Everyone knows divorces can be expensive. In fact, price is one of the major deterrents that keeps some from hiring an attorney to help with divorce. Because of this fear, many people do their own divorce, usually with the aid of crude online do-it-yourself tools. The issue with these online tools is they aren’t designed to recognize and address the nuances of a family’s situation. They assume everyone is the same, and they fit highly individualized situations in to one box, and that one box doesn’t work for most families.
In light of this tug between divorce costs and crude online tools, it’s important to put cost in perspective. Consider the price of maintaining one vehicle for one year. AAA puts out an annual report chronicling this cost. Its 2015 report found the average cost to maintain an average sedan is $8698. That includes gas, repairs, tax and title, finance costs, insurance, depreciation, etc. And that’s just one average car. If you have a truck, that number goes up. If you have two cars, the cost is about $17,500. And most Utah families have two or more vehicles.
Now, contrast this with the cost of an average Utah divorce. If both sides have attorneys, the vast majority of divorces cost less than the cost of maintaining the family vehicles for one year. (This estimate is based on informal surveys over the years with a number of different Utah family law firms.)
When you think about the importance of doing your divorce right, securing your rights and finances, and doing what is best for your kids, the cost of divorce begins looking a lot more reasonable, especially when compared to the cost of maintaining a car.
This isn’t to say divorce costs aren’t significant in some cases. They certainly can be. If significant assets are in play, or both parties engage in a long custody battle, costs will necessarily increase. (For tips on controlling divorce costs, click here.)
For most normal people, however, a divorce with good, professional attorney representation costs less than the maintaining a car for a single year.