How to get a loan to cover divorce costs

6 options when you're struggling to pay your legal fees out of pocket.

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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

Updated October 21st, 2019
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650
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With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
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Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
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A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
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Updated October 21st, 2019
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660
$2,000
$20,000
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Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$0
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$95
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How much does a divorce cost?

The average cost of a divorce is around $15,000, according to a survey by online legal guide Nolo. This number includes court fees, attorney costs and other expenses like having your assets appraised and hiring a tax adviser.

However, 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. Uncontested divorces are typically less expensive than contested divorces — you might not need to hire a lawyer or mediator. Having a child can up the bill, since you might need to pay for a child custody evaluation.

Average cost of divorce by state

StateAverage cost
Alabama$12,500
Alaska$13,100
Arizona$13,000
Arkansas$11,100
California$13,800
Colorado$14,500
Connecticut$15,500
Delaware$16,200
Florida$13,500
Georgia$14,700
Hawaii$11,700
Idaho$11,200
Illinois$13,800
Indiana$11,400
Iowa$11,700
Kansas$10,900
Kentucky$10,200
Louisiana$12,600
Maine$11,100
Maryland$14,000
Massachusetts$15,900
Michigan$12,900
Minnesota$14,200
Mississippi$11,000
Missouri$13,500
Montana$8,400
Nebraska$8,200
Nevada$13,700
New Hampshire$12,300
New Jersey$15,600
New Mexico$10,700
New York$17,100
North Carolina$13,100
North Dakota$10,400
Ohio$12,500
Oklahoma$12,500
Oregon$12,700
Pennsylvania$14,300
Rhode Island$13,200
South Carolina$12,600
South Dakota$10,900
Tennessee$12,600
Texas$15,600
Utah$13,200
Vermont$11,200
Virginia$11,500
Washington$13,400
West Virginia$10,400
Wisconsin$11,300
Wyoming$11,400

Source: https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/family-law/divorce/divorce-cost-in-different-states/?page=1

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.

Bottom line

Divorce might not be as expensive as marriage, but it isn’t cheap. If you and your spouse don’t have $15,000 each 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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