How to get a divorce without ruining your finances

Divorce doesn’t have to ruin your finances

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Not all marriages last forever. If you’re in the position of filing for divorce, our guide could help.

By the time you or your partner has come to the difficult decision to divorce, the last thing you want to think about is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. Learn more about what to expect and what can help you can gain control and begin moving on.

Types of divorce

When filing for a divorce, first assess your personal situation to determine whether you and your spouse can come to an agreement on how you’d like the process to unfold.

In general, there are two types of divorce in the US: contested and uncontested.

Uncontested divorce

Your divorce is uncontested if you and your spouse agree on the full terms of your divorce. For most uncontested divorces, you will not have to appear in court. Instead, you can draft an agreement, complete the appropriate forms, and then send those forms to the court. Because every state is different, confirm with your state its procedures for pursuing an uncontested divorce.

Contested divorce

If you and your spouse cannot agree on the full terms of your divorce, your divorce is considered contested. This type of divorce is more complicated, requiring numerous steps — serving the divorce petition, attorney negotiations and more —before your divorce is considered finalized.

No matter what type of divorce you pursue, the emotional effects of a marital breakup can be severe. Sorting your affairs and merely adjusting to your new reality can be exhausting and daunting, so set aside time for self-care and reflection when you can.
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Minimizing the effects of your separation on your children

Although both you and your spouse will suffer some emotional and financial stress in the face of a divorce, it’s often children who are most affected. If you have children, make sure their needs are met as you and your spouse work out the details of your divorce.

If possible, keep your kids on a regular routine to ensure they can be successful in school, socialize with peers and participate in the activities they enjoy. By striving to keep your home as warm and routine as possible, you can minimize the confusion children will inevitably feel with such a life change.

Kids and divorce: legal requirements

In some states, parents are required to attend co-parenting classes as part of the divorce process. These classes are intended to help parents learn how to cooperate in their separate lives for the overall well-being of their kids, maintaining stability within the family even as the parents live apart. These classes can help you focus on a loving way to lead your children through this big change.

You have options to make your divorce easier

If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of the divorce — meaning you agree to an uncontested divorce — you may be able to pursue divorce without appearing in court. Depending on the state you live in, you could even get an online divorce.

You do not need an attorney for an uncontested divorce. As long as you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all matters related to your divorce, it’s considered a more straightforward dissolution of marriage. Online divorce services like Wevorce and MyDivorcePapers make it easy to quickly get the divorce process rolling.

How much does divorce cost?

A typical online divorce service preparing documents for an uncontested divorce will charge $300 to $500. The cost varies by your state’s required forms and filing procedures. Compare that cost to an attorney, which could charge from $5,000 to $10,000 or more for the same forms and similar services.

Once you file the papers with the court, you pay a filing fee, usually a minimum of $100. If you can’t afford the fee, you may be able to get the court to waive it for you by filling out additional paperwork, provided by the court clerk’s office.

Even if you and your spouse disagree on some issues, you may be able to avoid going to court through mediation. A divorce mediator remains neutral throughout the process while helping you hammer out the details of your divorce agreement. Private professionals can charge by the hour or by session with costs that vary widely — from $100 to $1,000 or more per hour. But many cities offer community-based mediation for free or at reduced rates. Call your local courthouse or community dispute resolution center for more information.
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How to get a divorce in a specific state

State
How to get a divorce in California
How to get a divorce in New York
How to get a divorce in Texas

When couples can’t agree

If you and your spouse do not agree on the full terms of your divorce — for instance, you can’t agree on property or custody — you may need to hire a divorce lawyer.

However, even with a lawyer, you may be able to work out your divorce settlement without going to court. A major drawback to lawyers is that they’re expensive — expect to pay at least $15,000, with higher costs if you can’t avoid court or have especially complicated circumstances.

The decision to end a marriage can be fraught with worry and confusion of the unknown. It can take a lot of time — and a lot out of you. But by thinking about your situation clearly and taking conscious actions throughout the process, you can come through it with your finances unscathed.
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    CheyenneApril 26, 2018

    I am getting divorced online and am paying the $299 for them to processs the divorce and serve the papers themselves. I was wondering if I upgraded to the premium and have them serve and file the paper work, if I’ll still have to pay a filing fee with the court.

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniApril 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Cheyenne.

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      If you upgrade to premium online divorce solution that helps you prepare your own state and county specific divorce forms addressing your property, debt, children, and any other relevant issues. You will easily complete your divorce forms and follow the step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in a timely and professional fashion.

      I suggest that you contact these experts that you seek help with and they would confirm if you need to pay a filing fee with the court or is it included when you upgrade.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

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