The sunshine state! Famous for beautiful beaches, awesome golf courses and Disney World. You might know your way around this funky state, but are completely unsure about how to get an affordable divorce in Florida!? Keep reading for tips on how to get an inexpensive divorce dissolution in Florida.
It’s quite easy to get a divorce in the state of Florida, the quickest that you will be able to get a divorce is within 20 days. The best way to get an affordable divorce in Florida is to use an online divorce company. Online divorce companies are much cheaper than going the traditional route. If you use an online divorce company, you also do not need to hire an attorney. Attorneys can charge an insane amount of money per hour. Whereas if you use an online divorce company, legal advice could be included in the price, depending on which online divorce company you choose to use. If you do decide to get an online divorce, you won’t even have to set foot in court. Online divorce companies also usually charge a flat rate. This rate normally includes all documentation, as well as filing your divorce papers. Some online companies charge as little as $200 and guarantee that your paperwork can be done within 30 minutes.
You can also get your paperwork online in Florida, it might be tricky filing the paperwork out. If you are struggling, you could use the help of a lawyer or a paralegal. Paralegals fees are also less than a lawyer. Make sure that your paperwork has been filled out correctly because once you have handed your paperwork it, it will be really hard to alter your documentation. This could also draw out the divorce process. Forms cost about $65. Once your paperwork is done you will need to pay a filing fee. The cost of the filing fee at the moment is $408. This amount can change.
Go here to learn more about getting an online divorce in Florida.
In Florida, you have the option for a simplified dissolution of your marriage. This is a great option if you do not have children under the age of 18, or if you do not have any children dependent on you. You can also apply for this option if your spouse is not pregnant. Most courts do not finalise a divorce until after a child has been born; this is to finalise any terms concerning your child. If this is the case, and there are no complications with your divorce, you could get your divorce finalized within 30 days. This would also be much cheaper. This option can be used if you and your spouse agree to all the terms of your divorce and if your divorce is uncontested. In a simplified dissolution, at least one of the parties would need to be a resident of Florida for at least 6 months. Also in a simplified dissolution, couples exchange financial affidavits and agree to not incur additional discovery concerning one another’s finances. Couples also agree that there will be no alimony and they also waive their right to a trial or an appeal. Couples would also divide all their assets equally. Once this has occurred, the couple will have to attend a final hearing and if the judge is happy with all the conditions, he will be able to sign the final divorce decree.
If you also decide to have an uncontested divorce this will be much cheaper than a contested divorce. The average divorce costs about $13 500 in Florida. In a contested divorce, lawyers charge per hour and this could be anything from $450 to $795. If you can, do everything possible to have an uncontested divorce. This will save you so much money, as well as time. Work together with your spouse to come to some sort of an agreement. If you do have to use an attorney though, make sure to write out every single question you have. If you are prepared and know exactly what you want to ask, then you will save the amount of time needed with your attorney. You could also compare attorney fees, and see which attorney has the most reasonable fees. Ask your attorney for a break down of their fee structure. This will show you exactly where your money will be going. You could also ask if they charge for sending emails and if they charge travel time. It is really important to never sign a blank cheque with your attorney. This could easily make your divorce add up to a ridiculous amount of money.
Another thing to remember is that if you do decide to use a lawyer, limit your time with them. Don’t use your lawyer as a psychologist. Lawyers are trained to help you with legal issues, not emotional problems. Lawyers don’t have to know all the ins and outs of your marriage. Rather use a qualified psychologist, to help you deal with your emotions.
Another way to have an affordable divorce in the state of Florida is to not litigate! Litigation is incredibly expensive. Do whatever you can to work things out with your spouse, so that you do not have to go to trial. Don’t try spite your spouse by thinking taking them to trial will be the best way forward. Going to trial is emotionally taxing and financially draining.
Rather than going to trial, find a mediator. Mediation is far cheaper than going to trial. Mediation can cost between $70 and $400 per hour depending on the dispute. A mediator will help you and your spouse come to an agreement on the terms of your divorce. Even if you decide you want a simplified dissolution, but you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement, you can still use a mediator. A mediator will write down your agreement in writing, you can then file for a simplified dissolution. Once this has been done, you can then finalise your divorce and proceed to your final hearing.
Another option is that if you have to go to the court because you can’t agree at all, some lawyers offer unbundled legal services. In this case, a lawyer will have limited appearance and access to the case. They will only help on the issues that really need a lawyer. In this case, you will only have to pay for the times where you use your lawyer. Your lawyer will represent some but not issues. This is a fantastic option for the spouse who can’t afford to pay for legal representation throughout the entire trial. The lawyer will only help with the most difficult issues. Limited representation is far cheaper but it is also not free. The best thing would still be to handle your disagreements outside of court if possible.
An important factor to remember is to not hide what assets you have. If the court finds out that you have lied, you can be severely fined. This will increase the cost of your divorce. If you’re looking for an affordable divorce, remember to be honest.
These are just a few tips to have an affordable divorce in Florida. Divorce can be heartbreaking, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Rather save what you can, it’s better to come to an agreement with your spouse, going to court is stressful. If you can, use an online company, try not to use a lawyer and most importantly do not litigate! It is possible to have an affordable divorce in Florida!