The question “How much is a divorce in Mississippi?” can be estimated after analyzing the factors affecting it and ways to reduce it.
Some divorces will cost a fortune, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. This complete guide gives a detailed cost analysis and the necessary factors that affect it.
How Much Is a Divorce in Mississippi?
The average cost of divorce in Mississippi includes legal fees, attorney fees, and court costs, and the average fee for this is around $8,000. If one of the partners cannot be located, an additional $65 must be paid to publish the divorce complaint. The filing fee is typically around $150.
– Filing Fees
You must file your divorce papers with the Chancery Court Clerk in the Mississippi country where you or your spouse resides if your divorce is based on irreconcilable differences. You must file for a fault-based divorce in the county where your spouse lives, or in your own county if your spouse is out of state or cannot be located.
Be aware that filing legal documents with the court carries a charge. In Mississippi, the divorce filing fee as of 2022 was $148 for an uncontested case and $158 for a disputed one. However, the sum is always subject to change, so clarify it with the court clerk.
If you are unable to pay the fee, you may submit a “Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis” together with a “Pauper’s Affidavit” to ask for a waiver. These forms ought to be available at the court clerk’s office, or you can browse the MSATJC Legal Forms page to find them.
Make sure that both of you have copies of the documentation once you’ve filed a joint complaint for an uncontested case. Since both of you have previously seen and signed the documents, you won’t need to serve your spouse with the complaint and any divorce forms.
– Attorney Fees
Aside from those fees, the majority of the cost usually goes to lawyer fees. Attorneys’ costs of more than $8000 will vary based on the type of support and representation your individual case demands.
– Child Custody and Property Division
The allocation of marital property is frequently a cause of controversy for many couples seeking a divorce, along with custody disagreements. The quantity of property obtained will change during the marriage depending on its length. However, in general, more property or “things” are obtained the longer the marriage.
In any Mississippi divorce, the children’s best interests must always come first when determining who gets legal and physical custody of the kids. Judges will take the parents’ age, physical and mental health, moral fitness, and the preferences of children at least 11-12 years old into account when determining what is best for them.
Like every other state in the country, Mississippi has regulations that specify who must pay child support and how much that support should be. Find out how Mississippi child support is determined in Mississippi and when amounts may deviate from the recommended levels.
– Payment Terms
The Mississippi Uniform Chancery Court mandates that parties to divorce exchange information regarding their respective income, expenses, assets, debts, employment history, and most current tax return. However, this prerequisite may be disregarded.
You could also settle to pay half the divorce cost. At any stage of the divorce process, you and your spouse can agree on how to address the difficulties. In actuality, courts actively promote settlement.
The court will view your case as uncontested if you’ve struck a divorce settlement agreement by the time you submit your initial divorce papers. In that case, when the 60-day waiting time for no-fault divorces has passed, you can obtain a divorce pretty swiftly.
You will need to go to trial to have a judge decide the disagreements for you if both of you can’t come to an agreement on one or more of the legal problems involved in dissolving your marriage.
Your divorce will take longer and be costlier if you need to go to court. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to take all reasonable steps to reach an equitable settlement agreement for both you and your husband, if at all possible.
What Is the Cost Difference Between Uncontested and Contested Divorce?
The cost of a contested divorce revolves around $11,000, while for an uncontested divorce, the cost is around $5,000 including filing fees. Once the judge has examined the couple’s documents, they can enter a final divorce judgement.
– More Information
It’s crucial to comprehend all of the upfront expenditures associated with filing for divorce in Mississippi and the requirements that must be satisfied under Mississippi law to do so. The main factor which influences the cost is how you end your marriage. There are two ways to end a marriage: a disputed divorce and an uncontested divorce.
When the couple cannot agree on any crucial aspects of their divorce case, including how to divide the couple’s assets and handle spousal support and custody disputes, it results in a contentious or contested divorce.
In light of this, the divorce procedure may entail numerous court appearances or even a trial that goes on indefinitely until the spouses resolve these concerns or the judge provides a ruling.
The parties to an uncontested case must come to an amicable agreement over all of their disputes and create a Marital Settlement Agreement. This cost around $5,000, including the filing fees. This agreement should specify the terms of the divorce, such as the amount of child support to be paid, custody arrangements, property partition, and spousal support.
– Do-it-Yourself Divorce
The greatest way to save time and money is to take up your legal representation during the divorce process. Even while you might be able to represent yourself in a contentious divorce, doing so is not advised unless you are an attorney.
Instead, you want to make an effort to keep things civil so that you can draught a Marital Settlement Agreement and act as your own attorney during a quick divorce. You can save money and time by filing a Joint Complaint of Divorce. Additionally, although Mississippi courts do not use mediation services to resolve marital disputes, couples are free to do so outside the court’s jurisdiction. Experts in dispute resolution and mediators work to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion using extra-legal means.
It might make divorce unnecessary, shorten the divorce procedure, or do away with the necessity for a trial. Mediation typically costs 20 to 50 percent less than a conventional divorce.
If you and your spouse still have issues, the court will set a trial date where you can make your case and offer evidence to support it. If you decide to proceed to trial, trial-experienced attorneys should conduct the majority of the debating and evidence-presenting. A trial and the pre-trial phase include a significant amount of court costs in addition to the high legal fees given to the attorneys.
– Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorces usually take less time than contentious legal processes. A simplified divorce procedure, often known as a “irreconcilable differences divorce,” is also provided for by Mississippi Family Law, which enables partners to petition for divorce jointly as co-plaintiffs.
In case of no joint complaint, you will need to employ one of the following approaches to serve your spouse with the divorce papers:
- If your spouse signs an Acknowledgement of Service, you can give the paperwork over or mail it.
- Make arrangements for the papers to be personally given to your spouse by a sheriff, private process server, or other people who is at least 18 years old and not involved in the divorce. Call beforehand to find out the cost of this service as both the sheriff’s office and private process servers have fees.
- Ask the court clerk how to obtain an alternative mode of service, such as publication in a newspaper, if it’s difficult to locate your spouse for service. (However, as previously said, if your spouse wasn’t personally served, you won’t be able to secure a divorce based on differences.)
If you fail to serve your spouse within 120 days of filing the complaint, and there were no valid reasons for the delay, the court may dismiss your divorce action unless you’ve filed a joint complaint.
What Is the Average Fee for a Divorce Lawyer in MS?
In Mississippi, an average attorney will bill between $152 and $259 per hour. Costs vary based on the sort of attorney. The attorney will politely review your case and will then walk you through each step of the divorce procedure.
A lawyer can usually fill your divorce forms within seven days and file them with the relevant court. Many lawyers charge $900 or more for handling an uncontested case.
Furthermore, expect to spend legal fees ranging from $200 to $500 per hour if you need to hire a lawyer to address any outstanding post-divorce-related concerns. The amount charged depends on how difficult your case is and how many hours it takes to resolve.
Instead of engaging a family law attorney, you might hire a mediator or arbitrator to help you resolve your disputes. This often costs between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the severity of your problems.
Depending on the problems and situations involved, the cost of your divorce may change, but form filing fees, legal fees, and even fees to serve your spouse are all standard. To assess your budget and expected costs, it is crucial to speak with your attorney.
- Including court and attorney fees, the average divorce cost per individual in the state is $8,000.
- If there are children involved, the average divorce expense in Mississippi rises to $11,000.
- Property and debt distribution, spousal maintenance, and child custody are all issues that must be decided by you and your spouse, which could reduce your divorce costs.
- The cost of your divorce relies on several factors unique to the attorney you are speaking with. The cost could revolve around $150 to $200.
- The greatest way to save time and money is to take up your legal representation during the process. Even while you might be able to represent yourself in a contentious divorce, doing so is not advised unless you are an attorney.
Read this guide and follow the instructions to get a brief estimate of your divorce cost. You must use the services of an experienced lawyer and a mediator to make legally informed decisions along with efficient divorce costs.
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