Cooperation and children are the two most important things when trying to figure out how expensive a divorce will be. It is easiest for childless couples who agree on the terms of their separation to submit a joint petition to obtain a cheap divorce in California. If there are any children involved, there will be an additional fee charged when filing for divorce. Should either spouse object to the divorce or the couple be unable to come to terms on their separation, the legal process will become more and more expensive.
The fee for filing a petition for a divorce, whether singly or jointly, varies from county to county but could be over $400 in some areas. Those who are unable to pay for this expense can apply for a waiver of the fee, making for the least expensive possible cheap divorce in California. Either a fee or a waiver must be given to the court for the legal process to begin.
If only one spouse is filing for divorce, their partner has several options when they are served with a copy of the complaint against them. Some may choose to waive their rights to object and commit to negotiations with their spouse designed to help design a written settlement that can be presented to the court. Should one spouse desire to file an official response objecting to part or all of the complaint against them, an additional fee will be assessed.
Either before filing for divorce or in the pretrial opportunity, spouses may decide to share the cost of an attorney experienced in divorce mediation. If both parties commit to emerging from these meetings with a written agreement ready to present to the court, the expense may be worth it to ensure both sides negotiate a cheap divorce in California that is mutually acceptable.
These separation agreements should describe how the divorcing couple intend to handle all relevant issues, including:
• Child custody arrangements
• Visitation rights
• Child support payments
• Alimony payments
• Division of shared property
If no agreement can be reached in the pretrial process, one or both spouses may decide they need to hire the services of a private attorney. This expense will make it nearly impossible to obtain a cheap divorce in California. Should you decide you must hire a lawyer to make the strongest possible case before a judge, be sure to obtain a detailed, written estimate of the prospective costs and confirm it is within your fiscal means.
A judge is ultimately the final person who decides whether you can obtain a cheap divorce in California. Although there are state guidelines establishing mandatory minimums for monthly payments, a judge may alter these if they are presented with an agreement proposing a different payment plan that will adequately cover the child’s needs, does not involve public assistance and has not been consented to under duress by either party. Judges may, however, order certain parts of the agreement to be written at the court’s discretion.