Can I Afford a Divorce in Tennessee?

wedding rings on top of money with gavel

If you have been considering ending your marriage, you have probably wondered about how the divorce will affect both you and your spouse as well as any children you might have. Divorce has significant effects on people both emotionally and financially. The average divorce in Tennessee will cost each spouse about $10,000 to $12,000. If you have been wondering whether or not you can afford to file for divorce, contact a Shelby County, Tennessee divorce lawyer for skilled advice and representation.

Why is Divorce So Expensive?

Divorce is expensive because of the many important factors must be dealt with. Below are some costs you will face during your separation and divorce. When everything is added up it can be difficult to afford.

  1. Just to initiate your divorce you will have to pay a filing fee. Filing fees vary depending on the state and county you are in but in Tennessee you will typically have to pay between $250 and $400. Counter complaint fees if you have already been served divorce papers run at about $100.
  2. You have to pay court fees for your time in court as well. You might spend time in court deciding custody agreements, child support, alimony, or property division. It can take a long time and expenses can add up.
  3. The average Tennessee divorce lawyer will charge around $200 to $300 per hour for their services. Research, court time, phone calls, and more are all billable.
  4. You may also decide to acquire the help of specialized professionals. Expert opinions from accountants, property appraisers, therapists, and more can be beneficial when deciding the division of assets and child custody arrangements.

What Costs Can I Cut to Afford My Divorce?

Although divorce can be quite costly, there are some ways to cut down on expenses. No one wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal matters, so consider the following when preparing for a divorce.

  • Try to work out the details on your own. Household items might not be as important so you could potentially divide some things without the court’s input. You and your spouse know the sentimental value of certain items, so try to compromise on certain things. If you can, try to figure out child custody without the court. If it makes the most sense for one of you to have primary custody and you both can agree, prepare a general custody arrangement to bring to court. All of these small decisions can add up to a lot of time saved. The less time you spend in court the less expensive your costs will be.
  • Consider alternative dispute resolutions. Litigation is time-consuming and expensive. If you have to go to trial over one or more issues it could add thousands of dollars to your expenses. Mediation and collaborative divorce are both dispute resolution options that have proven beneficial for couples during divorce.
  • Apply for court fee waivers. You may qualify for some fee waivers. Getting even small fees waived can be helpful in keeping costs down.