When beginning the Pennsylvania divorce process, one of the first questions many people ask is how much their divorce is going to cost. While it is impossible to answer that question without first knowing the details of your family’s circumstances, our Philadelphia divorce lawyers can provide general guidance on some of the expenses associated with divorce proceedings in Pennsylvania. When you contact Sadek & Cooper Law Offices for a free initial consultation, we can discuss the potential costs of your divorce in greater, more personalized detail.
2017 Divorce Filing Fees for Bucks County, Pennsylvania
First and foremost, it’s important to emphasize that there are great variations in divorce expenses from family to family, even within the same state or county. Ultimately, the final cost of your divorce will depend on factors such as where you live, the duration and complexity of your case, and the nature of the debts and assets you share with your spouse – all variables which inevitably differ from case to case.
One starting point is to examine filing fees, which are court fees to file the complaint or petition for divorce. Each county in Pennsylvania has its own set of fees for filing divorce complaints and various pieces of supporting documentation. Let us review Bucks County as an example.
As of January 1, 2017, there is a fee of $363.75 to file a divorce complaint in Bucks County. However, depending on the nature of your case, the court fees can increase from there.
If the divorce complaint also incorporates a complaint for visitation or child custody, it will cost an additional $79.50, bringing the total cost up to $443.25.
If the divorce complaint further incorporates a petition for injunctive relief, which is a court order (injunction) that requires your spouse to start or stop engaging in a certain action, the cost increases by an additional $72.75, which would bring the total cost to $516.
If the divorce complaint also incorporates a complaint for equitable distribution, which deals with the division of assets, there is an additional fee of $72.25, which would bring the total cost to $588.25.
Keep in mind that these additional complaints cost more when filed on their own. For instance, the fee for a complaint for custody in Bucks County is $247 if not incorporated in a divorce complaint.
If you intend to conduct genetic testing, which is used to determine paternity, there will be an additional court fee of $239.75, which would bring the total cost up to $828.
However, not all divorce-related court fees are so substantial. For instance, the cost of a certified divorce decree is only $5.50 in Bucks County. Similarly, it costs only $9.25 for a woman to retake her maiden name.
As you can see, costs can range widely, even within a single county, depending on how many services and how much documentation is required to resolve a case. For example, a case that involves genetic testing will cost more than a simpler case from which such testing is absent.
How Much Does it Cost to File for Divorce in Philadelphia or Delaware County?
Any of the fees listed above may increase in 2018, or at a later point in time. Further, it’s important to keep in mind that the foregoing fees are applicable only to Bucks County. For instance, in Philadelphia there is a fee of $328.98 to file for divorce.
Moreover, there are disparities in the fees different counties charge for the same service or process. For example, in Delaware County it costs $280.50 to file for divorce, which is $83.25 less than the divorce filing fee in Bucks County. However, in Bucks County it costs only $50 to file a petition to modify a custody order, which costs $125 in Delaware County: $75 more than in Bucks County.
While Philadelphia, Delaware, and Bucks Counties have relatively high fees, there are certain low-cost counties in Pennsylvania which impose considerably lower divorce-related fees. For instance, in 2016 the Cameron County divorce filing fee was only $86: less than a quarter of the filing fee established in Bucks County.
In addition to filing fees for various court documents, it’s important to keep in mind that divorce can also give rise to other expenses, such as fees for mediation. The longer the case continues and the more matters come into dispute, such as child support, child custody, alimony, and/or the division of assets, the higher the overall cost will be.
PA Family Law Attorneys Handling Divorce, Alimony, Child Custody, and Child Support
Every divorce case is impacted by a unique set of financial factors, which leads to cost variations from case to case. At Sadek & Cooper Law Offices, we know that divorce can create considerable financial strain, and work diligently to make the process as efficient as possible in order to keep your expenses minimal.
Our Pennsylvania family law attorneys handle a wide array of cases in Bucks County, Delaware County, and throughout the Philadelphia region, including but not limited to:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- High Asset Divorce
- Prenuptial Agreements
To speak with our Bucks County divorce lawyers, our Bucks County alimony lawyers, or our Bucks County child support attorneys regarding your family’s legal matter, call Sadek & Cooper Law Offices at 215-814-0395 as soon as possible for a free legal consultation. We will keep your information confidential.