How Much Does Divorce Cost in Utah
“How much will my divorce cost me?” is the most common question couples ask when starting the divorce process. The answer is always the same: it depends. Many factors determine your divorce’s price tag, which is why there is no definitive answer.
In general, your divorce cost will become increasingly expensive depending on three main factors: the complexity of your divorce, the attorney you hire, and how much you and your spouse are willing to fight to “win” the divorce.
The Cost of “Winning”
Why can divorce be so expensive? The parties won’t agree out of spite. They will fight over a lamp under $50. Not because either one really wants the lamp, but because they don’t want their spouse to have it. They will pay their attorney thousands of dollars to fight and to win. The truth is the only real winners in this situation are the attorneys.
We get it–your spouse is a narcissistic jerk. The person you thought was going to be your lifelong partner failed you. Of course, you’re hurt and angry. But ripping open the wound and pouring salt on it just to get back at your ex is not the solution. Fighting will never achieve anything. Be civil and focus on the future rather than the past.
What Determines the Complexity of Your Divorce? The Kids?
How much your divorce will cost in Utah has a lot to do with whether or not you and your spouse have children together. Not all divorces involving children are high-conflict, but a lot of them are. A custody battle is one of the most expensive processes because it takes a long time–especially if taken to trial.
If your custody case goes to trial, the Court may request experts like a custody evaluator, Guardian Ad Litem, or a therapist. To put the cost of it in perspective, a custody evaluation alone costs anywhere from $5,000-$10,000. To save heartache, money, and time, compromise with your spouse on custody and parenting time
More Money = More Problems
Spouses that have high assets or own businesses pay more for divorce. The reason for this is simple, the more assets you have the longer the discovery process, which can quickly rack up billable hours. Similarly, to custody issues, experts such as forensic accountants, appraisers, or CPAs (certified public accountant) may be required to assist and can be expensive. According to a study conducted by Martindale-Nolo Researches, the average cost for a high net-worth couples divorce is $33,700 versus $2,000-$6,000 for a middle-class couple’s divorce in Utah.
The Price of a Divorce Attorney
You may be considering doing your divorce on your own to minimize how much your divorce will cost. Divorce Attorneys can be pricey, but don’t let the cost intimidate you into losing your legal rights. Especially if you have children, significant assets, property, or debt, a good attorney will save you time and money in the long run.
In Utah, the hourly rate of an attorney is anywhere from $100-$500. Most attorneys require a ‘down payment’ known as a retainer. Retainer fees are anywhere from $1000-$7000 in Utah. Although attorney rates play a role in determining how much your divorce will cost, your case’s complexity will ultimately decide the overall cost.
Even if you and your spouse agree on the divorce terms, you should always speak to an attorney to ensure your legal rights are awarded. At CoilLaw we offer 1-hour consultations in which managing partner Jill Coil will share her legal expertise and advise you on how to move forward successfully with your divorce.