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Expenses, Steps and Duration of a Divorce in the Dominican Republic

Updated: Jun 12

Key Questions: How much is a Divorce in Dominican Republic. Costs of a Divorce in Dominican Republic. How long does a divorce take in Dominican Republic. How to get a divorce in Dominican Republic

When it comes to divorces in the Dominican Republic, there are different factors affecting costs and duration. The party initiating the divorce and the type of divorce determine the time it takes. For example, if the husband files for divorce, it generally takes longer compared to when the wife requests it.

While we can provide cost estimates for different types of divorces, it's important to note that these figures can vary significantly. The specific process, attorney fees, and other elements can all impact the overall expenses.

Cost and Duration of a Divorce in Dominican Republic

I. Costs and expenses of a Non-Contested Divorce

For a Non-Contested Divorce, several steps are involved. These include obtaining marriage and children's birth certificates, drafting and registering the Act of Conventions and Stipulations, designating the trial chamber, requesting a hearing, and more. Additionally, expenses associated with the court filing, civil registry office, vital records office, service of notices, notaries, translations, international shipments, authentication of foreign documents, and publication of the divorce decree, to name a few.

The estimated cost for a Non-Contested Divorce or by Mutual Consent in the Dominican Republic can be placed around US$1,500.

This includes taxes and professional fees, but exclude costs that are paid to additional services provided by third parties and that will be highly dependent on the client's circumstances, i.e. country of residency and the official language in the home country. It's essential to understand that this amount is only an estimate. The actual cost will depend on the unique circumstances of each case and the fees charged by the lawyer.

II. Costs and expenses of Divorce Proceedings on Specific Grounds

When the divorce is not based on a mutual consent of the parties, divorce laws in the Dominican Republic provide for a list of specific grounds or causes to admit a contested divorce filing. These include:

1. Irreconcilable differences

2. Adultery

3. Absence of one of the parties, as declared by the court

4. Conviction of a criminal offense by one of the spouses

5. Cruelty or physical abuse inflicted upon one of the parties by the other

6. Abandonment by one of the spouses

7. Drug or alcohol abuse

The estimated cost for this type of divorce is approximately US$1,800.00.

The process generally entails completing the following steps:

  1. Retrieving the marriage certificate

  2. Requesting the children's birth certificate (for minor children at the time of filing)

  3. Authenticating any official document if issued by a foreign government

  4. Drafting, notarizing, and authenticating a special power of attorney

  5. Drafting and filing a Divorce petition with the Court

  6. Scheduling a courtroom and a hearing date

  7. Attending one or more scheduled hearings (total number of hearings will depend in each case on the motions filed by parties, on court orders, and/or any other procedural events during the proceedings)

  8. Drafting and presenting procedural motions

  9. Obtaining and retrieving an original duplicate of the divorce decree

  10. Notifying the dissolution of marriage decree to the other party

  11. Requesting a Certificate of Non-Appeal in the absence of any appeal by the parties

  12. Registering the judgment decree and updating the parties’ vital records registry entries (for couples who are residents or citizens of the Dominican Republic

  13. Publishing the divorce decree in a national newspaper

  14. Makings payments for various taxes as requested by the corresponding Court, including those related to the Attorney General of the Republic, Civil Registry Office, Vital Records Office or Central Electoral Board, among others.

These steps may involve additional expenses beyond what is listed here.

III. Costs and expenses of a Special Procedure Divorce, Quick Divorce or Express Divorce (Colloquially called “Al Vapor”)

The following are the steps involved in this type of divorce:

  1. Drafting a power of attorney, one for the party who will be absent at the divorce hearing and one for the party who will be in attendance in the Dominican Republic.

  2. Drafting of the separation agreement relating the distribution of the property, custody of the children and child support, alimony, etc.

  3. Translating and incorporating by reference any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement previously executed by the parties abroad into the separation agreement.

  4. Signing the separation agreement and powers of attorney before either a local Notary or a Consul of the Dominican Republic closest to the jurisdiction of residence of the parties.

  5. Submission of the required personal documents, i.e. marriage certificate, birth certificates of underage children at the time of the filing, passports, etc.

  6. Translation and authentication of all personal and supporting documents that are not in Spanish, which is the official language of the Dominican Republic, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates of underage children, divorce decrees dissolving previous marriages, affidavits of single status, etc.

  7. Payment of US$400 in Dominican Currency.

  8. Scheduling a courtroom and a court hearing.

  9. Retrieval of the divorce decree and completion of any other necessary proceedings.

The estimated cost of a Quick Divorce in the Dominican Republic is approximately US$2,200.00.

In some instances, like with this firm Arciniegas Abogados, there are lawyers in the Dominican Republic who provide additional and customized services such as:

  1. Concierge services, including booking accommodations close to the court, taxi services, personal interpreting services, delivery and collection of documents on behalf of the client.

  2. Providing 24/7 emergency support in English or in clients' native language where clients can contact the lawyer during their entire stay in the Dominican Republic in case of emergency or for seeking advice, i.e. accidents, robberies, directions in the city, etc.

  3. Producing legal documents to be used in the parties' home country in court proceedings for enforcing the Dominican divorce decree.

  4. Providing support to law firms and attorneys retained by former clients in their jurisdiction of residence abroad where the Dominican divorce decree is challenged or contested by the other party.

What is the typical length of a divorce in the Dominican Republic?

The duration of each divorce proceeding can vary based on several factors. However, here are some estimated time frames that can serve as a general reference:

• Divorce by Mutual Consent or Uncontested: Usually it takes 3 to 4 months to finalize. Additional time can be expected if the court of record is experiencing a heavy workload at the time of the filing.

• Divorce on Specific Grounds: If initiated by either party and based on legally established grounds, the process might take up to 14 months year.

• Quick Divorce Proceedings: Typically completed within approximately 7 business days.


If you are considering filing a divorce petition in the Dominican Republic and have questions about moving forward get in touch with our team of divorce lawyers at Arciniegas Abogados. Call us today at 888-537-3379 (toll-free for U.S. and Canada) or 809-549-3031 for a confidential consultation. Alternatively, you can reach us online through our contact section. Based in Santo Domingo, we serve international clients in matters all across the Dominican Republic, including Punta Cana, La Romana, Puerto Plata, and Samana.


The blogs posted by Arciniegas Abogados, Attorneys at Law are intended solely for informational purposes and should not be regarded as legal advice on any subject. It is important to note that reading these blogs does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the blog publisher. Instead of relying on the blogs as a substitute for legal advice, it is highly recommended that readers seek the guidance of a licensed attorney to address their specific legal questions or concerns in any given situation.


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