How much is a divorce in Georgia, is a common question because divorce can be a costly affair, and Georgia is no exception. While you may know that it is time for your spouse to divorce, you may not know exactly how much it will cost. Having realistic expectations about how expensive a divorce will be is essential.
That way, a large bill won’t catch you off guard. This guide will look at the average cost of a divorce in Georgia and the factors that can affect that price.
How Much Is a Divorce in Georgia?
Divorce in Georgia has a range of $3,000 and goes up to $21,000, depending on whether you file for a contested one or an uncontested one. The cost rises the more the couple tends to attend the trial. Additionally, the divorce filing fee is about $300.
What Is the Cost of a Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Georgia?
The cost of an uncontested divorce in Georgia is typically less than that of a contested divorce. While both routes may require an attorney’s services, uncontested divorces are generally faster and easier to complete than contested ones. They are also significantly less expensive.
The average uncontested divorce in Georgia will cost around $300 to $3,000 depending on whether you hire an attorney or have minor children.
Depending on your county of residence, filing fees for your uncontested divorce will hardly exceed $300. If you need online document preparation services, you could be looking at $150 to $500 in additional fees. If both of you have minor children and need an attorney to help settle custody matters, you should expect to pay a fee of about $1,000 to $2,000 or more, depending on the time spent on the process.
Contested divorces cost significantly more and take much longer to resolve than a relatively simple uncontested divorce. The average contested divorce in Georgia costs approximately $15,000, but this number may rise if you have minor children. This number is also dependent on the total hours billed by your attorney.
If your attorney bills hourly, you should expect to pay $200 to $400 per hour, depending on the complexity of your case. In some cases, you may need to hire experts such as mediators, financial professionals, or appraisers to help you resolve specific issues in your case, which will result in additional expenses.
What Factors Increase the Cost of Divorce in Georgia?
Several factors determine the cost of a Georgia divorce. Below, we discuss some of those.
– Type of Divorce
A contested divorce is usually more expensive than an uncontested one. Usually, a contested divorce will take more time to resolve, meaning you’ll spend more resources before the court gives a judgment.
– Attorney Fees
Your attorney’s hourly rate will affect your divorce’s total cost. Sometimes, lawyers provide flat-fee pricing for their services which can help you save money. However, the case isn’t always as such, so you should discuss the pricing model with your lawyer before hiring them. These fees would add up to almost $5,000 if you have a regular attorney to stick with you throughout the trial.
– Location of Filing
Some counties in Georgia charge higher filing fees than others. If you plan to file your paperwork in a different county than where you and your spouse currently reside, you should be aware of the filing fees charged there before making a decision. Some may cost up to $300 when it comes to the place where you are filing.
– Child Custody and Support
Many attorneys charge additional fees for their time if your child is involved in your divorce case. Court battles involving child-related issues are often drawn-out and significantly drive up the cost of your divorce. In short, it is up to your circumstances that would signify the price of the custody.
– Spousal Support
Suppose you are required to pay spousal support to your former spouse. In that case, you will be responsible for paying these payments for the duration of your separation period or until the court grants you a final divorce decree. These payments are another expense that can add to the total cost of your divorce, which again, is up to your conditions.
– Tax Implications
It is key to consult with a tax advisor to learn more about tax implications if you are going through a divorce. Although it is unlikely, you may have to pay taxes after property division. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and advise you of the specific taxes associated with your particular situation.
What Are Ways To Minimize Divorce Costs in Georgia?
It is possible to minimize the divorce cost in the state of Georgia, by using an online divorce service, writing a settlement agreement, and filing a non-fault settlement, in addition, you may speak to the divorce lawyer and try to keep the documents to avoid additional fees.
– Consider Using an Online Divorce Service
File your paperwork online instead of hiring a lawyer to do it for you. You can also find services that allow you to complete your paperwork without having to appear in court, which is a significant cost saving over hiring an attorney to represent you in court. Nonetheless, there are various online services to choose from depending on your budget and the specifics of your case.
– Write a Settlement Agreement
If your spouse agrees to settle the terms of your divorce, you can avoid going through a long and expensive court battle. However, couples who can work out a settlement on their own save a significant amount of money by avoiding the cost of litigation.
If you plan to hire a mediator to help you resolve your differences with your spouse, be aware that this can increase the overall cost of your divorce. However, reaching an agreement without the help of a mediator can be an excellent option for saving money on your divorce.
– File a No-Fault or Uncontested Divorce
The fee of a divorce depends largely on the type of divorce that you choose to pursue. If you and your spouse, together, agree on most issues, you may be eligible for an uncontested divorce which will usually cost less than a traditional divorce where issues are contested.
On the other hand, it is key to have in mind that an uncontested divorce is much faster and less involved than a typical divorce which means you are saving a considerable portion of money by filing this type of petition with the court.
– Speak to a Divorce Lawyer
Choose a qualified and experienced divorce attorney. Choosing one who has mastery of Georgia divorce laws is one of your most important decisions during your divorce proceedings. The right attorney will have the experience necessary to protect your rights and help you obtain the settlement you deserve.
Additionally, it is considered important to make sure that your divorce lawyer has a good reputation and that they are a good fit for you and your unique situation. Also, ensure you have a clear written agreement regarding fees before retaining your attorney.
Maintain clear communication with your attorney. By preserving open and honest communication with your lawyer throughout your divorce, you will be able to get the best representation possible and avoid misunderstandings that could lead to costly delays or conflicts down the road.
Keep in mind that it is important to always respond to your attorney’s phone calls, emails, and texts on time to avoid unnecessary delays or complications in your divorce proceedings.
– Keep Documents and Records
Whenever possible, keep track of all your expenses related to your divorce. This can help you to determine how much money you have spent so far and will help you avoid any additional costs in the future. This is especially important if your finances are unsteady, and you may need financial support while you recover from the breakup of your marriage.
– How Much Does a Georgia Divorce Attorney Cost?
Most couples in Georgia rely on an attorney to guide them through the complexities of the divorce process. Depending on the type of divorce you need and the case’s complexity, an attorney’s fees can vary. The total legal fees will also depend on your attorney’s billing system.
The average hourly rate of hiring a Georgia divorce attorney is $200 to $250 per hour, but this could be as high as $600. However, the overall cost of hiring a divorce attorney will depend on their fee structure, skill, and the expected workload for your case.
An hourly rate is more likely if your attorney anticipates a trial soon, while a flat fee is more practical if they handle simple uncontested divorces. Doing a little research to find the best attorney for your particular situation is therefore important.
Since most divorce attorneys will quote you an hourly rate, which is why it’s a good idea that you clarify the estimate of your total cost, so there are no surprises later. In general, you may expect to pay between $5,000 and $20,000, depending on the hours your attorney will spend on your case.
In this article, we’ve discussed how the type of divorce can impact the cost of your divorce. Below is a recap of the points discussed in this article:
- The type of divorce and children in your marriage are some factors that determine your divorce’s cost.
- The average uncontested divorce in Georgia costs about $300, while a contested divorce may cost up to $15,000.
- In most cases, attorney and filing fees make up most of the divorce costs.
- While you can minimize divorce costs in several ways, settling your issues out of court or filing for an uncontested divorce is the surest way to have a cheap divorce.
- Georgia residents seeking to obtain a divorce should be aware that there is an extensive range of costs associated with the process. However, in different cases, it is achievable to save a substantial amount of money simply by filing an uncontested divorce with the court.
The cost of a divorce depends heavily on the situation of the marriage and the parties involved. While getting a divorce without hiring an attorney is possible, you’re better off hiring a qualified attorney to handle your case. This will enable you to obtain a favorable outcome without facing the difficulties associated with litigation.
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