Ryan Family Law, P.C.
Ryan Family Law, P.C.

Elgin, Illinois

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Why is divorce so expensive? The hidden costs

A quick glance at the figures confirms what everybody seems to know to be true: Breaking up isn’t just hard to do, it’s also costly. The average cost of a divorce is roughly $19,458 per couple, according to the most recent statistics. 

How is that even possible? It’s not all legal fees going into that equation. Most of the cost of divorce is actually tied to “hidden” expenses that people don’t automatically consider. These include:

The cost of obtaining a new living space

One or both parties in a divorce will likely have to relocate, and that can be a major source of financial distress. The money starts to quickly add up when you consider things like:

  • Moving supplies and a rental truck or movers
  • First and last month’s rent on a new apartment or condo
  • Security deposits and pet deposits on a new place
  • Security deposits and set-up fees for utilities and cable service

There are also smaller expenses that have to be factored into the move, such as replacing pieces of furniture or small household goods – like the dishes – that stayed with a spouse.

The cost associated with asset and debt division

If you have any complex marital assets that need to be divided, you’re probably going to need professional services, whether that’s an appraiser for the house, an expert who can evaluate the worth of your spouse’s anime collection or a financial advisor who can look at the issues involved with dividing the pensions. Those services are an additional cost in a divorce.

Marital debts have to be divided the same way that marital assets are divided – and that usually means refinancing things into each spouse’s own name. You may get stuck with a higher interest rate and refinancing fees that you wouldn’t have otherwise had. 

Ultimately, there are some good ways to manage the costs – not the least of which is developing a strategy for your divorce that will minimize the conflicts and help you get through the process quickly. Legal guidance can help.


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