No two divorces are the same, which means there is no fixed answer to how much a divorce will cost. Although divorces are generally known for being expensive, it can be difficult to predict the true cost of a Colorado divorce or legal separation, as there are numerous factors specific to your circumstances that can impact how much you will spend to get a divorce.
The following factors play a major role in determining how much your divorce will cost:
- Whether there is a valid pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement in place
A valid pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement details some—if not most—of the terms of a divorce. This includes areas such as the division of marital property and spousal support. An existing agreement can limit the possibility of any disputes, making the divorce process faster and cheaper. If, however, there is no pre- or post-nuptial agreement in place, it is likely that the divorce will cost you more and the duration of the divorce will be extended.
- Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested
The divorce can be resolved fairly quickly and inexpensively if you and your spouse can agree on all the major issues of your divorce and file a joint petition for an uncontested divorce. The costs will likely go up in a contested divorce case, however, if there are issues being disputed in the divorce. Disputed areas of the divorce may have to be resolved in either court or mediation before a final divorce decree can be issued, contributing to a longer and more expensive case.
- The number of issues being disputed
The costs of divorce can rise considerably when there are many points of contention in a divorce case. More time and effort—usually in court—is needed to resolve any issues. Examples of commonly disputed issues in a divorce are identifying separate versus marital property, the division of marital property, whether a pre- or post-nuptial agreement is valid, whether a party should pay or receive support payments, and how parenting time should be split.
- Willingness of both parties to compromise
The willingness of both parties to communicate civilly and work out their own resolutions on their own timeline can play a significant part in reducing the total costs of a divorce. If both parties are unable to compromise, divorce costs are more likely to increase as court interventions may be necessary.
- Nature of marital property
Marital property issues and disputes can increase the costs of divorce, especially since complex marital estates typically require more time for inventory, appraisal and division between spouses. High net worth divorce cases, in particular, may involve numerous properties located in other states or countries, thus making the process even more complicated.
Hiring a lawyer
While it may seem counterintuitive, hiring a qualified divorce lawyer can play a key role in keeping your divorce costs manageable. A lawyer will not only protect your rights and best interests, but will also help you achieve the most advantageous outcome possible.