Justia Lawyer Rating
BBB Rating A+
Top Rated
Lead Counsel Rated
Yelp badge
Avvo Rating
Super Lawyers
30 Years badge
CNN Money
Reginal Chamber
Best Business of 2022 - ThreeBest Rated badge

Cost of Divorce

San Diego Attorneys Providing Efficient Representation at Reasonable Rates

Even before you face the financial challenges that life after divorce will present, you may need to add another new expense to your budget: the cost of getting the divorce in the first place. The cost of a divorce can vary dramatically depending on the direction that the proceedings take. If you have questions about divorce and its attendant costs, the San Diego divorce lawyers at Doppelt & Forney can provide you with a free in-person or virtual consultation on the legal aspects of a divorce, including helping you determine what your divorce will cost. We offer cost-effective legal advice, assistance, and representation in divorce, child custody, child and spousal support, and other family law matters to clients throughout the greater San Diego metropolitan area, including in the communities of Chula Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, La Jolla, Point Loma, Coronado, Del Mar, Ramona, El Cajon, and La Mesa.

Getting a Realistic Idea of What Divorce Costs

If you were to ask a random cross-section of people how much a divorce would cost, you would probably hear everything from “You can do it for free” to “It will cost you an arm and a leg!” The answer, of course, is somewhere in between for most people.

According to information compiled by a leading legal research firm, the expenses associated with divorce amount to, on average, $17,500 per couple in California. The typical range is anywhere between $5,500 and $38,000. Also, because of the additional issues involved, divorces involving minor children are generally more expensive.

Why such a large variation? There are many factors that can make a divorce more or less expensive. At a minimum, even when the parties are able to work out all of the details of their divorce themselves, it will require the payment of fees to the courts for filing divorce papers, filing various motions, copying and sharing documents, making child custody evaluations, and so on. In many cases, the fees and costs can exceed $2,000 or more, just by themselves.

Additional costs can come as a result of either the complexity of the couple’s financial arrangements or the degree to which the couple can reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce. (Other legal factors that can incur costs and fees may also come into play, such as if there are allegations of abuse.) Generally speaking, the fewer the financial entanglements of the couple, and the more that the spouses are able to successfully and satisfactorily negotiate the terms on their own, the less that their divorce will cost.

While some couples can formulate their own settlement, in most cases, there will be some need for mediation, negotiation, or outside consultation to address contested matters. These matters can include:

  • Determining the character of various assets (whether separate or community property, or a combination of both);
  • Valuation and allocation of various assets and debts (such as businesses and companies, houses and mortgages, vehicles, joint investments, personal property, pensions, retirements funds, credit card balances, etc.);
  • Working out child custody and visitation terms; and
  • Determining the amount and terms of spousal support.

The court fees and consulting fees for any of these services will all add to the cost of a divorce.

Even when both parties are able to work out all of the terms of their divorce, many opt to have an attorney review and draft their agreement. Most California family law attorneys charge by the hour, but rates differ from firm to firm.

When the parties are unable to negotiate many of their own terms, and the divorce becomes contentious or leads to litigation, the costs can escalate quite dramatically for both parties as court costs and legal fees accumulate.

Contact the San Diego Lawyers at Doppelt & Forney to Pursue a Cost-Effective Divorce

Going through a divorce can be very chaotic, but one of the ways in which you can help yourself is by gaining a thorough understanding of what is involved in bringing your divorce to a satisfactory conclusion, including taking a measure of the costs that may need to be taken into account in your particular circumstances. If you would like a free, no-obligation virtual consultation on your divorce, including the costs that you are likely to incur, contact one of the divorce lawyers at Doppelt & Forney at 800-769-4748 or online to set up an appointment.

Client Reviews
Dear Roy, I would like to thank you and all team members as well as office staff for helping me defend in this case. It has been a difficult time for me during the last couple of weeks, and now because of this success result, I am able to move forward with my new chapter of life, even a little late at this age!!! Again with much appreciation, I wish you all to continue to do the same with a big heart as it was with me, in helping those who are in need of your professional services. W.
Thank you for your time and energy on this case, you took so much of the worry away from me! I appreciate all of your help. I will use and recommend you to other in the future. T.S.
I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for an outstanding job with my case to terminate spousal, you are an excellent attorney Roy, and your staff is very professional and considerate to my questions and concerns of my case. Thank you very much again. T.Y.
I wanted to say how much I appreciate your help and advice in regards to my name change. Your assistance during this time has been invaluable. Thank you again. M.J.