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In California the average cost of a divorce can change depending on the type of divorce, paperwork filing fees, copying and notary costs, costs for of service for legal papers and what types of attorneys and specialists are used.
The two main types of divorce in California are a summary dissolution or a regular dissolution. A summary dissolution was created for spouses with no real estate, no children, minimal debt or property and mutual agreement on nearly everything else. This type of divorce is less expensive because it typically requires no time in court. However, despite not requiring time in court, there are other requirements that must be met.
Unlike a summary dissolution, a regular dissolution is for couples who do not qualify for a summary dissolution. A regular dissolution can be complicated because it often has a hearing and can be uncontested or contested. If a spouse refuses to respond to the initial divorce paperwork, it is considered an uncontested divorce. If the spouse responds, it is considered contested. Contested divorces can end up being more expensive and time consuming.
Cost One: Filing
To initiate proceedings for a divorce, you must fill out proper forms and file them with the Superior Court in your county. You will be charged a filing fee and the clerk will stamp and file your papers. Fee waivers are available for those with limited income.
Some of the required documents need to be copied multiple times as well as to be signed in front of a notary. This can cost $5 to $20, but many financial institutions will notarize customer documents for free.
Cost Two: Service
After your forms are filed with appropriate court, you will need to serve them on your spouse. You cannot do this yourself, but a relative, process server or representative from the local sheriff's office can serve the papers. Fees for this can range from $35 to $100 depending on how far the person has to travel and how difficult it is to serve your spouse.
Cost Three: Attorney
The most expensive part of the divorce typically happens when you hire an attorney. Fees for this can range from $1,000 to more than $10,000 in either flat fee or an hourly format. Some attorneys charge a set fee, but most of them charge by the hour.
Cost Four: Specialists
The cost of a dissolution can further increase if a judge orders specialists or mental health professionals to evaluate children and parents. These professionals can charge fees in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Divorce can be very expensive and consequently, the temptation is strong to handle your divorce without an attorney. However, if you have complex issues, lots of marital assets and you disagree with your spouse about child custody issues, it is highly advisable that you get an experienced attorney. Spending the money for a quality attorney could mean the difference between walking away with nothing and walking away with the type of dissolution that you can be satisfied with.
Individual circumstances and facts vary from case to case. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. Any and all questions about divorce, support or family law should be directed to a qualified and experienced family law attorney.About Carlsbad, California:
Carlsbad is a northern San Diego city with one of the highest income averages in California. Known for its gorgeous scenic coastlines and low population density, this area is a popular tourist destination. The city areas in Carlsbad are quaint with a great small town feel and lots of friendly shops and restaurants. Whether you want beautiful beach views, recreational facilities like Legoland or canyon hiking, Carlsbad is a wonderful city.
Carlsbad residents with legal needs have access to the North County Regional Center in Vista. This facility is located in Vista on 325 South Melrose. More information on this courthouse and services offered can be obtained from the court directly, or by calling our offices.About Doppelt and Forney, APLC:
Roy Doppelt & Associtates is a full service family law firm located in Rancho Bernardo. Our offices are conveniently located just a short drive from Carlsbad off the Bernardo Center Drive exit. Once you exit the freeway, head east and our offices can be seen off the left hand side of the road in the well-known Clock Tower Office Building. We offer free parking and an elevator to our second floor offices. To assist you with your legal needs, we are open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. We are closed on weekends and all legal holidays.
Part of the exceptional value we offer at Doppelt and Forney, APLC, is our confidential consultations. During this initial meeting, you meet one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your legal situation in detail and what the best way is to resolve them. This appointment can be scheduled online or by calling our offices at 858-312-8500. For even more added value, our firm is a proud member of the San Diego County Better Business Bureau and the San Diego County Bar Association. We have experience in a wide variety of family law issues and can help you get through this difficult time in your life. We look forward to speaking with you today.