Providing Compassionate, Intelligent Counsel

Organize your finances before getting a divorce in California

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2020 | Divorce |

How much it costs to get divorced varies by state. Many people expect higher losses in community property states because of the need to split property 50/50 in the absence of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. However, this is not always the case. The filing fees also play a big role in the cost of the actual divorce and so do the income levels in the state. 

Business Insider estimated that California, Connecticut and Florida are the three most expensive states to get a divorce in. While California is a community property state, the other two are equitable distribution states. In the Golden State, the average divorce filing fee is $435. Attorney fees average around $13,800. This is higher than all other states. 

It is worth noting that the average includes all the billionaires and millionaires that get divorced in the Golden state. California has more billionaires than any other American state. In fact, as a standalone state, it has more billionaires than many other countries around the world. Billionaires tend to have more assets to protect and are willing to pay higher attorney fees to do so. This can cause the average attorney fees to look higher than it really is for everyday divorcees up to even six-figure divorcees. 

Even so, it is crucial for divorcing couples to get their finances in order before filing for a divorce. NPR recommends that exes take financial stock of their assets and debts. Here are some tips to get started on this: 

  • Make a list of all assets and debts. 
  • Check tax returns, retirement accounts, investments and life insurance policies. 
  • Create a monthly estimate of monthly expenses in the marriage. 
  • Estimate monthly expenses while apart. 

When divorcing couples know what they have and what they need, it makes the process easier. Some people might say, well will it not all get split 50/50 anyway? This is true, but there are some assets that do belong to one person. Also, the 50/50 split refers to the total value of the marital property, not each individual asset. This gives couples more flexibility to determine who gets what and why. 


FindLaw Network