The Cost of Divorce in Every State

Stressed couple planning taxes and finances
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Self.

According to the Institute for Family Studies, the rate of divorce is at its lowest in 50 years, with 14.9 of every 1,000 marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce and the average marriage length increasing from 19 years in 2010 to 19.8 years in 2019.

However, despite these signs that divorces are decreasing, more than 746,000 divorces were still filed across the U.S., costing those involved not just their marriages and relationships but thousands of dollars in fees and, in many cases, debt. This leaves many needing to manage personal finances, credit and debt, let alone embark on a new life.

The cost of divorce can be spread into various parts, fees, legal representation, and (where applicable) settlements and alimony. However, while settlements and alimony can vary wildly in cases, lawyer fees and court costs are far more common but far less reported.

To help you understand the average cost of getting a divorce, we have analyzed various sources for every state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Following is a list of the combined (legal fees and representation) costs of filing for a divorce in each state, starting with the most expensive.

1. California

Anaheim California neighborhood
NAPA / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $14,435

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $19,639

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $12,948

2. New York

Syracuse New York
Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $13,835

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $18,853

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $12,401

3. Texas

Arlington, Texas
CK Foto / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $12,792

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $17,456

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $11,446

4. Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $12,360

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $16,820

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $11,086

5. New Jersey

Hoboken, New Jersey
Mags951 / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $12,300

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $16,760

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $11,026

6. Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $12,200

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $16,660

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $10,926

7. Delaware

New Jersey from Delaware
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $12,165

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $16,625

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $10,891

8. Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $11,584

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $15,858

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $10,363

9. Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $11,400

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $15,488

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $10,232

10. Colorado

Denver Colorado
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $11,230

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $15,318

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $10,062

11. Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $11,202

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $15,290

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $10,034

12. Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $11,165

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $15,253

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,997

13. Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,725

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,590

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,621

14. Florida

Pensacola Florida
Matt Buikema / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,409

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,126

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,347

15. Alabama

Tuscaloosa Alabama
Tracy Burroughs Brown / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,400

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,117

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,338

16. Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Martin Wheeler III / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,400

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,117

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,338

17. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,400

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,117

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,338

18. Illinois

Ice skating in Chicago, Illinois
Miune / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,334

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,051

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,272

19. Washington

Seattle, Washington
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,314

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,031

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,252

20. Oregon

Hiking in Portland, Oregon
Rajat Chamria / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,301

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,018

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,239

21. Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rex Lisman / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,288

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,042

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,188

22. Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
welcomia / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,280

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,997

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,218

23. Nevada

Las Vegas homes
trekandshoot / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,258

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $14,016

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,155

24. Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,215

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,972

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,113

25. Louisiana

New Orleans Louisiana
Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,200

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,917

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,138

26. Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Scruggelgreen / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,184

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,950

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,072

27. South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,150

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,867

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,088

28. North Carolina

Charlotte North Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,113

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,867

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,013

29. District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)

Washington, D.C.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $10,080

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,797

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $9,018

30. Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee
jdross75 / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,722

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $13,290

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,676

31. New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
By Jo Ann Snover / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,400

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,745

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,444

32. Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota
IMG_191 / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,365

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,710

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,409

33. Ohio

Columbus Ohio
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,350

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,695

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,394

34. Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,240

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,610

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,259

35. Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,184

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,529

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,228

36. Oklahoma

Tulsa Oklahoma
Valiik30 / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,183

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,528

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,227

37. Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,157

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,502

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,201

38. Vermont

Vermont
DonLand / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,090

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,435

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,134

39. Wyoming

People kayaking on a lake with a mountain in the background.
B Brown / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $9,085

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $12,430

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $8,129

40. Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,690

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,854

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,782

41. South Dakota

Rapid City, South Dakota
Sopotnicki / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,595

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,754

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,692

42. Kansas

Overland Park Kansas
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,400

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,373

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,550

43. Mississippi

Baton Rouge Louisiana
CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,400

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,373

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,550

44. Idaho

Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
Wollertz / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,181

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,180

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,304

45. Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,165

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,138

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,315

46. Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Victor Wong / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,158

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,131

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,308

47. Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,151

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,124

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,301

48. West Virginia

Older man biking in West Virginia woods.
Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,134

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,107

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,284

49. Maine

Portland, Maine
Jo Ann Snover / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,120

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,093

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,270

50. North Dakota

A hiker in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
ZakZeinert / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $8,080

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $11,053

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $7,230

51. New Mexico

nature
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $6,637

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $9,053

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $5,947

52. Montana

Missoula, Montana
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Fees and lawyer average: $6,170

Fees and lawyer (with kids): $8,400

Fees and lawyer (without kids): $5,533

Managing debt during a divorce

Couple getting a divorce
4 PM production / Shutterstock.com

Managing your debt can take on a whole new level of complexity to avoid impacting your credit score after a divorce.

While divorce in and of itself isn’t going to ruin your credit, because marital status doesn’t show up on your credit report, the divorce process can impact your finances and ability to keep up with payments as well as other bills.

WIth many married couples, spouses are likely to have accumulated various types of debt during the relationship, often in the form of credit cards, mortgages and other loans.

While some states consider all assets and debts acquired during the marriage as “community property” split 50/50 between the parties, the vast majority work on a legal principle that the name(s) signed as “owning” the debt or asset are responsible for their repayment.

With both of these legal principles in mind, the general rule for managing debt is to try and work with your former partner to pay off any joint debts before advancing through a divorce, using savings or the proceeds from selling joint assets.

However, if that isn’t an option (and even if it is), make sure you have a clear picture of your assets and debts to ensure you’re able to split them equitably, if not equally, during the divorce proceedings.

To learn more about the split of assets and debt in a divorce, view our insights into what happens to your debt after a divorce.

In response to our analysis of divorce costs across the U.S., Lauren Bringle, Accredited Financial Counselor at Self Financial, comments:

“The ending of a marriage can be a sad, time-consuming, and often expensive process. In addition to managing day-to-day life, both parties are also juggling the financial and emotional burdens of a divorce.”

“With so much time and money needed to settle a divorce, other debts may be forgotten or form the bedrock of many time-consuming and expensive disputes. In these cases, try to work with a former partner (or their legal representatives) to equitably pay off any debts picked up during the marriage.”

Methodology & Sources

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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Data was collected between March 1-5, 2021, from FindLaw and Lawyers.com. Figures with and without children were calculated by extrapolating the national average price increases/decreases in each scenario. Figures shown include court fees (adjusted for when dependents are involved) and average legal representation fees.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.