How can I limit the cost of my divorce in California? A recent news story named California as one of the seven worst states in which to get divorced. Two main reasons California made the list are the long waiting period from filing of the initial paperwork to the finalization of the marriage dissolution, and the high average costs of divorce.
The Length of a California Divorce Case
After you file the initial divorce petition, the state of California requires a six month “cooling off” period before the case will even be addressed by the court. On average, it takes 360 days to process the paperwork and finalize a divorce in California.
This waiting period is largely due to the congestion in California’s family courts. At any given time, countless family law cases are pending before the court. Some issues, such as domestic violence cases, receive priority over divorce cases. If you require a court hearing for your divorce, you may experience several long continuances and spend numerous days waiting in a courtroom. Such delays are extremely frustrating, especially if you merely want to put your marriage behind you and move on with your life.
The Cost of a California Divorce
Filing fees here in California for petitions and responses for dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership, legal separation or nullity (as of the date of this blog post) is $435. Some of the highest in the country. These fees are mild, however, when compared to the costs associated with some divorces in the state. If issues are contested, we may go back and forth numerous times in negotiations with the opposing attorney. If you cannot come to an agreement without a court ruling, you may spend time waiting in court with us (your attorney) while we wait for your case to be heard. All these factors can significantly drive up attorney’s fees.
Divorce in California need not be lengthy or expensive, however. You can help reduce the overall cost of your divorce by finding ways to work with your spouse and come to an agreement on some of the larger issues. Mediation and other cooperative divorce methods allow you to avoid the need for a court hearing, as well as the hours—or even months—spent waiting for the court to hear your case. Though the overall cost of divorce varies from case to case, an attorney can help you find ways to limit your costs.
Contact an Experienced Sonoma County Family Law Attorney for Assistance
If you are facing divorce in Sonoma County, Lake County or Mendocino County California and are concerned with how long it will take, and with the associated costs, make sure your attorney understands these concerns and can help you with solutions to address them. At Beck Law P.C., our experienced divorce lawyers work with our clients to achieve the best possible result for the least amount of time, money, and stress possible. Do not hesitate to contact our office for help today.