Common Divorce Questions and Answers:
Q: How much is the filing fee?
A: Every court in Florida charges the same: $408 . There is also a cost for the process server.
Q: Do I need an attorney?
A: The short answer is NO. You have the right to be your own attorney. But divorce filings are a complex procedure. You can file your own divorce and see it to the end successfully. But there are may issues you will never be aware of. Divorce mistakes are costly and can be hard to reverse after final judgment. Get a divorce attorney if you can afford one. The cost is worth it in the long run.
Q: How long does it take to file the divorce papers?
A: If you use an attorney, a lot of the initial delay depends on how fast you gather the required information – required for drafting the divorce papers. In general, from the time we take in a client to the time we serve the spouse is approximately 10 days.
Q: I recently moved here. Can I file for divorce in Florida ?
A: You can file for divorce in Florida after living here, and becoming a permanent resident for six months prior to the filing.
Q: Do I have to file in the county where I was married?
A: No. The only thing that matters for divorce filings is where you last resided as husband and wife or where you currently reside
Q: My spouse does not want to pay child support. How does this work?
A: You can almost count on some type of child support due from one parent to another. Florida divorce law is really “big” on the issue of child support. A lot of people tend to want rotating custody because they believe it will reduce child support. That is a legitimate strategy but there are some judges that disfavor rotating custody. In any case, the court will always consider child support.
Q: Do I give up everything if I move out?
A: You can move out and still have full rights in your property. But be aware, if there are children and you move out without them – your chances of gaining custody are reduced. If you reference the above divorce steps, it may not be in your interest to move out before mediation. Another common scenario is that assets tend to disappear if you do not remove them at the same time that you move yourself. So if you want some particular items – it is best to take them now.
Q: How long will my divorce take?
A: If everyone signs all the divorce paperwork – 3 months. If you have to go through mediation – 3 to 6 months. If you fight till the end – 1 to 2 years. There are some cases that go on longer.
Q: How much will this divorce cost me?
A: One cost that remains steady is the court filing fee for a dissolution of marriage: $408. As for a divorce attorney fee, we offer several options from $145 up to $6500.
Q: Where do I start?
A: No matter how you do it, the best way to start is with our in-office consultation. That is the first logical step to any divorce. The first visit is absolutely free. You leave with a ton of divorce information. There is no further obligation, everything is a secret, and we also give you several alternatives if you would like to hire us as your divorce lawyer. Our goal is to provide you with realistic and accurate information. Of course we do hope you retain us as your family law attorney if you decide it is needed.
Q: Can I stop the divorce?
A: No. Florida divorce law allows for divorce if only one spouse desires to proceed and states the marriage is broken. You can slow down the divorce but that will only have negative effects on your children and assets. But do not let this discourage you if the marriage can be saved. Always try to save your marriage before all else.
Q: How about if I was never married but have children. Are the steps the same?
A: The steps are extremely similar. If you have a child but are not married, you would file a Paternity case. The steps are extremely similar and you will end up with a judgment, parenting plan, and child support.
Q: Do men automatically get screwed? (excuse our language)
A: Florida Divorce law is gender neutral. Neither Men nor Women automatically get a given outcome. Man or Woman, you must become educated about Florida Divorce law and use that knowledge to get the best outcome possible. Of course that does not mean that men and women tend to come to court with situations typical of their gender. But things have changed over the years. Neither side gets a preference any longer in areas such as child custody or alimony.
Q: Are these divorce case steps the same every time, in every court?
No. Just about every court, and every county has slightly different steps, and variations to procedure. It is best to discuss you case with an attorney that regularly practices in your local court.