Did you know that nearly 700,000 couples get divorced every year? Getting divorced often involves hard decisions when it comes to things like marital assets and child custody.
However, one factor that people don’t often consider is the cost. Even if your divorce is amicable, it will still require some money. So what’s the typical cost of divorce in PA? And is there any way you can save money on the process?
If you want to discover these answers, you’re in the perfect place. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about fees for divorce in Pennsylvania.
What’s the Cost of Divorce in PA?
As we’ll discover in the next section, the cost of a divorce in PA can vary widely depending on several factors. However, the average cost of divorce tends to be around $14,000.
Keep in mind this is just an estimate. If the divorce is uncontested and doesn’t involve children, it will cost a lot less. Similarly, if the divorce gets drawn out into an ugly custody battle, it will cost a lot more.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Divorce in PA
If you’re worried about the price of your divorce, it’s important to look at the factors affecting that divorce cost.
That way, you can do everything in your power to minimize the expenses. In this section, we’ll discuss some things that can add to the cost of your divorce.
1. Disagreements With Your Spouse
It’s easy for disagreements with your spouse to arise during the divorce process. Things like the division of assets, custody, and child support are the usual suspects for causing fights.
Often these issues are exasperated by hurt feelings and broken hearts on both sides. If you and your spouse can work together to find solutions to these disagreements, it’s going to be a much more affordable divorce.
2. Custody Battles
Children almost always make divorces more expensive. This is especially true if you can’t agree on custody. In addition to legal costs, you’ll also need to pay for things like child custody evaluations and expert witnesses.
If you can help it, try to agree on how to divide your time with the children beforehand. This will likely require some sacrifices on both sides. But it will result in a less expensive divorce agreement.
3. Large Amounts of Marital Assets
Many married couples combine their income, personal property, real estate, and more. The more entwined your finances are, the messier and more expensive the divorce will likely be.
The issue gets even more thorny if there’s a debt between one or both of you. In these cases, you’ll likely need to hire additional experts like financial analysts, real estate appraisers, and accountants.
4. The Quality of Your Attorney
The quality of your attorney matters. If you go with the cheapest option when it comes to divorce lawyer fees, it’s going to result in a sloppy, prolonged divorce.
An experienced attorney, on the other hand, can approach the proceedings with more efficiency and compromise. This can lead to a quicker, less painful divorce process.
Can You File for Divorce Without a Lawyer in PA?
Yes, you don’t necessarily need a lawyer when filing for a divorce in Pennsylvania. A considerable amount of couples choose to go down this route. With this option, you only need to pay the filing fees associated with the divorce proceedings in the county you reside in.
The good news is that this tends to only cost around $500. However, there are a lot of downsides to consider as well. For starters, it’s easy to make a costly mistake if you’re filling out the forms yourself with no knowledge of family law.
A small error can result in your divorce agreement being rejected by the court. There’s also the time factor to consider. Filling out these forms is going to take you a while, especially if you get overwhelmed by legal language.
That’s why we almost always recommend hiring a legal professional to help you with your divorce.
At the very least, you should hire one to look over your DIY divorce agreement for mistakes. However, if you expect conflict in your divorce proceedings, always go with the attorney route.
How to Find a Quality Divorce Lawyer in PA
As we mentioned earlier, a good lawyer can make all the difference in price when going through a divorce. We recommend finding a professional with extensive experience in divorce law.
For example, here at Blake & Schanbacher Law, LLC, our family law attorney David C. Schanbacher has an extensive legal background dating back decades. Whether you want to fight or compromise, Schanbacher can advise you on the best course of action based on his experience.
Once you get a list of some divorce lawyers down, you should schedule a consultation with them. A one-on-one is a chance for both of you to decide if you’re a good fit. Pay attention to how the divorce lawyer makes you feel.
Do they take the time to answer all your questions and concerns? Or do they seem disinterested? Make sure to follow your gut on this one. Divorce can be a messy process, and you want someone you can trust on your side.
Ready for the Legal Help You Deserve? Contact Blake & Schanbacher Law, LLC
We hope this guide helped you learn more about the cost of divorce in PA. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if your divorce is contested or uncontested – you likely have questions that need answering.
To get those answers, you need an experienced Pennsylvania lawyer. Here at Blake & Schanbacher Law, LLC, we want to help make the divorce process as painless as possible.
That’s why we can provide you with valuable advice on the best approach toward divorce for your specific circumstances. So when you’re ready to schedule your consultation, contact us.