It is difficult to predict what your divorce will cost in California. You may find fees differ from county to county. Your divorce may cost more or less than your peers did. All divorces are different because all marriages are different. The size of the family, the assets of the family, and the property involved will affect how many hours your divorce attorney dedicated to you.

The Fees

The state of California charges fees for just about everything. These fees are different from county to county, but we will give you the average cost of these fees.

The first fee you will be expected to pay is a filing fee. When a spouse files for divorce, he or she is charged a filing fee for updating county records. This fee is usually $435. When the other spouse files a response to the divorce, they are also charged $435. The fee may be a little lower if you have a simple divorce with little property and no children. The county can also charge you paperwork fees, and processing fees. If you are a low-income citizen, you may be able to get help through legal aid, reducing your fees to $200 – $400.

Keep It Simple

If you want to keep the cost of your divorce as low as possible, do not try to make it a punishment for your former spouse. The saying “hurting people, hurts people” is true in this case. When there are feelings of betrayal, anger, grief, and fear in a situation, it can get ugly real fast. When one person is trying to hurt the other person, they may hide assets, and lie about money, basically, disagreeing on minor issues. These games cause a lot of work. Yes, you may be angry and frustrated with your spouse. However, you are causing your lawyer extra work. You are causing their lawyer extra work. You may be causing the county extra work. You are not punishing your spouse any more than you are punishing yourself. All of this drives up the cost of your divorce and can be an issue when you have to pay your part.

Attorney Fees

Be very careful with your attorney. Divorce attorneys charge by the hour. Some have a flat rate fee, but that is usually for a basic divorce that is easily handled. Do not select your attorney based on their hourly rate. Take the time to conduct the necessary research. How many years of experience do they have? Are they well known in the community?

An experienced divorce attorney knows their way around the courts. They will be familiar with the judges in the county and will know what is needed to make things go over smoothly. Take your time and get the right attorney for the job. If an attorney is priced much lower than other lawyers in their area, you have to ask yourself why.

The average cost for a divorce attorney in California is $13,800. Any other charges that will be added depending on the specifics of your case. Your attorney will let you know what to expect and will work hard to shield you from any unnecessary charges.