One of the most common unforeseen costs of an uncontested divorce is paying $100 to $200 for a private process server to personally “serve” your spouse with the divorce Complaint. This can usually be avoided if your spouse signs an “Acceptance of Service” and “Waiver of Further Notice” before a Notary Public.
By signing the Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Further Notice form, the defendant spouse is essentially saying, “Yes, I have received a copy of the Complaint for Divorce, and I don’t need to be notified of any remaining proceedings.” This is because, typically, the parties have already signed a Settlement Agreement, which will get incorporated into the Final Order of Divorce.
The Settlement Agreement sets out all of the terms of the Divorce, and can include custody, support and property issues. It is basically a contract between the parties, that the Court will not usually change or modify; therefore, there is no need to be notified of the filing of the additional paperwork. Both parties can obtain certified copies of the Final Order of Divorce when the Judge signs it.
The second most common need for additional costs for an uncontested divorce is when the defendant spouse cannot be found at their last known address. The case then becomes a “Publication Case” in which the “notice” to the spouse is simply printed in a newspaper and run for 4 weeks. The cost is approximately $30 for this service.
Finally, if a client was to change his or her name, it can be done along with the divorce for a charge of $21.