How much divorce costs
According to a 2021 survey, on average, for legal fees alone, an uncontested divorce costs $1,000 to $2,000 and a contested divorce costs $7,500 to $25,000.
The factors that impact divorce costs
Generally, the cost of a divorce will be influenced by how complicated your unique situation is and how much conflict there is between you and your spouse.
If both spouses agree to divorce, and can agree on all divorce-related decisions, including property division, custody of any children and child and spousal support, you can file an uncontested divorce (also known as a simple divorce).
You can consult a lawyer or divorce mediator to help you negotiate and create your uncontested divorce agreement if you wish.
Some provinces provide the option to file for a simple divorce online without ever having to go to court.
If you and your spouse can’t agree on all the terms of your divorce, then you’ll file a contested divorce application. This can be done 2 ways:
- One spouse files an application and the other spouse can contest it
- Both spouses file an application
In either situation, both spouses will be represented by separate lawyers who will negotiate and complete terms of your divorce. If the situation is complex or the parties are not on good terms with one another, the process will likely take longer and be more expensive. Even a 2-day trial could cost $3,500 to $20,000.
The other costs of divorce
So far, we’ve just discussed the costs to get divorced. However, divorce has a long-term impact on both spouses as they’ll be supporting 2 households instead of just 1, and splitting their assets including pension plans, workplace benefits, retirement savings and property.