Going through a divorce is difficult, and is often so in a myriad of ways for each person involved. Divorce is stressful and results in significant life changes, all of which impact the most important areas of the participants’ lives. Lifestyle changes and financial responsibilities shift, as well as considerations about costs relating to raising children separately.
Navigating financial burdens faced when filing for a divorce is difficult if you do not have guidance. Financial uncertainty can be prevented by learning beforehand what to expect, including your options if you are unable to afford the costs.
What to Expect Financially When Filing for Divorce
The average cost of a divorce in New York State is $13,500. There is no need to panic: the final cost of divorce can depend on a wide range of circumstances, including:
- Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested
- Filing fees costs in your state
- The assets at stake
Financially speaking, an uncontested divorce is the preferable route. An uncontested divorce is simpler in that you and your former partner can often agree quicker, and will not have to pay to go to court. Some people can expect to pay up to $50,000 for a contested divorce in New York! The cost of Court fees ($120 per day) and a good attorney (somewhere around $350 per hour) can burn a hole in your pocket.
If you and your former partner cannot agree on how to divide assets during your divorce, the Court may make that decision for you. Having a Court decide these issues means that the ultimate possession of assets that were either once yours or agreed upon would be made by someone – the Court – with no sense of the personal, emotional, historical and sentimental values of the property. .
What if I Cannot Afford a Divorce?
Nearly everyone considering a divorce contemplates the affordability of the process. It is an overwhelming thought, but one that should not stop those involved from moving forward, if a divorce is the appropriate path to take. There are many ways to manage the costs of divorce. These include:
- Mediate your divorce on your own. An uncontested divorce could save thousands of dollars in the long run.
- Apply for a fee waiver. After explaining your finances to the Court, fees may be waived if you qualify.
- With a good credit score, a loan may be taken to offset divorce costs/fees.
- Sell expensive items. If you are ready and willing to part with items, selling valuables you don’t use anymore that have value could result in money that could be used to offset divorce costs/fees.