Fortunately for some couples, Florida does have a simplified process for dissolving a marriage other than a standard divorce. It is called a simplified dissolution of marriage, and in many cases an attorney may not be necessary.
One of the first questions most people who are seeking to hire a divorce attorney ask is how much the attorney charges.
Unfortunately, that is often not an easy answer to give. Every divorce is very different. Some clients have very cooperative spouses who want to get the divorce over quickly and easily. Some clients have spouses who are difficult and want to drag out the proceedings as long as possible.
Some other factors that could affect the cost of a divorce attorney include any disputed custody matters and any disputes over property division or alimony. These issues may be resolved fairly simply and inexpensively, or can result in hours of negotiations or court proceedings, which would increase the cost significantly.
In some cases, a Florida court may order a person’s spouse to pay part or all of his or her attorney’s fees and costs. However, those awards are unpredictable, and a divorcing spouse shouldn’t expect the judge to order payment of attorney’s fees and costs - instead, the client should be prepared to pay those fees.
If a divorcing couple is concerned about attorneys’ fees, the best thing they can do is to try to come to an agreement about most of the major issues such as property division, division of debts, custody, and alimony. In some cases, fighting over these issues costs more in fees than the assets are worth.
Many clients ask if they can pay through contingency fees. In other words, the amount of the attorney’s fee would depend on the outcome of the divorce case.
However, this arrangement is not legal in Florida. Instead, most attorneys work hourly, and can give clients an estimate of the costs up front, after hearing the details of the particular case.