How Much Does a Divorce Cost in North Carolina? (2023)

When you are contemplating divorce from your spouse, there are many considerations that you must make before committing to that choice. A primary concern is the cost. Since the divorce industry pulls in over $11 billion per year on average, concern over the cost of your divorce is a valid one. The median cost of a divorce in the United States is $7,000. However, there are many aspects of your situation that will affect the total cost of your divorce.

Fees Associated With a Divorce

The filing fee for a divorce in North Carolina is $225. This number is significantly lower than the median cost of a divorce in the United States. This is because there are many additional costs associated with a divorce. There will be other courtroom expenses in addition to the filing costs. The total expenses will be determined by how many times you need to have hearings for your divorce. You may also have mediation fees if you and your spouse require a mediator to reach an agreement or are court-ordered to use one. Some assets, like real estate and businesses, will require professionals to estimate their value to ensure marital property is divided equitably. Attorney fees will frequently be the bulk of divorce costs, especially if the parties are unable to create a divorce agreement that both will agree to.

Although the costs related to filing and finalizing a divorce are consequential, they are far from the only costs associated with a divorce. One party may be required to pay child support and/or alimony to the other party. If the divorcing parties share minor children, child custody and child support will need to be decided for the divorce judgment. Alimony will also be included in the final divorce judgment; the amount can be agreed on by the parties or set by the judge.

One major cost that some may not consider is the money required to set up a new home. Finding a new living space can be expensive, especially when you factor in furnishing that new home. Even if you retain possession of the family home, you will be responsible for replacing the property that was awarded to your spouse. Each partner will also be solely responsible for many bills that were previously shared.

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

Whether your divorce is uncontested or contested will greatly affect its total cost.

In an uncontested divorce, the parties can draft a divorce agreement that both will agree to. In these instances, common divorce factors are all resolved without disputes. These can include:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Property division matters
  • Finance division
  • Alimony

If the parties can agree on these divorce issues, they can avoid a trial and instead file for an uncontested divorce. This will greatly accelerate the divorce process. The judge will only need to review and approve the agreement to finalize the divorce.

Alternatively, the divorce becomes contested when the parties are unable to agree on important divorce decisions. If the spouses cannot agree on the terms, the divorce must progress to trial. Contested divorces will typically require multiple court dates to completely settle all the divorce matters. The judge will consider the information provided during the hearings. They will then make a final decision on the divorce agreement.

A contested divorce will cost significantly more than an uncontested divorce. The filing costs are the same for both types of divorce. However, a contested divorce‚Äôs total cost will greatly increase due to the extra court fees, mediation costs, and attorney’s fees.


Q: Can I Change My Name During My Divorce Proceedings?

A: It is common to change your name during a divorce. While anyone can petition a judge for a legal name change, the request can be made during a divorce petition. With the divorce section completed, the Application/Notice of Resumption of Former Name can be filed with the Clerk of Superior Court. This process does include restrictions on what your name can be changed to. The fee for this name change varies from county to county.

Q: What Will a Divorce Cost Me in North Carolina?

A: Although the filing fee for a divorce case in North Carolina is $225, the total cost of your divorce depends on many different factors. A divorce with increased complexity will cost more to finalize. Factors that will increase the complexity of your divorce include disagreements on

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Alimony
  • Property division

A divorce will cost less if you are able to agree on the conditions of your divorce.

Q: What Is the Difference Between an Uncontested and a Contested Divorce?

A: In an uncontested divorce, both parties can reach an agreement over child custody, property division, and other issues. Because the parties were able to agree on the divorce terms, the process is quicker, simpler, and cheaper than a contested divorce. A contested divorce occurs when the parties dispute over any issues that must be addressed before the divorce can be finalized. These disputed issues can include property division, child support, child custody, and alimony.

Q: Can You Get a Divorce in North Carolina Without Waiting a Year?

A: Many states allow spouses to file for divorce without a waiting period or separation prior to the divorce. However, North Carolina is not one of these states. According to North Carolina law, couples must have been separated for a year before they can get divorced. This separation is one of the requirements for a divorce and cannot be avoided.

Q: Can I Get Divorced Even If My Spouse Does Not Want the Divorce?

A: Per North Carolina laws, you can obtain a divorce even if one of the parties does not want it. As long as you meet the two requirements necessary to file, you can obtain a divorce. The parties must have been separated for a year. One of the spouses must also have been a resident of North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

Getting a Divorce in North Carolina

Understanding the nuance of North Carolina divorce law can be complicated. It can also be dangerous to get a divorce without consulting legal counsel, as the other party can use your inexperience to their advantage. Connecting with an experienced attorney, like those practicing at Parsons Law, PA, can help ensure you leave your marriage with the assets owed to you. Contact us today to discuss the divorce process and how we can help you through the end of your marriage.