How to Get a Divorce Filing Fee Waived

As you may have noticed, little in life is free these days. Most things come with a cost. Divorce is no exception. If you think you can’t afford to get divorced, you aren’t alone. 

However, for those who want to divorce but are intimidated by the cost, there’s a glimmer of hope. Not only can you file for divorce online with a low-cost platform like Hello Divorce, but in some cases, you can also fill out a form asking the judge to waive the filing fee for your divorce petition.

For those facing financial hardship, the $100 to $400 saved on a divorce filing fee can go toward important things like groceries, childcare, or rent. This is good news. Read on to learn more.

Fill out your petition and the paperwork requesting a waiver

If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee, you can submit a motion to waive the fee along with your petition.

Motion to waive the filing fee

The paperwork required for this task varies by state. In some states, you fill out a short form of just one or two pages. The form requires basic financial information about your income and expenses. It may also request information about your lawyer, if you have one.

In other states, the form is a few pages longer and delves into deeper detail. For example, you may be required to provide information about loans and other debts, donations you have made, your business interests, and your bank accounts.

Click these links to learn about fee waivers in your state.

Note: If you have purchased a Pro, Plus or Mediation plan, we will file your motion to waive the filing fee along with your petition.

What if my fee waiver request is denied?

The court may reject your request for a fee waiver. If this happens, first check to make sure you filled out your forms accurately and completely.

If you filled out your forms without error and it appears the court deemed you ineligible for a fee waiver, you may still have options. 

Depending on your situation and state, you may have a chance to supply more information either through document submission, a hearing, or both. For example, if your request is denied in California, you can click here to find out other options.

In some states, however, if your request for a waiver is denied, you have no other option but to pay the fee. If this happens, consider asking the court about a payment plan.

Hello Divorce's cheapest divorce plans

If you are a Hello Divorce client, you can complete the online interview at this link to have the required forms generated for you. And remember, a paid Hello Divorce membership does not have to cost a lot. Our cheapest online divorce plan costs just $400, and the average amount paid for a divorce through our platform is just $1,500  – far less than the California average of $27,000 per person.


Senior Editor
Communication, Relationships, Divorce Insights
Melissa Schmitz is Senior Editor at Hello Divorce, and her greatest delight is to help make others’ lives easier – especially when they’re in the middle of a stressful life transition like divorce. After 15 years as a full-time school music teacher, she traded in her piano for a laptop and has been happily writing and editing content for the last decade. She earned her Bachelor of Psychology degree from Alma College and her teaching certificate from Michigan State University. She still plays and sings for fun at farmer’s markets, retirement homes, and the occasional bar with her local Michigan band.