My Spouse Wants a Divorce But I Don't: Do I Still Have to Pay for the Paperwork Fees?

By Anna Green

Each state creates its own divorce laws and procedures. Thus, the exact rules and process for dissolving a marriage will be different in each jurisdiction. Generally, however, it is the petitioner, or party filing for divorce, who is responsible for paying court filing fees. Thus, if you receive divorce papers and respond to them, you may not be responsible for any court fees. In certain circumstances, however, you may incur some fees even though you do not agree to the divorce.

Each state creates its own divorce laws and procedures. Thus, the exact rules and process for dissolving a marriage will be different in each jurisdiction. Generally, however, it is the petitioner, or party filing for divorce, who is responsible for paying court filing fees. Thus, if you receive divorce papers and respond to them, you may not be responsible for any court fees. In certain circumstances, however, you may incur some fees even though you do not agree to the divorce.

Filing Fees

The spouse who files for divorce is responsible for paying filing fees and other court costs related to the divorce proceedings. The court may be able to waive these fees for low-income filers, however. If you are served with divorce papers, you will not need to pay any filing fees or court costs if you simply file an answer to a divorce complaint or petition.

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

Uncontested and No-Fault Divorce

All states currently have some form of no-fault divorce. This means that neither spouse has to prove his or her partner acted improperly in order to dissolve the marriage. It also means that many divorce cases do not need to end in lengthy trials and incur large attorney fees. Thus, if you respond to your divorce complaint then reach a marital settlement agreement by working collaboratively with your spouse, both parties may be able to avoid some legal expenses.

Contested Divorce and Countersuits

If your spouse is filing for divorce on fault grounds and you choose to file a countersuit, you might be responsible for paying filing fees for the countersuit. However, the court can waive these fees if you meet certain income requirements. If a contested divorce case proceeds to trial and your spouse hires an attorney, you could be responsible for his legal fees and other costs related to the trial under certain circumstances. For example, if you earn far more than your spouse, a judge might order you to pay for his lawyer to assure he has equal representation.

Divorce by Default

If you do not agree with the divorce, but do not plan to challenge your spouse’s decision to dissolve the marriage, you will not likely be responsible for any fees. If you receive divorce papers but do not respond to them, however, your spouse may obtain a divorce by default. This means the court will accept your spouse’s proposed terms of the divorce without hearing your side of the case. In other words, a divorce by default might compromise your rights.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce Without Two Signers

References

Related articles

Who Pays for Legal Expenses in a Divorce?

The cost of a contested divorce can escalate to tens of thousands of dollars, so it's no wonder many couples run into trouble financing the fight. Although a simple uncontested divorce might cost less than $1,000, contested divorces usually require many court appearances by your attorney and your attorney must spend hours preparing for these appearances. At an average hourly rate of $250, spouses can easily spend $2,500 just asking the court for temporary support orders early in the case. When you add in fees for experts, such as real estate appraisers and forensic accountants, the cost of a divorce can skyrocket.

How to Divorce an Unwilling Spouse

If you want to get a divorce but your spouse does not, you may be able to dissolve the marriage anyway. A contested divorce can be complicated and time-consuming. Unlike a divorce in which both parties agree to end the marriage, a contested divorce generally requires you to attend a trial in front of a judge and argue why your marriage should be dissolved. As you proceed with your divorce, remember that the divorce laws and procedures for divorcing an unwilling spouse vary from state to state.

Default Judgments in Kansas in a Divorce

By the time you get ready to file for divorce, you and your spouse may not be getting along well enough to cooperate during the divorce proceeding. Your spouse may decide to ignore the divorce paperwork you filed, thinking that will stop the divorce or make you angry. Unfortunately for your spouse, Kansas courts can grant default judgments in divorce cases, giving you a divorce even when your spouse does not want to participate in the process.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Alabama Divorce Via Default

Whether you cannot track down your spouse or he is completely unresponsive to your divorce complaint, you may still ask ...

The Motion to Dismiss in Florida Family Law

Just because you file for a divorce doesn't mean that you have to go through with it. If you and your spouse decide to ...

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 Divorce in Arizona if Indigent

If you don't have the money to file for divorce in Arizona, the court may be able to waive your filing fees. As an ...

Browse by category