divorce cost

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce in NC?

While all couples hope their marriage will last, that is not always the case. When it comes to a divorce, there are many factors to consider, even the costs. 

From filing fees to attorney costs, it can be an expensive endeavor. Before you start, let’s explore all the aspects of this legal process so that you can better understand the costs of divorce in NC. 

Filing Fees

Like any legal process, you will need to file the right paperwork with the court. Currently, the initial filing fee for a divorce is $225.00. When you pay that fee, it will cover all administration costs of the divorce petition. Now, keep in mind that some fees can vary depending on your specific county. 

Unfortunately, that is not the only fee to consider. Let’s look at other expenses that you may have to pay in the process. 

Service Fees

If you are starting the process, you must serve the divorce paperwork to the other spouse. There are several ways to handle this process. The sheriff can serve the divorce papers to your spouse, but it will be a fee of $30. However, you can use an option for certified mail service, which is $7. With that, you will receive a receipt that the paperwork was delivered. 

What Other Factors Affect Cost?

Like any legal process, you want a family law attorney to help with these issues. The costs will depend on your specific situation and the lawyer’s fee structure. 

Many attorneys charge on an hourly basis, which can usually start out around $100 per hour and increase from there. While some couples may want to save on these fees, it is not the best approach for many people, especially if you have legal assets, children, or spousal support to consider. 

Since a divorce requires several motions, hearings, and court appearances, the costs can be high. While it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact figure, some numbers suggest that the average cost of a divorce in NC ranges from $8,000 to $12,000

Types of Divorce

The type of divorce you seek in the state will affect costs. If both sides agree to all terms, you can file for an uncontested or absolute divorce. These cases are usually on the lower end of the cost scale. Since both spouses are amicable in their split, the process involves fewer legal appearances. In many cases, this type of divorce can be quickly resolved after the one-year separation period

However, if you have a contested divorce, then the legal fees can rise dramatically. In these cases, the spouses disagree on child custody/support, property division, and alimony. Most of the time, there is a need for ongoing negotiations, several court appearances, and extensive legal representation. All those factors can cause the case to reach into the thousands of dollars. 

What Happens If You Cannot Afford a Divorce?

In extreme cases, an individual can register as “indigent.” With this option, the person can seek assistance with filing fees and other expenses. However, the court will need documentation, such as bank statements or pay stubs, to show that you cannot afford to pay for legal fees and other associated costs. 

Divorces Can Be Costly

How much does it cost to get a divorce in NC? Between filing fees, attorney costs, and other legal-related expenses, it can be a pricey legal battle. Sometimes, a divorce can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. However, the exact cost will depend on the complexity of your case. 

If you want to know the general costs of a divorce or have family law-related questions, make sure to contact us. The Stephen E. Robertson Law Office is ready to assist with your case. Schedule a consultation by calling 336-370-6760 today.