The Average Cost of an Uncontested Divorce

By Laurel King

In the United States, the average cost of an uncontested divorce ranges from $100 to $500 without an attorney and $500 to $10,000 or more with an attorney. Other costs in a divorce case include fees for filing, copies, notary fees, and service and miscellaneous charges.

the average cost of an uncontested divorce

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Definition

A divorce is uncontested when both parties agree to settle all matters of custody, visitation, support and property division without the court's help. In most states, this also means there is no "response," or answer, filed. This type of case is quicker and less expensive, because it usually requires one hearing and little court involvement.

Attorneys

Because uncontested divorces are easier, many people prefer to file their own cases. However, if you would rather have an attorney fill out and file your paperwork, fees are usually charged at an hourly rate of $75 to $250 or more. Hourly rates vary, depending on the area and the attorney's experience and reputation.

Filing Fees

Filing fees for uncontested divorce cases can vary by state, and possibly different counties within the same state. In Arizona, it costs $321 to file a petition for dissolution in Maricopa County Superior Court. Virginia's Fairfax County Circuit Court charges $84 for a basic divorce and $105 for a divorce with name change.

Copies and Notary Fees

When you file your case, you will need to have multiple copies for the parties, the court and service. Libraries and office supply stores provide self-serve or assisted copying services. You may also need to have certain forms notarized, which can cost anywhere from $5 to $20; most banks will notarize customer documents for free.

Service

Once you file your papers with the court, you must serve a copy to the other person. In most states, your husband or wife can sign a waiver, accepting the papers directly. If your spouse won't sign a waiver, you can hire a private process server or use the local sheriff's department. Serve-now.com lists the average process server fee as $35 to $100, while the Prince William County Sheriff's office in Virginia charges $12 per person for service.

Miscellaneous

As part of any court case, there may be miscellaneous costs such as gas and parking fees, phone calls and postage charges. Although these expenses are not incurred in every case, preparing for them can help you avoid unexpected costs.

About the Author

Laurel King has 17 years of experience writing in the legal, political and business arenas. Her work has been published in the SunStar, federal and superior courts, corporate newsletters and research briefings. King writes about a wide array of subjects, from technically dense legal procedures to quirky teen habits. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in English from Ottawa University.

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