Filing for divorce can be very expensive. There are ways to minimize that expense if you understand where the different costs are likely to come from. I will start with the most obvious expenses. First, a good divorce attorney in Salt Lake City can set you back several thousand dollars after all is said and done. Not to mention, you and your spouse will each need an attorney, so you have to double that expense. You can minimize the cost if you can both agree to the terms of the divorce. Then you can file for an uncontested divorce. There are many divorce attorneys who will do an uncontested divorce for just under $1,000. Although the attorney will technically only represent one party, there is little need for the other spouse to have his/her own attorney. Having said that, I always recommend that both parties have their own attorney review final agreements before signing them.
The other expense will be court fees. Expect the filing fee to be around $310, but it depends on where you file. There may be other court costs as you go along. Additionally, there is a mandatory mediation in most cases, before you present your case to a judge. The policy behind this mandatory mediation is to encourage parties to settle out of court. Mediation can cost as little as $400 or it can grow into thousands of dollars. You and your spouse will be paying for the mediator and two attorneys for the duration of the mediation.
There are other expenses that people often overlook when first filing for divorce. First, there are now two households that will need financial support. There are many nominal expenses associated with the maintenance of two households. But those nominal expenses add up. These include things like utilities from two homes; cooking separate meals; making separate errand-runs and using more gas; etc. Theses nominal expenses add up.
HOW CAN I MINIMIZE EXPENSES IN THE DIVORCE? Do three major things: First, try to come to an agreement with your spouse regarding the division of property and custody before you find an attorney. Second, find a divorce attorney who will work fast to get the divorce decree as soon as possible. Third, if you agree on all issues, have your attorney prepare all the documents, obtain signatures on all documents and then file an uncontested divorce. If you do these three things, you will avoid mediation costs and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.