The “divorce in Florida” cost is not a stagnant number. Each South Florida divorce involves different issues, complexities and factors than other cases. When consulting with a lawyer regarding the cost of divorce in Florida, a lawyer may explain that the following factors can affect the cost:
Agreement of the Issues
A primary indicator of how expensive a divorce will be is whether the parties agree on the core issues of the divorce or not. Some parties are immediately amicable and simply want a fast and simple divorce. Others may initially disagree on some issues but come to an agreement at a later point after using lawyer negotiations or the process of divorce or family mediation.
When spouses litigate their issues because they are not able to agree on them, attorney’s fees tend to increase. Most attorneys charge on an hourly basis; some use a flat fee. However, when a flat fee is offered, this is usually based on an estimate of how much time the lawyer will have to put into the case. When litigation is involved, the amount of time to properly prepare the case increases exponentially, causing legal fees to also increase. Litigation involves discovery, procurement of certain evidence, preparation with the client and any witnesses, court briefs and court appearances. Even if the parties can agree on some issues, this can help reduce some of the fees associated with the case.
One of the contentious aspects of divorce revolves around the couple’s assets. If the couple does not agree on the value of certain assets, the identity as marital property or the fair way to split such assets, additional expenses may be incurred.
Although these factors can affect the cost of getting a divorce in Florida, it is important that clients understand how they will be charged for legal services. Clients should request a written agreement regarding costs and ask what other factors may affect the estimate.