Divorce costs often depend on the case itself. Divorce procedures can be stressful especially for a contested divorce. Financial issues concerning divorce can take a toll on you if you do not understand the procedures. However, handling the procedures yourself is actually very cheap. It saves you a great deal of money and you can end up spending less than $500.
Hiring an attorney is expensive, as so many charges have to be incurred. Therefore, choosing the right method is important as it can help you budget and choose the right process that is suitable for you. In this article, we explore the cost of uncontested divorce by use of different means and probable time it can take to conclude the process.
Opting for an attorney to represent you
It is probably the best choice if you are unfamiliar with a matrimonial law or if it is a contested divorce. A contested divorce needs expertise and hence needs a lawyer. The costs depend on where you reside, whom you hire, and your fee arrangement. Uncontested divorces are cheaper because it is less simple to work on. Nevertheless, divorce attorneys charge an hourly fee for all of the work they put in your divorce. They usually charge $250 to $450 for each hour. The average flat fee ranges from $200 to $1500 depending on the issues the case entails. However, in rural areas attorneys may charge less than $250. Those in metropolitan areas charge more than $450.
Standing on your own
When you decide to represent yourself, it can be quite easy. You may opt to engage divorce experts, as they will be able to provide you with useful information about divorce in your state. The divorce experts, for instance, can also help you access and fill divorce documents quickly.
Doing it alone is also easy. All you need is to purchase a divorce kit on the internet and it usually goes for less than $100 and helps you save on preliminary expenses. Purchasing a divorce kit is a cheap way of getting a divorce. It includes all the forms and documents necessary for your state. It also goes free though it usually requires a lot of time as it involves tracking them down. They are available on most judicial websites along with detailed instructions. They are actually easily accessible and are available in your local courthouse or a format you can follow at a public library. All you have to do is fill in the forms and hand in the documents necessary for the divorce.
Extra costs are bound to be incurred regardless of whether you handle the divorce yourself or you hire an attorney. If you handle the divorce procedures yourself, the only fees you are bound to incur are the paperwork fees and filing fees for the divorce. The filing fees are usually about $200. Using a sheriff or private process server to deliver your petition to your spouse will cost you $35 to $100. You can deliver your petition to your spouse to avoid the delivery fees. To be safe you should add an additional $300 to $350 on to your divorce costs to ensure the budget is right.
It is possible for one to divorce without stepping into a courthouse or hiring an attorney. Legal services are available online where divorce paperwork can be prepared for you. This is mostly possible for an uncontested divorce. The average cost is about $300 but it varies depending on your state’s required forms and filing procedures. You can also do the paperwork yourself and hire an attorney for an hour to review your paperwork. This way, you incur less cost instead of hiring an attorney for the whole divorce process, which would require putting down a retainer fee.
The Period it takes to complete an Uncontested Divorce
When a couple signs for a marital settlement prior to filing for divorce, the process of uncontested divorce becomes simple and faster; the couple can note it in the divorce petition, and the divorce can happen immediately once your state waiting requirement have been met. However, filing for divorce without hammering an agreement can take a number of months to a year as well because you may have to spend considerable time exchanging financial documentation, doing property or custody evaluation.
In some other states, there is a waiting period once you’ve file a petition for divorce. Even if you have a settlement agreement, you have to wait for that particular period. The courts always want to ascertain that you really want to divorce; so, they give this time for you to reflect and may be change your mind. In most cases, spouses use this time to negotiate a settlement and possibly receive divorce once the waiting period expires. In Florida, it takes 20 days and as long as 18 months in other states.
In Georgia, their law requires that uncontested divorces should be resolved within 31 calendar days. These 31 days start once the uncontested divorce case is filed with the clerk of the superior court.
The period for uncontested divorce also depends on the court, which is considering and approving the divorce case. Courts that are equipped and better staffed will definitely handle divorce cases within a short period.
Other circumstances can also delay the period for uncontested divorce. The court policies or problems might arise in the process and thereafter delays the divorce for even a year. Regardless, an uncontested divorce can easily be concluded within a month if the process is smooth.
The time for the uncontested divorce to be finalized varies depending on the state. In most cases, it depends on the details of the case and cooperation between the parties involved in the divorce case. If the ex-spouses come together, cooperate and device a plan to allocate assets and debts, it becomes possible to forge ahead constructively. Even though it can take some time, it’s not lengthy and expensive like a contested divorce. The best option is to make sure that you have an agreement with your spouse prior to filing your divorce case in court.