At minimum and without a fee waiver, a legal separation in California costs a filing fee of $435 as of March 2015, notes Brown & Charbonneau, LLP. The fee is the same in all 58 counties, except Riverside, San Bernardino and San Francisco counties, according to California Courts.
Low-income petitioners who cannot afford to pay the court filing fee can request a fee waiver, explains California Courts. Recipients of public benefits such as food stamps or Medi-Cal qualify for a fee waiver. Additionally, petitioners with a household income below the maximum specified by the courts or who are determined by the court not to have adequate income for their household's basic needs as well as the court fee are eligible for a fee waiver.