The Average Cost of Divorce in New York in 2023

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According to USA Today, the average cost of divorce in New York is approximately $13,500. If the couple has children, the expenses can reach $15,500. The costs also depend on such factors as disputes over custody, property division, and other major issues. 

It is very important to prepare as much as you can for the divorce proceedings, including anticipating the costs involved. this will allow you to control the process from the beginning to the outcomes and reach success without hurdles.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in New York 

The mandatory expense to include in your divorce budget is New York divorce filing fees. They are an official payment and cover several steps and docs being legalized to get your process rolling. You are to pay $335 when appealing to the local court together with your filing forms.  

In case you cannot afford to cover the divorce price in NY, you can waive the fees or request your partner to pay instead. Yet, this is only possible if you prove that you are in a difficult financial situation and your spouse has a higher income than you do.


Infographic of Divorce Cost in NY

How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in New York 

An uncontested divorce is a preferred option when you need to get your marriage terminated quickly and at a considerable price. You and your spouse may reach an agreement on critical divorce matters without going to court if you agree on sensible terms. Then the cost of divorce in NY will equal around $5,500 for you. This means the filing fees, general consultation of a lawyer, and expenses to settle an agreement included. 

Yet, if you are ready to invest most of your time and efforts in the case, you can get your marriage to the end even at a more considerable price. DIY divorce implies that you use the services of online divorce platforms and pay a minimum of $130 for their help plus filing fees. Or you can access NYCOURTS.GOV and explore all the forms and guidelines necessary to finalize your relationships officially there. This means your only divorce expense will be filing fees or their reduced amount.  

How Much Does a Contested Divorce Cost in New York 

In case a no-fault divorce is not your option and you cannot solve your disputes without a trial, expect your case to take around $50K out of your pockets. You should consider that official fees for a day in court are $120, and an hour with a lawyer will cost you around $350. This means that the longer your marriage termination drags out, the more you are to waste in the aftermath. Mind another spending, such as filing and serving your spouse, hiring a financial advisor, and so on.  

One of the surviving tips for divorcees who cannot finalize their marriage amicably is cooperation with the mediator. With between $100 and $250 per session, you can reach a compromise under the mediator’s guidance with less spending than when fighting for every divorce point in court. 

Services Cost
Court fees for a day in court $120
Hour with a lawyer $350
Filing and serving spouse Varies
Hiring a financial advisor Varies
Cooperation with a mediator (per session) $100-$250

Factors that Affect the Cost of a New York Divorce 

When you complete your marriage in New York City, it’s critical to take the surrounding conditions into account. Mind the subsequent factors when preparing for a divorce and planning your budget. 

Property Division Issues 

If you can deal with the property division by yourself, expect to reduce the cost of divorce significantly. When you cannot settle the assets-related disputes, there will be extra spending included. You may need to cooperate with a personal accountant to put your finances and properties to order, a professional evaluator to know the exact value of your assets, financial advisor to make the best beneficial decisions. Plus, disagreements on property division will prolong your case which will only increase the total cost.  

New York State regulates the issues with the equitable distribution rule. So, expect the judge to consider all the details of your marital and financial situations to come to a top fair decision. Yet, you should understand that even the most justified conclusion may disappoint your needs and expectations as to assets division. This means that the best choice is to deal with your assets and debts by collaborating and reaching a mutually advantageous agreement with your partner. 

Having Minor Children 

Having minor children may increase the divorce expenses as well. The perfect scenario is you and your spouse prioritizing the wellness of your kids and creating a working parental plan. With the modern tools and possibilities, you don’t have to pay more but for a digital tool on your smartphone that will do all the calculations, expenses tracking, communications, and scheduling in the best comfort for you and your family. You only need to agree with your spouse on the best program and strategy to exploit and your kids will get the best they deserve.  

On the contrary, if you cannot agree on how to manage custody and visitation, get ready to waste more hiring the relevant professionals and settling the disputes. Not mentioning that you will most probably spoil the relationships with your kids and burden them with extra arguments on the issue. 

Dispute Over Alimony 

Another point that may increase your divorce expenses is a dispute over spousal support. If your partner has a higher income, you have a right to appeal for financial support so that you can recover after the end of your marriage. Access the NY State Unified Court system to define whether you are eligible to request spousal maintenance. Consider that only 10% of appeals are approved, so you will hardly succeed. 

If you realize that alimony disputes would cost you money and time, it could be preferable to find a solution or drop the idea of alimony. If not, you can end up losing more money than spousal support will compensate you for.

How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in New York? 

In most cases, you need at least general consultation from a divorce lawyer. This means that divorce attorney cost is a solid determiner for your marriage termination expenses. In the Big Apple, average divorce lawyer fees equal $350 per hour. With the necessity of a couple of hours at least and filing fees in mind, your procedure will cost at least a thousand for you unless there are other connected issues to deal with.  

In case you cannot afford a lawyer but still need professional aid, you can reach your local bar association to get no-charge assistance there. You ought to contact a Collaborative Family Law Center as well to find out whether you can reduce filing fees and retrieve some legal assistance there.  

Generally, the divorce process is a serious challenge for your family budget. If it is possible try out cheaper options first. Begin with family counseling if you have hope to fix things or choose separation when you need time and place apart from your partner. Only if nothing else works, go for divorce, an amicable one preferably. Yet, no matter how cheap you want to go with your marriage termination, it is better to hire professionals at least for primary assistance since the divorce outcomes determine the quality of your life for a long time afterward.

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