Court Fees in Divorce

It is no secret that getting a divorce can be pricey. While there is almost no way to estimate exactly how much any particular divorce will cost to finalize, there are some fees that will be present in any divorce case. In this blog we will break down some of the fees charged by the Superior Court in a divorce or family law matter.

The first inescapable fee is the “first paper” fee. This fee is incurred the first time something gets filed with the Court by each party. In a divorce case, the first paper fee will be incurred by the Petitioner when the Petition is filed, and by the Respondent when the Response is filed. If there is no divorce, but say for example you are filing a custody motion with the Court for the first time, the first paper fee will be incurred by the Petitioner when the first motion is filed with the court and the Respondent when a response to the motion is filed.

First paper fee: $435

After the first filing fee has been paid, there is a fee each time a motion gets filed with the court. For example, once a Petition is filed, the Petitioner may want to file a motion requesting temporary spousal support.

Fee to file a motion: $60

If the motion filed involves a modification of custody or visitation, parties are required to partake in mediation prior to the court hearing. For this, the Court charges an additional filing fee in custody and/or visitation matters.

Additional fee for filing custody/visitation motions: $25 ($85 total)

Finally, there is a cost to file a stipulation and order with the Court. This fee is incurred if parties are able to agree on any issues in their case, drafted an agreement, and desired that agreement to become an order of the Court without having a hearing.  There may be times where a motion was filed, but the parties are able to stipulate prior to going to Court on the matter. This would require both filing fees to be paid.

Fee to file a stipulation and order: $20

There are a few other filing fees for matters not relevant here, and also some exceptions to the fees listed above.

Feel free to contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding property division and trust accounts. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.

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