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Many people hold the opinion that divorce is expensive in every case. Some people may even be hesitant to file for divorce for fear of the cost.

There are several costs that can make a divorce expensive, however getting an idea of where all these costs come from can help you make an informed decision on how to go about getting a divorce.

Divorce Fees

Costs from a divorce will include:

  • Court and administrative fees,
  • Professional services fees, such as expert witnesses or forensic accountants, and
  • Attorney fees.

If you do not hire an attorney and take your case to trial, you may not incur significant expenses. The court and administrative fees for a California divorce are set under the Superior Court of California civil fee schedule.

These fees are the same in all California counties and go toward maintaining the court records. The fee for filing a first paper in a divorce, such as a petition or a response, is $435.00. Additional fees may incur for motions, responses or for copies of records. These fees may be augmented by county specific surcharges to cover county court costs.

Keep in mind; these fees may change from year to year. You may be eligible for a fee waiver if you are low-income, receiving public benefits or if the cost of the filing fee would be prohibitively expensive. To apply for a fee waiver, submit a request to waive court fees.

These fees are separate from any attorney fees your attorney will charge you. Speak to an experienced California family law attorney if you are thinking about divorce and have questions about the costs involved. Every divorce is unique and will require more or less fees, depending on the circumstance.

For example, child custody evaluators are often ordered in child custody cases where the safety and well being of the child is at stake. These evaluators, despite being court ordered, come at a rate of $160 per hour.

Family law attorneys generally require a retainer and, once this is exhausted, they charge an hourly rate. Rates vary based on the location of the attorney and on their experience. Attorneys who have been practicing longer generally charge more, but they are often the most prepared to handle your divorce in an efficient manner. The cost of your divorce will always include the required court and administrative fees, but the rest of the cost will be highly variable from case to case.

If you have questions about the divorce process and are in the Los Angeles area, family law attorney Steven Fernandez can provide expert and efficient legal counsel. As a Certified Family Law Specialist, Mr. Fernandez can advise you on what costs you should expert in association with your divorce.

Call our office today at 310-564-5710; email us at or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.