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How Much Will My Divorce Cost (And How Can I Save Money)?

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

The average divorce trial costs more than $40,000, while private mediation is approximately $4,000. However at The 1 Day Divorce, we average $1,500.

Let's face it, going through a litigious divorce that results in a trial with at least one contested issue is going to be expensive. According to national averages, a contested divorce trial is going to cost the couple more than $40,000 (or $20,000 per person). Considering the average income in the US is $31,000, this is a staggering amount.

The good news is that there is another, better way to end your marriage. Keep reading to learn how Lauren Smith uses her tested 1 Day Divorce Method to average a total cost of only $1,500.

What Makes a Contested Divorce Trial so Expensive?

Before we look at The 1 Day Divorce method, let's break down the cost of a typical divorce that requires trial.

Attorney Costs

The biggest cost of any trial is going to be the Attorney's hourly bill. In the United States, the average hourly rate for a divorce attorney is $270. This of course varies. According to a survey by, more than 55% of attorneys charge more than $300 (with 20% over $400). Numbers this big add up fast.

In a full scope divorce trial, the average Attorney bills approximately 40 hours. 40 hours billed at $270 is going to run you about $11,000 in Attorney costs alone.

Other Expenses

The Attorney will undoubtedly be the most expensive piece of your divorce. However, we see other expenses that arise in most divorce trials. In some cases, these "other" costs can total as much as the Attorney's billable hours. We list a few here:

  • Depositions, which include the cost of a Court Reporter and transcripts

  • Guardian ad Litem for many child custody battles

  • Transportation costs to/from meetings, depositions, mediations, and Court

  • Mediation fees (remember, most Courts will require you to attempt mediation!)

When you combine these common fees, the bill for these "extras" can easily push to another $10,000.

Combined with Attorney fees, the total bill now reaches more than $20,000 - per party. Combined with your current spouse, the total amount is more than $40,000.

Also important, we are only considering "real" costs in dollars. Trials will take months of time, mental resources, lost business/salary opportunities, and potentially your peace of mind.

Using Mediation to Lower Costs

Every year, more couples are turning to mediation as a way to save time and money. Mediation can be used in many ways to save money.

Like a divorce trial, mediation costs can vary substantially. National averages place the total cost of a private mediation at $3,000 - $8,000. While not cheap, this is well below a $40,000 divorce trial.

How Mediation With The 1 Day Divorce Saves You Even More Money

The 1 Day Divorce method takes a standard mediation and shifts it even more in your favor. While costs vary in every case, our typical mediation costs only $1,500 per person. We have tried and tested methods that have been developed over the last decade by our founder, Lauren Smith.

It is important to understand that not all mediations are equal, and not all mediations will cost the same. As one example, Lauren specializes in pro se mediation, or mediation without attorneys. By acting as both the neutral third party during the mediation as well as the filing attorney for the divorcing couple, Lauren can shave thousands of dollars off the price.

Learn More About The 1 Day Divorce Method

Mediation using The 1DD method can potentially save your family tens of thousands of dollars. If you want to know more about how we do this, schedule a consultation with Lauren today!

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