Meriwether & Tharp, LLC
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If you have divorce questions

Costs of Divorce

M&T Divorce Options & Pricing

Forms

$ 499

Everything you need to DIY

Coaching

$799

DIY with a little help from M&T

M&T Assisted

$1499

M&T will draft and file your divorce forms for you.

Model M&T

Flat Fee & Payment Plan

Our game changing model for resolution focused divorces

Traditional

Starting at $3,500

Traditional for highly contested or complex divorces

How Much Does Divorce Cost on Average? 

Data from a 2019 survey commissioned by nolo.com

$11,300
The Average Cost of Legal Fees for a Divorce

$5,000+
6 in 10 people spent more than $5,000 on their divorce

$1,480
On average people spent $1,480 on additional costs (court fees, filing fees, etc.)

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Georgia? 

Most people know that divorce can be very expensive, but how much does an average divorce cost? According to a survey by nolo.com, the average cost of attorney fees for divorce representation from start to finish is $11,300. This doesn't include expenses for filing fees, court costs, expert witnesses and appraisers which average out to $1,480. That's an average total of $12,780 for traditional divorce representation from start to finish. It's important for remember that this number is an average. Depending on the complexity of the case, a contested divorce could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000+. What's even more frustrating, is that you'll find that divorce lawyers can rarely give you an accurate figure and will often answer this question by saying "it depends". Typically, lawyers bill by the hour and it's difficult for them to determine upfront how many hours it will take to resolve a case.

At Meriwether & Tharp, we believe there's a better way. We believe in predictable and fair pricing. For uncontested divorces, we offer a $499 Online Divorce Forms Package that includes all necessary divorce forms and papers, M&T's Negotiation Guide for negotiating all aspects of your divorce, M&T's Georgia Divorce Guide Book, and M&T's How to File Guide. For $799, we offer an Online Divorce Coaching Package that includes everything in the forms package PLUS 1.5 hours of coaching/review by an experienced M&T divorce lawyer. If you still want to save money but you'd rather M&T draft and file your forms then you can upgrade to the M&T Assisted Package for $1,499. The M&T Assisted Package also includes 3 hours of coaching and review by an experienced M&T divorce lawyer. What if you have a contested case? M&T offers several pricing options for contested cases starting with an initial payment of $2,500. Going through a divorce is difficult enough, don't sign up to pay for unpredictable or unknown divorce costs.

How to Save Money on Your Divorce

Some of the costs of divorce are outside of the control of you and your lawyer (ex: county filing fees), but many costs will be within your control. Knowing what attorney's fees consist of can help. Also, there are certain actions you can take that will end up saving you money on your divorce in the long run. Divorce doesn't have to be super expensive if you know how to keep your costs down. Feel free to read some of our divorce cost saving tips below.

1

Uncontested Divorce: Can Online Divorce Save Money?

2

Contested Divorce: Communicate Efficiently With Your Divorce Lawyer

3

Contested Divorce: Cost Saving Actions and Choices

4

Contested Divorce: Provide & Gather All Relevant Information

Researching online divorce to save money on divorce
Uncontested Divorce: Can Online Divorce Save Money?

If you have an uncontested divorce, you qualify for one of Meriwether & Tharp's Online Divorce Packages. Ranging from $499 to $1499, our uncontested packages come in significantly cheaper than the average divorce price of $12,780. If saving as much money as possible is your primary concern, then our $499 Online Divorce Forms Package is for you. It includes everything you need to do your own divorce from start to finish. With M&T you are never alone. If doing your divorce by yourself is a bit too daunting, then for $799 our Online Divorce Coach Package will include everything in the Forms package plus 1.5 hours of additional support from an experienced divorce lawyer. You could have our divorce lawyers review your forms or ask them questions when you get stumped. If speeding up the process and decreasing errors are the primary concern, the M&T Assisted Package for $1499 would be best. Our M&T Assisted Package includes 3 hours of additional attorney support PLUS M&T will draft and file all of your divorce papers. No need to worry about inaccuracies or finding the time to fill out your own forms.

Saving money on divorce by communicating with your lawyer.
Contested Divorce: Communicate Efficiently With Your Divorce Lawyer

Communication with your attorney is critically important. However, calling or e-mailing your attorney everyday to talk can get pretty expensive. As mentioned above, lawyers bill by the hour. Hours and hours of phone conversations and e-mails can add up and end up being pretty expensive. Make sure you communicate efficiently. Think about writing down your questions beforehand so you don't miss anything or stray too far off topic. Try to accumulate a list of several questions and call once rather than calling each time you have a question. Remember not to use your lawyer as a therapist or another ear to bend since you might end up incurring unnecessary expenses.

Take cost saving actions and measures to save money on your divorce.
Contested Divorce: Cost Saving Actions and Choices

There are certain things you can do or choices you can make that will help you save money on your divorce. First, make sure you fully understand your lawyer's fee schedule. Be aware of how much retainer you have left and what the lawyer's hourly rate is. You also want to make sure you understand what lawyers won't bill for. Some lawyers will charge a cheaper flat rate or not bill you at all for smaller tasks like answering short e-mails, making copies, printing documents etc. Make sure your divorce attorney gives you case plan that fits your finances. If you are struggling with your finances and your attorney has you on an expensive highly litigious case plan - you will likely not be able to pay your final bill when the case is over.

Gathering information early in you divorce to save money.
Contested Divorce: Provide & Gather All Relevant Information

One of the most expensive parts of divorce is the formal discovery process. The formal discovery process is where the lawyers involved will formally requests and exchange information. This process can happen over several weeks or even several months. Since lawyers bill by the hour, it is obviously more expensive to have your lawyer obtain important documents through formal discovery requests. You can save a lot of time and money by gathering those documents yourself beforehand. Ideally, you would obtain most of the necessary documents yourself for free (banks statements, pay stubs, mortgage documents, etc.) and turn them over to your lawyer after the first consultation. This would eliminate the need for the lawyer to formally request these materials. Doing this early on can actually save hundreds if not thousands in some cases.

Online Divorce Options for Uncontested Divorces

(Note: Our uncontested divorce packages serve the entire state of Georgia)
  • Offers custom forms and detailed explanations
  • Includes the M&T Negotiation Guide for negotiating all aspects of your divorce
  • Includes M&T's Georgia Divorce Guide Book 
  • Includes M&T's How to File Guide

M&T ODC

$799

  • Offers custom forms and detailed explanations
  • Includes the M&T Negotiation Guide for negotiating all aspects of your divorce
  • Includes M&T's Georgia Divorce Guide Book 
  • Includes M&T's How to File Guide
  • Offers 1.5 hours of coaching & review by an experienced divorce lawyer

M&T Assisted

$1499

  • Offers custom forms and detailed explanations
  • Includes the M&T Negotiation Guide for negotiating all aspects of your divorce
  • Includes M&T's Georgia Divorce Guide Book 
  • Includes M&T's How to File Guide
  • Offers 3 hours of coaching & review by an experienced divorce lawyer
  • M&T will draft and file your forms for you. 

How much are Divorce Filing Fees & Court Costs? 

Court costs like filing fees for divorce.

One of the costs that's outside of your control is the filing fee that must be paid to the Clerk of Superior Court when filing for your divorce. The amount of that filing fee varies from county to county in Georgia. Typically, filing fees for divorce hover between $200 and $250 (note: this amount is subject to change from year to year).

A judge deciding a divorce.

Additional Costs of Divorce

Service Fees

Service fees vary based upon whether you have the sheriff serve a complaint (with a current cost of approximately $50), a private process server, or are required to provide legal notice through publication in a legal newspaper. These fees can range greatly from $50 to several hundred dollars (and on some rare occasions even higher if service of process is difficult because your spouse is avoiding service, etc.).

Read more on Service

Mediation 

Depending upon the county your action is filed in, you may be required to attend mandatory mediation in a case. While this process is discussed more in our section "alternatives to trial," you should be aware that the mediators fees are in addition to your attorney fees and fees vary greatly and can range from $200-400 an hour. Fees for the mediator are usually equally split by the parties and often most mediation sessions take at least four to six hours. In some cases multiple sessions maybe necessary to resolve matters related to your case.

Read More about Mediation

Experts

The need for experts in your divorce matter depends greatly on the issues of your case. You may also be required to pay costs related to any necessary experts consulted during your case. Experts may be used to provide testimony concerning child psychology, mental and physical abuse, valuations of businesses or personal property, appraisals of real estate, and/or forensic accounting reports. Additionally, independent custody evaluators may be hired to perform a custody study or vocational experts may be necessary to determine what financial support is necessary and what a party is capable of earning. Be aware that many experts will charge by the hour similar to how attorneys bill.

Read More About Experts 

Court Reporter Fees

If a case goes to a deposition, hearing, or final trial, court reporter fees may apply in addition to attorney's fees, as well as fees associated with subpoenas and witness fees. Court reporter's fees can be especially confusing to people not familiar with the legal system because you pay for a court reporters time just to "take down" what is being said and then you pay an additional (usually a per page fee) for the transcript of what was said if you need to order the transcript. These costs obviously vary based upon the length of time spent by the court reporter (both taking down what was said and the length of the actual transcript) and can range greatly from a few hundred dollars for a takedown only at a short hearing to in excess of a thousand dollars for ordering a transcript of an all-day deposition.

Read More About Depositions 

Parenting Seminar

If you have minor children, most counties require both parents to attend a mandatory seminar regarding the impact of divorce on children. In most areas, the cost of this seminar is around $50.00. For more information concerning the mandatory parenting seminar in your county, see our article entitled "Parenting Seminar."

Read More About the Parenting Seminar 

Additional Fees

Beyond attorney's fees, there maybe additional costs that are associated with your case, such as: copying, mileage and travel expenses, postage, and parking fees.

Lowering Costs of Divorce: Uncontested Divorce

Although it is true that contested divorce actions can become costly for both parties involved, there are certain steps that may be taken to lower the costs of Georgia divorce. One of those steps or alternatives is uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce is where both parties agree on how all aspects of the divorce will be resolved. Uncontested divorce is. cheaper than contested divorce because it takes much less time to prepare and finalize.

Read More About Uncontested Divorce & Lowering Costs

Additional Resources

With a huge library of resources that covers every aspect of divorce from start to finish. You've got questions, Meriwether & Tharp is here with the answers you need

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