Get the Average Uncontested Divorce Cost With DoNotPay
The cost of divorce can be astronomical, or so countless TV courtroom dramas would have us believe.
Divorce does not have to be prohibitively expensive, though. If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your settlement, an uncontested divorce can cost hundreds—rather than tens of thousands—of dollars.
DoNotPay is your friend when it comes to low-cost divorce. Here is our breakdown of the average uncontested divorce costs, including tips on how you and your spouse can .
What Makes Up the Expenses in a Divorce?
Divorce costs are made up of the following elements:
- Filing fees
- Court costs
- Lawyers costs
The first two are either fixed by each state or county court or set at predictable rates and only subject to the number of court appearances required to finalize your divorce.
By far, the largest and most unplannable expense in any divorce is made up of the cost of a divorce lawyer. This is what can turn a divorce into a financial nightmare.
If you and your spouse can agree on the details of your settlement, you can avoid most of the expenses of a divorce.
By reaching an agreement on how your marriage should be dissolved, you can generally avoid the cost of multiple court appearances. If your divorce is friendly, you may even be able to dispense with the services of an attorney.
The remaining costs—for filing your petition, serving the divorce papers, and preparing your settlement agreement—are negligible.
How Much Do Lawyers Charge?
Lawyers charge by the hour, and most will set a minimum fee or insist on a retainer to handle your divorce.
The average hourly rates for lawyers vary from state to state but can range between $100 and over $400 per hour.
Throughout an average uncontested divorce, these fees can add up to:
- Over $4,000 without any disputes
- Over $10,000 where disputes can be resolved without going to court
These fees are calculated per spouse, so whatever your reasons for seeking a divorce, it pays to try and reach an amicable agreement.
What Are the Costs of Filing for Divorce?
The first step in any divorce is to file a petition or complaint at your county court.
The costs for filing your petition are set at the state—and sometimes county—level as follows:
|District of Columbia||$80||Missouri||$134||Tennessee||$185|
|Indiana||$157||New Mexico||$137||West Virginia||$200|
These fees are payable upon filing, but some courts are prepared to waive their filing fees if you can demonstrate your inability to pay.
How Much Does Serving Divorce Papers Cost?
Once you have filed your petition for divorce, many states require you to serve your spouse with the divorce papers.
You can normally not do this yourself but have to use a county sheriff or professional process server. Depending on your location, costs can vary but should average about $50.
Some states—such as California—give you the option of both filing and serving divorce papers online. This can reduce the cost of both processes.
What Is the Cost of a Divorce Settlement Agreement?
The most important piece of paperwork in an uncontested divorce is the divorce settlement agreement.
This document sets out how your finances and responsibilities should be divided after your divorce is granted, including details of:
- Child custody, maintenance, and care
- Division of assets and liabilities
- Continuation or dissolution of shared business interests
- Alimony payments
If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your settlement, you should be able to avoid court appearances in many states.
Even if some points are still unresolved, you may be able to settle by using a mediation service to help you negotiate an agreement. You can get a divorce settlement agreement drawn up in the following ways:
- County court
A lawyer can draw up a divorce settlement agreement and will undoubtedly do a highly professional job, but you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on your location and the complexity of the agreement.
Lawyers will also charge you for every email, phone call, and document—these are often unexpected costs that can mount rapidly. If your settlement is clear-cut, you should try and avoid the expense.
Your local county court may be able to provide you with templates to fill out yourself. These are often complicated, though—so much so that many couples have to engage an attorney to fill them out correctly.
Several websites offer divorce settlement agreement templates for you to either print out or fill in online.
The danger with these is that many of them are generic, so they may not:
- Be valid in your jurisdiction
- Cover all the points that you need to be included
DoNotPay’s Solution to Reducing the Cost of Your Uncontested Divorce
DoNotPay is here to help you make your divorce as financially manageable as possible!
We understand that divorce is never pleasant, but we can at least help keep it inexpensive. Our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature is the solution—we can generate a watertight, customized settlement agreement for you in an instant!
To use our feature, this is all you have to do:
- in your web browser
- Go to our Divorce Settlement Agreement product
- Follow the prompts and fill in the details of your agreement
You can leave the rest to us. We will generate your document in an instant, and all you need to do is print and sign it together with your spouse in the presence of a notary.
If you don’t know where to look for a notary, we can even get your agreement notarized online in a flash!
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