A recent article in USA Today ranked the average cost of divorce in each state. North Carolina comes in near the middle for the cost of an average divorce, with and without children. The costs of filing for divorce are not that high, generally coming to a few hundred dollars. However, the cost of divorce disputes is what drives up the cost. There are some options for divorcing couples that can reduce the expense of a separation in North Carolina.
Average Cost of Divorce in North Carolina
The filing fee for divorce in North Carolina is currently $225 (with an additional $10.00 for filing a Resumption of Maiden Name). However, this fee can be waived for indigent filers, through a Petition to Proceed as an Indigent.
Other fees may involve paying the Sheriff's office $30.00 for service of the summons and complaint to the defendant, or less to serve the summons by certified mail, return receipt requested.
According to the article, the average cost of divorce without children is $13,100 (20th highest) and the average cost with children is $19,700 (21st highest).
The “average” cost of divorce may not be the amount a divorce will cost the average couple. The cost of highly contentious and high-asset divorces may cost much more while the cost of an uncontested divorce can be very low. Together, very high-cost divorces and low-cost divorces average to the numbers above.
The Most Expensive Divorce States
California has the highest average cost of divorce. The average cost of divorce without children is $17,500 and with children, the average cost is $26,300. The high cost of divorce in California may be due to the higher than average cost of living and higher than average median household income. The high cost of divorce may also be a factor in California's 5th lowest level of divorced population.
Other more expensive than average divorce states include:
- New York
- New Jersey
The Least Expensive Divorce States
Montana has the lowest average cost of divorce. The average cost of divorce without children is $8,400 and with children, the average cost is $12,600. Other states with the lowest average cost of divorce without children include:
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
Reducing the Expense of a Divorce
Resolving disputes takes time and effort. Coming to a mutual agreement on what to do after a divorce can reduce the likelihood of litigation. Unfortunately, it can be impossible for a divorcing couple to agree on every aspect of the divorce. Divorce disputes may include:
One of the first directives of the court in a dispute over child custody and visitation is to refer the case to mediation. Mediation can help divorcing parents resolve child custody issues and avoid the need to take their issues to court. Talk to your North Carolina divorce attorneys about mediation, collaborative divorce, and alternative ways to go through a divorce without having to take your divorce through the courts.
North Carolina Divorce Attorneys
At Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped individuals in divorce and custody disputes protect their rights and interests. Contact us today in Shelby for a consultation.