To use a lawyer’s typical answer to any legal question: it depends. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the amount one will spend on a divorce, such as whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, whether other professionals are required, such as a Guardian ad Litem, custody evaluator, business appraiser, etc., and how long the divorce process itself takes. If a divorce is uncontested, the process should be relatively quick without substantial legal costs. However, if the divorce is contested, the process will likely take more than a few months and involve substantial costs.

Lawyers typically require an advanced fee and then bill for their time on an hourly basis, with more experienced attorneys charging a higher hourly rate than someone with less experience.

Some factors that can help move a contested divorce along and keep legal costs from getting out of control include cooperating in exchanging discovery, making good faith efforts to resolve disputes during mediation, and keeping the best interests of the children in mind. Typically, the more agreeable the parties are to working together through this process, the less expensive the divorce will be.

The choice of a lawyer is an important one and should not be based solely on advertisements.