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Cost of divorce

Tallying the costs of life's big events
Dealing with divorce

Dealing with divorce

Along with the emotional toll of divorce comes its economic impact. Costs include legal fees, loss of household income, relocation and setting up a new household.

Divorce attorneys are among the first in line to get paid when a couple splits. Research from CostHelper.com indicates legal fees for divorce proceedings range from $20,000 to $50,000 if you pay an hourly rate. A similar consumer website, WhatItCosts.com, puts the midrange total cost for a divorce at $15,000 to $30,000.

A legal name change can cost up to $350 if you handle it without a lawyer (you can find do-it-yourself request forms starting at around $20) or $1,000 and up if you go to court with legal representation, according to CostHelper.com.

Children often face the greatest economic loss as a consequence of divorce. According to the Census Bureau, in 2009 only 41 percent of custodial parents received the full amount of child support they were due, and nearly 30 percent of the parents owed child support payments got nothing. The average legal award to the custodial parent that year was $5,955 per year, while the average actual payment received was $3,630.


 

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