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.
Table of Contents
- What Affects the Cost of Divorce in Georgia?
- Costs of Divorce AFTER Divorce
- How Much Does A Divorce Attorney Cost in Georgia?
- How Much Does the Average Divorce Cost in Georgia?
- How To Get a Cheap Divorce in Georgia
- The Cost of Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
- The Cost of No-Fault Divorce in Georgia
- How Much Is A Contested Divorce?
- What If You Can’t Afford The Costs Of Divorce?
What’s the Cost of Divorce in Georgia?
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.
What Affects the Cost of Divorce in Georgia?
Here are the main costs of divorce in Georgia.
|Consultation Fees||Should Be Free|
|Retainer Fees (Contested Divorce)||~$7,500|
|Retainer Fees (Uncontested Divorce)||~$750|
|Court Filing Fees||~ $250|
Divorce Attorney Consultation
Divorce lawyer consultations should be a free 30 minute chat with a divorce attorney.
If the divorce lawyer you’re consulting is charging you, look for one with a free divorce consultation.
It’s a good idea to interview numerous divorce attorneys to find the one that you resonate with the most.
Divorce Lawyer Retainer Fees
Almost all divorce lawyers will charge you a retainer fee.
This is a lump-sum payment that you make to the divorce lawyer before they start working on your case.
This retainer fee goes into a special account per the law.
As they work on your case, they will charge you against that lump sum.
By law, they cannot spend that money until they have worked on your case.
Usually, retainer fees are 50% of the estimated cost of divorce in Georgia.
When the retainer fees runs out, they will ask you for the remaining 50%.
And how much is a divorce in Georgia REALLY depends on the type of divorce and how much your divorce attorney costs.
How Much to File for Divorce in Georgia
Court filing fees are going to be how much to file for divorce in Georgia.
Usually, the cost to file for divorce in Georgia is about $225.
This is the cost to file the petition for divorce at your local Superior Court.
Costs of Divorce AFTER Divorce
We’re going to look at the average cost of alimony and child support in Georgia.
While this doesn’t answer how much does a divorce cost in Georgia, it tells you what you can expect to pay after the divorce.
To do this, we need to look at:
|Average Household Income||$78,574|
|Average Length of Divorce||8 Years|
I wanted to show you what you can expect to pay for child support and alimony.
This way, you know roughly how this will affect your cost of divorce in Georgia.
To figure this out, we needed to know:
- Spouse #1 salary
- Spouse #2 salary
- Length of marriage
For this, I just used examples.
The average household income in Georgia is $78,574.
The average salary in Georgia is $55,679.
I used $55,679 for Spouse #1.
For Spouse #2, I subtracted Spouse #1 salary from the average household income.
That looks like:
Average Household Income – Spouse #1 Salary = Spouse #2 Salary
$78,574 – $55,679 = 22,895
So, Spouse #2’s salary is $22,895.
And the average length of marriage is 8 years.
Let’s plug these numbers into the alimony calculator.
Running these numbers, we get…
This means that you’ll be paying $711.22 per month in this scenario.
Oh, and that’s for 4 years.
Which comes out to be $8,534.60 per year.
If your salary is $55,679, that means that 15% of your income is going towards alimony.
Even without child support, the cost of divorce is looking scary.
So, let’s look at the child support part using the same numbers.
Here, we need to pick the child visitation schedule.
To TRY to split it 50/50, I picked the closest schedule, which was 43/57.
And I hit calculate.
Your monthly child support payment will be $652.20 in this scenario.
|Alimony in Georgia||$711.22|
|Child Support in Georgia||$652.20|
With these two combined, you’re looking at $1,363.42 per month.
On a $55,679 salary, this comes out to be 24.4% of your annual salary.
When it comes to divorce costs in Georgia, this is the part not many people warn you about.
How Much Does A Divorce Attorney Cost in Georgia?
How much does a divorce cost 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.
(Filing on your own without a divorce lawyer is basically a free divorce 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 cost is $250-$300 per hour.
The average divorce lawyer cost may be a sticker shock.
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) than what the average costs of divorce attorneys are, then be wary.
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 $350 per hour when I can get the SAME service for $200 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 with a cheap divorce lawyer, 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.
How Much Does the Average Divorce Cost in Georgia?
So, how much does the average divorce cost 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.
Sometimes, these costs can vary based on location too. Like, if you’re getting a:
This is including $13,460 in divorce attorney costs.
Divorce attorney costs are a significant chunk of the cost of divorce in Georgia because the average cost of divorce attorneys is $300 per hour.
The attorney’s hourly rate does not include JUST the salary of the attorney.
They also have for out some money for the cost of divorce in Georgia.
They include the pay of the paralegals, admin team, marketing, and other employees of the family 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 of Divorce In Georgia?
Okay, I’m betting with the sticker shock of how much the cost of divorce in Georgia you’re probably trying to figure out how to have a cheap divorce in Georgia now.
There are ways to reduce the costs of divorce, so let’s go over how to have a more affordable divorce.
The first way to have a cheap divorce in Georgia is to do your own divorce papers.
How To Get a Cheap Divorce in Georgia
Are you ready to have a cheap divorce in Georgia?
(This is the next best thing to a free divorce in Georgia.)
An uncontested divorce is going to be the best route to have a cheap 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.
And better yet, you can significantly lower the cost of divorce in Georgia.
(For a cheap divorce in Georgia, you’ll spend the absolute minimum you have to going this route.)
This route eliminates the divorce attorney costs, which is the largest cost of divorce in Georgia.
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 your cost of divorce only a couple hundred of dollars.
Basically, your only costs are going to be the paperwork and the cost to file for divorce in Georgia.
The next cheapest way to have a divorce is to have an uncontested divorce.
Now that we have talked about filing for divorce on your own, let’s talk about hiring a divorce attorney in Georgia.
For how much is a divorce in Georgia, here’s the breakdown by divorce type.
The Cost of Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
If you’re trying to figure out if you can have and cheap uncontested divorce in Georgia, I don’t blame you.
The cost of uncontested divorce in Georgia is the cheapest divorce you can have.
(Unless you file for divorce on your own.)
This is if you and your spouse are basically in agreement with everything, but you want to have a divorce 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 a divorce 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 a divorce 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 reduce the cost of divorce in Georgia while still protecting yourself.
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.
(This is also considered a contested divorce that’s settled.)
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
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.
But, when it comes to no-fault, how much does a divorce cost in Georgia?
For no-fault scenarios, the average cost of divorce is $15,000.
It really depends on the state of your relationship and how the divorce looks.
The next most expensive cost of divorce in Georgia 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 in Georgia
- child support in Georgia
- money division
- splitting assets in divorce
- splitting up a company
- alimony in Georgia
These are going to be issues where you and your spouse’s attorneys will spend numerous hours negotiating, formulating offers and counteroffers, potentially showing up in court, and the list goes on and on.
With a contested divorce, the hours just stack and stack.
And remember that each hour the divorce attorney costs you $300+ dollars.
This makes the cost of divorce in Georgia increase significantly.
And if you and your spouse are battling to be spiteful? The costs will exponentially increase.
Obviously, if you want a cheap divorce, this is not the route you want to take.
What If You Can’t Afford The Costs Of Divorce In Georgia?
So, how much is a 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.
How to Have a Cheap Divorce in Georgia
If you want to have a cheap divorce in Georgia, let’s reiterate what we’ve gone over.
These are the list of steps to take to have the cheapest divorce (from cheapest to most expensive).
Start wtih the cheapest route.
If that doesn’t work for your situation, move on to the next best option to reduce the cost of divorce.
- File a Poverty Affidavit to have a free divorce in Georgia.
- Fill out and file your own divorce papers.
- Hire a divorce lawyer to review your divorce papers and file them on your own.
- Hire a divorce lawyer for an uncontested divorce.
- Hire a divorce lawyer for a no-fault divorce.
- Hire a lawyer for a contested divorce in Georgia.
Over To You
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