Contemplating separation but not sure about Cost of Divorce?
Now that the holidays are over, there are no more distractions so it’s time for a game plan. You may be considering ending your marriage and wondering what the cost of divorce entails. It’s no wonder this thought crosses your mind with so much sensationalized news about celebrity divorces in the media. It cost Madonna $75 million to part ways from Guy Ritchie in 2008, and Mel Gibson spent $425 million when saying farewell to Robyn Moore in 2011. As for the most expensive? That would be Alec Wildenstein, a French art dealer, racehorse owner and businessman whose divorce costs were estimated around 2.5 billion dollars. These numbers are obviously inflated thanks to the celebrity and excessive wealth of these divorcees, but it does make one pause before jumping into the pool feet first. How much does a divorce cost, really? The answer is a tough one. Cost of divorce varies widely. There are so many factors, and divorces are as unique as thumbprints. For instance, where you get divorced affects the costs. California and New York are amongst the most expensive states to get divorced. As for one of the most expensive cities: Las Vegas, which ironically also has one of the quickest processing times in the country too. There’s a reason the city has been dubbed the “divorce mill.” If you happen to live there, you can always play to win one of their reoccurring “free divorce” radio contests, though the odds are terrible. Aside from these high-costs locales, an average divorce will ring in at $15,000 to $30,000 dollars (this according to a recent Forbes Magazine). This includes lawyers, filing fees, experts, real estate costs, financial advisors and, if needed, family therapy. But if your assets are complex, your divorce will be too. You may require niche experts, especially if you share a business. You’ll need to call on forensic accountants and business evaluators to divide your assets equitably, and then you’ll need to pay them. If children are involved, it adds an entirely different dimension. Custody battles can be ongoing, and your costs are not finite unless you and your ex-spouse come to a lasting agreement. Longevity and circumstances in a marriage may also be a determining factor of costs. Texas awards alimony, though it’s called “spousal maintenance” here, and it depends on things like: how long you’ve been married, if there were instances of domestic violence, and if you have a special needs dependent. Uncontested divorces are the cheapest for obvious reasons. If you’re walking the middle ground between uncontested and embattled, mediation can be a cost effective solution as well. At the end of the day, it’s imperative to find a good family lawyer. Here at Puhl and Berbarie we recognize that we’re a cost, but we strive to be an investment instead. We’re here to protect you and your finances, and pride ourselves on this reputation. So, if you’re considering a divorce but don’t know where to start, start here. We will take good care of you so that in the future you have what you need to take care of yourself. Call (972)569-3166 for a free consultation from one of our family lawyers.