Different Costs of Divorce

different costs of divorce

One of the first considerations of a divorce is cost. Most people realize that getting a divorce is going to be a costly matter because of having to hire a lawyer, but there are more costs involved than legal costs in a divorce. Here are some of the common costs of divorce that you can potentially expect to pay during this process. You may be surprised to learn that not all them are attached to dollar signs.

What Are Some Common Costs of Divorce?

Legal Fees

The first of the common costs of divorce are often the only one that people think of in conjunction with a divorce. The legal fees of having to hire a lawyer, pay the court costs when the courts have to make different decisions on your legal matter, and other associated fees can add up.


Another common cost that comes with a divorce is alimony. This arrangement is where one spouse has to make a payment to the other spouse to help support them. Typically, this is where one spouse makes more money than the other, and without this financial support, they wouldn’t be able to afford to be on their own.

Child Support

Another of the common costs of divorce is child support. The amount paid in child support will often depend on the parents’ salaries, how many children are involved, and other factors. This along with alimony can create financial costs of a divorce that continues long after the divorce is finalized. Child support payments can be adjusted, and if not paid, can lead to more issues with the court.

New Place

One of the costs of divorce that people give little consideration to is moving to a new place. You may even decide to relocate to another area altogether to get away from your divorce. This can incur moving costs that you may not have considered. In addition, you have to think about furniture and other expenses that come from moving into your own place after your marriage ends. You may have to buy household goods and more for your new place.

One Income Only

Living on two incomes will be a lifestyle of the past after divorce. They’ll have to adjust to just living on their own income again. This may be hard if one made more than the other. Even if only one spouse was working during the marriage, it may still be hard to transition to one income after the divorce. This fact is because they now have to cover two households with the same amount of money.

Physical and Emotional Costs

Financial costs aren’t the only ones to consider here. There’s also the physical and emotional costs that can come from a divorce. Stress is a powerful thing that can make you emotionally worn out and contribute to health issues. Researchers have explored how stress can make an impact on your health, and have found that divorce can even more stressful than the death of a spouse for some people. Finding ways to fight stress and reduce the burden it has on you can be beneficial.

Are Their Ways to Circumvent These Costs?

You should expect many of these common costs of divorce, but there are some ways to help circumvent or reduce them. For instance, a more amicable separation with an uncontested divorce often results in less time at court. This can help to reduce your cost. In addition, a situation where alimony, child support, and similar expenses aren’t necessary will lessen the costs of divorce. However, coming to an agreement about some of these matters will prevent the court from making a decision, further reducing your costs.

When it comes to those costs that go beyond financial, it’s important to have a good support system in place to help you through the stress. The thought of having to bring other people into your pain can be hard. But, family and friends can really help you through this tough time.

Why Is Divorce So Costly?

Divorce is a very costly matter because everything that was once supported financially together is now split. The courts are going to want their payment based on the amount of time that your divorce has taken. Plus, there are all of the things that you both will be paying for that you once only had to have one account. It’s not easy separating two lives, but in many cases, it’s necessary to get on with your life.

Are you considering a divorce because you’re ready to move on to the next step in your life? Preparing for a divorce is not an easy process, but Susan T. Perkins, Esq. Attorney at Law is here to help. Contact us today to go over your divorce case to learn more about your options.  

How much does it cost to get a divorce in RI?

The average cost to each party for a divorce in RI is $10,000 or more. But it all depends on how many times you need to appear in court and the amount of time your attorney spends working on your case.

The earlier you hire legal representation, the more options your lawyer will have for pursuing what’s most important to you. Ultimately, you’ll spend less this way than hiring a divorce attorney late in the game.

How much does an uncontested divorce cost in RI?

An uncontested divorce in RI can cost from $1,500 to $5,500 in the best-case scenario. This means you and your soon-to-be-ex agree 100% on alimony, division of assets, child support, child custody, and/or visitation.

In this situation, you’re primarily paying filing fees, service fees, and very minor lawyer fees. I understand if you’re surprised to hear that you need a lawyer even for uncontested divorces.

The thing is, a judge will review the agreement between you and your spouse. If the judge feels one party was pressured into the agreement or thinks the agreement might be unfair in some way, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board.

But with an experienced and dedicated Rhode Island divorce attorney by your side, you can skip this added hassle and cost. Hiring a lawyer to oversee this process is one of the most lucrative investments you can make during a divorce.

How much does divorce mediation cost in RI?

Divorce mediation through the Family Court of RI is a completely free program—there’s no cost. The purpose of this mediation program is creating a parenting plan that addresses concerns of you and your ex, plus what’s best for your child.

But you should never start this program without a skilled Rhode Island divorce attorney in your corner. Unfortunately, mediation doesn’t always work out. It’s common for this to become a complicated battle involving lawyers and court dates.

When you start the mediation process with legal representation, you’ll spend a bit of money on your lawyer’s time. But it usually pays off in spades, considering how often mediation fails.

How much does it cost to file for divorce in RI?

The minimum cost to file for divorce in Rhode Island is $160, but there’s a chance you’ll have to pay more. Filing electronically will incur an additional fee.

And if you make a mistake or omission in your filing, correcting the error(s) can be costly. Working with an expert RI divorce attorney for this process can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

How much does a no-fault divorce cost in Rhode Island?

A no-fault divorce in Rhode Island can cost anywhere between $3,500 and tens of thousands of dollars.  The range is so wide because a no-fault divorce isn’t the same as an uncontested divorce in Rhode Island.

You and your ex-spouse will still need to reach an agreement on alimony, child support, division of assets, and quite a few other details. Basically, a no-fault divorce simply means neither party instigated the need for splitting up.

But the odds are high that you’ll both have different perspectives on who’s entitled to what, which means spending more money on court appearances and your lawyer. Just remember that a focused and skilled Rhode Island no-fault divorce attorney will ultimately cost less than hammering out the details on your own.

How much does a divorce cost without a lawyer?

A divorce without a lawyer can still cost thousands, but you may also wind up hemorrhaging money for years to come.

I wish people going through difficult divorces would come to me first. But sometimes, it can seem cheaper upfront to agree with your spouse’s terms and put the divorce behind you.

It’s rarely that simple, unfortunately.

People who try to get divorced without a lawyer in Rhode Island—even during no-fault divorces—often spend more long-term than those who hire legal representation early on.

While I’m always happy to help somebody get the fair agreement they deserve, I have to tell you it’s almost always cheaper to get divorced with a lawyer than without.

How long do you have to be separated before divorce in RI?

You have to be separated for 3 years to get divorced in Rhode Island, but that’s not the only way. If you and your spouse have been living apart for 3 years or more in Rhode Island, you can file for what’s called “separate and apart” divorce right now.

But you can also file for a fault-based or no-fault divorce in RI. In these situations, you aren’t living apart from your spouse but want to get divorced due to one party breaking their vows or irreconcilable differences.

These situations can be granted what’s called a “nominal divorce.” Basically, a judge has to sign off on your divorce agreement first and foremost. 3 months from that date, your divorce decree will be finalized.

Who is the best divorce lawyer in RI?

Susan T. Perkins is among the best divorce lawyers in RI. With over 10 years of experience, hundreds of successfully defended clients, and 5-star reviews on multiple websites, Susan has illustrated her dedication and skill as a Rhode Island divorce lawyer.

When you’re splitting things up with your spouse, simply having a divorce lawyer isn’t enough. You need the best divorce lawyer to make sure you get what’s rightfully yours in the most efficient and affordable way possible.

Contact the Law Office of Susan T. Perkins, Esq anytime, day or night, at 401-PERKINS for your free divorce consultation.

Disclaimer: Please contact us today to get an accurate fee for each service. Fees can change from year-to-year. The values provided here were last updated in April/2022