doubt come across some figures in the thousands of dollars. But each situation has to be considered on its own circumstances.
What can I expect to pay for in a divorce or separation?
Should you go down the route of a formal divorce or separation, you can certainly expect to bear certain costs. For example:
- consultations and meetings with your lawyer;
- legal research and document preparation;
- negotiations undertaken on your behalf;
- court filing and document service fees; and
- any other expenses that leave your lawyer “out of pocket” on your behalf.
There are many factors that can impact the extent of the costs involved with divorce. Consider things like:
- The hourly rates of your particular family lawyer;
- The nature of the post-separation relationship and each party’s behaviour since then i.e. is it amiable and mutual or acrimonious and combative?;
- The length of the relationship;
- The extent of a couple’s financial entanglement with one another;
- The presence of future needs for the child or former spouse;
- The prospects of resolving the issue without going to court;
- How many third parties need to be involved i.e. superannuation funds; banking institutions, forensic accountants and private investigators etc.
The truth is that there is no simple answer to the question of what a divorce will cost. However, by taking the time to find a family lawyer that suits you, you put yourself in a better position to explore how the specifics of your situation could affect your likely costs.