A contested divorce is never a straightforward process.
Costs can vary greatly depending on the divorce’s complexity; however, you can take actions to reduce the expected cost of a Florida divorce.
Why are some divorces more expensive than others?
Every divorce is different and has its own variables, which can complicate the process. Here are some common reasons your divorce costs can be higher than expected.
- Complex Assets: Couples with significant assets, especially high net-worth divorce cases, face additional steps in the divorce process, including an in-depth look into any businesses, investments, and overseas holdings involved.
- Disputes over child custody: Child custody disputes can prolong the divorce process and result in additional court sessions – if the case goes that far. This results in increased legal and court fees.
- Term disagreements: When spouses cannot agree on terms, the divorce process is longer, leading to prolonged delays.
- Expert witnesses are involved: Some divorces require expert testimonies, which carry different fees on top of already existing legal fees.
- Your divorce lawyer may not be experienced: Top-tier divorce lawyers with a track record of success might have a higher hourly rate, but an experienced lawyer needs less time to close your case than an inexperienced lawyer who may need more billable hours to get the job done.
What is my spouse entitled to in a divorce in Florida?
Florida divorces follow the principle of “equitable distribution,” meaning that marital assets and debts should be divided fairly, though not necessarily equally.
Factors considered when distributing assets include:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- Contributions to the marriage
- Each party’s contribution to the acquisition of marital assets or marital debt
For more information, you can view our Divorce FAQs page or schedule a divorce consultation with Sara J. Singer.
How can I avoid a costly divorce?
There are actions you can take before and after starting the divorce process to reduce the legal fees you are expected to pay to finalize your divorce.
- Open Communication: Transparent and amicable discussions can resolve many issues without court intervention.
- Consider taking mediation seriously: Florida legally obligates you to try mediation. Choosing to take this process seriously can help you find a middle ground with your future ex-spouse, resulting in reduced legal fees when compared to a formal court case.
- Be Organized: Preparing all necessary documents and information can reduce the time your lawyer spends on your case, resulting in lower costs.
- Have a prenup or postnup: Getting a prenup before marriage or a postnup during your marriage can significantly speed up your divorce case resulting in a more cost-effective conclusion to your divorce.
- Choose the Right Lawyer: While you might be tempted to go for the cheapest option, ensure your lawyer is experienced, knowledgeable, and can guide you efficiently through the process. Cheaper lawyers can end up costing you more in the long run. You need a divorce lawyer with the ability to keep your goals and interests in mind throughout the entire divorce process – this is what sets an experienced lawyer apart from the rest.
We have a prenup. How do I apply it in my divorce?
Prenuptial agreements can streamline your divorce process, making it faster to finalize.
- Present the prenup early: Make sure your divorce lawyer is aware of the prenup during the initial consultation.
- Your prenup should have clear terms: The prenup should outline asset division, alimony, and other relevant matters clearly.
- Validation is required: For a prenup to be enforceable in Florida, it should have been signed voluntarily, and with full financial disclosure.
- No unfair provisions should be present: Florida courts may void prenups with grossly unfair terms.