Cost of Divorce in Florida
- Average price of divorce in Florida
- Key facts about cost
- Uncontested vs. contested divorce
- How to save money
Getting divorced? If so, you likely understand the divorce process takes a financial toll as well as an emotional one. Understanding the costs involved in divorce helps you prepare for what lies ahead.
What’s the average price for a Florida divorce?
The cost of a Florida divorce hinges on your personal circumstances. We'll get into the specifics in a moment, but a divorce in Florida can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Key facts about the cost of divorce in Florida
Here are several factors that impact cost and divorce complexity:
- How much property or debt you have
- Whether you have minor children
- Whether either person wants alimony or child support
- Whether you agree on debt and property division
Uncontested divorce vs. contested divorce
The nature of a couple's relationship can greatly impact the cost of a divorce in Florida. This is especially true when you consider whether they’re pursuing an uncontested or contested divorce case.
Cost of uncontested divorce in Florida
An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree on all issues related to the divorce settlement. This includes how they will structure their property division, debt division, child custody and visitation, spousal support, and child support.
In other words, in an uncontested divorce, there are no disputes that need to be resolved through negotiation or court.
This type of divorce is typically quicker and less costly because lengthy court proceedings aren’t required. The average cost of an uncontested divorce in Florida can range from under $500 up to $5,000, including filing fees and attorney fees, if you choose to retain one.
Let's consider an example: A couple with no children and few shared assets mutually decide to part ways. They agree on how to divide their assets (like splitting their savings account equally) and have no disagreements over any financial issues. This kind of scenario often leads to an uncontested divorce.
Cost of contested divorce in Florida
A contested divorce is one where the divorcing parties cannot agree on one or more issues related to their settlement. Their inability to compromise leads to the need for negotiation or even a trial.
The contested divorce process is typically more time-consuming and expensive due to the increased legal work and court involvement.
Common issues that can lead to a divorce being contested include:
- Disagreements over child custody and visitation rights
- Disputes over how to divide marital property and debts
- Disputes over the amount and duration of alimony
- Disagreements over child support amount
Filing fees and lawyer costs
How much is the divorce filing fee in Florida?
The filing fee for a divorce in Florida is an important part of the overall cost. As of 2023, the filing fee for initiating a divorce proceeding in Florida is about $410. This money is paid directly to the court when you file the paperwork.
Notably, this fee can vary slightly by county. It's also notable that there may be additional minor costs associated with the process, such as fees for serving documents or attending mandatory parenting classes, if applicable.
Depending on your income level, you may qualify for a partial or full waiver of this fee. When you file your paperwork with the clerk, ask about fee waivers that may be available to you.
If you have a professional process server deliver divorce papers to your spouse, this will be an additional cost.
How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Florida?
The cost of a divorce lawyer in Florida depends on the complexity of your case, the lawyer's level of experience, and the specific services required.
The average hourly rate for a divorce lawyer in Florida is between $260 and $330. Some highly experienced lawyers may charge more. You're likely to encounter higher prices in areas such as Collier, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Orange counties.
Keep in mind that the aforementioned figure range reflects the divorce attorney’s hourly rate. The total cost can add up quickly if your case involves complex issues or becomes contested. On average, the total cost for a divorce lawyer in Florida can range from $11,000 to $14,000.
It's also important to note that some lawyers may offer a flat fee for an uncontested divorce, which can range from $495 to $795, depending on whether children are involved. Usually, flat fee divorces are only available in divorces without minor children.
How can I save money on divorce?
Several strategies can help couples save money. Here's a detailed look at some of them.
An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all terms of their divorce, including division of assets and debts, child custody, and spousal support.
This type of divorce is typically less expensive because it involves fewer court appearances and less legal work.
To work toward an uncontested divorce, open communication is key. Spouses should be willing to discuss and compromise on the various aspects of their divorce. Using clear, open dialogue to reach mutual agreements can drastically reduce costs.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
In Florida, there is a type of uncontested divorce designed for couples with no minor children and few assets called “simplified dissolution of marriage.” It's quicker and cheaper than a regular divorce, as it requires less paperwork and, typically, no court appearance.
Both parties must agree to the division of all property and debts, and neither party may seek alimony. To proceed, couples fill out a "Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage" form and submit it to their local county court.
Divorce mediation is another cost-saving strategy for couples seeking a low-cost divorce. A neutral third party (the mediator) helps the couple negotiate and resolve issues pertaining to their marital settlement, such as who gets to keep the family home.
The mediator doesn't make decisions for the couple. Instead, they facilitate discussions and propose solutions. Their goal is to help the couple reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. Mediation is often cheaper than a fully litigated divorce, as it avoids lengthy court battles.
In a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires their own attorney. Instead of opposing each other in court, however, everyone works together to negotiate a settlement.
The collaborative process may also involve other professionals, such as child custody specialists and financial advisors. This approach can be more cost-effective than traditional divorce litigation, particularly for complex cases, because it aims to solve problems collectively and avoid court proceedings.
In addition to these methods, being organized and honest can also help reduce costs. Organized records and full transparency about assets and debts can make the process smoother and faster. Also, using lawyers wisely and focusing their time on legal advice rather than emotional support can keep costs down.
Try a DIY divorce in Florida
The mission of Hello Divorce is to make divorce affordable and accessible to anyone who wants a fresh start. We offer flat-rate online Florida divorce plans that can help you whether you want to do it yourself (we give you the forms and direct you where to file) or require extensive help from a mediator and lawyer.
Read about our Florida divorce plans here.