Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

How much does a divorce cost in California?

Divorce is a notoriously expensive process. Even spouses who attempt to cut costs and remain as frugal as possible may find themselves with hefty bills that contribute to their stress. Many people who decide to divorce must brace themselves for the impact that this legal process will have on their finances.

A recent study has determined the average cost of a divorce in all 50 states-and the cost in California is staggering.

Any Californian can tell you that it is incredibly expensive to live here. And according to researchers, California is the most expensive state in the country for divorce. We came in number one, at an average cost of $17,500 for a divorce. And that is for couples who divorce without children involved. For people who have children, the cost averages out to $26,300.

Factors that affect cost

The study also identified several factors that can affect the cost of a divorce, including:

  • Cost of living: States with a higher cost of living, such as California and New York, had higher average costs of divorce.
  • Number of children: Couples who have children can expect to pay more for their divorce. The more children a couple has, the more expensive the divorce is likely to be.
  • Method of divorce: Pursuing a divorce through traditional litigation consumes a lot of money. Alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and collaborative divorce, are usually less expensive.

What will my divorce cost?

There is no simple method or formula to determine exactly how much your divorce will cost. In addition to the three previous factors, the details of your individual circumstances will affect how much you pay for your divorce. If you wish to obtain a ballpark figure of how much it will cost, you may need to consult a family law attorney who can evaluate your case. When navigating your divorce, you must also take care to manage your finances intelligently so that you can emerge from your marriage financially sound.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012