Getting a divorce in Florida can be costly. You probably wonder how long the process takes and how much it will cost. To gather information about readers’ divorce experiences, we surveyed readers who had just gone through one. Additionally, we examined the fees and billing practices reported by Florida family law attorneys. Based on our comparisons and analyses, here are some findings about divorce in Florida.
Florida Divorce Lawyer Costs
The majority of people who divorce get legal assistance. And when they do, the attorney’s fees are the highest divorce cost. Their first question would be how much a divorce lawyer in Florida would cost. It is estimated that 75 percent of Florida readers have hired a lawyer in some capacity, and 85 percent have had their law firm handle their entire case from start to finish (also known as full-scope representation). A divorce lawyer usually charges an hourly rate, and the number of hours needed to complete your case determines your total bill in this situation.
Florida Divorce Attorney Hourly Rates
We examined how Florida lawyers charge their minimum and maximum hourly rates. A minimum hourly wage of $260 per hour was averaged across the state, while a maximum hourly wage of $330. Compared to the national average, these figures are somewhat higher.
Family law attorneys with years of specialized experience typically charge higher hourly rates in big cities. Although they will cost more than less-experienced lawyers, these seasoned specialists can often handle legal issues arising from divorce more effectively than their less-experienced counterparts.
A Typical Florida Divorce Lawyer’s Total Cost
Divorce attorneys in Florida cost approximately $11,000 to $14,000 per case on average.
That’s just an overall average, of course. Several factors will play a role in determining the costs of your case (discussed below). Total costs are relatively lower if people hire consulting attorneys for a limited portion of their cases (for example, preparing or reviewing settlement agreements or representing them at mediation). Despite this, only 10% of people in Florida hire consulting attorneys for this kind of limited legal assistance.
Divorce is expensive, but it’s worth it! Prepare as best you can, and try to find a non-contentious solution.
What Factors Influence Florida Divorce Costs?
There are a number of factors that determine the amount of time your lawyer will spend on your case and, therefore, the total cost of your case. These factors include:
- Child support and custody
- The payment of alimony (also called spousal support), and
- Property and debt division
For a lawyer to resolve these disputes, he or she must conduct discovery (exchanging financial documents and other information), file motions, represent you at hearings, and negotiate a settlement agreement (such as if a spouse is asking for temporary child support). It will also take your lawyer more time to prepare for and represent you at a divorce trial if you and your spouse cannot settle one or more issues.
Many people choose the convenience of keeping their lawyer on retainer. Find out how much it costs to retain a divorce lawyer in the U.S.