Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs for Divorce

By Elizabeth Stock

When you file a divorce petition, you are asked to pay a filing fee. If you cannot afford to pay it, you may be able to waive the fee by completing an affidavit called an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs, or as it is known in many states, an Affidavit of Indigency. If it's granted, your request affects only the filing costs, and not the overall costs of divorce itself. The financial requirements for filing an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs and receiving the waiver vary among states.

When you file a divorce petition, you are asked to pay a filing fee. If you cannot afford to pay it, you may be able to waive the fee by completing an affidavit called an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs, or as it is known in many states, an Affidavit of Indigency. If it's granted, your request affects only the filing costs, and not the overall costs of divorce itself. The financial requirements for filing an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs and receiving the waiver vary among states.

Divorce Filing Fees

Filing fees for divorce vary among states, but at the time of publication these fees typically fall within the ballpark of $150 to $300 or more, depending on where you live and whether you and your spouse have children. Many states also require you to arrange service of process for the divorce filing, which provides your spouse with notice of the divorce and gives him an opportunity to respond. Depending on whether your state requires you to use a private process server or have the local sheriff serve the paperwork, this may add an additional $50 to $200 to your filing fees.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs

If you cannot pay for your filing fees, request a copy of the appropriate form from the court clerk. You must provide information about yourself, such as your birth date and contact information. The court also typically wants information about who lives with you, your income and assets, your monthly expenses, and whether you are currently on any form of state or federal aid. This information gives the court some idea of your ability to pay. You must typically sign the document, attesting to the fact that all of the information is true.

Filing the Affidavit

You submit your completed affidavit to the court clerk at the courthouse where you are filing for divorce. The court clerk will either accept your affidavit and waive the filing fee or present your affidavit to a judge who will determine whether you qualify for a waiver. In addition, depending on your state’s procedures, you may need to appear before a judge to discuss your affidavit.

Eligibility

If you qualify, the court may waive the filing fee for divorce and any service of process fees. Some states may not waive the fees, but rather defer them to a later date or allow you to set up a payment plan to cover the cost of filing for divorce. In many states, to be eligible for a waiver of filing fees, you must use public assistance or your income must be less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to File for Divorce in Arizona if Indigent

References

Related articles

Guidelines for Reduced Divorce Fees in New York

Obtaining a divorce in New York is not free. However, the state legislature has recognized that a lack of financial resources should not prevent spouses from terminating a marriage. Individuals who cannot pay the necessary filing and other court fees may request a fee waiver from the court by filing the appropriate paperwork. If the judge approves the application, some or all of your court costs may be avoided. However, copying fees and other trial preparation costs, including expert witnesses, may still be your responsibility.

Who Pays When Filing for Divorce in Texas?

Divorce is the legal recognition that your marriage is over. In Texas, the person who files for divorce is typically the one responsible for paying the filing fee to start the divorce case. The amount that you must pay to file for divorce in Texas depends on the county in which you file, whether you and your spouse have children, and your financial situation.

How to Form an LLC Online

A limited liability company is a popular form of business association that combines the limited liability protections of a corporation with the flexibility and pass-through federal taxation of a partnership. An LLC is formed by submitting a document, typically called an articles of organization, with the state agency responsible for registering business associations. Traditionally, filing articles of organization could only be done by mail or in person. Some states now allow an LLC organizer to fill out and file articles of organization online. The benefit to filing online include faster processing time and reduced cost, as some states charge less to process articles of organization filed online.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Get Approved for the Affidavit of Poverty & Divorce

American courts won’t force you to remain married if you don’t want to, even if you can’t afford your ...

How to File for Hardship for Divorce Fees in Massachusetts

Financing a divorce can be difficult when you're broke, or if your spouse is holding all the financial cards. Most ...

Filing Divorce Papers in North Carolina Without Paying Court Costs

Filing for divorce can be expensive, forcing you to stay in an unhappy marriage if money is tight. However, if you ...

Is There a Way to Get a Free Divorce in West Virginia?

Utilizing the services of the West Virginia courts can cost money. Even if you choose to represent yourself in a ...

Browse by category