Cost of a Divorce
Palm Beach Divorce Attorney
Divorce can often be expensive. In Florida, a divorce generally costs anywhere between $4,000 and $30,000. It is difficult to predict how much a divorce will cost because the expense depends on several factors, including whether there are minor children involved, the amount of property to be distributed, and each spouse’s willingness to communicate and compromise with a minimum of contention. If you are considering a divorce, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to help you through the process and promote your interests.
Court and Filing Fees
The first step in a divorce is to file for dissolution, which means paying a filing fee to the court. Other fees will also be imposed during the course of the divorce process, including fees to file documents or court fees.
If one spouse is uncooperative in resolving the points of dispute in the divorce, the other spouse may incur fees to file contempt charges or to modify court orders, increasing the cost of the divorce. Additionally, a divorcing spouse must pay a process server to serve the summons and other important documents on the spouse.
The total expense of attorney’s fees varies widely, and changes depending on the lawyer’s experience, specialization, location, and reputation. Generally, most family law attorneys charge an hourly rate, so more time the attorney spends on the divorce, the more money he or she will charge.
In a contentious divorce, the attorney must spend more time working on the case, negotiating with the other spouse and litigating in court. If the spouses cannot reach a compromise, they will have to spend more time in court. Preparing for litigation is time-consuming and thus expensive, and also means incurring additional court fees.
Sometimes in a divorce, the spouses will need to hire experts. Experts can value property, such as a home or business, to be divided between the spouses. An expert may also be required in divorces involving custody disputes, to help to determine the best interests of the child. Experts charge fees, and the more complex issues will result in higher bills.
Keeping Costs Down
The best way to control costs in a Florida divorce is to be amicable and willing to compromise. The more the spouses can agree with each other, the less time they will have to spend with lawyers and in court. So try to compromise rather than taking every dispute to court. Negotiations and compromise outside of court mean lower attorney’s fees and court costs, and mean that the spouses can control the outcome of the divorce.
An uncontested divorce is faster and cheaper than a traditional divorce because it streamlines the divorce process. To obtain an uncontested divorce in Florida, a couple must meet certain strict requirements. There must be no children involved, the spouses must agree on asset division, and there must be no requests for alimony.
Alternative dispute resolution methods are another way to keep costs down. In mediation and arbitration, a neutral third party works with the spouses and acts similarly to a judge, resolving disputes. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses work with a facilitator to reach a compromise. These third-party professionals must all be paid, but the cost of paying them is much less than settling disputes in court.
If you are considering a divorce in Florida, an attorney can help you protect your rights and work with your spouse to keep the divorce as speedy and uncontentious as possible. Please contact West Palm Beach family law attorney William Wallshein for a consultation.