Whether the decision to get divorced is yours, your spouse’s, or mutual, it is an emotional process that leaves people with questions about what comes next, including how much it’ll cost to get the divorce.
If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, or have been named as a defendant in a divorce action, Turner Family Law in Greenville, SC can help you with your next steps.
What Factors Impact the Cost of a Divorce in SC?
Divorce costs vary from one case to another. Alternative dispute methods like an uncontested divorce, collaborative divorce, and the use of mediation may cut down the time and funds spent towards getting a divorce in South Carolina.
Some of the most influential factors for the cost of a South Carolina divorce include the inability to agree on important issues such as:
- Child custody
- Division of property
- Substantial assets to be divided in the divorce
- Allegations of neglect or abuse
- Whether or not the divorce is filed on fault or no-fault grounds
Fault-based grounds require the individual making the claim to bring evidence that supports the fault allegations. This can require more of your lawyer’s time to prepare and present a case.
What Are the Filing Fees for a Divorce in South Carolina?
The cost to initiate a divorce in South Carolina includes $150 in filing fees. Other court fees may apply such as if a guardian ad litem is appointed to assist with child custody determinations. Those fees are paid to the Family Court and do not include the time your lawyer will need to prepare for your filing and hearings.
Your initial divorce petition may include an additional $25 fee if either of the parties demands a temporary hearing. In some circumstances, you may be eligible to avoid the filing cost of a divorce by filing a Motion and Affidavit to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. The sheriff’s office service fees and filing fees may be waived if the court grants your waiver request.
What Does a Lawyer Charge for a Divorce?
While you can take a do-it-yourself approach when filing for divorce, working with a lawyer sets you up to have an experienced professional guide you through the entire process. Any family court matter can be very complex and emotional and the results have a significant and long-term impact on you and your family. This makes it extremely important to understand all of your rights and opportunities when filing for divorce in South Carolina.
Most family law attorneys charge on a retainer basis. This means taking an upfront amount of money from you and billing hourly against it. This is very common with divorce attorneys in South Carolina because of the variation in the time required from one case to another. Once you have your initial consultation with Turner Family Law, we ca
Will My Spouse Have to Pay My Legal Fees?
One common consideration for any party recently named in a divorce or filing for divorce is whether or not the other spouse can be required to pay your legal fees. There are specific circumstances under which a judge may rule that the opposing party shall be responsible for paying your attorney’s fees, however, you do not want to rely on this as these legal fees may not be paid until much later in the case.
It’s far better to sit down with an experienced South Carolina divorce attorney at the outset of your family court proceedings to discuss some of the key factors that may influence the overall cost.
Get the Support of an Attorney During Your Divorce
While you are allowed to represent yourself in divorce, it’s not advisable, especially if your spouse has hired legal representation. The decisions made during a divorce proceeding affect your finances, your living situation, and your relationship with your children.
Ensuring that you have someone in your corner advocating for what’s best for you is very important. Sitting down with a family lawyer at or before the start of any family court matter to discuss your goals and your concerns and goals can help you navigate this major change in your life.