If you find yourself in a relationship that is on the outs and you are filing for divorce in Florida there are a few things that you can do ahead of time to save yourself a ton of money. Filing for divorce in Florida is a long and tedious mission that can be both stressing and confusing to even the smartest individual. If you don’t want to spend thousands of money on an attorney but you know what you want out of the divorce then there are some simple steps that you can take to get what you want without paying for an attorney to fight for you.
Filing for Divorce in Florida: Money Saving Tip #1: Do all of the paperwork yourself. Divorce paperwork is what attorneys charge the most to do. Nobody likes to do the monotonous paperwork that surrounds a divorce case and this goes for the attorney too. By filing all of the paperwork yourself you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your divorce. You can use your attorney to answer questions that you may have pertaining to certain forms but still fill the forms out yourself. The forms for divorce filing in Florida can be found at http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/index.shtml
Each form has corresponding directions with it so you will have a better understanding of how to fill them out. Again, if you are unsure then consult your attorney regarding specific questions but do not hire the attorney just to file paperwork. The attorney can also tell you which forms you have to file and which ones are optional based on your case.
Filing for Divorce in Florida: Money Saving Tip #2: Use the Local Self Help Centers. These centers are available to assist Florida residents in filing paper work related to court cases such as divorce. There are self help centers located throughout the state of Florida and they are specifically designed to assist residents in the many different aspects of court cases. Do not be afraid to contact the local self help center for assistance before you hire an attorney. In many cases you do not have to have an attorney to file for a divorce. You can find your local self help center information at http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/sh_7.shtml
Filing for Divorce in Florida: Money Saving Tip #3: Contact the Local Legal Aid. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney even though you think you need one then you can contact the local court for information regarding legal aid in your area. Throughout the state of Florida there are legal aid offices that have attorneys that are available to assist residents in court filing including filing for divorce. Legal aid is something that you will have to qualify for based on your income and will sometimes be free of charge or very low cost. The Florida courts website offers valuable information regarding legal aid throughout the state.
Filing for Divorce in Florida: Money Saving Tip #4: Use a Mediator whenever possible. If there is a specific part of the divorce that continues to be argued over such as belongings or custody it is always cheaper to use a mediator to attempt to resolve the issue rather than actually have attorneys battle it out in the courtroom. Further, with a mediator you are more likely to come to a conclusion that both parties will appreciate which is always a good thing when it comes to custody of the children. Mediators typically cost about $75 per session and it is not necessary to have an attorney present. Keep in mind that if you use a mediator you are not required to make any decisions but it is a good time to try to reach mutual agreements.
Following these tips will definitely save you money when you file for divorce in Florida. You may even be able to do all of the paperwork on your own and not find the need for an attorney at all. If this is the case then you have likely saved yourself a minimum of $1,500 as this is the average cost for an attorney in the state of Florida to file a complete divorce case.