The cost of a divorce will necessarily vary from one couple to the next. A divorce will, of course, cost everyone involved a great deal of time and energy. The divorce agreement will split property and money along some sort of line, and each part of property that goes to the other person can be considered a part of the overall divorce cost as well. In addition to the loss of property that comes with the divorce agreement, a couple will generally have to pay court fees and legal fees. If you enter into mediation, you will obviously have to pay mediation fees as well.
For a couple with little in terms of assets and no children, a divorce will likely cost at least $500 per person. This includes as much as $200 in court fees (depending on your location) and the minimum sorts of attorney fees that each person will want to have.
Each discussion with an attorney, each letter that the attorney writes, each negotiation, and each disagreement between the spouses will cost money. The more of these issues that the couple can work out between themselves, without having to negotiate through their lawyers, will save them money. In addition, the attorneys will generally charge fees for preparing the divorce documents, and may collect the court fees themselves, and then they pay the court.
If a couple has a large amount of property, or if there have been children as a result of the marriage, the cost of the divorce begins to increase greatly. Couples should be extremely careful here; it is not uncommon for a couple to spend several hundred dollars between them negotiating over certain assets whose value is well under the cost of the attorney fees. As a general rule, the more that you are able to work out between yourselves, the less that your divorce will cost.
For couples who have children, there may be additional costs. If a parent is fighting for custody or shared custody, they must typically provide a certain type of living arrangement as a part of the divorce agreement or as a requirement of the court. Thus, a man who moves out of his house into an apartment must typically move into an apartment with an extra bedroom, for the times that he has custody of his children. A woman whose husband was handy with cars or around the house will begin to have to pay for services that previously were free or cheap. These intangible costs can wind up, in the end, being greater than the costs involved in the actual divorce process.