Published On: Fri, Dec 13th, 2019

5 States Where Getting Divorced Is the Worst

Getting a divorce is stressful no matter where you do it, but there are some states in the US where the process would be even more difficult.

California: Too Expensive

You need to have a lot of money to even afford divorce in California because this state has the most expensive process in the country. Of course, part of the statistic can be contributed to the fact that so many of the “rich and famous” live, love, and get divorced here. With estates that large, it’s no wonder that the average divorce attorney’s bill is around $17,500.

However, even if you aren’t a Hollywood celebrity, you’ll have to pay about $400 in fees just to file for divorce, and that’s not counting any other legal services involved. Also, the divorce here will take over a year regardless of how amicable it is, which means more costs will accumulate with time.

Photo by Gerd Altmann

Florida: Too Complicated

It seems a recurring theme in the sunny states, but a divorce in Florida, especially the south of the state, will also cost you $400+ even with the minimal fees. Admittedly, however, attorneys here are less expensive, with the average divorce cost around $13,500. But the truly important thing is that it’s imperative to do everything possible to get an uncontested divorce in South Florida. Otherwise, you will be facing an extremely convoluted legal case that will drag 200 days at the minimum.

Remember that Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means that the couple’s assets are slit “fairly”. However, that “fairly” is a very relative term and the division of assets can take years to work out. Even then, you might disagree with what exactly the court determines to be fair.

Vermont: Too Long

If you want to break it off and split legally from your spouse in Vermont, your goal is at least 450 days away. That’s how long it takes to process a divorce in Vermont, and that’s only the required processing time. If you are in for a contested divorce, prepare to wait for years before you are legally single gain.

Also, you have to be a resident of the state for at least 12 months before you can even file for a divorce and you have to leave apart or separate for six months. And remember that Vermont isn’t among the cheapest states to get a divorce either.

Illinois: Too Bad for Your Assets

With the filing fee of $337 and 180 days of minimal processing time, a divorce in Illinois already deserves a place on this list. However, it’s the equitable division of property that’s really sealing the deal. That’s because “equitable” is the same thing as “fair” in legal speak. This means that your property won’t be divided equally but in whatever way the presiding judge deems fair.

Therefore, a divorce in Illinois often turns into a dirty race between personal accountants and appraisers and various advisors and financial specialists hired by the spouses. All of them will charge fees of their own and you’ll have to pay in order to not end up with absolutely nothing in terms of property by the time your divorce is finalized.

New York: Too Everything

Simply put, there is no easy or cheap or fast way to get a divorce in New York. The average cost of it here, if the lawyers are involved, is nearly as high as in California ($17,100) and the minimum processing time takes nearly a year (360 days). Even the filing fee here is high ($335) and that’s not even starting on the division of property.

New York is one of the states that divide it on an equitable basis, but here everything, up to and including degrees earned while in marriage, is considered marital property and would be divided.

Author: Jane Koval

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