How to get a Cheap Florida Divorce
Cheap Florida Divorce
So you need to file for a Cheap Florida divorce? This is by far the hardest decision you will ever make in your life. First, there is the emotional pain, feeling of loss, failure and state of confusion. Then it comes the realization that you need to start over, maybe find a place to live and heal your emotional wounds.
But when the dust settles you know one thing: you must file for divorce.
There is no doubt that when a marriage ends it always affects the financial situation of both soon to be exes. In this post you will find ways to file a cheap Florida divorce, implementing one idea or all of them can save you a lot of money and grief.
Tips for filing a cheap Florida divorce
1. Divorce in Mutual Agreement
Filing for a divorce in mutual agreement is always cheaper. This avoids having to hire a process server or sheriff to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. You will also save on court mandated mediation, hiring an attorney and maybe even having to pay for their legal fees.
While having a divorce in mutual agreement is not always possible, for example in cases of domestic violence, substance abuse and missing spouse situations; having a divorce in mutual agreement may also mean that the divorce can be finalized without having to attend a final hearing and really allowing you to have a cheap Florida divorce.
For more information on this option: Florida no-court divorce.
2. Understand alimony Florida laws
As of the writing on this post no new law has been enacted to change the current alimony Florida law. There have been some law projects submitted however none has become law as of today (May 24, 2016). Always do your own research prior to making any life altering decisions.
With that said, there are 3 factors considered when a judge considers alimony:
a) How long has the couple being married. – Less than 5 years and alimony is less likely to be granted.
b) Ability for the spouse requesting it to gain employment and need of such spouse for the alimony.
c) Ability for the paying spouse to pay it – Someone without the financial means will most likely not be required to pay alimony.
The family court judge will also consider the lifestyle the couple lived. For example if the couple lived a lavish lifestyle, were married for 10 years and the wife stayed at home; it’s very likely that alimony will be determined.
As of today there is no table that can predict how much alimony will be granted by a judge or what type of alimony. Some of the types of alimony are: rehabilitative, temporary, bridge the gap and permanent.
Sources you may find useful:
3. Understand Child Support Laws (when applicable)
Under Florida State Law 61.13 florida statutes, child support is mandatory when there are children between the couple that are less than 18 years old. Child support is calculated using four factors:
1 – Money earned by both parents
2 – Costs related to child care such as day care, after school care, etc.
3 – Medical insurance paid for such children
4 – Amount of overnights the children spend at either parent’s house. When a child spends more than 72 overnights at the non-custodial parent home, then the calculations will benefit the non-custodial parent.
There are child support calculators on the web however we have not found them to be 100% reliable but they will give you an estimate.
4. Filing a Pro-Se Divorce
Many people believe that filing for divorce means automatically hiring a family law attorney. While in some occasions hiring a divorce attorney is critical due to many pending financial issues and abusive behavior from the other party; filing a pro-se (by yourself) divorce is an option many can take.
First of all, filing for divorce is at least 90% paperwork. The State of Florida has created family law forms that can be printed for free and filed at your local courthouse. The challenge will be knowing which forms to use and how to complete them. Not doing it correctly will cost you more time and money than you may be willing to spend.
In the State of Florida you can hire a legal document preparer. This is a person that has knowledge similar to a divorce paralegal, however works for the general public at a much lower price than an attorney.
A legal document preparer cannot represent you in court or give you legal advice. He or she can help you choose the forms you need, type them and then help you file on the court using the court’s online system.
This alone will save you thousands of dollars on your divorce, making filing for a cheap Florida divorce a possibility.
Most legal document preparers work on a flat fee basis, based on the type of divorce and depth of work being requested.
5. Low Income Court Filing Fee Waiver
This tip alone could save you $400+and give a truly cheap Florida divorce.
Filing an Application for Indigent Status can save you the court filing fee. If you hire an attorney you may miss out on this great benefit. Eligibility is mostly based on the low income scale, 70% of Florida residents qualify for the court filing fee waiver.
A legal document preparer can help you complete this form as part of your divorce packet.