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How much does it cost to file for a divorce?

How much does it cost to file for a divorce?

Good question. There are costs and then there are cost for filing for divorce.

Beyond what an attorney would charge you for his/her services, there are other costs to be paid when obtaining a divorce, one of which is the filing fee the court charges you. Here’s a list of what it costs to file for divorce in every state of the U.S.A. as of July 21, 2021, according to Findlaw.com (https://www.findlaw.com/family/divorce/how-much-does-a-divorce-cost-by-state.html):

Alabama $400 ($50 administrative fee included) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Alaska $250 (additional $75 fee to file a modification for child custody, visitation, or support, or for spousal maintenance or property division) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Arizona $280 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Arkansas $165 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

California $435 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $14,000

Colorado $230 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000+

Connecticut $360 (excluding paternity legal action) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

Delaware $165 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) $80 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Florida $409 (Cost changes per county. Example from Duval County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Georgia $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000+

Hawaii $215 (without minor children), $265 (with minor children) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Idaho $154 (without minor children), $207 (with minor children) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Illinois $334 (District specific fees. This example is from Lake County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Indiana $157 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

Iowa $185 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Kansas $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Kentucky $148 (without an attorney), $153 (with an attorney) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Louisiana $150 to $250 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Maine $120 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Maryland $165 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000

Massachusetts $200 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

Michigan $175 (without minor children), $255 (with minor children) (District specific fees. This example is from Wayne County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Minnesota $365 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

Mississippi $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees:: $8,000+

Missouri $133.50 (without minor children), $233.50 (with minor children) (District specific fees. This example is from Jefferson County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Montana $170 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $6,000+

Nebraska $158 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Nevada $217 (first appearance), $299 (joint petition) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

New Hampshire $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

New Jersey $300 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

New Mexico $137 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $6,500+

New York $335 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $13,500+

North Carolina $75 (absolute divorce), $150 (for civil cases in district court) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

North Dakota $80 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Ohio $350 (District specific fees. This example is from Washington County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Oklahoma $183 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Oregon $301 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Pennsylvania $201.75 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000+

Puerto Rico $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Rhode Island $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

South Carolina $150 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

South Dakota $95 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,500+

Tennessee $184.50 (without minor children), $259.50 (with minor children) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,500+

Texas $300 (depending on child support or custody factors) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,500

Utah $325 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,400

Vermont $90 (if you are a resident of the state), $295 (without a stipulation) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

Virginia Use this calculator to find your district’s fees. Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,500

Washington $314 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

West Virginia $134 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Wisconsin $184.50 (with no child support or alimony), $194.50 (with child support or alimony) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,500+

Wyoming $85 (District specific fees. This example is from Laramie County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-it-cost-to-file-for-a-divorce/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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What policies and factors determine how child support is calculated?

What policies and factors determine how child support is calculated?

This is a good question and a question that many parents ask.

Every state in U.S. has child support calculation guidelines and formulae to determine which parent pays child support and how much child support that parent will pay. Each state’s child support calculation guidelines utilizes or is based upon one of three different models:

  • Income Shares Model
  • Percentage of Income Model
  • The Melson Formula

Under the Income Shares Model, each parent is responsible for a portion of the amount of financial support a child needs to maintain the lifestyle the child would have had the parents were not separated. The Income Shares Model relies upon knowing each parent’s to calculate the support award. The parent with the lower income of the two parents will receive a monthly child support payment from the other parent. This amount is known as the base child support award.

The Percentage of Obligor Income Model utilizes the obligor parent’s income only in calculating child support. Many (though not all) Percentage of Obligor Income guidelines assume that the support payee parent’s child-rearing costs are the same dollar amount or percentage of income as the obligor parent’s child-rearing costs. The Income Shares Model considers the incomes of both parents. The Percentage of Obligor Income Model does not factor in the custodial parent’s income in calculating the support award amount.

The Melson Formula[1] is different from the other two models. Rather than calculating child support based upon parental incomes, it first considers the basic needs of the child and each parent before determining whether and how much child support the obligor parent can and will pay.

This July 10, 2020 article from the National Conference of State Legislatures [click the link to access the article] provides a list of links to the child support calculation guidelines for every state and Washington D.C. in the U.S., as well as the Guan and Virgin Islands territories

Note: legislation, regulations, and caselaw governing child support policy and calculation change, so be sure you know both A) what your jurisdiction’s current child support guidelines are and B) how to use apply them correctly and accurately when calculating child support.

Income Shares Model

• Alabama • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Florida • Georgia • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland •  Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Missouri • Nebraska • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wyoming (also • Guam • Virgin Islands)

Percentage of Income Model (this model has two variations: the Flat Percentage Model and the Varying Percentage Model)

Percentage of Income Model

• Alaska • Mississippi • Nevada • North Dakota • Texas • Wisconsin

Flat Percentage Model

Alaska • Mississippi • Nevada • Wisconsin

Varying Percentage Model

• North Dakota • Texas

Melson Formula

• Delaware • Hawaii • Montana

According to the July 10, 2020 NCSL article the District of Columbia uses a hybrid model that starts as a varying percentage of income model and is then reduced by a formula based on the custodial parent’s income.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

[1] Named from the Delaware Family Court judge who articulated the formula in Dalton v. Clanton, 559 A.2d 1197 (Del. 1989).

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What are marriages that are exempted from marriage license requirements?

What are marriages that are exempted from marriage license requirements?

Technically speaking, the only marriage that could be considered “exempt” from a marriage license requirement (meaning free from the requirement to obtain a marriage license as a condition of marrying) would be a common law marriage (in jurisdictions where common law marriage is still allowed and recognized).

To understand what a common law marriage is, you would need to understand what it is not. A common law marriage is not a “solemnized” marriage. A “solemnized” marriage is a marriage performed according to a formal, official, legally recognized marriage ceremony by one vested with authority by the state to perform marriages.

A common law marriage is a marriage that, unlike a solemnized marriage, which arises upon the completion of the formal, legally recognized wedding ceremony, is recognized by the law retroactively, long after two people have been living together in a conjugal relationship (i.e., living in a relationship like that of a married couple without being formally and legally and lawfully wedded). Not all states in the U.S.A. recognize common law marriage. The state where I practice family law (Utah) does.

Here are the requirements for having a relationship recognized as a common law marriage as they are provided in Utah Code § 30-1-4.5:  A marriage which is not solemnized according to this chapter shall be legal and valid if a court or administrative order establishes that it arises out of a contract between a couple where both are of legal age, capable of giving consent, legally capable of entering a solemnized marriage, have cohabited, mutually assume marital rights, duties, and obligations, and hold themselves out as and have acquired a uniform and general reputation as spouses. The determination or establishment of a marriage under this section must occur either during the relationship or within one year following the termination of that relationship.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/What-are-marriages-that-are-exempted-from-marriage-license-requirements/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Can CPS take your kids for missing two dental appointments?

Can child protective services take your kids for missing two dental appointments?

Yes (and well they should), if the dental appointments are necessary to protect the child from disfigurement, from death or serious risk of death or harm, from superfluous damage to the child’s health, or from chronic pain. You get the idea.

But a failure to go to the dentist for an optional bi-annual cleaning or the like? No way, unless (maybe) somehow that was ordered by a juvenile court judge and the parents just blew it off.

Just remember: often what CPS claims is crucial to a child’s protection is just CPS throwing its weight around and using the power of the state to bully parents who have the nerve to hold opinions different from the caseworkers’. Pick your battles, but don’t let CPS push you around for exercising your parental judgment responsibly.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Can-child-protective-services-take-your-kids-for-missing-two-dental-appointments/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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