The amount a divorce costs can vary dramatically. Although a five-year separation qualifies you for no-fault divorce in most states, you can still spend big bucks if you hire an attorney to litigate any outstanding issues between you and your spouse. A conciliatory attitude is your best bet for a low-cost divorce.
The financial cost of a divorce is difficult to estimate. State laws specify the price tag on court filings, and these are not reduced by the fact of a lengthy separation. However, the specifics of your divorce dictate the final financial impact. If you hire a lawyer, out-of-pocket costs can skyrocket, especially if your spouse follows suit and you are ordered to pay her attorney fees.
You can lower divorce costs by resolving divorce issues amicably with your spouse. After five years apart, it is likely that the thorniest issues -- child custody and support -- have been resolved between you. Some courts offer trained mediators who help you work out any remaining issues and write up a legally binding agreement. Although the court must approve the agreement, the time and cost are much less than for a trial of the issues.