I have clients and potential clients ask me all the time…”What is the cheapest way to get a divorce in Florida?” Before I answer them, I remind myself that this is a loaded question with no correct answer. The reason I hesitate is that there are an endless list of variables that effect divorce proceedings and the expenses involved. For starters, divorce proceedings are emotionally charged by the very nature of the underlying dispute. Married couples often have a hard time letting go of the grudges that exist between them which generally have no place in the court room. Overcoming these feelings of animosity is one of the biggest challenges Florida divorce attorneys face.
Some people ask me if filing a divorce in Florida on their own without the help of an attorney will save them money. This is another question with no right or wrong answer. What I tell them is that the divorce laws in Florida are complicated. It takes lawyers several years just to become adept at handling family law cases. In addition, the laws tend to change frequently as do the courts’ interpretations of the existing law. Different jurisdictions may handle certain issues in divorces in slightly different manners which can have long-term and far-reaching effects once the divorce is final. It is impossible for a couple going through a divorce for the first time to get a complete grasp on all of the pertinent laws and procedures for a particular jurisdiction with a specific judge without having done it before.
One judge I have appeared in front of many times before likens filing for divorce in a Florida court without using an attorney to going to a hospital and asking the surgeon to give you a scalpel and then telling her/him that you will handle the surgery from there. It may seem doable but the long-term effect can be devastating. Although attorneys’ fees seem expensive, they may ultimately save you from making an expensive mistake that costs you much more money in the long run.
If you have questions about a Florida Divorce contact a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney. If you need help filling out forms for a divorce you are filing pro-se (without an attorney), a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney may be able to help you review them for a fixed fee.