How Much Does a Pennsylvania Divorce Cost?Published: May 15, 2019 in Divorce
Written by Anthony Piccirilli
The cost of your divorce will depend on many factors. A divorce lawyer at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC can explain what expenses you may face when you decide to end your marriage. Because of the importance of custody, support, and other relevant matters, you need the experience of a skilled attorney to protect you and any minor children.
Factors in Divorce Costs
There isn’t one figure representing the cost of a divorce, but averages can provide some guidance. Typically, the amount paid for divorce includes attorney’s fees and court costs. There may be additional costs for subject matter experts, such as appraisers or guardian ad litem, to advise in child custody matters.
Many Pittsburgh divorce lawyers charge for services by “billable hours.” Typically, billable hours are charged to a quarter or a tenth of an hour. This helps reduce cost because you pay only for the time that a lawyer worked on your case.
In addition to billable hours for time spent on a case, some legal representatives may request a “retainer” similar to a deposit. If you exceed the amount of the retainer, your attorney charges by the hour.
Allegheny County divorce filings fees average around $200. Filing a divorce complaint is $190.75. There are additional fees if your case involves child custody and other related matters. Besides court fees, you may have to engage experts for some aspects of your case, like an appraiser, to estimate the value of a family business.
What Contributes to Divorce Costs?
Many factors affect the cost of divorce. Divorces involving children, a co-owned business, or high net worth are typically more than divorces between a childless couple or a couple with few assets.
When a marriage ends, there are many issues to resolve. Questions of custody, property division, and financial settlements are a few of the considerations you must confront.
The more common ground you and your ex can reach, the less expensive and contentious your divorce can be.
Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Pennsylvania
Uncontested divorces help keep legal costs to a minimum. When you and your ex resolve your differences on your own, you’ll save money by avoiding costly mediation or litigation.
Once you’ve agreed on these critical issues, a lawyer reviews everything and schedules a court date for a judge to sign off on your divorce decree.
Sadly, most couples cannot agree on the time of day, let alone marital assets or child custody issues.
Contested Divorces Can Be Expensive
Some marriages cannot end amicably, especially among allegations of infidelity, abuse, or high-value assets. Contested divorces can become quite costly. The longer it takes for you and your spouse to resolve the terms of your divorce settlement, the more expensive your divorce might become.
As experienced divorce lawyers, contested divorces are common when one spouse is set on making the other spouse “pay.” Unfortunately, when this happens, it costs both spouses.
We recommend that couples try and negotiate, even when one spouse feels wronged by the other. If your case goes to mediation, or worse, to court, where a judge will decide on the terms you cannot agree about, you can expect your divorce to cost as much as five times more than an uncontested divorce.
Who Covers Divorce Costs When a PA Marriage Dissolves?
One of the most important questions people have when filing for divorce is, “Who will cover the costs?” In most Pennsylvania divorces, the sole wage earner or the family’s breadwinner may be ordered to do so.
If this happens, your total divorce costs could double. Whether you are the sole provider or you’re asking for the spouse to pay for the divorce, talk to an experienced lawyer to help you reduce cost and streamline the process.
You Rarely Save Money With DIY Divorce
A divorce attorney guides you through the complicated steps of unwinding a marriage. While you might think you could save money by filing for divorce on your own, it’s often more costly than hiring a lawyer from the start.
What you don’t know could cost you thousands of dollars. For example, if you forget to notify your spouse that you are not responsible for future debts, you still might have to pay their credit card bill. Our divorce attorneys can protect your interests in the process and help fight for you to receive a fair outcome.
Wondering About the Cost of Divorce? Contact Us Today
Pittsburgh divorce lawyer Anthony Piccirilli can discuss the details of your case with you and how it may impact costs moving forward. He will work with you to find common ground with your spouse to lessen contention and aid in keeping costs in check.
Attorney Piccirilli can also determine if your spouse may be required to pay partial or total legal fees. This could lessen your financial burden during this difficult time.