How Much Is A Divorce In California? [Pricing Stats]

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  • According to a February 2021 Martindale-Nolo Research, the average cost of Divorce in California is $17,500 for couples with children and $26,300 for couples without children.(Source)
  • Attorney fees in California range from $12,500 to $15,300, depending on whether the divorce is contested or not. (Source)
  • California attorneys charge an average cost of $300-$365 per hour.
  • The divorce cases last an average of 15 months. The range is between 8 months for uncontested cases to 18 months for highly contested cases. (Source)
  • The cost of filing a case to kickstart a divorce proceeding in California is $345.

Divorce is usually a hard time for any family. Parents adjust how to relate to each other and new parenting methods. How children react to divorce varies, some understand, whereas others view it as a crisis. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.

The rate of divorce cases in California is even higher. It’s 10 percent more than the national rate, making it 60 percent. The cost of filing a suit to kickstart a divorce proceeding in California is $345. Generally, the divorce cost in California is a bit higher than the national average due to the high cost of living in the city.

How Much Is A Divorce In California?

The average cost of Divorce in California is $17,500 for couples with children and $26,300 for couples without children. Here are a few insights into the factors that affect the general cost of a divorce proceeding in California.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is a case where the spouses disagree on factors such as division of assets, child support, upkeep, alimony, debts splitting, etc. This disagreement necessitates the need for an intervention of the court of law.

Contested divorce cases cost a lot. They take more time to settle and require an attorney’s involvement. California Attorneys’ hourly rates are expensive. It ranges from $300-$365 per hour. They charge between $12,500 to $15,300 depending on whether the divorce is contested. .

The attorney fees make up the highest percentage of the entire cost of the divorce. Suppose there is an increased need for contact with an attorney, for instance, during court proceedings, filling, or settlement negotiations. In that case, the cost becomes relatively high. These proceedings take 18 months or more.

Uncontested Divorce

In an uncontested case, the spouses have little if not zero disputes. This means there is a minimum need for the intervention of attorneys and mediators. In this instance, the divorce won’t cost the parties much. The divorce proceeding takes eight months.

Child Support And Upkeep

Child Support And Upkeep

Whether contested or not, when children are involved in a divorce proceeding, there is minimal room for summary dissolution. Children are a sensitive factor calling for quality time and reflection to safeguard their interests.

Matters like who will take custody of the children, the schedule of when children will be with each parent, financial support, and decision-making on their education, holidays, and welfare involve a lot of paperwork and time.

The period becomes longer and more costly when there is a disagreement between the spouse, calling for the intervention of attorneys.

The Complexity Of The Assets And Debts

The Complexity Of The Assets And Debts

The case becomes lengthy and costly when spouses disagree on how to split jointly owned property, assets, or debt. When it is simple assets such as furniture, cars, and perhaps electronics, it will not involve a lot of intervention.

However, it becomes tricky when the assets and debts involved are complex. Family homes, big businesses, real estate, pension funds, and inheritance require legal and financial analysts, business valuators, and accountants to get their value and develop a sharing scheme. These professionals attract additional costs.

Likewise, splitting debts such as mortgages, student loans, and personal loans attracts extra fees.

Alimony

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is money paid to a spouse for upkeep during or after concluding the case. Often arises when one spouse earns more money than the other. A disagreement might arise on whether one is supposed to pay alimony or not, and if yes, how much.

The type of alimony (whether temporary, rehabilitative, or permanent) can also cause a debate. Alimony contests require financial and vocational analysts who prolong the case timeline.

There is a myriad of ways to undertake divorce cases. The options vary in cost as well as the timeline. Each option has its pros and cons. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct thorough research before settling on one.

Whether it is litigation or settlement, representing yourself (Pro se) or hiring a lawyer, hiring a part-time lawyer or full-time lawyer, and taking a legal approach or holistic approach. Choosing an option that is more viable to you would be best.

More factors

Divorcing in California can be a complicated process, so it’s important to understand all of the ins and outs before getting started. Here are some things you should know about divorce in California:

1. Grounds for divorce: in order to file for divorce in California, you must have a valid reason, or “ground.” Some common grounds for divorce include irreconcilable differences, cheating, or abandonment.

2. Residency requirements: in order to file for divorce in California, you must be a resident of the state for at least six months.

3. Property division: California is a “community property” state, which means that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage will be divided equally between the divorcing spouses.

4. Child custody: if you have minor children, you will need to come to an agreement on child custody and visitation. The court will always prioritize the best interests of the child when making a decision on custody.

5. Alimony: alimony, or spousal support, may be awarded to either spouse during or after a divorce. The amount and duration of alimony will be determined based on factors such as each spouse’s earning ability and the standard of living established during the marriage.

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional experience. However, understanding the process and knowing what to expect can help make things go more smoothly. If you have any questions about divorce in California, be sure to speak with an experienced family law attorney.

Understanding costs

When divorcing in California, you will likely have to pay some costs associated with the process. These costs can include filing fees, attorney’s fees, and costs associated with child custody and visitation.

It is important to understand these costs before getting started, so you can plan accordingly.

If you have any questions about the cost of divorce in California, be sure to speak with an experienced family law attorney.

How to divorce on a budget

If you are looking to divorce on a budget, there are a few things you can do to save money. First, try to negotiate with your spouse on key issues such as property division and child custody. If you can reach an agreement, this will save both of you time and money.

You can also save money by hiring a mediator instead of an attorney. Mediators can help you and your spouse reach an agreement on key issues, and they typically cost less than attorneys. In addition, you can represent yourself in court if you are comfortable doing so.

Common fees

Some common fees associated with divorcing in California include filing fees, attorney’s fees, and costs associated with child custody and visitation. It is important to understand these costs before getting started, so you can plan accordingly.

Types of divorce

There are two main types of divorce in California: contested and uncontested.

A contested divorce is one in which the spouses cannot agree on key issues such as property division, child custody, or alimony. If you are going through a contested divorce, you will likely need to hire an attorney and go to court.

An uncontested divorce is one in which the spouses agree on all key issues. An uncontested divorce is typically quicker and cheaper than a contested divorce.

What is the next step?

If you are considering divorcing in California, the first step is to educate yourself on the process and what to expect.

Once you have a good understanding of the basics, you can then start to gather the necessary paperwork and documents. After that, you will need to file for divorce with the court and serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Once your spouse has been served, you will then need to attend a hearing in front of a judge.

If you have any questions about divorcing in California, be sure to speak with an experienced family law attorney. they can help walk you through the process and ensure that everything is done correctly.

Dividing property

California is a “community property” state, which means that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage will be divided equally between the divorcing spouses. This includes things like houses, cars, bank accounts, and retirement accounts. Check out how much it costs to get a divorce in Utah, if you want some price comparison.

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