The Cost of Divorce in Florida

The Cost of Divorce in Florida

Category Low End Cost High End Cost
Mediation $3,500 $7,500
Uncontested Divorce $1,500 $3,000
Contested Divorce $5,000 $30,000
High Net Worth Divorce $20,000 $100,000+
Legal Fees Per Hour $250 $500


It’s important to understand the costs associated with divorce before proceeding with legal action. Couples should prepare financially and emotionally for these expenses and consider alternatives like mediation or collaborative divorce if possible.

Brief overview of the cost of divorce in Florida

Here are some expenses you should consider when estimating the total cost of divorce in Florida:

  • Court filing fees: In Florida, the cost to file for divorce is around $400. This fee may be waived if you cannot afford to pay it.
  • Attorney fees: If you decide to hire an attorney, expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 – $25,000+ depending on how complex your case is and how much time your lawyer spends working on it.

    If you opt for collaborative divorce or mediation instead of litigation with attorneys, these costs may be reduced.

    If only one spouse hires an attorney (uncontested), that spouse could spend around $2,500 – $5,000+.

    Note that this does not include additional expenses such as hourly rates for consultation meetings ($200-$500/hour) and other legal services required during a divorce process.
  • Miscellaneous expenses: This category includes things like document preparation services ($300-$1,000), mediator’s fees ($200-$400 per hour), appraiser’s fees for property valuation ($250-$1000 per item).

    You should also budget for any unexpected expenses that may arise during your divorce proceedings such as child custody evaluations or depositions which can add thousands more dollars onto already high bills!


Importance of understanding the cost of divorce before filing for divorce

In conclusion, divorces can be expensive affairs in Florida due to various factors such as court filing fees, attorney fees, and miscellaneous expenses. Couples should consider alternative dispute resolution options like mediation or collaborative law before deciding on litigation since this could save them significant amounts of money while resolving their issues efficiently. Understanding the cost implications of a divorce proceeding is important as it helps couples plan ahead financially by budgeting accordingly and making informed decisions throughout the process.

Purpose of the guide

This guide will equip you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions throughout the divorce process and plan financially for any expenses that may arise.

Types of Divorce in Florida

There are different types of divorce in Florida, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Understanding these types is important before filing for a divorce:

  • Uncontested Divorce: This type of divorce is the most common in Florida. It occurs when both parties agree on all issues related to their separation such as division of assets, alimony, child support, and custody arrangements.
  • Contested Divorce:This type involves litigation since the couple cannot come to an agreement about certain issues. A judge will ultimately decide how to resolve disagreements such as property division or child custody.

    Note that contested divorces are typically more expensive than uncontested ones due to attorney fees and court costs
  • No-Fault Divorce: In Florida, couples can file for no-fault divorce which means neither party has caused the breakup of marriage due to factors like adultery or abuse.
  • Simplified Dissolution: This option is available only if both spouses have agreed on all terms related to their separation including financial matters or parenting time arrangements. Simplified dissolutions cost less than traditional divorces because they require fewer legal procedures


Uncontested Divorce

If you and your spouse can agree on all the issues surrounding your divorce, an uncontested divorce could save you time and money. Here are some things to know about this type of divorce:

  • Cost savings: Since there are no disputes, legal fees for an uncontested divorce tend to be lower than a contested one.
  • Faster resolution: An uncontested divorce can typically be completed more quickly since there’s no need to go through the discovery or trial processes in court.
  • Mutual agreement: This option only works if both parties agree on every aspect of their separation or dissolution such as property division, spousal support, child custody arrangements etc.
  • No appeals possible: The terms agreed upon cannot be challenged later by either party except under limited circumstances like fraud or mistake during the process that led to unfair terms being agreed upon. This means that couples should take extra care when drafting agreements during an uncontested divorce since they will not have any opportunity for appeal once signed off by a judge.



In Florida, there are two types of divorces:

  • Uncontested divorce: When both spouses agree on all issues related to their separation including division of property and child custody arrangements. This type of divorce generally takes less time and money since court appearances may not be necessary.
  • Contested divorce: When spouses cannot agree on certain aspects such as property division or child custody agreements. This type of divorce can be more expensive since it often requires court hearings and may involve attorneys representing each spouse.

No matter which type you choose, it’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process while minimizing your expenses. Understanding these basic definitions will enable couples to make informed decisions about how best to proceed with their case while keeping costs in check.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Advantages:
    • The court will make decisions on issues such as property division and child custody if both parties cannot come to an agreement.
    • You have legal representation who can provide advice throughout the process.
  • Disadvantages:
    • The process can be lengthy and expensive due to court fees and attorney costs.
    • The outcome is not always predictable since a judge makes the final decision.


  • Advantages:
    A neutral third party mediator works with both parties to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. This means that couples have more control over their settlement than they would in litigation. Other benefits include:

    -Lower cost compared to hiring an attorney
    -More efficient than going through trial
    -The sessions are confidential

/Disadvantages: /
-Not all disputes may be resolved with mediation alone.
-There may still be some need for an attorney when handling paperwork after reaching a settlement.

Collaborative Divorce

    > Advantages: /
    Couples work together with professionals like mental health coaches or financial specialists instead of relying solely on lawyers. Some other benefits include:
    -It promotes cooperation rather than conflict.
    -The process is generally quicker.
    -It can be less expensive than traditional litigation.
    Disadvantages: /
    -The process requires cooperation between both parties.
    -If the collaborative divorce process falls apart, you may have to start over and hire new attorneys.

    Contested Divorce

    If you’re facing a contested divorce in Florida, consider hiring an experienced family law attorney who specializes in these types of cases. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights under Florida law while ensuring that your interests are protected during settlement negotiations or at trial. A skilled attorney may also suggest alternative ways to settle disputes like mediation which could save you time and money while avoiding unnecessary conflict with your spouse.


    Note that there are also fault-based divorces in Florida such as adultery, abandonment, cruelty or drug addiction by one partner which can affect property division decisions during litigation processes. Couples should consult with an experienced family lawyer in these cases since each case has its specificities and details.

    Advantages and Disadvantages


    • Resolution: Divorce provides an opportunity for you and your spouse to resolve issues that may have been causing conflicts in your relationship.
    • New beginnings: If the marriage has become toxic or irreparable, a divorce could provide both parties with an opportunity for growth, healing, and new beginnings.
    • Closure: A final judgment provides closure allowing couples to move on from the past fully.


    • Painful experience: The emotional toll of ending a marriage can be challenging for both parties involved as well as their families and children.
    • Lack of privacy: All court proceedings are public record meaning anyone who wishes can access them which might create further distress.

    • .

    • In summary, while there are advantages to getting divorced in Florida such as resolving issues between spouses or having new beginnings with someone else down the line; there also exist disadvantages like mental anguish due to separation from one’s partner or lack of privacy during court proceedings. It’s important to weigh these factors before making any decisions about whether or not filing for divorce is right for you.

      Legal Fees

      To reduce legal fees during a divorce proceeding, consider these tips:

      • Mutual agreement: If both spouses can agree amicably about how assets will be divided and other important matters related to the separation process then this could save them thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.

        If there are disagreements between partners over child custody arrangements or property division issues , hiring an experienced mediator rather than two separate lawyers may help resolve these disputes more cost-effectively.
      • Detailed record-keeping: Maintain records of all communication with your lawyer so that you have accurate records of billable hours.

        This way you’ll know exactly what you’re being charged for and can dispute any discrepancies if necessary.
      • Compare legal fees: Don’t be afraid to compare prices between different attorneys before settling on one. It’s important to find someone whose services you can afford, but who is also experienced enough in divorce law to handle your case effectively.

      Attorney Fees

      To reduce attorney costs during a divorce proceeding in Florida consider these tips:

      • Hire an experienced family law attorney with reasonable hourly rates
      • Avoid unnecessary communication with your lawyer by consolidating questions and issues into fewer sessions
      • Spend time organizing documents so they’re easily accessible for the attorney when needed.


      Hourly rates

      To minimize costs related to hourly rates, consider taking these steps during your divorce process:

      • Create a budget: Determine how much money you can allocate towards legal expenses before proceeding with any legal action.
      • Prioritize issues: Focusing on key issues such as property division and child custody could help keep costs down by reducing the amount of time required from attorneys and other professionals involved in your case.
      • Avoid unnecessary communication: The more back-and-forth communication that occurs between parties and their respective attorneys, the higher the costs will be. Try to communicate only when necessary or via alternative methods like email or mediation sessions where both sides can express their views without involving additional personnel.


      Flat fees

      Here are some things to consider when looking into flat fee options:

      • Inclusions and exclusions: Be sure to ask what’s included in the flat fee package and what’s not. Will you be charged extra for phone calls or emails? Are court filing fees included?
      • The complexity of your case: Flat fee packages may vary depending on the complexity of your case. If there are a lot of assets involved or if there are disputes over child custody, you can expect to pay more.

      If you’re considering using a flat fee option, make sure you do your research and find an attorney who offers transparent pricing with clear terms and conditions. Remember that while this approach can help you save money upfront, it may end up costing more in the long run if unexpected issues arise during the process.

      Retainer fees

      Here are some key things to keep in mind about retainer fees:

      • The amount varies: Retainer fees can vary widely depending on the complexity of your case and how much time your attorney expects to spend working on it. Expect to pay anywhere from $2,500 – $10,000+ for a divorce retainer fee.
      • You may not get a refund: Retainer fees are non-refundable, meaning if you decide not to go through with the divorce or switch attorneys midway through proceedings, you will likely not receive any portion of that initial payment back.
      • Your attorney will bill hourly against this amount: This means that every phone call, email exchange or meeting with your lawyer will be deducted from this account balance at an agreed-upon hourly rate (e.g., $250/hour).

        If/when your account balance reaches zero, you’ll need to pay additional funds into the trust account before continuing further legal action. It’s essential always to communicate transparently with your attorney regarding billing so there aren’t any surprises when receiving invoices for their services!

      Court Fees

      In addition to these basic court fees, couples should also consider the cost of hiring an attorney. While it’s possible to represent yourself in court (known as pro se), this can be challenging and risky since divorce laws in Florida can be complicated.

      Here are some things to keep in mind when budgeting for attorney costs:

      • The amount you’ll pay depends on various factors such as how much time your lawyer spends working on your case and how complex it is.
      • Expect to spend anywhere from $5,000 – $25,000+ if both spouses hire attorneys and go through litigation.

        Note that if only one spouse hires an attorney (uncontested), that spouse could spend around $2,500 – $5,000+.

        This does not include additional expenses such as hourly rates for consultation meetings ($200-$500/hour) or any other legal services required during a divorce process.

      Filing fees

      In summary, while court filing fees are one of the most prominent costs associated with getting divorced in Florida, couples should also consider all other legal expenses that could arise throughout their case before determining their overall budget for their dissolution process.

      Mediation fees

      The costs associated with mediation will depend on factors such as the mediator’s experience and hourly rate, the complexity of your case, and how many sessions you need. On average, expect to pay between $200-$400 per hour for a mediator’s services.

      Here are some other things to keep in mind about mediation fees:

      • No retainer fee: Unlike attorneys who require upfront payment before they start working on your case or charge an initial consultation fee ($250-$500), mediators typically don’t require this type of payment structure.
      • Pricing transparency: Most mediators will provide you with a clear estimate of their hourly rates and total expected charges based on the complexity of your case at no additional cost.
      • Cheaper than litigation: If you opt for mediation instead of going through a contested court process that involves lawyers’ time, expert witnesses’ testimony fees, depositions fees (which could run into tens or hundreds thousand dollars), consider yourself lucky as you’ll be paying less overall.

      Other court-related fees

      All these costs can add up quickly and leave both parties financially drained. Therefore it’s important for individuals considering divorce in Florida to seek legal advice early on so that they know what they’re getting into beforehand.

      Property Division

      Marital assets can include anything acquired during the course of a marriage such as real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, business interests, and personal possessions. It’s important to note that separate property owned prior to a marriage or acquired through inheritance or gift is not subject to equitable distribution.

      If you’re going through a divorce with significant assets at stake it’s essential that you work with an experienced attorney who has experience handling complex property division cases. An attorney can help ensure your rights are protected and advocate for an outcome that reflects your unique situation.

      Equitable Distribution

      Couples should consider working with a financial advisor who specializes in divorce matters when dividing their assets since this can help ensure they receive their fair share while minimizing tax liabilities. Additionally, couples should make sure all assets are accounted for by obtaining copies of bank statements and asset valuation reports before entering into settlement negotiations.


      1. Contested Divorce: This type of divorce occurs when both parties cannot agree on all aspects of the divorce including property division, alimony, child custody/support.
      2. Uncontested Divorce: This type of divorce happens when both parties can agree to all terms without having to go through a trial.

      In addition to these types of divorces, there are also alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or collaborative law that couples can choose instead of traditional litigation. These options provide an opportunity for spouses to work together towards an amicable solution with the help of trained professionals while avoiding high attorney fees and prolonged court battles.

      Factors considered

      In addition to these factors mentioned above here are some tips on how you can reduce your overall expenses during your divorce proceedings in Florida:

      • Hire an experienced attorney with transparent billing practices: Ensure you understand exactly what services will be provided by your lawyer before hiring them. You should also ask about their fees upfront so there aren’t any surprises later on.
      • Maintain open communication with your spouse: The more disputes that arise between couples during their divorce proceedings mean higher legal fees since attorneys charge hourly rates for mediation sessions or negotiations. Try working out as many details beforehand without involving lawyers unless necessary!


      Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

      Marital Property:

      • Assets acquired during the marriage are generally considered marital property regardless of who purchased them or whose name appears on title documents.
      • This includes income earned by either spouse, retirement benefits, real estate, vehicles, bank accounts and investments.

      Non-Marital Property:

      • Property owned before marriage (premarital) belongs solely to that person unless it was commingled with marital funds or titled jointly at some point during the marriage.

        If premarital funds were used for a shared purchase such as a home down payment or joint investment account, then those funds may be considered partially marital.
      • Inheritances received by one party alone also fall under this category even if they occurred during the course of the marriage.

      An experienced attorney can help you determine which assets might be categorized into these two groups and guide you through negotiating an equitable distribution of these properties so that both parties walk away from their dissolution feeling financially secure.


      In Florida, divorce proceedings can either be contested or uncontested:

      • Contested Divorce: This occurs when both parties cannot agree on one or more issues such as alimony payments, child support arrangements or division of property.

        If this happens, the couple will have to go through litigation where each party hires an attorney to argue their case before a judge who ultimately decides how to resolve the dispute.
      • Uncontested Divorce: This type of divorce takes place when both parties mutually agree on all aspects relating to the dissolution of their marriage.

        The couple files jointly for divorce with the court and presents a settlement agreement outlining how they plan to split assets and debts while resolving all other marital issues such as child custody arrangements outside of court.

      How it affects property division

      Here are some ways in which the cost of divorce affects property division:

      • If one spouse hires an attorney while the other does not (uncontested), this may create an imbalance that could lead to unfavorable outcomes for both parties during property division negotiations.
      • If you cannot afford to pay for an attorney but still want legal representation or advice, you may need to seek out pro bono legal services or ask your family law court for assistance in finding low-cost options such as mediators who can help guide you through these negotiations.
      • In cases where couples have significant assets or complicated financial situations (such as business ownership), it is important to hire experienced attorneys who specialize in high net worth divorces since they will have greater expertise and resources needed to ensure equitable distribution of assets during proceedings.

      Valuation of Assets

      Here are some common types of assets and how they may be valued during a divorce:

      • Real estate: The value of real estate is typically determined by an appraiser who takes into account factors such as location, condition, and recent sales prices for similar properties.
      • Pensions and retirement accounts: A financial expert may need to evaluate pensions or retirement accounts like 401(k)s or IRAs to determine their current value. These evaluations take into account things like age, life expectancy, expected future contributions, expected rate of return on investments within those accounts over time etc.
      • Business interests: If one or both spouses own a business together, a business valuation professional will be needed to determine its worth. This includes examining income statements, balance sheets etc., taking into consideration liabilities/debts owed by the company alongside assets owned by it which include equipment inventory etc..

      It’s important to note that valuations can vary greatly depending on factors such as market conditions at the time they were conducted, so couples should make sure they agree on fair values for all their assets before dividing them up during this process!


      In addition to these terms listed above couples should also be aware that once they file for a petition for dissolution of marriage; there is typically an automatic stay put into place that prohibits either party from selling off or hiding assets until equitable distribution can occur during settlement negotiations or trial. Couples should consult with an attorney who can help guide them through these complex legal proceedings while protecting their interests at every stage of the process


      How it affects property division

      Here are some factors that may be considered when dividing property in a divorce:

      • Length of marriage: The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that assets will be split equally.
      • Contributions to the marriage: This includes both financial and non-financial contributions such as homemaking and child-rearing.
      • Earning capacity: The court may consider each spouse’s earning potential when deciding how to divide assets.
      • Misconduct during the marriage: If one spouse has committed adultery or engaged in other forms of misconduct, this could affect their share of marital property.

      In addition to these factors, any debts incurred during the marriage must also be divided equitably. Understanding how much a divorce will cost can help couples plan for their post-divorce finances and better negotiate a fair settlement regarding asset division with less stress involved.


      Here are some types of alimony that may be awarded in Florida:

      • Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type provides short-term support to help one party transition from being married to being single. It can last up to two years and cannot be modified once it has been granted.
      • Durational alimony: This type provides support for a set period, not exceeding the length of the marriage. Durational Alimony payments can be adjusted under certain circumstances if there is a substantial change in circumstances
      • Rehabilitative Alimony:This type helps an individual become self-supporting by providing funds for education or training. Payments can be modified if circumstances change such as job loss or remarriage

        Note that courts may also award permanent periodic alimony or lump-sum payments based on specific situations.

      Couples should understand how these different types work so they can plan accordingly and determine what makes sense given their unique situation.

      Types of Alimony

      • Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type of alimony is meant to help a spouse transition from being married to being single. It is typically awarded for a short period of time and cannot exceed 2 years.
      • Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony helps the receiving spouse get training or education they need so they can become self-sufficient in future.

        The recipient must have a specific rehabilitative plan with costs that must be presented at trial, including how long it will take them to complete their educational or vocational goal (e.g., two years) and what the associated costs will be (tuition, books, fees).
      • Durational Alimony: This type of payment provides support for a set period of time based on the length of your marriage. Durational Alimony may continue beyond remarriage unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties involved

        If your marriage was shorter than 7 years, then durational payments cannot exceed duration between date of marriage till date if final judgement.

        If your marriage lasted more than 17 but less than 20 years then durational payments should not last longer than half the length fo you marraige.
      • Permanent Alimony: This type provides ongoing support until death or remarriage occurs for one party.

        To award permanent spousal payments following divorce there needs to exist exceptional circumstances such as lack employment opportunities due age or disability , high standard lifestyle during marrage etc.

      Note that each case is unique and judges decide on the type and amount of alimony based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, each party’s financial situation and earning potential, health status etc.

      Bridge-the-gap alimony

      Note that unlike other forms of spousal support, there are no specific factors outlined in Florida law which judges must consider when deciding whether or not to award bridge-the-gap alimony. Therefore, the judge’s decision will ultimately depend on various factors unique to each case such as length of marriage and earning capacity.

      Rehabilitative alimony

      Here are some important things to know about rehabilitative alimony:

      • Purpose: The purpose of this type of alimony is to help a spouse become financially independent after the divorce. It’s meant to provide temporary assistance while the recipient works towards gaining education, training, or employment skills needed for self-sufficiency.
      • Duration: Rehabilitative alimony typically lasts for a set period ranging from several months to several years based on factors such as how long it will take for the recipient to obtain necessary skills/training/education and other related factors.

        In some cases, if an unforeseen event occurs such as illness or injury that affects the ability of the receiving spouse to achieve their goals then extension could be granted by court order until such time when they’re able.
      • Tax implications: For federal income tax purposes, rehabilitative alimony payments are considered taxable income for recipients and deductible expenses for payers. This means that if you’re paying rehabilitive maintenance your tax burden might go down substantially but if you’re receiving it could add up over time because taxes still need paid on those funds received as spousal support.


      Durational alimony

      If you’re going through a divorce in Florida and think you may be eligible for durational alimony, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you on your rights and obligations under state law. A lawyer can also help you negotiate fair terms with your former spouse or advocate on your behalf in court if necessary.

      Permanent alimony

      • Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type of alimony helps one spouse transition from being married to being single by paying for short-term needs like housing or transportation.
      • Durational or Permanent Alimony: This type of alimony involves regular payments made over a longer period (years, decades) with the aim of providing financial support for an ex-spouse who cannot support themselves due to age or disability.

      In Florida law, permanent alimony awards have become more limited in recent years. The court considers several factors when determining if a permanent award is appropriate such as:

      • The length of the marriage
      • The standard of living established during the marriage
      • The ages and physical/mental conditions of each party involved in the divorce proceedings
      • Earning capacity and sources of income for each party involved in the divorce proceedings

      If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida and believe you may be eligible for permanent alimony payments, it’s important to consult an attorney who specializes in family law so they can advise you on your options moving forward. Keep in mind that while these payments may provide some financial relief post-divorce, they also come with their own set of costs which should be taken into account before deciding whether or not pursuing them is worth it.

      Factors Considered

      All these factors should be taken into account before making any decisions about pursuing a divorce case in Florida. Couples should consult with experienced family law attorneys who specialize in this area to help them navigate through these complex issues while keeping their costs as low as possible without sacrificing quality representation. Choosing the right lawyer is crucial for protecting your rights and ensuring that you get what you deserve from the settlement agreement reached at the end of proceedings!

      Standard of living

      Here are some ways in which your standard of living could be affected by divorce:

      • Housing costs: Divorcing couples must decide who will keep their marital home or if they should sell it and split any profits. If you choose to move out, you may need to pay rent or find another place to live.
      • Income changes: In many cases, one spouse’s income decreases after a divorce due to alimony payments or child support obligations. This can lead to reduced disposable income and lifestyle changes.
      • Asset division: Depending on how property division is handled during your divorce proceedings, one or both spouses may end up with significantly fewer assets than before.

        In Florida, marital property is typically divided equitably meaning that each spouse gets an equal share of all assets acquired during their marriage unless there are reasons for unequal distribution like infidelity or domestic violence claims


      Length of marriage

      • Alimony: Longer marriages often involve larger alimony payments since one spouse may have stayed home to raise children or support the other’s career while sacrificing their own earning potential.
      • Property division: Couples who have been married for a long time typically accumulate more assets and debts during their marriage, making property division more complex and expensive.

      If you’ve been married for less than 7 years, you might be able to qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage process (also known as an uncontested divorce). This process has lower court fees ($408), no need for lengthy litigation or attorney representation, and can be completed within weeks instead of months!

      Age and health of both parties

      In addition, if one party suffers from a serious illness or disability that requires ongoing treatment or care this can also impact divorce-related expenses significantly. For example:

      • Custody agreements: If children are involved in a divorce where one parent has a chronic illness or disability requiring special accommodations (e.g., wheelchair accessibility), there will likely be additional expenses associated with childcare arrangements that meet these needs.

        The court will take into account any special needs when deciding custody agreements as well as child support payments.
      • Lifetime alimony: In cases where an individual’s earning capacity is affected by their health status (i.e., disability), lifetime alimony may be awarded by the court which can increase overall divorce costs substantially over time since these payments continue indefinitely until either party passes away or remarries.

      Child Custody and Support

      In Florida, child custody is referred to as timesharing, and it typically involves determining a parenting plan that outlines each parent’s responsibilities regarding their child(ren). The court will consider several factors when deciding on a parenting plan, including:

      • The child’s age
      • The mental and physical health of each parent
      • The living conditions of each parent
      • The relationship between the child and each parent
      • The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs financially and emotionally

      Regarding child support, both parents have an obligation to provide financial assistance for their children. In Florida, there are specific guidelines used to calculate the amount of child support payments based on various factors such as:

      • The number of children involved in the case
      • Total net income of both parents after taxes

      • Mandatory deductions from paychecks like union dues or retirement plans

      • Court-ordered spousal maintenance payments which may be included in your net income total

      If one spouse has primary physical custody (timesharing) over the other spouse, then they will likely receive more money than if they had equal time with their children. Child support payments generally continue until a dependent turns 18 or graduates from high school – whichever comes later – unless there are special circumstances such as disabilities.

      Types of Custody

      Custody arrangements will ultimately depend on what’s best for the child’s welfare and interests above anything else. Factors such as parental history, geographic location, work schedules, health status and others will be taken into consideration when deciding which type of arrangement would be appropriate.

      Sole custody

      If you are seeking sole custody of your child during a divorce proceeding in Florida, here are some things you should know:

      • Burden of proof: To obtain sole custody as part of a divorce decree, you must demonstrate that it is in your child’s best interest for you to have such an arrangement.
      • Evidence: You may need evidence that shows the other parent cannot provide proper care or has engaged in behavior that could be harmful to the child such as neglect or abuse.
      • Judicial discretion: The judge presiding over your case will ultimately decide whether or not granting sole custody is appropriate based on all available evidence presented by both sides.

        It’s important to note that courts usually prefer joint legal custody arrangements so long as both parents can cooperate and communicate effectively with each other regarding their children’s welfare. Sole custody orders are only granted if there is sufficient reason for them (e.g., domestic violence).


      Joint custody

      Here are some things to keep in mind regarding joint custody:

      • Types of joint custody: There are two types of joint custody: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to decision-making rights about important aspects such as education and healthcare, while physical refers to where the children will reside.
      • Custody agreements: Couples can create their own parenting plans or have them created by mediators or attorneys. The court must approve these plans before they become legally binding.
      • Benefits and drawbacks: Joint custody can be beneficial for both parents and children since it allows both parents to remain active in their children’s lives. However, it also requires cooperation between ex-spouses which may not always be possible due to conflict arising from the divorce.

      If you’re considering filing for divorce with minor children involved, it’s important that you seek legal advice early on so that you can fully understand your options when it comes to child custody arrangements in Florida.

      Factors Considered

      Several factors determine the cost of a divorce in Florida. Below are some of them:

      • Length of marriage: The longer the marriage, the more complicated and expensive it is to divide assets and debts.
      • Type of divorce: An uncontested divorce where both parties agree on most issues can be less costly than a contested one that requires litigation with attorneys.
      • Child custody matters: Child custody disputes can drive up legal fees since they require expert witnesses such as child psychologists or social workers who charge high hourly rates.
      • Asset division: Complex asset division cases like business valuations, real estate investments, and stock portfolios will increase legal fees significantly.
      • Filing location:In Florida, court filing fees vary depending on which county you file your case. Some counties may have higher filing costs compared to others

        All these factors should be considered when estimating how much a divorce will cost. Couples should work closely with their attorneys to identify ways to reduce expenses without sacrificing desired outcomes for each party involved.


      Best interest of the child

      Couples who can work together to create a parenting plan that prioritizes their children’s needs usually have more control over their lives after divorce than those who allow attorneys or judges decide what’s best for them. Parents who can communicate effectively with one another while co-parenting can reduce stress on themselves and their children while fostering healthy relationships moving forward. Additionally, focusing on the well-being of your children throughout this process may help reduce emotional distress caused by a difficult divorce experience – not only for you but also for your kids.

      Parental preference

      • Parental preference: The court may consider which parent has been the primary caregiver for the child up until this point or which parent can provide a more stable home environment moving forward.

        Note that courts do not favor one gender over another when it comes to awarding parental responsibility but instead evaluate each case based on its unique circumstances.
      • Mental and physical health: The judge may also take into account any mental or physical health issues that could impact a parent’s ability to care for their child.
      • The Child’s Relationship with Each Parent: The court will evaluate how involved each parent has been in their children’s lives as well as the relationship between them and their kids.

        If there are instances where abuse, neglect, or domestic violence has occurred, this would be taken into consideration when deciding who gets parental responsibility.

      Couples going through divorce should hire an experienced family law attorney familiar with Florida laws regarding child custody to help navigate these complex legal issues and ensure they receive fair treatment under state law.

      Child’s preference

      Here are some things you should know about how a child’s preference can impact custody decisions:

      • Age matters: The older a child is, the more weight their opinion carries in court. If a child is under 12 years old, their preferences will be considered but may not necessarily be determinative of custody decisions.
      • Maturity level: A judge will also consider whether or not a child has reached an appropriate age and maturity level to make informed decisions regarding their living situation.
      • Influence from parents: Courts will also look at whether one parent has influenced the child’s decision in any way. If one parent seems to have coerced or manipulated a child into expressing certain preferences, this could negatively affect that parent’s case for custody.

      If you’re going through a divorce involving children in Florida, it’s important to keep these factors in mind when discussing custody arrangements with your spouse and lawyer. Ultimately, courts aim to make decisions that are in the best interests of the children involved, so keeping lines of communication open and remaining focused on what’s best for your kids can help ensure positive outcomes for everyone involved.

      Child Support

      Child support is a major issue that arises in many divorce cases. In Florida, child support is calculated based on a formula that takes into account several factors such as the parents’ income, number of children involved, and time-sharing arrangements. Here are some things to keep in mind:

      • Child Support Guidelines: The state of Florida has established Child Support Guidelines which are used to determine the amount of child support one parent will pay to the other.
      • Factors Affecting Child Support Payments: As previously mentioned, several factors can affect how much child support you or your spouse may have to pay including your incomes and time-sharing arrangement with your children.
      • Modifications: Either parent may request a modification of their child support payments if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the initial order was issued (e.g., job loss or promotion).

        Note that even if both parties agree on an informal arrangement for payment amounts, it’s still important to have this agreement reviewed by legal counsel before finalizing anything.


      Calculation of child support

      The Florida Department of Revenue provides a Child Support Calculator to help couples estimate what their monthly payment obligations could look like. It’s important to note that this calculation should only be used as an estimate since there can always be unforeseen circumstances during the divorce process that could affect the final cost of child support payments.

      If you have questions about how your specific situation will impact your child support calculations, it’s best to consult with a qualified family law attorney who can advise you on all aspects of Florida law related to divorce proceedings, including spousal maintenance (i.e., alimony) and property division issues.

      Factors considered

      In addition to these factors, there are other things that can impact the cost of divorce in Florida. For example:

      • Court fees: The court filing fee for a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is $408. There may be additional fees associated with serving papers or attending hearings.
      • Miscellaneous expenses: You should budget for miscellaneous expenses such as document preparation services ($300-$1,000), mediator’s fees ($200-$400 per hour), appraiser’s fees for property valuation ($250-$1000 per item).

        You should also budget for any unexpected expenses that may arise during your divorce proceedings such as child custody evaluations or depositions which can add thousands more dollars onto already high bills!


      Alternative Dispute Resolution

      Here are some common ADR options that divorcing couples in Florida may want to consider:

      • Mediation: In mediation, a neutral third party called a mediator helps couples negotiate and reach an agreement on issues such as child custody, alimony, and division of assets. The mediator does not make decisions for the couple but rather facilitates communication between them.
      • Collaborative Law: Collaborative law is similar to mediation in that it involves both parties working together with professionals such as attorneys and financial planners to reach a mutually beneficial resolution. However, if either party decides to pursue litigation instead, both attorneys must withdraw from the case.

      In summary, alternative dispute resolution can be an effective way for couples going through divorce in Florida to save money while still resolving their issues fairly and efficiently. It’s important for each spouse to discuss these options with their attorney or seek out qualified mediators or collaborative law practitioners before deciding on the best approach for their situation.


      In Florida, most courts require couples to attempt mediation before proceeding with litigation. This requirement emphasizes how beneficial it could be for both parties involved in the divorce process. Keep in mind that even if you do decide on mediation, you should still seek advice from attorneys beforehand so they can help guide you through this process successfully.


      Here are some key terms you should be familiar with when discussing divorces in Florida:

      • Petitioner: The person who initiates the divorce proceedings by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court.
      • Respondent: The person who responds to the petitioner’s petition for dissolution of marriage. This party may either agree or disagree with certain aspects of the petition.
      • No-fault divorce: A type of divorce where neither party has to prove that their spouse was at fault for ending their marriage. Instead, they simply need to state that their marriage is irretrievably broken beyond repair.
      • Fault-based divorce: A type of divorce where one spouse alleges that the other spouse was at fault for causing their marital breakdown (e.g., adultery or cruelty).


      Advantages and Disadvantages

      • Advantages:
        • Couples can prepare financially for the divorce process by creating a budget, saving money, or reducing expenses.
        • Understanding the cost implications of a divorce can help couples make informed decisions about alternative dispute resolution options like mediation or collaborative law which could save them significant amounts of money while resolving their issues efficiently.
        • Couples who understand how much they may be required to pay in fees or support payments during a divorce proceeding can plan ahead accordingly so that there are no surprises later on.
      • Disadvantages:

        The main disadvantage is that focusing too much on the costs of a divorce might lead couples to make decisions based solely on finances instead of what is best for themselves and their children. Additionally,

        couples might end up rushing into agreements without fully exploring all possible solutions. Other potential drawbacks include:
        • Making compromises in areas such as child custody arrangements, property division, spousal support payments or other matters just because they are cheaper alternatives.
        • Prolonging an already difficult process due to delays caused by trying to find ways to reduce expenses during proceedings.

        In conclusion, while it is important for couples contemplating separation in Florida to consider the financial impact associated with legal action; doing so should not come at the expense of making well-informed and thought-out decisions regarding every aspect related to ending their marriage relationship. Seeking professional advice from experienced attorneys and other professionals will help ensure that your interests are protected throughout this challenging time while minimizing unnecessary stressors along the way.

        Collaborative Law

        • Lower costs: Since the collaborative law process doesn’t involve litigation in court, it’s usually less expensive than traditional divorces that require extensive time spent in courtrooms.
        • Better communication: The collaborative law process encourages open communication between parties and helps avoid hostility often seen during traditional litigated divorces. This can help preserve relationships and promote cooperation in parenting post-divorce.
        • Faster resolution: Collaborative divorce cases generally have faster resolutions compared to traditional litigated ones which can be drawn out over many months or even years.

        If you are considering divorce in Florida, it’s worth exploring the possibility of using a collaborative approach instead of litigation. A qualified family attorney can guide you through this process and advise if it could be right for your situation.


        Here are some important definitions to know:

        • Contested divorce: When one or both spouses cannot agree on the terms of their divorce settlement.
        • Uncontested divorce: When both parties agree on all aspects of their divorce settlement without going to court.
        • Mediation: A voluntary process where an impartial third party helps couples resolve their disputes outside of court in a non-adversarial setting.
        • Collaborative law:A process where each spouse hires an attorney who works together with them in a cooperative manner to reach a mutually acceptable agreement without going through litigation.

        The type of divorce you choose will determine how much it costs in terms of time and money. It’s important to understand your options before proceeding with any kind of legal action so you can make informed decisions about your situation based on your specific needs and circumstances.


        Advantages and Disadvantages


        • Litigation: Traditional litigation is often more expensive due to high attorney fees, lengthy court proceedings that require numerous appearances before a judge or magistrate, and additional expenses such as expert witnesses’ fees if required. Additionally, in some cases, there may not be any other option but litigation if the parties cannot agree or settle their differences through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or collaborative law.



        If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in family law. An experienced attorney will guide you through every step of the process and help you make informed decisions about your case while keeping costs as low as possible.

        Divorce is never easy, but with careful planning and expert guidance from a skilled legal professional, couples can minimize its impact on their lives both financially and emotionally.

        Recap of the cost of divorce in Florida

        If you’re considering getting divorced in Florida, understanding these costs is critical to planning ahead financially. While divorces are never cheap, being aware of what to expect allows couples to make informed decisions about their future while minimizing stress and financial strain as much as possible. With the right mindset and support system in place, however daunting this task may seem initially; it’s possible to navigate through this challenging period with grace and resilience.

        Importance of understanding the cost of divorce

        All in all, understanding the financial implications of divorce is essential if couples wish to minimize their expenses during this trying time while ensuring they receive fair treatment under Florida state laws.

        Final thoughts and recommendations.

        If you do decide to proceed with a divorce in Florida, here are some recommendations:

        • Consider alternative dispute resolution methods: As mentioned earlier, mediation or collaborative law could save you significant amounts of money while resolving your issues efficiently.
        • Hire an experienced attorney: If you do hire an attorney, make sure they have experience handling family law cases in Florida so that they can guide you through the process effectively and efficiently.
        • Create a budget: Make sure you create a realistic budget that takes into account all expenses associated with your divorce proceedings.

        In summary, understanding the cost of divorce in Florida is essential for couples considering legal action. By knowing what expenses to expect and exploring alternative dispute resolution methods first like mediation or collaborative law instead of litigation may help reduce costs significantly. It’s important to approach this difficult period with caution and plan accordingly by creating budgets and hiring experienced professionals who can guide them throughout the process effectively while keeping emotional distress at bay as much as possible.

        FAQ on ‘The Cost of Divorce in Florida’

        What factors influence the cost of divorce in Florida?

        Several factors can influence the cost of divorce in Florida, including attorney fees, court costs, mediation or counseling fees, and any additional expenses such as appraisals or expert witness fees.

        Can I get a divorce in Florida without hiring an attorney?

        Yes, it is possible to get a divorce in Florida without hiring an attorney. However, it is not recommended as the process can be complicated and mistakes can be costly. It is recommended to at least consult with an attorney before proceeding with a do-it-yourself divorce.

        Are there ways to reduce the cost of divorce in Florida?

        Yes, there are ways to reduce the cost of divorce in Florida. One way is to attempt mediation instead of going through a litigated divorce. Additionally, being organized and prepared for meetings with attorneys can save time and money.

        How long does it take to get divorced in Florida?

        The length of time it takes to get divorced in Florida depends on several factors including whether the couple has children, how contested the issues are between them, and how busy the court system is at the time. Typically, an uncontested divorce can take around three months while a contested one can take up to a year or more.