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When filing for divorce, most people anticipate a pretty hefty price tag. Each case will be unique, and even in an uncontested divorce, legal fees can add up quickly. Beyond that, there can be unexpected costs to separation. In today’s blog, we’re taking a look at the factors that make divorce so expensive.

The factor that most significantly influences the costs of divorce is how those involved choose to handle the legal process. The decision to handle the divorce case will depend largely on the level of cooperation (or conflict) between the two divorcing parties. Uncooperative parties facing fierce conflict and unresolved disputes will likely spend more time, and as a result, more money, on their divorces. These cases can get complicated, so it is wise to consult with a lawyer. In the state of New York, an uncontested divorce will cost at least $335 in court and filing fees. Bear in mind that this does not include the cost of a lawyer, photocopies, notary fees, mailing, process server fees, etc. Contested divorces will most likely end up costing more. 

Legal expenses are not the only costs in a divorce, either. When working with a divorce coach, therapist, or other mental health professionals, the costs can really begin to add up. In some states where filing for an uncontested divorce requires not having shared finances, there are expenses related to simply trying to divest oneself from the finances. It may require one or both parties to refinance loans, transfer titles, and change insurance policies. In cases where the couple must separate, they will need to factor in the costs of moving out, paying rent, and purchasing necessities. Sometimes the costs are not so immediately obvious and show up as taxes, accounting fees, lost earnings, and lost financial opportunities. 

All this being said, it is important to remember that not all the costs associated with divorce are monetary. Divorce is emotionally taxing for both the involved parties and their children. The consequences of divorce on a child can be significant if measures are not taken to care for their emotional well-being early on in the process. The longer the process takes, the more expensive it becomes, both financially and emotionally, for everyone involved. A costly divorce can lead to concerns about money, which in turn leads to even greater emotional distress for those paying.