When approaching a divorce, one of the most unsettling topics is how much the process may cost. Unfortunately, there is no direct number that any lawyer can give you. The cost of every divorce depends on many different factors, and the avenues of resolution implemented by the parties. In Florida, a divorce can cost anywhere between $1500 and $100,0000. With such a large range, it may be important to narrow down some items that may lower the cost of your overall bill. Through a consultation with a Florida Divorce Attorney, they will be able to evaluate your case in more depth and explain the areas that may need more time, focus, and money and some cost-effective ways to conclude your divorce.
The divorces where the parties will see lower overall costs are those were the parties are agreeable on all the issues and are able to cooperatively come to a settlement together. This type of divorce where the parties are able to remove themselves from the court’s intervention in their personal affairs, is known as an uncontested divorce. Of course, you will still need to file paperwork with the court notifying them of your intention to dissolve your marriage, however, there will be no need for litigation or negotiation, if you and your partner have already resolved the issues among yourselves. Rather, your attorney will be able to ensure a legally enforceable Marital Settlement Agreement is drafted covering the necessary assets and liabilities as well as a parenting plan and child support, if minor children are involved. This agreement will be filed with the petition, and required documents proving citizenship, marriage, etc. and the case can be concluded rather quickly and cost effectively. Being able to settle and compromise between yourselves, and your lawyers will save you a great deal of time and money. Your Florida Divorce Attorney will ensure every point is covered and your assets and rights are protected during this process and more specifically in your divorce settlement.
However, if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement, like the vast majority of divorce cases, you will need to proceed through a contested divorce process. A contested divorce tends to require a great deal of monetary support in comparison to their uncontested counterparts. This is due to the complexity of issues many couples have trouble agreeing to. For instance, the issue of distribution of assets in debts in a fair manner, child custody, child support and timesharing can become emotional rather than effective, and the topic of alimony can become a contentious and commonly litigated topic. Rather than spending money on litigation before the court, you may want to attempt to save money through alternative dispute methods first. For instance, some couples implement the art of negotiation or mediation prior to a court proceeding. Negotiation can be informal and simply occur between your respective attorneys and have no third party involvement. However, if a third party neutral is needed you may look to a mediator to aid in a resolution. Many couples find mediation to be a cost effective option as the third party is employed to encourage the parties to look at the big picture and cooperatively work together to find solutions. However, it is imperative to go into these situations with an open mind. Without a cooperative spirit, you will find yourself in court paying higher lawyer bills, expert witness testimony, and deposition costs.
When a case goes to trial, the court cost will quickly begin to increase. There will be an increase in the bills coming in from your lawyer, as they spend more hours methodically preparing for direct and cross examination of witnesses, reviewing evidence, and there will be need for depositions of all witnesses and experts that will result in costs you will have to bear. Further, the length of the trial may cause a great deal of expense as you are paying your experts and lawyers to be there during the trial’s entirety. It is important to discuss these extra costs that you may have to bear prior to entering into a highly litigious case. Weigh the factors with your Florida Attorney and together formulate a plan that best suits your financial needs.
Employ the aid of an experienced Florida Divorce Attorney. We strive to complete your case in a cost efficient manner that still protects your rights and the relationship between you and your spouse.
Speaking to an attorney at our Florida office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5221 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.