If you need to file for divorce, you might be concerned about the cost. You might assume that hiring a divorce lawyer may be too expensive. However, you need sound legal advice regarding divorce laws in Florida and your options for protecting yourself and your children during and after the divorce.
Is there a way to find cheap divorce lawyers who are also experienced, knowledgeable family law attorneys?
Look for an Orlando Flat Fee Divorce Lawyer
Many divorce lawyers charge by the hour for their services. The more time the attorney spends on your case, the higher the attorney’s fees. However, some lawyers offer flat-fee divorce services.
With a flat fee divorce, you know the cost of the attorney’s fees before hiring. The flat rate covers a specific number of hours or specific services. As long as your divorce case remains within the bounds of the flat fee agreement, you are only charged the flat rate for a divorce.
Spouses who have worked out the details of their divorce and only need an attorney to ensure the forms are completed correctly and filed with the court benefit from a flat fee divorce. Flat fee divorces are designed for uncontested divorce cases.
Spouses may consider filing a Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage to save money. This method of obtaining a divorce without a lawyer might work for some couples. However, couples must meet specific requirements to use this method of petitioning for a divorce in Florida.
Requirements for a simplified divorce include:
The couple does not have minor or dependent children together, and the wife is not currently pregnant.
The couple agrees that the marriage cannot be saved.
The spouses have an agreement for dividing marital property.
Neither spouse is seeking spousal support.
The couple has an agreement on who is responsible for paying marital debts.
Both spouses agree to go to the clerk’s office to sign the petition and appear at a final hearing.
Both spouses agree to give up the right to a trial or an appeal.
If any of the above requirements are not met, the couple cannot obtain a divorce through the simplified divorce process.
Reasons You Might Need To Hire a Divorce Lawyer
Many issues can arise during the divorce process that complicates matters. Spouses may initially agree on divorce terms, but decide they are not happy with the agreement when the agreement is put into writing.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on divorce terms, you need to consult with a divorce lawyer. Having an attorney represent you during the divorce ensures that your best interests and the best interests of your children are protected.
A divorce can have a significant impact on your finances, including your retirement plans. Couples with a high net worth benefit from hiring a divorce lawyer to fight for their fair share of marital assets and protect their right to keep separate assets.
Fighting over custody, parental responsibility, and time-sharing agreements can be extremely emotional. Florida prefers that parents work out agreements for time-sharing and parental responsibility that give children frequent access to both parents. However, if parents cannot work out an agreement, a judge makes the decision that the court feels is in the child’s best interest.
Divorce lawyers work with their clients to negotiate custody agreements that benefit the entire family. An attorney can advise a parent on parental rights and the best way to handle a psychological custody evaluation.
How To Reduce the Cost of Hiring a Divorce Attorney in Florida
If you are concerned with the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer, there are ways you can reduce attorney fees for a divorce proceeding. You and your spouse can agree to work together to resolve issues quickly, without the need for extensive negotiations and a lengthy court battle.
Contested divorces are much more costly than uncontested divorces. The more you argue with your spouse about the terms of your divorce, the more money you spend on attorney fees. If you cannot agree to all terms, remaining open to compromise is another way to reduce attorney fees for a divorce.
Talk to your lawyer about the most important issues in your divorce. Pick your battles carefully. Make decisions about what issues you’re willing to concede and what issues you would prefer to litigate.
Organize your financial records for your attorney, providing as much documentation as possible in an organized, efficient manner. Your lawyer will not need to spend time searching for, requesting, or organizing documents.
The Bottom Line
The decisions made during a divorce can have lifelong consequences, and a divorce can be costly when spouses cannot agree on the terms. However, working with an experienced divorce attorney protects your best interests.