According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly 700,000 divorces each year in the US. Getting a divorce is a difficult, stressful situation that can take a toll on the entire family. You may have plenty of questions, including: What is the average cost of a divorce in Utah?
Now that you are here, we will do our best to answer that question for you. The last thing you should be worried about is how much this divorce is going to cost. That’s why you should consider hiring a Utah divorce attorney who understands how challenging the process is for families.
At Brown Family Law, our compassionate approach is designed to ensure the divorce process is as seamless as possible. If kids are involved, protecting them will always be our top priority. We too want what is in their best interests.
Call Brown Family Law today at (801) 685-9999 for a legal consultation about your case. Our team is available 24/7 to help take the fear out of your divorce proceedings.
How Much is a Divorce in Utah?
One of the most stressful aspects of getting a divorce in Utah is the cost. At a time when you are worried about splitting up your personal property, the cost of divorce might seem like it is too much to handle. Along with that, you must consider lawyer fees, filing fees, ongoing child support, and much more. It can be an expensive and emotional process.
Of course, the cost of a divorce depends on the situation at hand. A contested divorce may be expensive if your lawyer charges hourly rates. Lawyer fees in Utah can be anywhere from $195 to $230 per hour. A court filing fee is around $318. On average, a Utah divorce can cost as much as $6,000. How much of the divorce fees you are responsible for will vary based on negotiation with the other party.
Costs Associated With Filing for Divorce
In Utah, the average court filing fee for a divorce is $325. These filing fees will be used by the court to look into the details of your divorce. This is the official beginning of the proceeding. In some cases, you may be able to get this fee waived by the court if you can prove you are unable to pay it.
There may be other fees that apply, including an Online Court Assistance Program. The Office of Vital Records and Statistics charges a fee. There will be fees for drawing up legal documents, divorce papers, summons and petition services, and even the cost of copying.
If children are in the picture, then there may be a divorce education course, divorce orientation course, and others that will cost you. No matter how you look at it, getting a divorce can be expensive.
What Factors Can Make a Divorce More Expensive in Utah?
It can be difficult to pin down the average cost of a divorce in Utah. That number is always subjective and depends on a variety of factors. For example, a difficult contested divorce will usually be more expensive than an uncontested divorce.
An uncontested divorce is simpler and takes less time, even cutting down on the paperwork filed. Both sides agree more than they disagree.
On the other hand, a contested divorce, especially where child custody comes into play, may be more drawn out.
Attorney fees also come into play. Whether you decide to hire a divorce lawyer early on or later will determine the overall attorney fees you will have to pay. This is especially true if your new divorce attorney is working on an hourly rate.
Are there custody issues that need to be hammered out? If so, that can impact the divorce cost significantly. If issues can be resolved in a timely manner, you might just get through this without too much of a hit to the bank account.
The Average Cost of an Uncontested Divorce in Utah
An uncontested divorce is the cheapest option for a divorce. It signals that there is an agreement between you and your spouse over child custody and property division. You will still need to hire an attorney initially to create the paperwork. In this case, a divorce attorney’s assistance is at its most affordable, costing significantly less than a contested divorce.
The total amount you pay can climb if the attorney needs to negotiate further with your spouse. So it’s a good idea to see if anything can be resolved before this step. The last thing you want to do is to hire the wrong attorney who will overcharge for his or her services that are not needed.
If initial negotiations fail and you end up facing a contested divorce, make sure your attorney is present to help with the process.
The Average Cost of a Contested Divorce in Utah
As you can imagine, contested divorces are the most expensive. They can cost as much as $9,700 depending on your attorney’s hourly rate. When you consider that a divorce attorney charges anywhere between $180 to $250 per hour for a contested divorce, you see how legal services can add up.
While a high cost may be the worst-case scenario, there are ways you can bring the cost of divorce down.
One thing you and your spouse can do is attempt to come to an understanding with your spouse before hiring a lawyer. That can dramatically cut down on how much time your attorney spends negotiating. There will always be at least one session going over details. But if there is too much emotional turmoil involved to make an easy settlement, then you could end up paying more.
Can Utah Divorce Fees Be Waived?
Sometimes you find yourself in a difficult financial situation while divorcing your spouse. While you do not want to make any irrational decisions, a divorce can be quite expensive. What if you simply do not have enough money for all the fees on top of hiring a new attorney to handle things?
Your best bet would be to have your divorce lawyer add a Motion to Waive Fee to the other paperwork.
Once you submit requested documentation proving you are in a difficult situation, a judge can order that filing fees and other specific expenses be waived. He or she can also request more information along with other case documents before deciding.
In that case, you have up to 14 days to revise your motion if needed. If your spouse makes abundantly more than you, a Utah judge can even require him or her to cover all the fees.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Utah Divorce Lawyer?
How much you might spend overall hiring a lawyer for your divorce case can depend on several elements, such as:
- The first major factor is whether you are trying to get child support
- A second is whether or not there is a good deal of time spent negotiating, as the billable hours can really add up if there are irreconcilable differences
- Further complications may arise when the couple owns a business together
Generally speaking, lawyers can vary on the amount they charge per hour of service provided. The wide range of fees can be anywhere between $150 and $650.
Meanwhile, the amount of time spent in person, filing paperwork, negotiating, attending hearings, and so much more depends on the case itself. There may even be times when mandatory mediation by a neutral third party is required. All such factors affect the legal fees.
Should You Consider a Do-It-Yourself Divorce?
A do-it-yourself divorce, or DIY divorce, is when a couple decides not to get a lawyer involved. This could seem like a great decision at the time, especially when the cost of divorce is so high.
The problem is, though, that not just anyone can handle a complex legal situation on his or her own. You could be setting yourself up for disaster. For one thing, you would need to ensure you file the correct paperwork yourself.
Do-it-yourself divorce is not recommended if you are trying to win child support from your ex. In this situation, it would be better if you each sought out a different attorney whom you pay directly to handle the legal matters for you.
The only way a DIY divorce might work is if you and your ex have great communication skills and you want to file a no-fault divorce.
Call Brown Family Law Today to Take the Fear Out of Your Divorce
Divorces can be complicated and messy, but they are often a necessary step toward living a better life. You especially do not want to stay with someone who is at risk of causing bodily injury to you or your kids. In such situations, you may have no choice but to get out.
When this happens, the last thing you should do is hire an inexperienced attorney who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Instead, turn to the empathetic, experienced lawyers of Brown Family Law.
We have been handling difficult divorce cases in Utah for many years. We know what to expect because we have faced every situation you can imagine. Our goal is always to take the fear and worry out of your divorce case by handling the fight on your behalf. There is no stone we will leave unturned to help you, as our client, get the results you desire.
Call Brown Family Law today at (801) 685-9999 for a comprehensive consultation on your case. Our team is ready to step in so you can maximize quality time with your kids.