Report: California most expensive state for divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Divorce |

As we all know too well, the cost of living is high in California. This is largely the result of supply and demand: Lots of people want to live in our state to enjoy its mild weather, natural beauty and dynamic culture, therefore the cost of housing rises. Housing costs drive up the costs of everything else.

But that doesn’t entirely explain why, according to a recent report, California is the most expensive state in which to get a divorce.

The rankings

The report by Forbes Advisor looked at the cost of divorce in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., and ranked them according to a number of factors, including cost of living, divorce filing fees, attorney costs and more. The researchers then compared these costs to the median income of a married household in the state.

California topped the list, with the cost of divorce at 8.03% of the median household income for a married couple.

In many ways, the results are to be expected. In addition to California, the Top Five is made up of New York, Oregon, Massachusetts and Alaska. These are all states where the cost of living is high and residents end up paying more for many things. By the same token, the states where divorce is least expensive include Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and other places where the cost of living is relatively low compared to the coastal states.

However, there are some surprises in the rankings. Florida, which attracts a lot of retirees and others seeking a lower cost of living, was also in the Top 10 most expensive states for divorce. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., where the cost of living is high, didn’t even make the Top 20 most expensive places to get a divorce.

Be careful

If you’re a California resident who is considering divorce, don’t let these numbers discourage you too much. The 8.03% number for California isn’t really all that much higher than the 6.21% number for Kansas.

Still, the costs of divorce can serve as a reminder to pay close attention to your finances throughout the property division process. You may be in a hurry to get on with your life, but you will need to make sure you have the resources you need as you start your next chapter.