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Is a divorce loan a good idea?

Is a divorce loan a good idea?

When two people conclude that their marriage no longer works and decide to see a divorce attorney, many will be shocked by the high cost of ending a marriage. It's not cheap. You might be wondering whether getting a divorce with little or no money is even possible.

Why Is Divorce so Expensive?

The price of a divorce has skyrocketed during the last few years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveals that the cost of legal services shot up across the board by almost 5% in 2023.

Because of out-of-control inflation, divorce lawyers have had to increase the price of their services by a considerable amount. Some lawyers are even charging processing fees for payments made with a credit card. It can make you question whether you really want a divorce after all.

If you decide to go forward, you'll have to figure out how to finance a divorce settlement, draw up a plan of action and secure enough funding to cover your costs.

How Much Does a Divorce Typically Cost?

The cost of legally ending a partnership is higher than you might think. According to Forbes, the average cost of a divorce in the U.S. in 2023 was between $15,000 and $20,000. Moneywise reports that the average cost of getting a divorce in New Jersey is between $5,000 and $50,000. Complex cases can add up to $200,000 or more, and that amount covers legal fees only.

The more complicated the case, the longer it will take to resolve. The longer it takes to complete the action, the more expensive it will be. The easiest divorces are those where the litigants have temporarily put aside their differences and work together to keep legal fees for both parties as low as possible.

Instead, many couples drive the already high cost of divorce even higher by trying to punish, sabotage and hurt the other partner. Although divorce can be heartbreaking, letting painful emotions control important financial decisions can cost you dearly.

Hidden Costs a Divorce Loan Can Prepare You For

If you're considering a divorce, it will usually involve expenses above and beyond legal fees. These hidden costs vary from one case to the next and may include any of the following items:

  • New housing arrangements for one or both spouses;

  • Moving and packing expenses;

  • Child care;

  • Alimony;

  • Counseling and therapy;

  • Child support;

  • Changes in tax liability;

  • Realtor services;

  • Losing money on the sale of a house or vehicle;

  • Losing money when liquidating assets and investments;
  • Lost time at work for lawyer appointments and court appearances;

  • Financial planner services about how to finance a divorce settlement.

For those who can cover both the legal fees and the hidden costs, divorce might be expensive, but it's still manageable.

What about getting a divorce with no money?

You can move in with family temporarily, but your spouse might not let you see the kids. If you are living from paycheck to paycheck, and you and have no savings or assets in your name, will you be forever imprisoned in a life you don't want?

One way to save on getting a divorce with no money is to negotiate with your partner out of court in mediation. Agreement on a fair resolution of the most important issues can save you and your spouse a significant amount on divorce attorney fees. But what if negotiation is not feasible?

You may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your lawyer. Many divorce attorneys will work with you if you can't pay everything at once. It's important to schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer. Some will even consult with you for free.

Loans for Legal Fees

If you are short on funds, a personal loan for divorce can help to cover legal expenses and the associated hidden costs. Your divorce lawyer can provide a ball park estimate of how much the fees are likely to be. Getting a loan during divorce is one way to cover expenses while keeping your existing lifestyle relatively intact.

Lenders who issue loans for divorce legal fees adjust their interest rates according to your credit history. The higher your credit score, the more favorable the terms you'll be offered.

Bad credit won't exclude you automatically, but you can expect to be charged a high interest rate and more expensive monthly payments. Nevertheless, it's one way of getting a divorce with no money.

A loan to cover your attorney fees can be a Godsend during this uncertain time, especially if you have children. The peace of mind you'll get from knowing that your legal expenses are already covered can greatly reduce your stress level, and that alone can be worth paying for.

Are There Loans for Divorce?

The loans for divorce legal fees are called personal loans. They can be used for any purpose. You are not required to disclose to the lender how you plan to use the funds your are borrowing. If you'd rather not pay your attorney in one lump sum, you can put the money into an interest-bearing account and pay for services as you go.

Borrow more money than you need. Unlike with plastic cards, you can't get a credit limit increase on a loan. If you have cash remaining from your loan for divorce lawyer legal fees, use it to repay the loan.

How to Pay for a Divorce

If none of the options above are possible for you, there are some additional possibilities to explore. You can discuss a fee waiver with your lawyer. Some attorneys might be willing to work with you on a sliding scale. Another option would be to contact a legal aid organization in your area that offers free or discounted services.

You can also look into representing yourself in a pro se divorce. It involves zero legal fees because you do all the work. It's not difficult, but it is time consuming. Still, if you have nothing better to do, you can save yourself a small fortune.

Consult with Your Divorce Attorney

Every divorce is complicated, whether it involves millions of dollars or just a house and a checking account. As soon as you choose divorce – or even earlier, if you’re seeking legal advice – consult with an experienced Orange County divorce attorney to discuss your rights, goals, options, and legal needs heading into a divorce. Make the call as soon and as early in the process as possible.