When sane adults have decided that a marriage should end and are determined to do so without incurring a large financial and emotion cost, obtaining limited representation for this purpose is inexpensive and rapid. It involves an initial meeting of approximately 45 minutes where an overview of the system is discussed and your legal rights and responsibilities are reviewed. The necessary paperwork is professionally drawn up and signed. If necessary (if there are children, property or debt, or it’s not a short term marriage), a Marital Settlement Agreement is drafted. If necessary (if both you and your spouse are dedicated to reaching a fair resolution but have a reasonable disagreement as to terms or there is a complex issue), you’ll be referred to a mediator. The paperwork is then filed with the court. About a week later, when the complaint documents have been docketed and received back from the court (or, if referred to a mediator, when the mediation process is complete), your spouse signs an acknowledgement of service and the Agreement. The entire package is submitted along with the required affidavits to waive the physical court appearance. If a rote court appearance is required, we will sign a substitution of attorney, review a transcript of a sample proceeding and discuss what will be involved in your appearing. Roughly a week later, a judgment of divorce will be issued if your county doesn’t require a court appearance. Otherwise, you will receive a court date for a brief hearing and a judgment will be entered that day.
The uncontested divorce service assumes that no discovery is needed and is appropriate only in low-conflict situations. It differs from an online or roadside service in that it includes professional advice based on over 20 years of experience and personalized to your situation, and the documents are drafted for you. Additionally, as indicated, if an attorney files the paperwork, in most counties the court physical appearance can be waived.
The cost of an uncontested divorce is $850 plus the filing fee ($300 if no children, $325 if there are children), plus, if needed, the cost of a mediator.