What’s the Average Cost of Divorcing My Wife?

by Stephen Waldo

Cost of divorcing my wife
Cost of divorcing my wife

Have you heard horror stories of men who lost everything after getting divorced? Are you afraid you’ll be too poor to do anything but couch-surfing until you’re back on your feet?

Is that going to be you?

As you continue reading, you’ll learn 7 factors that affect the cost of divorce. This should help you to clearly understand how much your divorce will cost, and what you’ll have left when all’s said and done.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this blog post is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you’re facing divorce, hire a divorce attorney and trust their advice above anything you read here.

6 Factors that Affect the Cost of Your Divorce

Below you’ll learn seven different factors to consider when trying to estimate how much divorcing your wife will cost. Some of these may not apply to you, but you should probably skim through them all just to make sure.

Alternatively, if you’re not sure whether divorce is in your future, you may want to read about the common signs your wife wants divorce.

Factor #1:
Amicable or Contentious Negotiations

The more you and your wife agree, the easier, faster and cheaper the divorce will be.

That might not be something you want to hear. Maybe it’s simply not possible. But if you can do it, it’ll be worth it.

Amicable divorce isn’t a myth. It just takes a bit of cooperative effort from both parties involved. Make it clear to your wife that you want to pursue an amicable divorce. If you make it clear you want to be fair and courteous, that may get her to do the same.

And who knows, maybe by being friendly you’ll happen to figure out the secret to saving your marriage.

Factor #2:
Is She Hiring “The Best” Divorce Attorney?

Has your wife been bragging about how she found “the best” divorce attorney?

Is she hiring the most expensive divorce lawyer in town, known for being vicious in the courtroom and in settlements?

Who your wife hires to represent her and how aggressive they encourage her to be throughout the settlement can have a HUGE impact on how expensive the divorce ends up. Not only will their initial retainer fee be higher, they’ll also push you to pay for more and come out with less.

I know this factor is similar to #1, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about it. If you can find out who her lawyer is, great, but if you can’t, don’t worry too much about it. The upcoming factors are more important.

Factor #3:
Do You Have Kids?

Do you have kids? If so, count on extra time (and money) spent settling custody, as well as possible child support payments.

I’ll tell it to you straight: courts usually favor the wife for dominant control over child custody since courts tend to lean towards the mother.

This is the biggest reason to pursue an amicable divorce, because it usually means more time you’ll get with your kids. And it could result in your wife being less aggressive about child support payments (depending on her own income).

If you have kids, I highly advise that you do some of your own research into your state’s child custody and child support laws, and talk to your divorce attorney about it.

Factor #4:
Amount of Shared Assets

Defining your marital assets is an important step in any divorce. You need to know what you own so that it can be divided up appropriately. Unfortunately, the process of defining your marital assets can be somewhat costly to do.

You’ll probably need to hire:

  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
  • Real Estate and Property Appraiser
  • Pension Funds Expert
  • Certified Personal Accountant (depending on the complexity of your financial situation)

Each of these services will run you at least a hundred dollars apiece, as much as $500 for some. Figure that into your divorce’s cost-analysis.

Factor #5:
Alimony Laws in Your State

Alimony laws can vary widely from State to State. Not only do the specific policies vary, the clarity of the policies varies too. In other words, some States have very well-defined alimony laws, while others leave the law “open to interpretation”.

It’s in these “open” States where a good divorce attorney will really come in handy, because they’ll have more flexibility to drive down the cost of the divorce. Conversely, a bad attorney can really drive the cost up in these States.

In most States, you only need to be worried about alimony if you’ve been married for longer than 10 years. If you’ve been married less than 10 years, most States won’t require alimony.

Again, you definitely want to check with your attorney for the final say on this factor.

Factor #6:
How Much Work Will You Do?

Another possible factor to consider is how much grunt work you’re willing to do to help your divorce attorney.

Since your lawyer is getting paid per hour, they probably won’t mind doing menial work for you, eg. organizing records, reading legal documents, and answering basic questions about divorce law. That’s why you’re already saving money just by learning more about divorce.

Tell your divorce attorney that you want to help them any way possible to make their job easier. Not everyone will go for it, but many times they’ll be glad to hand over a bit of the work that they’d otherwise bill you for.

The End Result:
The Average Divorce Costs $5,000 to $10,000

As you’d know if you read the article I linked at the top of this post, what I’ve found in my research is that the average cost of divorce usually comes out to around $5,000-$10,000.

This isn’t written in stone, and your mileage may vary, but this is what the most recent statistics say.

Obviously, this isn’t including future alimony or child-support payments.

Learn More About Men’s Divorce Strategy

For more, I recommend reading 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make During Divorce. I just finished it and it’s very informative. Fast read.

If you still feel ‘in the dark’ about divorce and how to handle, don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal. Divorce is never anything but complex.

You may also like this blog post:

9 Common Sense Pieces of Divorce Advice for Men

Whatever you decide to do from here, I wish you the best of luck. Divorce is always difficult, but you can stay strong and find happiness in the end. Think of this like Wintertime… Spring will come eventually.

Thanks so much for reading, and feel free to browse around Husband Help Haven for more resources.

With much manly love,
– Stephen

Stephen Waldo

Hi! My name is Stephen. I’m the guy behind Husband Help Haven. My mission here is to help as many men as possible become the best husbands they can be, and save as many marriages as possible along the way. Even though I’m not a marriage counselor, I want to encourage men everywhere to become better husbands, fathers and leaders. Full author bio