How Much Does a Civil Divorce Cost?
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

How Much Does a Civil Divorce Cost?

According to members of AVVO, “That depends on the complexity of the case and the level of agreement between the two of you. An “Agreed Divorce” can be done as quickly as 4-6 weeks and cost a total of 1500-2000 (fees and costs) depending on the attorney. A contested divorce can generally take 6 months to 1.5 years and run each of you $2500-$20,000 and possibly more. Your best bet is to consult with a divorce lawyer (many offer free consultations) to get the best advice on time and costs but more importantly on your rights.”

Civil Divorce Cost With No Attorney

When filing for an uncontested divorce for yourself, there are choices for you. Primarily, both of you may submit the needed documentation with your nearby family court. The court then gives you the forms that you need, for example, a petition for divorce and a parenting plan, that will outline your children’s care. After you file the documentation and wait for the appropriate period mandated by your state, you’ll present yourself in front of the judge for the divorce finalization. Ensure you comprehend your state laws when wrapping up your documents for divorce, like alimony, child support and property distribution.

Furthermore, you have the choice filing your uncontested divorce via an online service. Typically, these services walks you through the process for finalizing and filing the needed documentation for divorce by your states requirements. Verify with your state laws so you can confirm that filing for civil divorce via an online service is acceptable.

Filing for an uncontested divorce by yourself, excluding the assistance of an attorney, is the less expensive way to go. You’ll have roughly a $300 fee for filing your documentation through the court, whether or not you file by yourself or with via online service. If you use an online service to assist you, costs could range from $150 to $1,500 dependent on the service and your individual situation, in addition to the filing fee.

Civil Divorce Cost Having an Attorney

If you decide to have an attorney aid you, the attorney will act on your behalf for you and your wishes all through the divorce process. Employing an attorney may be helpful if you have a convoluted divorce, or if you both disagree on certain issues.

An attorney is only able to represent one of you; the attorney is not allowed to represent your soon to be ex. Your attorney will aid you in the negotiation matters of the divorce, for instance the distribution of property, child custody, and the resolution of any debts. After your attorney files all the needed documentation and the court date is planned, the attorney will go with you to court and introduce your case to the judge for a final decision.

If you elect to hire an attorney for the uncontested divorce, the cost is going to be a lesser amount of a contested one. Nevertheless, the more convoluted your case is, or if your divorce is contested, the fees of your attorney will increase.

Generally, you’ll have to pay your divorce attorney upfront, or what is referred to as a retainer, of $2,500 – $5,000. You’ll be charged by your attorney until there is no more money. Following that, you might have to put down additional money, or the attorney might bill you for each hour. Average per hour attorney fees are somewhere between $150 to $400, respectively.

*The point of this post is only for information. Do not take the above content as legal advice.


  1. Kiesewetter, J. (2019, May 08). The Average Cost of an Uncontested Divorce. Retrieved September 16, 2020, from

Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer in Arizona

Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important you make the best choice for you when hiring a divorce attorney. Remember: The decisions you make now can affect your future. Ultimately, choosing the best lawyer will depend on which lawyer feels best for you and your situation.

If you want to learn about Michelle N. Ogborne and see if she is the right attorney to represent you in your collaborative divorce in Arizona, contact us today!

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