Divorce is a difficult process, and it can be expensive. Litigated divorce, in which the case goes to trial before a judge, is the most costly type of divorce. However, there are other ways to resolve a divorce at a lower cost. If you are considering a DIY divorce, it can cost as little as the required state fees.
Divorce mediation is another option that can help keep costs down. The cost of divorce depends on several factors, including the state in which it occurs, the complexity of the couple's finances, and the involvement of child custody issues. When it comes to divorce, litigated cases are significantly more expensive due to additional legal fees. Disputes over alimony or spousal support can also increase the price substantially.
Divorce mediation is another option that can help keep costs down if there are contested issues that need to be resolved. The option to give up an attorney and represent yourself pro se is more feasible and more likely to reduce costs in no-fault, no-contest divorces. However, deciding how to handle a divorce is significantly affected by the level of cooperation or conflict that exists between the two people who are divorcing. It is important to remember that you don't always need a divorce lawyer; divorce mediation can help reduce costs if there are contested issues you need to resolve.
As with any legal matter, the divorce still needs to be filed with the court and the judge must issue a judgment. More complicated “contested” divorces can be significantly more expensive than uncontested divorces.