How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Divorce Lawyer?

Getting a divorce is complicated and expensive, with the bulk of the cost coming from lawyer fees. To help lower expenses, it’s vital to know the average cost of divorce and how much lawyers charge. When hiring a divorce lawyer such as Peters May – Specialist Divorce and Family lawyers in Mayfair, London, expense breakdown can include lawyer fees, filing fees, living expenses during divorce proceedings, and contested divorce costs.

hire a divorce lawyer

The cost of a lawyer will depend on the state you live in. For instance, a top-rated divorce attorney in Pasadena will cost around $300 per hour with a retainer fee starting at $3,000. Lawyer fees, filing fees, and other costs will vary depending on the state where you will file your divorce.

How much is the average cost to get a divorce?

It’s impossible to give an exact cost of a divorce, but on average, it costs around $10,000 to $20,000 to get a divorce in the United States. This cost can put a huge dent in one’s savings and personal assets. This high cost is why some couples have no choice but to remain married even when separated, and others resort to pro bono lawyers. However, it is challenging to find an available pro bono lawyer that will take on divorce cases.

With pro bono lawyers, you have no assurance of the level of commitment and focus on your case. If your divorce case is complicated and involves other aspects such as child custody, child support, division of property, and payment of debts, hiring a lawyer who can fully commit to your case is the recommended step.

Why is getting a divorce so expensive?

To understand why divorce is so expensive, you need to know two terms — contested and uncontested divorce.

  • Uncontested divorce – This means that both parties are civil and agree to the divorce terms. In such cases, you have a choice not to hire a lawyer if you feel you can handle the filing of the divorce papers, pay the fees, and go through the process on your own. Uncontested divorce and mediation are the fastest and simplest ways to go through a divorce without spending much money.
  • Contested divorce – This means that both parties cannot make amicable decisions and must go through court hearings to let the judge decide on various matters such as child custody, alimony, and child support. In such cases, hiring a lawyer is crucial to ensure the divorce process will move forward.

Divorce lawyer cost per state

divorce lawyer

The cost of the lawyer will depend on the state, the lawyer’s experience, and how complicated the case is. There are also different divorce laws, cost of filing fees, and lawyer fees per state. For instance, the highest paying states for lawyers are the District of Columbia, California, and New York. Consequently, hiring a divorce lawyer will also be more costly in these areas.

How to lower the cost of divorce?

Giving your lawyer less work to do can significantly lower the cost of your divorce. To do this, work out a few things with your spouse before hiring a divorce lawyer. Some things that require major joint decisions include alimony, child custody, child support, division of properties, insurance policies, health insurance, and taxes. Remember that lawyers charge by the hour apart from the retainer fee, and the less time they need to work on your case means lesser overall cost.

How to hire a divorce lawyer?

divorce lawyer

If you’re going to hire a divorce lawyer, always look for one within your area with a good reputation and a high success rate in divorce cases. Hiring one from local firms is advised because they are familiar with local state laws on divorce. Having a local advantage will hasten court negotiations and the processing of paperwork.


Hiring a divorce lawyer is expensive but necessary in most cases, especially if there’s a need to go to court. The overall cost of divorce, including lawyer fees, will vary depending on the state. To avoid high costs, try to settle major decisions with your spouses, such as insurance policies, alimony, and property division. This way, there’s no need for the lawyer to mediate. Also, remember to hire a local divorce lawyer familiar with local state laws to ensure a smooth and successful divorce process.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Divorce Lawyer? 1

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