How to get a loan to cover divorce costs
6 options when you're struggling to pay your legal fees out of pocket.
Divorces can be expensive, but you don’t necessarily need to have the funds on hand to cover the cost. Attorney payment plans, personal loans and funds from your joint bank account are just a few options that can help you cover the heavy financial burden. Plus, there are ways to cut down on divorce fees from the beginning to avoid a large bill at the end.
How can I finance a divorce?
You have several options to cover the cost of your divorce when you don’t have the money up front.
Compare your financing options
How much does a divorce cost?
The average cost of an amicable divorce is between $2,000 and $3,000, according to the National Bank. However, contested divorces can be much more expensive, costing $14,000 on average across Canada. The longer that both parties cannot agree on the decision to divorce or on the terms of separation, the more costly the divorce can be. You could be out over $18,000 for 1-2 days of Family Law legal proceedings and up to $36,000 for 5 days.
This number includes court fees, attorney costs and other expenses like having your assets appraised and hiring a tax adviser. However, costs can vary widely across provinces. how much you actually pay will vary based on several factors, such as where you live, whether your divorce is contested and if you have any children. Costs can vary widely across provinces. Furthermore, having a child can up the bill, since you might need to pay for a child custody evaluation.
6 ways to cut back on divorce fees
From avoiding court as much as possible to relying on paralegals when you can, here are a few ways for you to lower your divorce bill:
- File online. Filing online can cut down on attorney and court-appearance fees, meaning you only need to cover filing costs. However, this is usually only an option for uncontested divorces.
- Come to an agreement on your own. An uncontested divorce means you don’t need to hire an attorney or get the courts involved in your assets. This can often reduce the cost to a few hundred dollars.
- Spend as little time in court as possible. Appearing in court is where your attorney fees can really add up, especially if your case is delayed and you’re paying by the hour.
- Stay away from attorney bundles. Some attorneys offer divorce packages that include multiple services, which you may or may not end up using. Hire an attorney for individual services instead to avoid wasting your money.
- Rely on paralegals when you can. Paralegals can help you with basic legal advice and generally cost less than a divorce lawyer.
- Only go for mediation if you’re both serious about it. Mediation might keep you out of court, but it isn’t free. And if you can’t agree on things, you’ll have to repeat the process.
Divorce might not be as expensive as marriage, but it isn’t cheap. If you and your spouse don’t have thousands of dollars up front, using a payment plan or taking out a personal loan could make it easier to shoulder the cost.
You can learn more about how borrowing works by checking out our guide to personal loans.
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