Divorce can be the most challenging and emotionally draining chapter in anyone’s life. High emotions often lead people to overlook the financial implications:
- Legal fees
- Lawyer’s fee
- Child support payments
Therefore, when they pursue divorce, the financial aspect can aggravate stress and make their life worse during divorce proceedings and post-divorce life.
According to the State Department of Health and Environment, more than 5,368 marriages ended in 2021 in Kansas. This blog will guide you through the financial aspects of divorce in Kansas. At The Bright Family Law Center, we recognize the significance of transparency in divorce proceedings.
Remember, every divorce is unique, so your specific costs will vary depending on your circumstances. However, this will provide a helpful overview of potential expenses and equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Kansas?
Generally, the average divorce cost is $6,341.19 in Kansas. However, your cost will depend on the type of divorce you are pursuing.
There are two types of divorce:
The decision between contested and uncontested divorce depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
Spouses need to pursue a contested divorce when they disagree on key issues of their marriage, such as disagreements on child support, alimony, or property division.
An uncontested divorce is possible when both spouses are highly cooperative and can reach mutual agreements on crucial matters of their marriage.
If you choose to contest the divorce, it will be significantly more expensive than an uncontested divorce as it requires more legal involvement.
However, some costs are common and apply to both types of divorce:
- Filing Fee: It’s also known as a docket fee. You pay the filing fee when you file your divorce paperwork with the district court clerk. It’s $196.50 in Johnson County.
- Serving divorce papers fee: When you file for divorce, you need to serve the papers to the other spouse for notification. Different methods are available for serving your papers. If you opt for the sheriff’s service, it will cost you $15.
- Notary fee: You must sign your divorce petition before a notary public. They will charge you a fee for verifying identities and witnessing signatures.
- Divorce decree fee: When the judge pronounces the decree and grants you divorce, they ask you to take the decree to their assistant or clerk of the district court’s office to stamp it. They will charge you for stamping it.
Uncontested Divorce Procedures and Their Costs
Different procedures are available for pursuing an uncontested divorce. The divorce process you apply for will determine its cost. Some procedures are:
This procedure is suitable if you have limited assets and no minor children. It’s the cheapest and least complex. You can file for this divorce online. You have to fill out divorce forms and submit all divorce papers to the clerk of the district court.
It’s suitable when parties are highly cooperative, communicate well, and can reach an agreement.
Mediation involves a neutral person facilitating the conversation between both spouses, assisting them in reaching a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. It costs more than a simplified divorce due to additional mediator fees.
In this procedure, spouses work with their lawyers and a neutral facilitator to reach an amicable, fair agreement. It costs more than the above two procedures due to the fees of lawyers along with the neutral facilitator.
The Bright Family Law Center has assisted numerous couples in pursuing cost-effective divorce procedures tailored to their unique situation.
Contested Divorce Costs and Key Influencing Factors
The cost of a contested divorce varies depending on the number of contesting issues between spouses.
If both spouses disagree on many issues, their divorce cost can significantly increase. The more issues there are, the more:
- A lawyer will charge
- Other expenses will be
Key Issues Influencing the Cost of Divorce
When you have multiple properties and disagree with each other over their valuation and fair distribution, it presents significant challenges for your family lawyers, resulting in high costs.
They need to identify marital properties and segregate them from individual properties so they can find the actual value of the marital properties and distribute them fairly between spouses.
Alimony or Spousal Support
The law requires one spouse to pay support to the other spouse if they demonstrate financial need and the paying spouse can pay.
You can disagree with your partner over your financial need, earning potential, duration of spousal support, and modification possibilities. As a result, your family lawyers will need to apply their expertise to determine your alimony amount. They will charge according to the level of complexity of your issue.
The court aims to protect the best interests of a child when granting custody.
Child custody decisions are emotionally charged, and spouses are often unable to agree on the arrangements for their child regarding physical custody, visitation schedules, and decision-making authority.
Your family lawyer needs to convince the court that you are an ideal parent for getting custody of your children and will protect their best interests. It requires extensive experience and effort to convince the court. The fee of your family lawyer depends on the complexity of your case.
Child Support Payment
The law considers the combined gross income of both parents to calculate child support payments. So it can protect the best interests of a child.
However, spouses can disagree over child support calculation and providing child support payment. A family lawyer’s role is to ensure that their client pays a fair share of child support, not excessive amounts of it. Their fees vary depending on the complexity of your situation.
Division of Retirement Accounts and Benefits
It requires specialized knowledge to accurately value the retirement accounts and divide them fairly between the spouses. Additionally, legal regulations also apply in their division.
So, if you have retirement accounts, it will increase your divorce cost.
If you run a business, it will inflate your divorce cost.
It’s challenging to determine the correct value of the business and divide its assets fairly between spouses. Therefore, it may involve hiring business valuation experts, and accountants, in addition to lawyers. As a result, they will charge their fee.
It can be similar to dividing property and other assets.
It’s complicated to allocate debt, especially with shared accounts or hidden debts. Your family lawyer needs to determine which spouse is responsible for specific debts and ensure fair division.
Other Costs Involved in a Contested Divorce
Some costs are certain and applicable to almost all types of contested divorce:
In a contested divorce, spouses usually disagree on multiple issues. Some are critical, and the court needs the opinion of a subject matter specialist to reach a fair decision. The experts’ fee varies depending on the complexity of your issue and their expertise in the subject matter.
Some experts included in a contested divorce are:
- Financial Analysts
- Forensic Accountants:
- Business Valuators:
- Real Estate Appraisers:
- Child therapist
Costs Associated With Obtaining Evidence
The evidence fee varies depending on the type of evidence you are obtaining. For example, taking the deposition of witnesses involves court reporter fees.
In summary, when you pursue a contested divorce, the cost can vary significantly depending on the number and complexity of contested issues. At The Bright Family Law Center, we have helped many spouses get contested divorces and secure favorable arrangements with their partners.
Tips for Managing and Planning Divorce Costs
Understanding Your Situation
Every couple’s situation is unique and demands a tailored approach. Before pursuing divorce, you should consider certain factors:
- Communication with your partner
- Level of cooperation with your partner
- Number of contesting issues
- Assets and other valuable things involved
- Other relevant factors apply to your situation
Figure out which type of divorce would be appropriate after considering all the factors. For instance, if you can communicate well, have high cooperation, and don’t have highly contentious issues, you can opt for an uncontested divorce.
Since you have decided what type of divorce would be appropriate for your situation, it would be easy for you to anticipate the estimated cost of your divorce and create a budget.
For example, if you decide to pursue a contested divorce, you can calculate the estimated amount of the divorce based on the number of contested issues.
You need to assess your financial situation to create a budget. You can examine your financial situation by collecting vital documents:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Property deeds
- Debt statements
- Retirement account statements
During divorce proceedings, keep track of all expenses, including expert fees. Regularly review your budget and adjust spending as needed to avoid budget overruns.
Seek Emotional Support
The emotional and mental stress of divorce can cloud financial decisions. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends, or consider therapy to help manage emotions and make informed financial choices during this challenging time.
Save Money on Your Divorce by Working With Bright Family Law Center.
The Bright Family Law Center understands divorce matters can bring significant financial pressure on spouses and cause mental illness. Thus, we believe in adopting a cost-efficient approach while protecting the best interests of a family. We have helped many families across Kansas get a divorce at minimal cost.If you’re ending your marriage in Overland Park or anywhere in Kansas and are concerned about finances, contact us today. Our Overland Park divorce attorney can guide you toward minimizing costs while securing the most favorable outcome possible in your divorce case. The Bright Family Law Center ensures fairness in asset division and transparency throughout your divorce journey.