Uncontested Divorce Costs

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A divorce happens when a married relationship does not work out. A marriage does not work due to many reasons but its consequences may last for a long period. Couples undergoing the process have to face a number of issues; financial issues being one of them. The financial aspect can really be painful. Not only the court bills and attorney fees, a divorcing couple has to spend a lot on many areas. The thought of these costs during the divorce combined with the costs of child support and spousal maintenance at a later stage, makes many spouses postpone their decision to get separated. But there are many wise and thoughtful spouses who opt for uncontested procedures through which they can save a lot of money and time. Uncontested divorce costs are affordable for many couples and they need not suffer the financial setback during the process.

This type of divorce expenses are quite less as compared to a contested procedures. As separating partners themselves reach a consensus regarding the major issues, a lawyer plays least role in the overall process. Consequently, lawyer's fees are also lowered to a large extent.

Uncontested Divorce Costs with the Help of a Lawyer

There are two important points pertaining the expenditure of an uncontested case which are mentioned here -

  • The Filing Fee.
  • The Flat Fee of the lawyer: This consists of the expenses of preparing the agreement as well as other forms related to the case.

The filing fee in the United States varies from state to state. The flat fee levied by the lawyer is different in various counties in the state. It is assumed by the lawyer that a time span of approximately one hour is essential for preparing the agreement and the various forms, and accordingly a flat fee is decided.

Sometimes it may happen that the time required for preparing the forms is more than the approximate time decided by the lawyer. The divorcing partners may also desire to make some changes to the form after the initial session. The lawyer may need some more time and hence they charge for this extra time. For example, the lawyer might state that if extra 10 minutes are required, then they would result in an extra payment of 40 USD.

The lawyer expects that the divorcing partner should pay the legal fee when they appear for the first session. However, the filing fee may be paid after the divorcing partners have signed the papers and are on a verge of filing the documents in the court.

It has been observed that some lawyers charge a very small amount for uncontested procedures. In case of such lawyers, it is quite possible that their practice involves a large volume of divorces and the lawyer has reserved a small amount of time for each uncontested divorce. If such a lawyer is expected to invest considerable time on this type then the lawyer might increase the fees in proportion to the time invested. The reasons for requiring more time are as follows.

  • Involvement of children.
  • Presence of significant assets or unusual debts.

There are some lawyers who charge several hundred dollars for an uncontested process. The reason for doing so may be the lawyer does not handle a large volume of work and expects to spend considerable time on each case.

Uncontested Divorce Costs Without the Assistance of a Lawyer

Some of the divorcing couples directly download the forms of the uncontested case of their respective states and fill it themselves. In such a case, they have to bear the cost of download. In this process, they save the fees which otherwise they would have to pay to the lawyer.

It is already mentioned that the cost of this type of divorce varies from one state to another in the US. We can cite the example of one state. In Texas, the cost of such divorce can be $1800.00 - $1900.00 if the following conditions are fulfilled -

  • The spouses agree to the terms.
  • A divorce decree without any custom-drafted provisions is approved by the filing party and the court.
  • The respondent does not go for an attorney act.
  • A waiver of Service is signed by and notarized by the respondent/ defendant.
  • A prove-up gearing is the only court appearance throughout the whole process.

If there are issues of property or child custody, you have to bear some more costs; the total cost may come around $2500.00. Again if any closing documents like retirement plan papers are needed for implementing the division of property as stated in the decree, the case fees will definitely increase.

Thus it is clear that uncontested court costs depend on a number of factors. You must discuss the case with some attorneys in order to compare the costs they charge, and also to know the divorce costs of your state. Both the parties should try to agree on all the terms of the uncontested divorce in an effort to reduce the expenditure to some extent.

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