When each spouse hires a litigator to handle their divorce, they are essentially paying two attorneys to litigate their case at an hourly rate that usually exceeds $200 per hour. In fact, that rate can exceed $300 for each hour each attorney spends handling the case. Considering that many divorce attorneys turn on the meter every time they touch a client's file or speak on the phone with a client, the total expense of a contested divorce can quickly grow to a total of $100,000 or more when each spouse has an attorney.
However, much more affordable divorce options are available in Pennsylvania. In order to prevent people from spending $5,000 fighting over a $3,000 car, many attorneys suggest mediation. Mediation requires the spouses to pay a person to facilitate an agreement in order to prevent litigating disputes in court. This is an option for some people who cannot agree on the terms of their divorce without help. Mediation can save people the prohibitive expenses associated with litigation. However, mediation is not cheap. Even a simple mediation can cost several thousand dollars.
Several thousand dollars is a hefty amount of money to pay someone whose job is to help you reach an agreement. Thankfully, there is a far less expensive option in Pennsylvania for divorcing spouses who can reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce without the aid of a highly-paid professional. For them, a simple, uncontested no-fault divorce costs a few hundred dollars or even less, thus shaving thousands of dollars off the price tag of a contested or mediated divorce.
Source: CNBC, "Divorce Can Cost You Over And Over," Elizabeth Alterman, 5/4/2011