2024 How Much Does a Divorce Cost in North Carolina?

No one enters a marriage thinking that one day, they will file for divorce. When the marriage is no longer sustainable, and one or both parties move to dissolve the marriage, one of the top concerns is often the cost of a divorce. Attorney’s fees can quickly add up, and a divorce could require that one or both parties hire specialists to facilitate the court proceedings. So, how much does a divorce cost in North Carolina? We’ll explore the cost factors involved in legally dissolving a marriage.

Court Filing Fees

North Carolina has one of the lowest divorce filing fees in the country. If you file for divorce after the one-year mandatory waiting period, you will need to pay the filing fee. Then, you will have to pay to have the proper court documents “served” to your spouse.

Am I Required to Have an Attorney?

You are not required by law to have an attorney during the divorce process, but having legal counsel can save you considerable time and possibly prevent your spouse from unfairly claiming assets that are not theirs or gaining child custody terms that are not favorable to you. The primary job of any lawyer is to ensure that your rights are protected and that your interests are considered by the courts.

Family court law is complicated, and few people have experience making legal arguments before a judge. While it might be tempting to forgo legal representation, remember that your property, as well as access and visitation rights to your children, will be on the line if you make a mistake. If you do work with an attorney, your overall fees will be based on the hourly rate of the attorney and the amount of time they put in to finalize your divorce. A trusted attorney will work your case efficiently and in a timely manner because they respect your time and money.

Other Cost Factors

North Carolina requires anyone seeking a divorce to wait at least one full year and a day before they can file. During this time, you may choose to live outside of your home. To meet the legal definition of separation under state law, you and your spouse will have to live in separate residences during the separation. Living apart creates new costs for both spouses.

There will likely be more court filing fees than the initial fee. If your case requires mediation, the mediator will charge an hourly rate or a flat rate for their services. Mediation can ultimately save you money if you are able to come to a settlement agreement during mediation. Other divorce-related costs could come from hiring professionals to handle certain aspects of your divorce. For example, you may need the services of a financial auditor when obtaining an accurate picture of your assets and properties.


Q: How Much Does It Cost to Get a Simple Divorce in NC?

A: A simple divorce that does not include child support, child visitation, and asset division will likely cost considerably less than a complex case that requires many hours of work on the part of your lawyer. During your consultation with your family law attorney, you can bring up the details of your case and ask for some idea of what a simple divorce will cost. Any divorce case requires cooperation from both parties, so an estimate is often based on the most favorable scenario.

Q: How Do I Get a Divorce in NC Without Waiting a Year?

A: It is not possible to get a divorce in North Carolina without waiting for the state-mandated one-year period. You must be separated and living apart for at least one year before you can file for divorce. You can greatly shorten the time it takes to get a divorce by using the separation period to finalize the terms of your divorce with the help of a family law attorney.

Q: Do You Have to Pay for a Divorce in NC?

A: There are filing fees associated with filing for divorce in North Carolina. If you initiate the divorce, you will have other fees to pay as well, which could include process servers for court documents. There are no constitutional rights to a family law attorney if you cannot afford one. The rule of thumb is to expect to pay for your attorney. Depending on your financial situation, the courts may rule that your spouse has to pay some or all of your legal defense costs.

Schedule Your North Carolina Divorce Consultation Today

No divorce is free, and many cases end up costing both parties thousands of dollars or more. Our family law attorneys will work diligently to settle your divorce without the need for excessive litigation. Once a divorce is initiated, it is in the interest of both parties to work together to resolve any areas of disagreement. We’re here to help. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Recent Posts