How Much Does a Divorce in California Cost?


The Golden State has great weather, food and plenty of wide open spaces. But, your marriage might not be going so well. How much does a divorce in California cost?

California Dreamin’

Remember when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was selling state assets to pay the bills? The State of California is low on cash. Therefore, it is doing anything and everything to pay the bills.

Unfortunately, the government might try to increase various fees to balance the budget. That might make it more difficult for you to be able to afford a divorce.

California Divorce

Each county has their own divorce fees. Moreover, these might change every year. So, the following are only estimates of what you can expect.

You will need to pay a county filing fee. There might be a county processing fee. You might pay about $500 for a quick divorce.

An amicable divorce might cost about $400 or so. You could go to a legal aid organization to get some free assistance.

Just be warned, a California divorce could take years. The court schedule is full. If it takes years, then your total cost is likely to be much more than $500.

Family Characteristics

The length of divorce proceedings are based on numerous factors, including how the spouses act towards one another, if there are any children involved and how much property is owned.

The California courts will want to find a proper resolution for each of the aforementioned issues. This could involve numerous court hearings. Of course, if you shorten the length it takes to get divorced, then you will save money.

Divorce can be particularly hard on children. They don’t understand what is going on. That is why both spouses are encouraged to set aside their emotions and think of the best interests of the children, first and foremost.

Communal Property State

California is a “Communal Property State.” What that means is that all assets acquired during the marriage are considered jointly owned by both parties. On one hand, this make it easier to divide property. On the other hand, some personal property might be divided that was inherited or given to one spouse specifically.

Furthermore, all debts are equally shared by both parties. Therefore, there are many financial issues to consider when you file for divorce. Divorce might impact your credit score.

If you really want to get a California divorce, you could take out a personal loan. But, remember that personal loans might have high interest rates. The cost for living the good life in California keeps going up.

You can represent yourself “Pro Se” to save money. You can keep the costs lower if you and your spouse work together. But, isn’t that one of the reasons why you are getting a divorce? If you speed up the divorce process, it can be advantageous to all parties involved.