Learn the Cheapest Way To Get a Divorce
Countless TV shows portray divorce proceedings as being complex, acrimonious, and expensive. If divorce is your only course of action, one of the greatest hurdles you face is the potential expense of hiring attorneys and paying court fees.
DoNotPay is here to help with the best advice on finding the cheapest way to get a divorce!
Divorce is a process, and each step can cost money. The steps in a divorce process and their approximate costs are as follows:
|Divorce Step||Explanation||Approximate Cost|
|Filing divorce papers||Filing your petition for divorce and all the associated paperwork incurs a filing fee at your local family court||Up to $400|
|Serving your papers||Your divorce papers—even if your case is uncontested—may have to be delivered to your spouse by a sheriff or professional process server||Around $50|
|Negotiating and drafting your settlement agreement||Your settlement agreement is the most crucial document in your divorce and is often left in the hands of attorneys to negotiate and draft||Between $4,000 and $20,000 depending on the complexity of your case|
|Running a court case||Each day in court costs, and the longer your case lasts, the more you are likely to face hefty court and legal bills||From $120 per day plus lawyers’ appearance fees|
Lawyers’ fees make up the lion’s share of the costs in any divorce. Many lawyers charge up to $400 per hour, and most will insist on a minimum fee or a retainer to take on your case.
The average cost of a divorce per spouse with lawyer involvement is:
- $17,000 for contested divorces
- $4,100 in uncontested cases
There are ways you can reduce—or even eliminate—the cost of each step in the divorce process and guarantee a low-cost divorce.
Your cost-saving options for filing and serving your spouse are as follows:
- Filing a Petition for divorce
- Serving the papers
The costs of filing for divorce in each state are as follows:
|District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)||$80||Missouri||$134||South Dakota||$95|
|Iowa||$265||New York||$335||West Virginia||$200|
If you and your spouse have separated and live in different states, you may be able to file in the cheaper of the two. Divorce in most states is subject to residency restrictions, but you may be able to qualify.
As a further option, some county courts will waive your filing fee entirely if you lodge a claim of financial hardship.
You may be able to avoid the servitude fee if you and your spouse agree to file jointly.
This is permissible in some states—where it is not allowed, your spouse may be able to sign a waiver that foregoes their requirement to receive the divorce papers.
The highest cost in any divorce is the hiring and retention of attorneys. The cheapest way to get divorced is to get rid of them if you can.
An attorney’s job in a divorce is to:
- Advise you
- Negotiate with your spouse’s attorney
- Represent you in court
- Handle all necessary paperwork ready for you to sign
- Draw up your settlement agreement
If you can agree on an uncontested divorce, you may be able to:
This will depend on your ability to reach a consensus on every point of your settlement agreement with your spouse, including:
Even if you can’t agree on every detail, you might still not need to get lawyers involved to negotiate your settlement. You and your spouse can elect to use a mediator to help you reach a negotiated settlement at a fraction of the cost of a lawyer and get a friendly divorce.
Once you have negotiated the settlement with your spouse, the only other expense is your divorce settlement agreement.
A divorce settlement agreement sets out in legal terms everything that you have agreed on with your spouse. To be accepted by a court, it needs to be comprehensive and watertight, covering all the required areas of your marriage while being valid in your jurisdiction.
To have your settlement agreement drafted, you can use:
- A lawyer—This may be an unnecessary expense if you have a consensus with your spouse
- Your county court—Your local court may have a form you can fill out, but these are often so complicated that you need a lawyer to decipher them
- An online divorce service—Many companies offer templates for you to complete, but—while they are cheap—many of them are inadequate or invalid in certain states
Your best bet is to use DoNotPay. We can create a customized and all-encompassing divorce settlement agreement for you online in a few clicks!
DoNotPay is committed to making your divorce as affordable as possible! Our Divorce Settlement Agreement product ticks all the boxes—it covers your exact requirements, is valid in your jurisdiction, and it saves you hiring expensive attorneys.
Here’s how to set your settlement agreement up:
- Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
- Go to our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature
- Give us the full scope of your settlement
Once we have everything, we will generate your settlement agreement in a flash. All you and your spouse need to do is sign it and have it notarized through our app.
If you ever needed to deal with an administrative task, such as drafting a valid legal document or paying property taxes, you know that it’s a struggle. The good news is—it doesn’t have to be!
DoNotPay will also show you how to tackle any of the following tasks like a pro:
- Get your documents notarized
- Protect your work from copyright infringement
- Get crime victims compensation
- Sue any company in small claims court
- Send your fax online without a faxing machine
- Create passport photos
- Fight workplace discrimination
- Apply for a college fee waiver
Helping you deal with bureaucratic hurdles isn’t everything we got in store for you! DoNotPay boasts various other nifty tools that you can use to deal with everyday tasks. You can:
- Request compensation for missed or delayed flights
- Jump the queue when contacting a customer support rep
- Cancel any unwanted subscription
- Learn how to use a virtual credit card
- Sign up for free trials
- Get a free raffle ticket