Ask Leslie: If I initiated the divorce, am I responsible for the cost?

DEAR LESLIE, 

If I initiated the divorce, am I responsible for the cost?

Prefer to Not Pay

Dear Prefer to Not Pay,

Generally, the person who initiates the divorce proceedings by filing a Summons and Complaint for Divorce (known as the Plaintiff), is responsible for the court filing fees associated with processing the divorce through the courts. These fees include the cost of the Summons and Complaint to obtain a Court Index#, the cost of serving the complaint on your spouse (the defendant), the fee for a request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) and any costs associated with filing a Settlement Agreement and the court required documents to process the action. If motions are filed those costs are paid by the person filing the motion. There are fees associated with both contested matters as well as uncontested matters. You can expect to pay between 340 -500 dollars in court filing fees. You can check online with your local court to see the fee schedule. In some cases, the court can order the filing fees to be shared by both parties.

Each party is responsible for its own legal fees and paying their lawyer. However, if the incomes of you and your spouse are vastly different, one party can be ordered by the court to pay some of the legal fees of the spouse that earns significantly less.

To new beginnings, Leslie

 

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