Are you going to be getting a divorce in Arizona? One of the things that worry most people, whether they are filing for divorce or they have received divorce papers, is the cost of getting divorced. The fact of the matter is that the cost can vary greatly from one couple to the next for a host of reasons. In this article, we’ll be talking about our state of practice and just how much does divorce cost in Arizona?
What’s the Typical Cost of Divorce in Arizona?
The average cost of divorce in Arizona is $20,000. However, this is just the average. They could cost as little as $5,000, or as much as $100,000 or more in cases that are contested and that have a lot of assets. In cases where attorneys are used and expert witnesses are brought in, the costs could be between $15,000 and $100,000 per spouse. Divorce is not cheap, especially when the divorce is contested.
If the divorce is uncontested, on the other hand, it becomes much cheaper. Collaborative divorce or mediation could bring the cost down to about $7,500 to $8,000 or so. This is more affordable, but it could still be out of the price range of some. Fortunately, there are some other options, which will be discussed later.
Of course, you also have to consider different attorneys may have different fees, which will affect the overall cost of the divorce. The number of areas where a couple disagrees can also drag out mediation, causing the cost of the divorce to increase.
You should also keep in mind that these are just current averages. The costs can and do change. The best way for you to determine how much your divorce will cost when you use an attorney is to speak to a lawyer.
What Does It Cost to File?
To file for a divorce in Maricopa County, for example, will cost $349 for the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. Over time, the cost for filing could increase, so you will want to check the current costs and make sure you check with the county where you will be filing. Those who are served with divorce papers will also have to pay to file a response. The current cost is $274.
You may find that you have to file other documents with the court for parenting time, child custody, etc. These will have their own filing fees. Simplified Child Support Modification is $89 and filing for Legal Decision-Making is $279, for example. You will need to consider what paperwork needs to be filed and calculate all of those fees. If you are going to try to handle the divorce on your own, you will be responsible for filling out the paperwork correctly and filing it.
What Does the Attorney Do?
Attorneys earn their fees when they represent you in a divorce case. They have expertise and knowledge of the law. When you hire an attorney, they work for you and will have your best interests in mind. They can help you from the start of the case through to the divorce agreement and beyond if you need further help. There may be other fees for drafting letters and documents, filing, etc. Always make sure you are clear about what fees you will be paying.
In addition to the cost of the attorney, there could be the cost of bringing on expert witnesses. They may not always be needed, but if they are, there will be fees associated with using them. Some of the types of expert witnesses that could be needed in some cases include property appraisers, mental health experts, and accountants.
How Can You Reduce the Cost of Divorce in Arizona?
The cost of divorce in Arizona shouldn’t deter you from getting a divorce if that’s the best course of action for your life. There are ways that you can reduce the cost of divorce. One of the options is to have a DIY divorce. These types of divorces can generally cost well under $1,000.
However, they aren’t right for all couples. If you have a simple divorce where you and your spouse agree on property division, child custody, and all other matters in the divorce, you can file the paperwork yourself. Just pay for the filing fees and wait for the divorce to be finalized. Always make sure that you fill out the paperwork correctly, of course. You might want to hire a paralegal or a certified document preparer to help with this. The cost is low, and they can make sure everything is done correctly.
However, not all divorces are agreeable to both parties. In those cases, you might need to work with an attorney. However, you don’t need to hire an attorney to do everything for your case. You can hire the attorneys in a limited-scope capacity. This means that you will only be engaging their services for certain parts of the divorce you do not want to handle.
You could consult with them occasionally to ensure you are on the right track with your case, for example. You might want to work with them to handle writing out documents and files, or helping you prepare for testimony. You can pick and choose what they do and only pay for the services you use.
If you hire an attorney to handle all or just some aspects of your case, you can still reduce your costs by limiting how much you contact them. For example, instead of calling three times a month with questions or concerns, write down everything you have to ask and do it all in one consultation. This way, you aren’t billed for multiple consultations, keeping your divorce cost in Arizona relatively low.
What’s Right for You?
Divorce is different for everyone, and this means that the costs will be different. If you feel that you can handle the divorce on your own, make sure that you take the time to learn and understand all of the statutes that apply to your case. If you need some help, find an experienced attorney in the area that can provide you with assistance.