We have a court appointed 'mediator', who you both meet with (with attorney's if you have one), prior to the actual divorce which is supposed to keep the arguments and cost down.....but I'm not sure if it works in all cases.
It all depends on how contentious the spouse is. It is possible, if there is little or no community property/debt, and no children, to simply fill out your own papers. Otherwise, the more you can agree to without mediation (which also costs $), the cheaper the divorce.
In my case, I've estimated, based on the expected level of contention, a $10,000 settlement, (which includes paying for her lawyer).
This is why I'm a supporter of the 5 year renewable marriage contract. It would state that if you chose not to sign....all assets are split between the two parties, joint custody is granted and a % of income would be tabulated for child support.
This should be required by law. It would give everyone the opportunity to think very hard about their decision to become married, without the stigma of being anti -romantic: It takes the pressure off individuals when the STATE SAYS,
"I'm really sorry to rip the rose colored glasses from you fiances out there and force you to look at reality!"