One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is the financial toll that it can take on a family. Divorce (or dissolution of marriage, as it is formally known in the state of Colorado) is notoriously known for being “expensive”. However, everyone’s financial situation is different. People who are facing divorce or who are considering the possibility of divorce may be wondering what exactly “expensive” means. Is it going to cost them a few hundred dollars? A few thousand dollars? Tens of thousands of dollars? The cost to get a divorce in Colorado isn’t standard or universal. It is highly dependent on the complexity, and level of conflict in which the couple is engaged.
One study from Martindale Hubbell found that the average cost of divorce for clients who work with Colorado divorce attorneys is about $10,750, but can realistically range anywhere from $3,500 to $19,900 (or less or more). This isn’t particularly helpful if you’re trying to plan for the future. What is more helpful is knowing what factors will influence how much your specific divorce will cost you, so you can get accurate expectations, make necessary arrangements, and do everything you can to keep the process as affordable as possible!
Here’s a brief overview of the things that make dissolution of marriage more expensive and the unique way that our client-goal-focused firm, and our Polaris Process™ can give you more clarity, and certainty, around the financial aspects of divorce.
Why You Need To Pay For An Attorney
Because divorce attorney fees can seem high, depending on the attorney in question, many people think that they can save money by taking a “DIY” approach. They try to handle their divorce themselves by following information they find online, or from well meaning, but inexperienced friends and colleagues. Especially if you’re on amicable terms with your spouse, avoiding attorney involvement might seem to be a great idea that minimizes red tape and achieves a better, more affordable result. That can often be a huge misconception that can end up making the cost to get a divorce in Colorado much more expensive, in the end, than it needs to be!
Colorado divorce lawyers go to law school for years to learn how to complete divorce paperwork without making the kinds of mistakes that could incur additional fees. They know the local court system, they know how to navigate a variety of complex situations, and they know how to protect you from getting taken advantage of. If you end up representing yourself, you could become victim to common pitfalls that can extend the length of your divorce, lead to litigation (both factors that increase the price of divorce), or even lead to results that may be invalidated down the road. Also, consider that money isn’t the only cost involved. Lawyers can save you tremendous amounts of time and stress, which is why you need to have one (or an entire firm) on your side! Cutting out representation isn’t the way to cut costs.
Factors That Influence How Much It Will Cost To Get A Divorce In Colorado
Not all of the factors that make divorce more or less expensive are within your power to control, but many are!
Whether You Are Clear on Your Goals
It is very important for you to be clear on what you want your life to be … after this transition. Whether divorce was what you wanted, or not, it is crucial that you work on your vision for what comes next. Uncertainty about your goals, for yourself and your family, can lead to pursuing inconsistent goals, or not knowing what to do during the divorce. This can show up in unnecessary work and expense, for you, and your legal team.
Whether You Agree On Major Issues
Simply put, conflict is expensive.. The more you and your spouse disagree, the more time and effort it will take to reach a resolution, which will be more costly! If one or both of you isn’t willing to work together to find mutually agreeable terms, your case may need to be decided by a judge. Contested divorce battles are always many times more expensive than uncontested divorces!
Whether Minor Children Are Involved
Determining how you will share parenting duties can be the most challenging and most expensive part of divorce. Issues like parenting time, decision making,,,, child support, and others pertaining to your children can take much longer to resolve and are often more contentious. Figuring out a good solution to those issues may require several evaluations, mediation, court hearings, and/or a full-blown court battle. Focusing your energy on what is best for the children can help minimize conflict and expense.
How Much You & Your Spouse Have In Terms Of Assets
Dividing up large amounts of property, bank accounts, investments, retirement funds and/or debts can increase the cost of divorce. If you have complex assets (like real estate investment properties or off-shore holdings or stock in private companies, for example), dividing these assets equitably can take longer. Experts may need to be brought in to inventory/appraise the assets and make recommendations. Considerable debt can increase the cost to get a divorce in Colorado for the same reasons.
Where You Live In Colorado
In most situations, divorce usually results in one or both partners moving out of the previously shared living space. Renting a new place until the divorce is finalized on just one income, and then renting or buying after that, can be a heavy financial burden, particularly with today’s competitive real estate prices. Colorado also has one of the most expensive markets in the nation. However, not everywhere in Colorado is equally expensive when it comes to costs of living; if you live in Denver, Colorado Springs, or another big city, your divorce is probably going to cost you more than if you live in a smaller town or suburb.
How You & Your Spouse Were Insured
This is one of the frequently overlooked costs in a divorce; while it is more of a “life after divorce” cost, it is still something you need to consider. If you or your spouse were on each other’s health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, or other type of insurance policies, ending your marriage will likely mean losing that coverage. You may have to purchase new policies, which could cost you hundreds of dollars per month.
How New Leaf Family Can Make Your Divorce More Reasonable
New Leaf Family manages divorce (and all family conflict) differently.
Most divorce firms in Colorado start the process of working with clients who are thinking about getting a divorce or who are in the first stages of a divorce by telling them what the firm can do for them, then asking them to spend large amounts of money to achieve the lawyer’s vision. However, this may or may not be what the clients actually want. When the dust settles, the clients may find themselves tens of thousands of dollars poorer and also dissatisfied with the outcome.
That’s why New Leaf Family takes an entirely different approach! Our main goal is to empower you to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. This requires, first and foremost, that we help you be clear on YOUR goals, before we make a plan for how to help you. We take the time to get to know you and to explain all of your options. Everything we do for you is guided by what you want your life to look like. In some cases, this may mean taking some steps to resolve your relationship conflicts or not pursue divorce at all. In other cases, this may mean collaborating with your spouse to choose how your divorce will unfold. And in others, it will mean vigorously advocating on your behalf in court for your best interests.
We do everything in our power to avoid high-conflict, high-cost divorce battles. This is not because we back down from a fight, but because we know the best resolutions are usually achieved outside of court. We’re not afraid to stand up for you if you and your partner can’t agree. Unlike many Colorado divorce attorneys, who charge by the hour, we charge affordable, predictable monthly fees. You don’t have to worry that you will get an out-of-the-blue bill that’s many times higher than what you expected or were led to believe. Regardless of how much work we are doing for your case, we will tell you from the start how much you will pay each month for our services. This can cut down on your financial worries! Working with our firm isn’t “cheap” to provide the level of excellent representation and legal guidance we strive for, hiring us is affordable for most Colorado residents.
Contact Our Colorado Divorce Firm Today
Wherever you’re at in the divorce process, you can call New Leaf Family today for free and inquire to see whether we may be a good fit for you. We’ll be upfront and obvious where we reach the stage where fees are expected! Your inquiry will be completely confidential, and we can explain what we can do to help you. We may also be able to give you a better idea of how much your divorce will cost! Call today to learn more and get started.