Spouses never enter a marriage with the intent of ending it. However, divorces happen, and there are several aspects that must be considered when they do. For most people, the largest concern is the cost of the divorce process. While the average cost of divorce in the US hovers around $7,000, there are other circumstances that can determine the final total you will pay.
North Carolina offers some of the lowest fees for divorce in the United States, with a filing fee of just $225. While this cost seems reasonable, there are other fees that couples can incur that will bring the total higher. If your divorce requires litigation in court, you will be charged a court fee based on the number of appearances required for your case.
That isn’t to say that, if you are able to avoid the courtroom, you will not have additional fees. If mediation is required between you and your spouse to settle important issues, such as child support, child custody, asset division, and spousal support, you will likely incur fees to pay for the mediator. This process can be voluntary or court-ordered, meaning that it may not be an optional expense.
In addition to these issues, uncommon situations could also arise in your divorce if you and your spouse have more complex circumstances. If, for example, you and your spouse own a business together, own property, or have other special circumstances, you may be required to utilize the help of industry professionals to help establish values for a fair and equitable division.
The final fee you will likely face is that of attorney fees. These will fluctuate depending on the experience of the attorney, where they are located, the amount of work required by the attorney based on your case, and whether you and your spouse file a contested or uncontested divorce. Attorney fees will likely be the largest expense that you face.
The type of divorce you and your spouse face will play a significant role in the final costs of your divorce. A contested divorce occurs when a couple cannot agree on the settlement of the divorce without court intervention. It can also occur when one spouse agrees to the divorce and the other does not. An uncontested divorce happens when both parties can reach settlement agreements and agree to move forward with the divorce. An uncontested divorce will generally be less expensive unless it is rejected by the court. They may do so if it is unequitable or unfair to one or the other of the parties.
Settlements in the divorce include spousal support, child custody, child support, asset division, and property division. If a couple can reach agreements on these topics without the court, they are more likely to save both time and money on their divorce. Uncontested divorces are strongly encouraged for most couples.
These fees are not the only ones that need to be taken into consideration for estimated costs. Divorces do not just happen in the legal realm; there are personal expenses that you will likely encounter as well. From the settlement of the divorce to establishing a new lifestyle routine, these all come at a cost. Other expenses include:
While some of these expenses are manageable and can be controlled, they are still long-term costs that need to be considered when estimating the total cost of a divorce.
The average total cost of a divorce is around $7,000. However, the circumstances of your specific divorce could cause your costs to be higher or lower. All divorces in North Carolina will be subject to a filing fee of $225, with the final cost depending on the type of divorce, the amount of litigation required, the attorney fees incurred, and more.
To save the most time and money if you face a divorce in North Carolina, you should seek an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses can reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce, including:
When couples are unable to reach an agreement, they will enter a contested divorce, which requires more money.
North Carolina is considered a 50/50 divorce state in that it seeks to provide a 50/50 split of property, assets, and debt in a divorce. This is to ensure that both parties receive a fair and equitable resolution. However, there are some factors that the law will consider in the final resolution that may result in an unequal split between both parties.
The cost of a divorce attorney in North Carolina will be determined by several factors, including:
On average, however, attorneys in North Carolina will charge $550 per hour, which is comparable to the national average. It is always important to discuss fees with your potential attorney to ensure you can afford the services throughout your case.
A divorce is a difficult process, no matter what circumstances a couple faces. They are complicated and require a great deal of patience. While many couples seek to enter the process without legal help to save on costs, forgoing legal representation in your divorce could cost you in the long run. If you are facing a divorce in North Carolina, contact the offices of Lehnhardt Price Family Law and let our attorneys help you navigate the difficult journey ahead.