Are you in the beginning stages of considering divorce and wondering how much does a divorce in Georgia cost?
This guide is going to tell you all of the costs that divorce attorneys don’t normally tell you about.
This will enable you to make the decision that’s best for you and your family financially.
And you’ll know how much does it cost to get a divorce in Georgia.
What Does A Divorce in Georgia Cost?
The cost of divorce in Georgia REALLY depends on which route you take.
The potential options you have are you fill out your own divorce papers and file them, have an uncontested divorce with an attorney, all the way up to a full custody battle.
How Much Does A Divorce Attorney Charge in Georgia?
The cost of divorce in Georgia boils down to how involved the divorce lawyers have to be.
How involved they have to be determines how much does a divorce lawyer cost in Georgia.
The less involved, naturally, the less you’re going to be charged.
But the more involved they get, the more it’s going to cost you.
This is because the average divorce attorney charges $250-$300 per hour.
This may be a sticker shock of pricing for a divorce attorney.
It’s important to think about the efficiency of your divorce attorney, though.
If your divorce attorney is charging you less money (think $200 per hour), then be weary.
A divorce attorney who is charging less money has less money to build systems and processes that speed up the divorce process for you.
So, the less efficient that they are, the more they will be charging you.
Let’s look at an example.
Bob the attorney charges $200 per hour. Jane charges $350 per hour. On the surface, you’d think, “Why would I pay $200 per hour when I can get the SAME service for $350 per hour?“
I’m very frugal, so I’d have this exact same question.
Let’s assume it costs every attorney $125 per hour for overhead costs, marketing, employees, insurance, etc.
That means that Bob’s company gets $125 per hour in profits while Jane gets $225. As a side note, this money is NOT going into Jane and Bob’s pockets. This is money that they get to reinvest into the company.
Reinvestments usually look like hiring another attorney to handle case loads, hiring an assistant for the attorneys, hiring a customer service team to better serve the clients.
Other than personnel, they can also be in the form of software to better manage your files, software to auto-populate all of your information, etc.
All of these reinvestments allow the company to make their operations more efficient.
So, if Jane reinvests 2x the money back into her business compared to Bob, let’s assume that Jane can handle your divorce case in half the time it takes Bob to handle it.
This is because Bob is NOT improving his systems and his attorneys are having to manually type your info into ALL of the 50 documents that you need to be filled out.
The attorneys are spread too thin juggling too many cases.
The attorneys are fumbling cases and forgetting to file your paperwork because they don’t have an assistant to help.
You can’t get a call or email back because there is no customer support team to help you out.
You get the point.
Going cheap, well… You get what you pay for. Cheap service.
And most of the time, it’s going to end up turning out to be more expensive for you when your spouse hires the more expensive attorney who has the ability to hire the best lawyers to represent them.
You get what you pay for with an attorney.
And if you cheap out with the divorce attorneys fighting for you, then you’ll probably lose when you come up against a law firm who has the money to hire the GOOD attorneys.
What is the Average Cost of Divorce in Georgia?
The average cost of divorce in Georgia ends up being about $17,300.
The average cost of divorce in Georgia with children is $22,000.
The average cost of divorce in Georgia with alimony is $20,300.
The average cost of divorce in Georgia with property division is $20,700.
This is including $13,460 in attorneys’ fees.
Attorneys’ fees are a significant chunk of the cost of divorce because the average hourly rate for attorneys in Georgia is $300.
The attorney’s hourly rate does not include JUST the salary of the attorney.
They include the pay of the paralegals, admin team, marketing, and other employees of the law firm.
Other expenses (NOT attorney fees) include things like filing divorce paperwork, copying and sharing documents, negotiations with your spouse’s divorce attorneys, and so on.
This can also include the cost of witnesses and consultants for determining child custody.
How Can You Reduce The Cost For Divorce In Georgia?
Okay, I’m betting with the sticker shock of how much the cost for divorce in Georgia you’re probably trying to figure out how to reduce the cost for divorce.
There are ways to reduce the costs of divorce, so let’s go over how to have a more affordable divorce.
The first one is to do your own divorce papers.
Do Your Own Divorce Papers
This is going to be the best route to have a low cost divorce in Georgia.
There is a caveat though.
This route is usually best for spouses who are going through an amicable divorce.
This means that you and your spouse agree on how to split up everything.
Maybe you aren’t 100% on the same page yet, but if you can talk about it and come to an agreement, then you can do this.
Just go to divorce papers page and print out a divorce packet.
Fill out this paperwork and file it with your local superior court.
This will make the cost of your divorce only a couple hundred of dollars.
Basically, your only costs are going to be the paperwork and the cost to file your divorce papers.
The next cheapest way to have a divorce is to have an uncontested divorce.
The Cost of Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
This is if you and your spouse are basically in agreement with everything, but you want to have an attorney review all of your paperwork.
Sometimes the divorce paperwork can be tedious, redundant, and easy to mess up.
This is especially true if you’re unsure how to navigate the divorce laws in Georgia.
It can be a good idea to have an attorney at least review you divorce paperwork.
The average cost of uncontested divorce in Georgia is with no minor children is usually $870.
To do this, buy the paperwork that you need for your divorce and fill those documents out.
Once you and your spouse have sat down and filled out the divorce paperwork, reach out to an attorney.
Make it clear to them that you already have the paperwork filled and you and your spouse would like to have an uncontested divorce.
This is how you get the cost of uncontested divorce in Georgia low.
Also, make it clear that you only want them to review the paperwork.
Side note – when you talk to the divorce attorney, they will tell you that they can only represent one of you in the divorce.
They are covering their butts legally. And if there are any disputes between you and your spouse, then they can ONLY represent ONE of you.
But, if you are just reviewing documents, then you and your spouse can BOTH sit down with the single divorce attorney and review the divorce documents.
With this, I’m just making it clear that you AND your spouse can both sit down with the divorce attorney to review the divorce paperwork.
The next type of divorce is a regular, no-fault divorce.
The Cost of No-Fault Divorce in Georgia
After an uncontested divorce, this regular divorce would fall into the category of no-fault divorce.
A no fault divorce means that the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party. A fault divorce means that someone cheated, abuse, going to prison, etc.
So, if no one did anything to ’cause’ a divorce, this is a no-fault divorce.
Basically, a no-fault divorce is just if you guys fell out of love, decided the marriage isn’t going to work out, someone decided to pursue a religion you don’t want, your life goals end up being different, etc.
Nothing drastic or bad has happened, but you just don’t want to be married anymore.
This type of divorce, after uncontested, is the divorce that requires the least amount of divorce attorney involvement.
There is potential for there to NOT be a ton of battles and negotiations. But there is also potential for there to be a lot too.
It really depends on the state of your relationship and how the divorce looks.
The next most expensive divorce is a contested divorce.
How Much Is A Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce basically encompasses most divorce types.
This is when you and your spouse are battling it out about any issues.
These issues can be anything like child custody battles, money division, property division, splitting up a company, alimony, etc.
These are going to be issues where you and your spouse’s attorneys will spend numerous hours negotiating, formulating offers and counter offers, potentially showing up in court, and the list goes on and on.
With a contested divorce, the hours just stack and stack. This makes the cost of a contested divorce in Georgia increase significantly.
And if you and your spouse are battling to be spiteful? The costs will exponentially increase.
What If You Can’t Afford The Costs Of Divorce In Georgia?
So, how much does it cost to file for divorce in Georgia?
If you are filing for divorce on your own, you can get the costs of filing for divorce waived.
If you are unable to these fees necessary to initiate a divorce here in Georgia, you may file a Poverty Affidavit.
This affidavit asks the Court to waive the mandatory filing fee, service fee, and other court costs associated with filing for divorce in Georgia.
It’s important to note that these requests are not automatically granted.
You will have to show proof of your income.
The divorce courts want to ensure that you meet to qualification to have these fees waived.
Also, in most counties, the court will only grant these requests if you are representing yourself.