• Home
  • Practice Areas
  • About Us
  • Blog
  • Resources
  • Flat Rate Divorces
  • Media
  • Contact Us
  • (314) 200-6101
  • Mar 8th, 2023

    How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Missouri?

    Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, Divorce Preparation

    How much does a divorce cost in the State of Missouri?

    The cost of a divorce can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the case, the attorneys’ fees, and the cost of any experts or other professionals involved in the case. On average, the cost of a divorce can range from a few thousand dollars (or less if uncontested) to tens of thousands of dollars or more. There are several factors that can affect the cost of a divorce, including:

    1. The attorneys’ fees: Attorneys’ fees can be a significant cost in a divorce case. The fees may be based on an hourly rate, or as we try and do them, for a flat rate. It’s a good idea to discuss fees with your attorney upfront and get a written fee agreement before proceeding with the case. You should also be aware that all work on your case, from phone calls to returning emails, are billed.
    2. The complexity of the case: Complex cases, such as those involving high-value assets or disputes over child custody or support, may be more expensive to resolve than simpler cases.
    3. The cost of experts and other professionals: If the case involves complex financial or other issues, you may need to retain the services of experts or other professionals (such as a financial advisor or a custody evaluator) to assist with the case. These services can add to the overall cost of the divorce.
    4. The cost of litigation: If the case goes to trial, the cost of litigation (including court fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses) can add to the overall cost of the divorce.

    It’s important to note that the cost of a divorce can vary widely, and it’s a good idea to discuss the potential costs with an attorney and develop a budget before proceeding with the case. In some cases, alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, may be a more cost-effective option.

    You can represent yourself for free, but in my experience that usually ends up costing you more than just hiring someone to do it right in the long run.

    The average cost of divorce in Missouri

    The divorce process is one that always comes with an infinite amount of questions. The number one question when considering a divorce is how much will this divorce cost me? Divorce, unfortunately, comes with a lot of expenses (and at a time when you need money the most).

    You have the cost of a divorce attorney, possibly needing to get a place to stay, new furniture, and possible child support, and maintenance (aka: alimony). And if you have an extremely adversarial situation, you also need to consider the costs of hiring experts, appraisers, forensic accountants, etc.

    So the bad news is that it can cost a lot, and there is rarely a firm answer to this question.

    The good news is that there are alternatives that are (relatively) affordable when it comes to divorce options.

    One option is what my firm specializes in, which is the “Flat Rate Divorce Pricing”. We offer flat-rate divorce packages for both contested and uncontested divorces.

    Missouri’s Divorce Filing Fees

    Most states require a “filing fee” that may vary depending on certain aspects of the divorce. In Missouri, the filing fee with vary depending on the county in which you are filing for divorce.

    In Missouri, the average filing fee for a divorce without a child is around $130.00 and around $250.00 with a child who is a minor.

    Jefferson County, Missouri Filing Fee

    In Jefferson County, Missouri, the cost to file for divorce without minor children is $133.50. Missouri’s filing fee with minor children is $233.50.

    St. Louis County Divorce Filing Fees

    In St. Louis County, Missouri, the fee for filing for a dissolution of marriage is $148.50.

    St. Charles County Divorce Filing Fees

    In St. Louis County, Missouri, the fee for filing for a dissolution of marriage is $132.50.

    How much does an uncontested divorce cost in Missouri?

    In uncontested divorce cases, we plan on doing the vast majority of the work outside of the courtroom, and with any luck, you will never get there.

    These packages start at $999.00 and go up from there depending on the variables in your case that will require work (example: a parenting plan is needed anytime there are children involved).

    Uncontested divorces have a flat rate price, and you will only be paying more if you use additional attorney time or if the matter becomes contested at any point.

    How much does a contested divorce cost?

    In contested divorce cases, the flat rate we offer includes an intake meeting, the drafting of all documents, four hours of attorney time, and appearance at the first hearing.

    We do our best to try and resolve as many issues as possible before that first hearing, and can hopefully narrow the topics that are contested to as few as possible and have the Judge weigh in on them.

    These generally start at $3,500.00, and we customize them for each case as needed.

    What is a divorce lawyer retainer?

    The other way to do divorce, and the more traditional way (which we also offer) is to put down what is called a retainer, which is funds deposited in your attorney’s trust account.

    Your attorney will bill by the hour, and when you get invoiced, the funds you put in the retainer will be withdrawn from the trust account and put into the attorneys operating account.

    What attorneys charge varies from $150 per hour to more than $1,000 per hour.

    The average divorce attorney in St. Louis charges around $300 per hour.

    The average cost of a divorce lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri

    The aspects of your divorce will play a huge role in how much your divorce attorneys will cost.

    We, here at Haefner Divorce Law, offer flat-rate divorce services for both contested and uncontested divorces in St. Louis and the surrounding counties.

    The average cost of filing for a divorce in St. Louis Missouri is around $2,500 for an uncontested divorce and around $10,000 for a contested divorce.

    Should I hire a cheap divorce attorney?

    Looking for a cheap divorce lawyer is rarely your best option; just as a discount surgeon is probably not who you want operating on you.

    Attorneys in divorce cases are like surgeons. Instead of removing a limb or a tumor, we are cutting apart your life.

    One slip up could cost you a lot more than if you would have just spent the money on hiring someone who specializes in the area and knows what they are doing.

    A cheap divorce attorney charging the bottom of the hourly rate might not have the experience, support, or knowledge to provide adequate representation.

    This is a person who is going to be fighting for you, your children, and everything you ever worked for.

    I cannot tell you how many times I am hired to try and fix what a “cheap” divorce attorney did, and often the harm is irreparable.

    You are better off investing in a good attorney who knows their stuff when it comes to family law, and when possible, hire someone who focuses their practice on family law.

    The area of divorce law is rapidly and consistently changing, and you need an attorney that knows what is going on and how best to protect you and your family.

    You do not need to spend $1,000 per hour (and often shouldn’t), but getting an attorney for $300 per hour that knows their stuff is actually going to save you money in the long run over the cheap lawyer that practices several types of law or does not specialize in divorce and family law services.

    You will not have to pay the divorce focuses attorney to research things on your case and will minimize the debt you take on while maximizing the assets you receive. Plus, the parenting plan and child support calculations are complex.

    You want someone that is extremely good at what they do when such important things are on the line.

    So back to the original question: how much is the divorce going to cost?

    My answer is usually as much as you want to spend, but spending money now might save you a lot later.

    More from our Divorce Attorney Blog

    Jun 13th, 2024

    When to Use and When to Avoid Divorce Mediation Services

    Divorce, Divorce Mediation, Divorce Process

    Confidential Client Intake Form

    May 21st, 2024

    The Steps to Take After Being Served Divorce Papers

    Divorce, Divorce Preparation, Divorce Process

    Confidential Client Intake Form

    May 2nd, 2024

    How to “Win” a Motion to Modify Child Support or Parenting Plan Case

    Child Custody, Child Support, Family Law, Modification

    Confidential Client Intake Form

    Apr 3rd, 2024

    A Comprehensive Guide to Missouri’s Child Support Laws

    Child Support, Family Law, Modification

    Confidential Client Intake Form