Cost of Court is Rising in North Carolina

Jul 12, 2011

The cost of going to court in North Carolina has gone up as of July 1st.

There are some significant changes to the costs of family law cases in particular. 

The cost of filing a family law action is now $150.00. 

Whereas the extension of a Summons used to be free, it will now cost $15.00.

The additional fee for an absolute divorce will remain at $75.00.

In the past, filing a motion after the lawsuit was filed was free.  Now, there will be a $20.00 charge for every motion filed in an open family lawsuit.  There are exceptions for some child support enforcement actions and for motions to enforce or modify domestic violence protective orders.

However the biggest change is that now counterclaims (claims by a defendant against a plaintiff) and cross-claims (claims between two defendants) will cost the same ($150.00) as filing a complaint to begin a lawsuit in family court.  Filing counterclaims and cross-claims has historically been free in North Carolina. 

That means that filing a divorce action will cost $225.00.  And, if your spouse counters with claims for property division, financial support or child custody, it will cost them $150.00.  That’s $375.00 just to get into the courthouse!  

So, the cost of court is rising.  And, given the deep budget cuts in North Carolina, it seems obvious that the expense of resolving disputes in court will continue to rise.

The rising cost of court is yet another reason that resolving family law issues through collaborative divorce or mediation makes so much sense.  

Related posts

FAFSA, Student Aid, College Funding and Divorce

FAFSA, Student Aid, College Funding and Divorce

Paying for college is a common topic of conversation with my divorcing clients. Typically, if nothing else, divorcing parents can agree that they want their kids to go to college, and they want to financially support that in whatever way their situation allows.The...

Govern your separation agreement, or it will govern you.

Govern your separation agreement, or it will govern you.

No one knows what the future holds.  That includes (shockingly) attorneys, no matter what they tell you. That means that your divorce or family law negotiation will not cover everything that may come up in your life down the road.  Also, there is no perfect...

COVID Vaccination and Custody

COVID Vaccination and Custody

COVID has created issues for parents that we never imagined we'd have to face. The balance of being safe while not sacrificing too much of our children's lives is elusive and ephemeral. And, there are as many ways to strike that balance as there are children. These...