The Cheapest Way to Get Divorced in California in 2024 – LIFESTYLE BY PS icon

The Cheapest Way to Get Divorced in California in 2024

“You know why divorces are so expensive? They're worth it.”

Willie Nelson

Divorced in California in 2024

According to a comprehensive study conducted by The California Divorce Guide, the least expensive way to get a divorce in California is the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach. It involves filing the necessary documents yourself without the help of legal professionals. This approach leads to lower fees and costs. However, it is very important to have a thorough understanding of the legal process and requirements. This article provides an overview of the most favorable methods of cheap divorce in California.

Understanding the divorce process in California

The divorce process in California consists of several stages. First, one of the spouses must file a petition for divorce, stating the grounds. After that, the other spouse must respond. Then, both parties must provide their financial information to determine the division of assets and debts. If they agree to the terms, a settlement can be reached through negotiation or mediation. Otherwise, issues such as child custody, visitation, and support will be decided by the court. The cheapest way is an uncontested divorce, where the spouses agree on all issues and can avoid lengthy court proceedings. This can be achieved by using self-help or an online service or even by preparing the necessary documents yourself. It is advisable to consult a lawyer to comply with all legal requirements.  

Exploring different options for divorce in California

The cheapest way to get a divorce in California is to dissolve the marriage yourself. This option involves conducting the entire process without the involvement of a lawyer. To initiate a self-directed divorce, you must correctly complete and submit all the necessary legal documents. This usually includes forms such as a petition and a divorce decree. In addition, you need to serve these documents to the other party and follow all the prescribed legal procedures.

Although an uncontested divorce will be the cheapest option, it is important to consider the complexity of this situation. If you and your spouse have significant assets, children, or disputes over financial matters, you may need to seek legal advice from an attorney. Although this will increase the budget, it will ensure a more accurate and smooth divorce process. Therefore, it is important to evaluate your situation and seek legal advice if necessary.

Divorce options in California

Uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce in California is the cheapest way to end a marriage if the parties agree on all important issues and can make decisions together without the involvement of the court. This involves filling out and submitting the necessary forms to the court, including an application for divorce. After submitting the forms, the spouse requesting the divorce must provide the other party with the necessary documents. If the recipient responds within 30 days, the spouses can sign a written agreement that addresses issues such as child custody, alimony, and property division and submit it to the court. Once the agreement is signed by both parties, it can be submitted to the court for approval, finalizing the divorce. In this case, a court hearing is not required. Keep in mind that filing fees and other costs may vary, but they are relatively low in an uncontested divorce. It is very important to consult a legal professional for guidance on your situation, as laws and procedures may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.


Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps couples reach a mutual agreement on divorce and resolve important issues such as property division, child custody, and financial support. In California, it is an inexpensive way to end a marriage. 

By choosing mediation, couples can avoid the high costs associated with hiring attorneys to represent them. The mediator is not an advocate for either party but rather serves as a counselor to help resolve issues amicably. This approach allows the spouses to have more control over the outcome of the divorce rather than leaving the decision in the hands of the judge.

Although mediation is a cost-effective option, it may not be appropriate for all cases, especially if there are cases of abuse, psychological violence, or inability to communicate effectively. It is recommended that you consult a family law attorney to ensure that mediation is the right choice for your particular circumstances.

Divorced in California in 2024

Joint divorce

Collaborative divorce is considered the cheapest way to get a divorce in California. It involves both parties working together with the support of their lawyers to reach a settlement agreement without going to court. This approach is aimed at reducing conflict and encouraging open communication.

In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their lawyers sign an agreement that sets out their commitment to resolve problems through cooperation. They attend meetings to discuss their problems and interests, working to find mutually acceptable solutions. This process allows for better control over the outcome and avoids the unpredictable nature of a court decision.

Compared to a conventional divorce, a joint divorce usually requires fewer legal procedures, which will reduce attorneys' fees. In addition, the focus on cooperation promotes efficiency by reducing the overall time required to reach a resolution.

However, it is important that both parties are willing to cooperate. If one or both spouses decide to stop working together and go to court, they will have to hire new lawyers, which will increase their costs. While the collaborative divorce approach may not be suitable for every couple, it is a cost-effective alternative for those seeking a peaceful and efficient divorce.

Online divorce services on the Internet

Online divorce services in California offer a convenient and cost-effective option for couples seeking to dissolve their marriage. This method allows you to handle the divorce process without hiring expensive attorneys or visiting courtrooms. These services provide the documents and instructions needed to complete the divorce procedure. By using online services, couples save time and money. The process usually involves filling out online questionnaires, preparing a divorce petition, collecting financial information, and preparing a settlement agreement. 

Once these documents are prepared, experts review them for accuracy and compliance with California divorce laws. After this review, the completed documents are delivered electronically or by mail for the parties to sign. Online divorce services often include additional features, such as online customer support and assistance with filing documents with the court. This eliminates the need for multiple court visits, making the process more convenient.

It is important to note that online divorce services may not be suitable for complex divorce cases involving significant assets or child custody disputes. In such cases, it is advisable to seek legal advice. However, for couples seeking a simple, amicable divorce, online services are a cost-effective solution.

Factors affecting the cost of a divorce in California

Several factors affect the cost of a divorce in California. First, the complexity of your case can greatly affect the cost. If you and your spouse agree on various aspects, such as child custody and property division, the costs are usually lower. However, if conflicts arise and legal professionals need to mediate or handle these issues, the costs increase significantly. In addition, attorneys' fees play a crucial role, as different lawyers charge different hourly rates. Legal documents also have an impact on the divorce budget. Finally, court fees and the costs associated with serving the documents on your spouse add to the overall costs. The cheapest way to get a divorce in California is through an uncontested divorce, where both parties reach an agreement on all important issues, avoiding the need for court intervention and reducing overall costs.

Tips for minimizing the cost of a divorce in California

To minimize the cost of a California divorce, you should follow a few tips. Resolve any disagreements with your spouse through open communication and negotiation rather than relying on costly litigation. Consider mediation or a collaborative divorce, which can be less expensive than a traditional court case. To avoid additional costs, it is important to collect and organize all necessary financial documents in advance. Be proactive in your paperwork and respond to requests from your lawyer or the court. Avoid unnecessary court appearances and focus on reaching a settlement. Finally, hiring an experienced and affordable attorney who specializes in family law will help you manage the process more efficiently and cost-effectively. 

To summarize, divorce in California can be financially draining, but by choosing to go it alone or together and using online resources, you will save a significant amount of money. In addition, mediation instead of hiring lawyers can speed up the process while minimizing costs. Remember, divorce doesn't have to be a burden on your bank account - use these cost-cutting strategies to help you keep your expenses down.