It is very important for citizens in Virginia to be aware of the costs of divorce.
Costs incurred throughout the course of a divorce in Virginia can greatly vary depending on whether the divorce is a contest or uncontested, litigated or mediated, the nature of the relationship and the individuals involved, the aspects over which there is contention, and the property division involved.
Generally, the research-based, calculated average divorce cost in Virginia is 12,400 USD when no children are involved. If children are factored in, the price rises to an average of 21,800 USD. Note that the greatest share of expenses is generally allotted to hiring attorneys in practice in Virginia.
Furthermore, in terms of how much does a divorce cost in Virginia, when hiring an attorney, a flat fee referred to as a retainer fee is charged. It is best to describe a retainer fee as a pre-emptive deposit. It usually reflects the estimated price for an attorney to take on the case; hence, the difficulty and length of the case. Note that while it tends to be a good estimate; it is seldom accurate. As the case pans out, more often than not, the retainer price will increase as unexpected costs arise and as the case drags on. Moreover, it is necessary to take into account the very rates of the attorney, which generally depends on their expertise and location.
Uncontested divorce, in accordance with the laws of Virginia, tend to cost much less than contested ones. While both divorces tend to address the same primary issues, an uncontested one requires very little involvement on behalf of the Court and any attorneys. In fact, some parties opt to represent themselves in Court, which greatly diminishes the price of a case. In some situations, a court hearing is not needed, and both parties can mediate all conflicts and conclude the divorce through a deposition.
Contested divorces involve the same sources of expenses as uncontested ones, however, since there is greater involvement, greater prices are charged. Alongside the court and attorney fees, contested cases may involve personal expenses such as hiring a private investigator, or paying off the extra charges of summons and subpoenas required for testimony and evidence. Even then, more court hearings will be expected, and so greater fees will be charged.
While the aforementioned covers all major sources of expenses throughout the course of a divorce, it is necessary that spouses are made aware of the diminished value of their liquid assets following the divorce, which at times may go unnoticed. Once divorced, individuals must take into account that all financial assets are approximately halved, and all income greatly decreases. This, on top of the doubling of responsibility, can be a great liability to individuals who are not prepared for the increased burden.
In accordance with the laws of Virginia, if one wants to approximate the cost of a divorce, with all expenses (court and attorney) factored in, then the Virginia Judicial System offers an online calculator for just that. All databases are kept up-to-date, and a comprehensive list of parameters is provided, allowing for the greatest possible degree of accuracy, and minimal margin of error.