Summary Divorce More Expensive Than Regular Divorce | Santa Clarita

Summary Divorce More Expensive Than Regular Divorce | Santa Clarita

It seems that everyone raves about the ease of filing a summary divorce for those who qualify.  But did you know that the cost for filing a summary divorce is more expensive than filing a regular divorce?

Here’s why.  When you file divorce papers, you have to pay a filing fee.  The cost is different County to County but in most areas that fee is north of $400.  Los Angeles County, for instance, is currently $435.00.   The court refers to what is called “First Papers”.  First Papers filed in a family law case have to pay the filing fee.

A summary dissolution is a Joint Petition.  This means that both parties are considered the petitioner and they are identified as Petitioner 1 and Petitioner 2.  When this joint summary divorce petition is filed, both parties will have to pay the filing fee, unless you qualify for a fee waiver.

This is no problem if you qualify for a fee waiver.  But what if one of the parties is incarcerated and unable to submit a fee waiver, which is the case here, or if neither party qualifies for a fee waiver?

In this case, it might be a smarter move, and definitely less expensive, to prepare a regular divorce and go by way of default.  In a regular divorce, the other party does not have to respond if they don’t want to.  Because they are not filing a response, they would not have to pay the filing fee.

If you were going to prepare a summary divorce, this meant that both parties were in total agreement ( which is one of the requirements) so there would be no harm in preparing a default divorce and lay out the agreement in the default judgment.

Preparing a regular divorce has quite a bit more paperwork than does the summary divorce.  But the important thing for us is that our clients save money in the divorce process.

We will leave it up to the client to decide which way they want to go in this case.