How Much Does a Divorce Cost Without a Lawyer?
The cost of a divorce without a lawyer can vary. It’s entirely possible to get divorced without a lawyer and for free— if you prepare your own paperwork and you qualify as low income.
Using Maricopa County as an example, there is a $349 filing fee for a divorce. If you prepared your own paperwork, then the only fee you would need to pay is the court fee. If you collect social security, or nutrition assistance— you can even have the court fee waived. Or, if you are considered “low income” by the court, then they will allow you to pay in $5 – $10 monthly installments.
However, preparing your own paperwork is not easy. You will spend many hours preparing the paperwork, and you will have to go to court 4 times. In addition, you will have to take a day off work for the final hearing- so you should consider that cost as well. So the cost of a divorce without a lawyer might be cheaper, but you will need to spend a lot of time completing various steps of the process.
Affordable Legal Help, Without Lawyers
In Arizona and California, you can hire a legal professional to prepare your paperwork. In both states, they are called Legal Document Preparers.
With a CLDP, you will typically spend about $1,000 for a divorce with children. A lawyer would typically charge $5,000 for the very same thing.
You may be asking yourself, “Do I need a lawyer for a divorce in Arizona?”
Only you know the answer to that question. Is there something unusual or special about your case? Does it involve children? If you are trying to win sole custody, or relocate a child, or there is abuse involved— if you can afford it, an attorney is your best bet.
However, if you can’t afford it, and you have a complex case, a CLDP may be your best option.