The topic of divorce is never an easy one on either side. One of the most challenging parts of a divorce is the cost. Most people are aware that divorces cost money because you definitely need to hire a reputable attorney but how much does a divorce actually cost in Colorado? Call to speak with a compassionate divorce lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO at The Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson and Associates today to discuss your case details.
What Expenses Are Involved in a Divorce?
There are a number of factors involved in the divorce process in the state of Colorado to take into consideration before pursuing the dissolution of a marriage. These factors include various court fees, lawyer fees, filing fees, certificate fees, and more. However, some of these fees may be eligible to be waived by the court.
Factors that Influence the Cost of a Divorce
In the state of Colorado, families looking to file a divorce can expect an average cost of $880, though this could cost more or less depending on family status, such as filing for alimony or child custody cases in Colorado.
Colorado is strictly a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning judges overseeing the divorce process do not consider a spouse's misconduct when deciding to grant a divorce, property division, and alimony if applicable. The only ground or legal reason, for divorce is if the marriage is irretrievably broken, meaning there is no chance of status change for the separating couple.
Colorado does not require married couples to separate for any length of time prior to their separation, though many couples do elect to separate. The fee for the petition for legal separation is $230.
After the separation, if applicable, the next step is to file for the petition for dissolution of marriage. This fee, like the separation fee, is $230. It is possible to request a "motion to file without payment and supporting financial affidavit", meaning that the clerk of the court may grant a waiver for the filing fee. If the separating couple is not an amicable couple, there is a chance of having to file a small fee in order to have a spouse served with divorce papers.
After filing fees, divorce costs will vary depending on case specifics. If the couple is a civil couple, they may file for an uncontested divorce, meaning all legal issues have been agreed upon between the individuals, and they would then be able to do a DIY divorce. Further, family law attorneys charge various hourly rates, which could then alter how much the divorce will cost.
There is a 91-day waiting period from the time the non-filing spouse receives their divorce paperwork or the time they enter the case. This 91-day waiting period is considered a cooling-off period so couples may assess the chance of reconciliation before involving divorce lawyers.
Uncontested divorces do no not typically take longer than the 91-day waiting period, but a contested divorce will require following several legal procedures and can add additional months to the divorce process.
Related Content: How is alimony calculated in Colorado?
One of the more costly aspects of divorce is child custody and child support. While child support typically does not cost anything at the time of a divorce but will cost in the long run to the non-custodial parent. Custody is granted based on the child's best interest, and several factors will be considered when awarding custody. Child support calculations are based on percentages, such as 20% for one child, and an additional 10% for every additional child.
The next factor is alimony payments. The spouse that is awarded alimony is determined if the judge finds that they were financially dependent on their spouse during the marriage, and is calculated by taking 40 percent of the higher of the two incomes and subtracting 50 percent of the lower income. That difference is divided by 12 to determine monthly payments.
The collection of alimony payments depends on how long the marriage lasted. Colorado typically provides an advisory maintenance duration of 11 months at the 36-month mark of marriage, increasing to half the length at the 12-year mark of marriage.
Long-term marriages can often result in lifelong alimony payments. Alimony disputes can take place at any time and are altered based on a sudden increase or decrease in income, a change in expenses of child care, and a loss of assets or property.
High-net-worth divorces come with their own set of fees and typically cost more than your average divorce agreement. These divorce proceedings can take longer than normal hearings, adding additional expenses to an already pricy process.
The Average Divorce Attorney Fees in Colorado
On average in Colorado, filing for divorce has an average cost of $880 in court and filing fees alone. This does not take into account the average divorce lawyer cost. Individuals looking to file for divorce and move to a divorce trial can expect an average of $230 to $300 per hour for representation with a divorce law professional.
What Other Expenses Contribute to the Cost of Divorce?
The cost of divorce can increase substantially due to various expenses that are not typically considered during initial divorce consultations. Child support, divorce fees, divorce filing fees, and alimony are some of the more common aspects of divorce. However, complexities should be considered during the process, such as divorce disputes, real estate appraisals, QDRO experts, vocational evaluations, and forensic accountants can exponentially drive up the cost of divorce cases and divorce expenses.
Contact The Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson Today!
The Law Office of Jeanne M Wilson has been serving the Colorado Springs area for nearly 20 years and offers help in a range of issues such as family law disputes, such as divorce, custody battles, and more. Jeanne M Wilson and Associates work hard so their clients can move on with their lives as quickly and as peacefully as possible. With nearly two decades of experience with divorce cases, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you find the most rewarding outcome for your case. Call The Law Office of Jeanne M Wilson and Associates at 719-625-8886 today for a complimentary consultation.