Which States Are Best for a Low-Cost Divorce?

Last month, MSN released a ranking of the best and worst states (including D.C.) for getting a low-cost divorce, based on a survey conducted by GOBankingRates. The ranking takes into account factors like court filing fees, average hourly attorney fees, and waiting periods. With the average cost of divorce nationwide ranging from $15,000 and $20,000, the ranking provides an interesting window into how each state differs in both cost and length of time before a divorce is finalized.

Best 5 States

1. Wyoming – Filing cost: $70; Average hourly attorney fee: $187

2. North Dakota – Filing cost: $80; Average hourly attorney fee: $162

3. South Dakota – Filing cost: $95; Average hourly attorney fee: $262

4. Maine – Filing cost: $120; Average hourly attorney fee: $207

5. Mississippi – Filing cost: $113; Average hourly attorney fee: $212

Worst 5 States

51. California – Filing cost: $435; Average hourly attorney fee: $402

50. New Jersey – Filing cost: $300; Average hourly attorney fee: $365

49. Connecticut – Filing cost: $350; Average hourly attorney fee: $417

48. Florida – Filing cost: $409; Average hourly attorney fee: $326

47. Pennsylvania – Filing cost: $361; Average hourly attorney fee: $353

Of note, Colorado ranks the 39th most expensive state to get divorced. Yet, new resources available to state residents like Denver’s Center for Out-of-Court Divorce have the potential to substantially decrease both cost and time spent for families.

Hunter Metcalf is a third-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to iaals@du.edu.