Cost breakdown of a divorce; Audra Petrolle, family law attorney at Rose Law Group, comments

By Geoff Williams | U.S. News & World Report

If you’re divorcing soon, you may be devastated – or thrilled. Often, divorces aren’t so terrible – it’s the weeks, months and years leading up to the dispiriting end of the marriage that can be gut-wrenching. But while your emotions may be all over the place, one thing is constant in all marriages that end: Divorce is expensive.

It’s a fool’s errand to look at numbers and compare your expenses to what the “average” divorced couple will spend. If you’re rich, you’re going to spend a fortune, and perhaps it’ll be far more expensive than average. If you’re middle class, you won’t spend what wealthy couples spend, but it’ll still be unpleasant.

Still, if you want a number, many sources suggest $15,000 as a total cost of a divorce. The legal website suggests that the average total cost is $12,900, including $11,300 in attorney fees and $1,600 for court costs and fees for tax advisors, real estate appraisers and other experts.


Divorce, like any type of litigation is expensive. That is just a reality but the best way to reduce costs in my experience is to be as amicable as possible with your partner. The more the parties can agree, the more they can temper the costs of litigation. At the same time, it’s also important to know that often times people who trying to avoid the expense of legal counsel up front, whether on a consultation basis or more formal retention, often find themselves in litigation later for issues that an attorney could have helped that person avoid from the outset. So it can be hard for people to accept this, but often times some money up front can actually save you the cost of subsequent, more expensive litigation later.

Audra Petrolle, Rose Law Group family law attorney

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