How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce if Both Parties Agree?

You have probably heard horror stories about the cost of divorce. While it is certainly true that the cost of a divorce can add up quickly if litigation is required, the reality is that a no-fault, uncontested divorce does not have to break the bank—far from it. The filing fees in Alabama are around $200 to $400 (depending on county). Better yet, you can hire a flat-fee divorce lawyer for not much more. The Harris Firm handles uncontested divorces on a flat-fee basis. Here, our Alabama divorce lawyer highlights the key things to know about the likely cost of divorce if all parties agree.

Starting Point: Divorce is a Lot Less Expensive When Both Spouses Can Agree

What is the cost of a divorce? The reality is that it can vary dramatically based on the specific circumstances of your case. At the low end, if you and your spouse can agree on all material issues and you can file for a simplified, uncontested divorce, you may be able to end your marriage for hundreds of dollars. On the end of the spectrum—with protracted divorce litigation—the total legal cost can rise dramatically. It is not uncommon for a divorce trial to cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The best way to limit the cost: Find a settlement outside of court. When both parties agree on the terms of their divorce in Alabama, the process is simply far less expensive. An uncontested divorce—where issues like property division, alimony, child custody, and support are mutually agreed upon—allows a divorcing couple to avoid litigation. Even if you do not agree on everything yet, you and your spouse can benefit from negotiating an agreement.

Know the Filing Cost: County by County in Alabama

To end your marriage in Alabama, you will need the court to sign off of a dissolution of marriage petition. There are filing costs associated with a divorce petition. The cost varies—somewhat—from county to county. Indeed, divorces are handled at the county level in Alabama. You and your spouse should file for divorce in your county residence. If you and your spouse currently live in separate counties in Alabama, you likely have the right to file in either county. The filing fees for an uncontested divorce in Alabama are generally between $200 and $400.

While not a perfect guide, the larger counties tend to be on the higher end of the fee spectrum and the lower counties tend to be on the lower end of the spectrum. According to the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts, the divorce filing fee is $325 in Madison County. Similarly, the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts explains that the cost of filing fees in that jurisdiction is $300 if you do not have children and $400 if you have children. However, in tiny Etowah County, the divorce filing fee is only $194.00.

The Harris Firm Charges Low Flat-Fees in Uncontested Divorce Cases

The Harris Firm handles uncontested divorces throughout the State of Alabama. We are committed to providing cost-effective solutions to our clients. A divorce in Alabama does not have to break the bank—especially if you and your spouse can agree on all (or most) key issues. We charge low, flat-fees in uncontested divorce cases. What is the difference between a flat-fee and a retainer?

A flat fee for a divorce is a fixed amount charged by a lawyer to handle the entire divorce process from start to finish. It is a fee structure that ensures that clients pay a predetermined price—thereby avoiding the uncertainties and potential stress associated with hourly billing. Our firm is proud to provide an affordable flat-fee divorce option for uncontested cases in Alabama.

In contrast, a retainer for a divorce is an upfront payment made to an attorney, which secures their services for the divorce proceedings. Broadly explained, the retainer acts as a deposit against which the attorney bills for their time and expenses as the case progresses. You will rarely need a retainer if you and your spouse already agree on everything.

Will We Share the Fees for Our Settled Divorce?

It depends on your preferences. Though, in a settled divorce, it is typical for spouses to share the legal and court fees. That being said, the allocation of these costs can be flexible and is often subject to negotiation between the parties. For example, a financially advantaged spouse might agree to cover all fees as part of the divorce settlement. The arrangement can be particularly appealing in cases where one party wishes to expedite the process or reduce any potential issues that could slow down the process.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all major terms of their separation, including asset division, debt allocation, spousal support, and, if applicable, child custody and child support. To be clear, this type of divorce simplifies the legal process as it avoids litigation court.

By coming to an agreement outside of court, divorcing couples in Alabama can significantly reduce their legal costs and shorten the duration of the process. As a result, uncontested divorces tend to be less stressful and more amicable. When possible, it is a great option.

Uncontested Divorces are Generally No-Fault Divorces in Alabama

In Alabama, uncontested divorces are almost always no-fault divorces. While Alabama is one of the states that still allows for fault-based divorce, the vast majority of marriages in our state are ended on no-fault grounds. The two common grounds for no-fault divorce in Alabama are:

  1. An irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; and
  2. An incompatibility of temperament between the spouses.

In other words, you and your spouse can get an uncontested divorce without stating that either party did anything wrong. Instead, your divorce can be filed on the grounds that you and your partner can no longer get along well enough to remain married.

The Bottom Line:

Opting for a no-fault, uncontested divorce simplifies the legal proceedings as it focuses on amicable agreement and cooperation between the spouses rather than evidence of fault. It is a faster and less adversarial process. Best of all, you can reduce your total fees.

Even If You Do Not Agree Yet, You Can Still Negotiate an Uncontested Divorce

Most divorces in Alabama are finalized on an uncontested basis. Cheap Divorce Lawyer in BirminghamDo not give up on the uncontested divorce process even if you and your spouse cannot currently reach a settlement. Even if you and your spouse initially disagree on some divorce terms, it is still possible to negotiate an uncontested divorce. Through open communication—and potentially, legal guidance through a more formal process such as mediation—a divorcing couple can work towards a solution.

You do not have to take on the divorce process alone. An experienced Alabama divorce lawyer can help you work towards an agreement on all key terms, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. By working together to resolve disagreements before filing, you can avoid the complexities and expenses of a contested divorce. It can lead to a more straightforward and cost-effective resolution.

Contact Our Alabama Divorce Lawyer for Immediate Help

At The Harris Firm, LLC, our Alabama divorce attorneys are tireless, experienced advocates for clients. It is our mission to find cost-effective solutions. If you have any questions about the cost of getting an uncontested divorce, we are here to help. Give us a phone call at (205) 201-1789 or contact us online for your fully confidential initial consultation. We provide family and divorce representation throughout all of Alabama, including in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville.

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