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  • Writer's pictureSeth Eric Springer, Esq.

Who Pays For A Divorce?

Facing a divorce can be emotionally stressful. Moreover, it can also be costly. Who pays for a divorce? Find out the answer with this article.

In PA, the court has the power to order one spouse to pay for the other’s lawyer fees. The judge will consider factors like the income gap between the couple and if both act in good faith. The cost of divorce may include family law attorneys’ fees, court filing expenses, mediation fees, and parent education classes.

There are additional costs for evaluations like counseling and psychiatric evaluations, expert witness fees, and more.

Factors that affect the cost of divorce in PA

Factors That Affect the Cost of Divorce in PA

While there are things to consider which can affect the length and cost of divorce, the following factors may lead to higher costs.

Fighting with the spouse

If both parties agree on issues such as division of property, child support, and custody, they can spend less on court costs and legal fees.

Lots of marital debt or marital assets

If the couple has more marital debt or marital property, their divorce is more complex. If the spouses’ accumulated retirement accounts, real estate, investments, and personal property, they may need a forensic accountant, financial analyst, or a real estate appraiser.

Custody battles and cost

When the ex-couple fights over children, the divorce cost may add up. Aside from attorney’s fees, both parties may also face Guardian Ad Litem or child custody evaluations costs. Other expert witnesses about school choice, orthodontic care, and medical are also required.

The divorce attorney

The divorce attorney the other spouse will hire is a big factor in how much the divorce costs. However, it doesn’t mean that the cheapest attorney can help save money during the divorce process. The spouse should hire a professional attorney to handle their divorce case.

Other factors that can affect the cost of divorce in PA are:

l The complexity of the situation of the spouses

l Who they hire

l How much both parties are willing to compromise to reach agreements and reduce the cost

Legal cost of divorce in PA

The ex-couple may pay the following legal fees.

Initial consultation fees

The one who files a divorce may pay initial consultation fees. With this, the case will be assessed by the attorney and answer some spouse’s questions. If the spouse is not satisfied with the first lawyer, the cost will increase.

Initial retainer fee

After hiring a divorce attorney, the involved parties may also pay an initial retainer fee. Usually, it costs $3000 to $5000 per spouse. It is a fee to begin the case. It can include motions and petitions filed with the court, draft letters, case research, memos, emails, phone calls, and more.

Court hearings

Another legal fee during divorce is court hearings. It may take a minimum of 2 years or more.

Unforeseen Costs After Divorce

Both parties should also keep in mind that there are other costs once the divorce decree is issued. Addressing and understanding “what ifs” for the final agreement is essential. It is also necessary to hire a divorce lawyer who can protect their interest in future financial benefits such as retirement accounts and pensions.

With this, both parties can have peace of mind and closure to move on with their lives. A professional attorney ensures that the spouses’ assets are re-titled appropriately to prevent unforeseen tax consequences.

Choosing the Best Divorce Lawyer in PA

There are many divorce lawyers from top divorce law firms in York PA. The petitioner who filed the divorce must hire only a professional divorce lawyer to handle their case.

The divorce lawyer should have experience in handling divorce in PA. The spouse should choose one that aligns with their values and views.

The lawyer should implement an effective strategy to unique situations of their clients.

The more experienced, the more wisdom the attorney will have. With it, both parties can receive the best legal advice as they decide to dissolve their marriage.


Generally, the court has the power to decide on who will pay for the divorce in PA. Several factors can impact the cost of divorce such as how the spouses negotiate and how long the divorce takes. So, both parties should hire the best divorce attorney. With that, they can have a more peaceful (by informing the spouses on what not to do during a divorce) and quick divorce process.

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