Choosing to divorce your spouse is a major decision that will affect every area of your life, especially your finances. The higher cost of living in California translates to a more expensive divorce compared to the national average. Changing from a home supported by two adults to a home supported by one can be a terrifying prospect, and even more so when you consider how much it may cost to get a divorce. The overall cost of your divorce and your budget should be considered in the steps you take as you move forward.
The filing fee is one of the few fees that are mandatory when requesting a divorce. Regardless of the type of divorce you are seeking, you must pay the non-refundable filing fee when the divorce petition is filed (unless you qualify for a fee waiver). This fee is about $435, and both the petitioner and respondent are responsible for paying it separately. Other fees that may apply to your divorce include:
There are also many lesser-known costs that can still add up to a considerable sum. When choosing your home after your divorce, you will likely need to refinance or move, both of which have associated costs. You will also lose the tax benefits of filing jointly and potentially health insurance if you are on your spouse’s plan.
The type of divorce that you and your spouse end up having will significantly affect the overall cost. There are several types of divorce:
The national average to get a divorce is around $15,000, but the average cost for a divorce in California is $17,500. These averages increase if the couple has children. There are many factors wrapped into this cost, including:
Depending on these factors, it is possible for your divorce to cost much less or tens of thousands of dollars more.
A: The longer a divorce takes to finalize, the more it will cost, so it is understandable to want to finish it as quickly as possible. There are many factors that will affect the length of your divorce process, and it is possible that it will take years for all the issues to be resolved. The fastest divorce can be resolved in six months, as California has instituted a mandatory six-month waiting period after the petition has been filed.
A: There are specific guidelines in place to determine who will be required to pay child support and how much those payments should be. There are circumstances where the judge can alter the mandated payments to be different than the amount determined by the formula. These determinations will be made after the custody agreement is in place, as the amount of time the child spends with each parent will affect child support payments.
A: During a marriage, one spouse may have foregone employment to care for the children and/or maintain the home, or there may be a severe income disparity between the spouses. Alimony was created for situations like these: to help support the lower-earning spouse after the marriage until they can support themselves. A judge will examine your circumstances and determine if either spouse is eligible for spousal support.
A: There is no legal requirement to hire a divorce attorney when you are separated from your spouse, so you may be tempted to approach the process without one. The cost of not having an attorney could be severe, however, as they help ensure you leave your marriage with everything you have rights to. You must compare the potential losses from getting a divorce without a divorce attorney with the cost of hiring one.
For many people, the determining factor in whether they speak with an attorney during their divorce is cost. The upfront costs can seem prohibitive, but they may become less so when you consider the value of marital assets that you could lose if you do not have the skills of a divorce lawyer to fall back on.
The Law Offices of H. William Edgar has helped Southern Californians through their divorces for over a decade, so we are deeply familiar with the conflicts our neighbor’s experience. In response, we crafted solutions that can help you quickly resolve your divorce, reducing the overall cost and duration. We also offer payment plans, financing, and alternative fee arrangements to help you better access our high-level legal representation. For more information, contact the Law Offices of H. William Edgar today.
Most everyone who goes through a divorce has never done it before. That unfamiliarity can make it difficult to wrap your head…
Choosing to divorce your spouse is a major decision that will affect every area of your life, especially your finances. The higher…