Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How should I prepare if I intend to file for divorce in the near future?”
Divorce can take a toll on your emotional health; ending a marriage is always a stressful experience. On top of that, many people tend to forget that getting divorced is also very expensive.
If you are filing for divorce without knowing how much it will cost to finalize your divorce in North Carolina, you could be left financially devastated before your marriage ends.
That is why it is best to consult with a skilled attorney to estimate how much it will cost to get a divorce in North Carolina and find out how you can avoid certain fees to reduce your overall costs.
While any spouse can file a petition for divorce to initiate the dissolution of marriage, keep in mind that the petitioner has to pay the filing fees. Before filing for North Carolina divorce, make sure that you meet the requirements to get a divorce:
- You and your spouse must be separated and living apart for no less than one year before the filing date; and
- At least one of you must have resided in the state for six months or more before filing a petition for divorce.
If you meet the eligibility requirements to file for North Carolina divorce, this is roughly how much some steps of the process will cost:
- Fill out and sign the required forms to initiate the divorce proceedings. The forms include a Complaint for Absolute Divorce.
- Submit the forms to the clerk of the county court where you want your divorce petition filed.
- Pay the filing fee, which is currently $225 in North Carolina (additionally, if you want to resume your maiden name or pre-marriage surname, you will have to pay an extra $10 fee).
- Serve the divorce papers to your spouse. Typically, divorce papers are delivered to the Respondent via certified mail or by a sheriff.
- Wait 30 days after serving the divorce papers for the respondent’s answer. Even if your divorce is uncontested, you are still required to wait 30 days after the service.
How Much Will a Divorce Cost in North Carolina?
Now that you have become familiar with the divorce process and filing fees in North Carolina, you probably want to know the average cost of divorce in the state.
It is nearly impossible to estimate the cost of your divorce in North Carolina because there are many factors affecting the cost, including:
- Do you share any children together?
- Do you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your divorce, including alimony, child support, custody, and property division?
- Can you resolve your divorce through mediation, or will you need to go to court?
- Are you and your spouse willing to compromise to reach a mutually beneficial agreement?
According to a study, the average cost of North Carolina divorce with children costs nearly $20,000. If you and your spouse do not have children together, you may spend a little more than $13,000.
However, do keep in mind that those are the average costs of a divorce. If you want to avoid unnecessary fees and save on your divorce, contact an experienced attorney.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we are committed to providing you with the personalized attention you need to help you find effective ways to resolve your disagreements, avoid expensive litigation and unnecessary fees, and fight for your best interests. Get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
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