Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Much Does a Legal Separation Cost?

The complete cost of legal separation can vary enormously, from as little as $1,000 to in excess of $100,000 when matters such as alimony, child custody and having to work through the disposition of a very complex marital estate are to be decided according to Sapling. So, you can imagine, there are many factors coming into play to determine the total legal separation costs. Read on to learn more about these factors.


Where you live can play a major factor in the cost of getting a legal separation. You can expect to pay more in large cities as the operating costs for a wide range of people whose services you may use such as accountants, private investigators and psychologists are far in excess of what they are in smaller, rural America. Similarly, people in urbanized areas of the nation are more likely to have financially complex issues to resolve, so legal fees become more expensive.

Fees From Third Parties

When a case needs the services of a third party person such as a property appraiser, it will add to the total expenses. Everything being equal a case where third party professionals have to be utilized will add thousands of dollars to the cost compared to a more basic case where the lawyers take care of everything. However, some cases do require the services of some (or all) of the following;

  • Accountants
  • Real property appraisers
  • Expert witnesses
  • Child psychologists
  • Forensic examiners

Also, consider in cases where you are going to need deposition testimony, there will be additional costs for the parties concerned to cover including the payment to the court reporter and obtaining certified copies of the deposition transcript(s.) Also, remember the parties’ attorneys will charge for their time when they interview experts, the arranging, preparation and how they will conduct the depositions as well as the presentation of evidence and witnesses at trial.

Fees From Attorneys

The single biggest component in the total divorce cost are the attorney’s fees. The fees can vary based on the experience level of the attorney, their geographical location, their degree of expertise and specialization. While some attorneys work on a flat fee basis, others will charge by the hour with costs ranging from $200 an hour to over $500 depending on the experience of the attorney.

Goals And Behaviors Of The Parties

Obviously, if you can divorce in an amicable manner, it should be far less expensive. Behavior can be a very large factor in the overall cost of the divorce proceedings. When one party does not pay spousal or child support as they were ordered or who decides they will not abide by the court orders for child custody – it can cause additional expense when contempt motions have to be filed and heard through the court system. Couples intent on carrying out scorched earth type policies and prolonging a multitude of bitter fights, often end up only communicating through their attorneys.  This inevitably leads to protracted and costly hearings on issues that may have been resolved far more easily without a fight. It should go without saying the more amicable a legal separation can be, the less expensive it should be. Former couples who can reason and understand the necessity of compromise will fare a lot better than couples who do not.

How Much Does It Cost to File For Legal Separation In Arizona?

The actual filing cost for a petition for legal separation is $349 according to Arizona Judicial Branch under Supreme Court Filing Fees. Response to petition or initial appearance in legal separation costs $279.


How Much Does a Legal Separation Cost?” Sapling.com, www.sapling.com/7741925/much-legal-separation-cost.

Need a Lawyer For Legal Separation in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

We have a network of Arizona mediators, attorneys, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our divorce lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.