If you’re planning to get divorced, you do need to budget for the cost of your divorce. In New York, the minimum filing fee for a divorce is just $335, but that doesn’t cover everything.
Considering the cost of your divorce, you first need to think about the basic administrative and court costs. Then, you will need to add in your attorney fees as well as the time spent negotiating in mediation or through other methods of alternative dispute resolution.
What are the approximate costs for a divorce in New York?
In general, some of the expenses you can expect include:
- $335 for your divorce paperwork being filed with the court
- Approximately $50 to serve your spouse with the divorce papers, since this is normally done by a professional process server or deputy sheriff
- Court costs, which may be approximately $120 daily (depending on the court)
- The cost of negotiating your divorce settlement, which may range anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 or more depending on the complexity of your case and if you settle outside of court
- Your attorney’s hourly and appearance fees
The average cost of a divorce in New York is between $4,000 and $5,000 when the case is uncontested and you use the help of an attorney to file. It may be $25,000 or more if your divorce is contested.
What should I do to lower the cost of my divorce?
One of the best ways to minimize the cost of your divorce is to be reasonable, open to negotiating and to avoid taking your case to court. The cost of your case increases with each court appearance or negotiating session, so it’s helpful if you and your spouse can work out much of your settlement on your own.
If you’re working with your attorney, make sure to ask about their fee schedule, so you understand what they charge per hour or case, depending on their current payment options. Knowing your attorney’s fees and the court costs ahead of time should help you manage the overall cost of your case by knowing exactly what you’re spending and when you’re spending it.