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What is the Cost of Divorce in California?

To end your marriage in California, you must go through the formal divorce process. If you are married and you also have a domestic partnership, then you must complete different types of court paperwork in order to end both of these legal relationships. business paperwork

The process of ending your marriage is not free. The cost of divorce in California varies depending upon how complex your situation is. If you and your spouse are able to agree on the divorce and all issues related to custody, support and property, the costs may be much lower than for a litigated divorce. An experienced Irvine, CA divorce and family law professional at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP will help you to determine the cost of divorce in California and will work with you to try to keep expenses down so divorce doesn’t destroy your financial security.

What is the Cost of Divorce in California?

The cost of divorce in California includes court filing fees. The website of the California Courts has a detailed schedule of exactly how much you will pay the court for different things that you need to do. For example:

  • A petition for dissolution of marriage, domestic partnership, legal separation or nullity costs $435. This is the cost for an individual petition and for a joint petition.
  • A response to a petition for dissolution of marriage, domestic partnership, legal separation or nullity also costs $435. The response must be submitted by the spouse who is served with the divorce papers.

There is no fee when a settlement agreement is presented to the court by a petitioner.  It is also possible in some cases for fees to be waived when you can demonstrate hardship.

These basic court fees may only be the start of the money that must be paid out. In fact, the cost of divorce in California is often much higher than the basic filing fees. This is because you may need to pay for other things like a child custody evaluation or a court-ordered guardian to look out for the children’s interests.  If there is a disagreement about family finances, the value of shared marital property or whether one spouse is hiding money and assets, then there may also be other expense as well such as costs for valuations of property and forensic accountants.

The more complicated your divorce is, the higher you can expect the cost of divorce in California to rise to. If you wish to prioritize saving money, you will need to work together with your spouse to come to an agreement on the issues. You can then present this divorce settlement to the court and it will become your legal divorce agreement when your marriage is dissolved. Your attorney can help you to try to reach an agreement, and you can also consider getting help from a mediator. Although you have to pay for the mediator’s time, the cost of this can still be much lower than trying to litigate a divorce.

At Brown & Charbonneau, LLP, our Irvine, CA divorce lawyers are aware of the burden of divorce costs and we work hard to help you to end your marriage without incurring huge bills while still protecting your rights. Call today to speak with an attorney and learn more about how we can represent you.