Not all marriages have happy-ever-afters. For some, separation or divorce is the answer. If you’re already firm in your decision to divorce, it’s important to know the financial implications of doing so. It’s no secret that divorce is expensive, but knowing where you can save time and money can make it easier for you.
In this article, we’ll discuss the fees involved in getting divorced in California along with who has to pay for them. If you need a more in-depth guide for understanding divorce, grab a copy of the book “Divorce Essentials” written by our experienced Orange County divorce attorney. Contact us now to get a free copy!
Costs of Filing a California Divorce
We’ll discuss the steps involved in the divorce process according to state law along with how much you can expect to pay.
Negotiation and Divorce Mediation
The first step is for you and your spouse to negotiate the terms of the divorce. This can be done on your own or with the help of a mediator. If you’re able to agree at this stage, you don’t need to go to trial! This can save you a lot of money. Having only one party file also saves money compared to both parties filing the divorce petition.
If you’re going through mediation on your own, it’s best to know your legal rights in a divorce case. Grab a free copy of our book “Divorce Essentials” for answers to your divorce concerns.
Filing for a Divorce
The second step is for the petitioner to file the divorce paperwork. The California filing fee is $435. So who pays the fee when filing for divorce? The petitioner and the respondent both have to pay the fee separately! This means the petitioner pays $435 when they file for divorce and the respondent also pays the same when they file a response.
If you want to ensure that your divorce papers are filed correctly, get in touch with our experienced Orange County divorce attorneys. We’ll review everything to check that everything follows California divorce laws.
The petitioner also has to pay another $80 for every motion they need to file. As an example, if you’re the petitioner and you make a motion for temporary spousal support, that’s $80 already. If you make a motion for a protection order, that’s another $80.
If you want to modify your child support agreement, you’ll need to undergo mediation. The total comes down to $85, with a $60 filing fee and $25 for the process.
If you and your spouse come up with an agreement, you don’t need a hearing anymore. You’ll have to pay $20 to file a stipulation. Some counties may have surcharges.
If you have any more questions about how to file a divorce or you need legal help for your divorce proceedings, don’t hesitate to call our experienced Orange County divorce lawyer.
How to Get A More Affordable Divorce
Low-income petitioners can file at no cost. If the fees are too expensive for you, you can ask for a fee waiver.
If you’re not eligible for a fee waiver, there are still ways to make it so that the divorce does not break the bank. Compromising with your spouse is the cheapest way to get divorced. This is known as an uncontested divorce and it’s the best way to save both time and money. By creating your agreements, you no longer have to pay the legal fees associated with divorce trials and court hearings.
If you want more protection than what you get from mediation, then you can consider a collaborative divorce. The goal of this type of divorce is to arrive at a friendly resolution, but here it’s the attorneys who do the talking. Hiring a lawyer can add to your expenses, but this is much less expensive than going through a bloody divorce trial.
Filing divorce yourself pro se (that is, without an attorney) can also save you attorney fees. It can be intimidating filing on your own but there are plenty of resources to make the process easier. The California family court website provides useful information available to everyone. The necessary forms are usually available online, as well as tips to fill out the paperwork. Our book “Divorce Essentials” also gives you everything you need to know from grounds for divorce to court forms. If you file on your own, you can save up a lot on court fees and attorneys fees.
If you can’t find an agreement with your spouse on anything from visitation to child custody, then that’s called a contested divorce. The best way to protect your finances and assets is to hire a skilled divorce attorney. It may be costly initially, but you’ll save yourself money in the long run if you manage to protect your assets when dividing property, and get an agreeable amount for child support and spousal support. A savvy lawyer can get you a favorable divorce settlement to secure your financial future. If you have irreconcilable differences with your spouse, schedule a consultation with us so you can weigh your options.
Getting a divorce is rarely easy, but it helps to know what it can mean for your finances. Division of property, physical custody, legal custody, all of these has to be ironed out either through a peaceful mediation or a drawn-out court trial. To ensure that your expenses don’t go to waste, it’s best to hire a lawyer from an esteemed divorce law firm!
Our California divorce lawyers from Trevino Law are at your service. We’ll get you the best-case scenario at every step of the legal process: from the divorce petition all the way to divorce court. You can get in touch with us for legal advice.
To help you out, our knowledgeable divorce attorney has written “Divorce Essentials,” an in-depth guide on divorce with frequently asked questions about everything from divorce forms, alimony and child support, and parenting time. Contact us now to grab a free copy!