by Steve Harton
“How much will my divorce cost?”
This is probably the most common question asked by people thinking about a divorce. The answer depends on what you and your spouse have to divide.
The cost of a divorce in Wyoming will depend on a number of things, but the general rule of thumb is that the more you have, then the more your divorce costs. So, what are these things that you have that drive up the costs of divorce?
Common factors that increase the cost of a divorce
- Minor children
- A home
- Lots of debt
- Professional degrees
- Owning a business
- Retirement and/or 401k Plans
Minor children always increase the cost of divorce
If you have minor children, your divorce will cost several hundred dollars more than for couples with no children, even if you agree on the terms of custody, visitation and support. If you disagree on custody, and fight about it, the cost will be at least a couple of thousand dollars more.
When children are involved, additional divorce documents are needed, so the cost rises. These additional documents are the Confidential Financial Affidavit, Confidential Information Statement, Order to Withhold Income, and Notice to Payor.
If you have a custody fight, then you will also have to hire a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). This is an attorney that represents the best interests of the children, and makes custody and visitation recommendations to the Court. The cost of a GAL in Wyoming is at least $2000.00. Fortunately, this cost is usually shared by the two sides.
Whenever a married couple owns a home, they can count on their divorce costing more. Even if the home is paid off, it must be appraised, unless the two sides can agree on a value.
If the home was bought during the marriage, things are pretty straightforward: the parties split the equity. If one of the parties owned the home prior to the marriage, then the Parties split the increase in equity. The current equity determination is easy (value minus debt).
The equity at the time of marriage is more difficult, and especially if the parties got married a long time ago. If no agreement is reached, then a real estate appraisal may be necessary. (In our county, the cost of an appraisal is about $450.00).
Furthermore, determining the beginning price can be complicated by applying non-marital assets to the debt. This determination may require hiring accountants to analize the situation.
To learn more about the cost of a divorce in Wyoming, please call (307) 382-5545, or take a look at our Harton Law Firm fee page.
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