According to a recent report, Florida is among the most expensive states in which to obtain a divorce. The filing fee of $409 is the highest in the nation. Coupled with a 200-day minimum wait time before processing, the total cost isn’t just money, but also time and peace of mind.
These costs don’t appear to act as a deterrent, however, as our state’s divorce rate is the seventh highest in the nation. In a 2010 study on this subject, four Florida cities appear in the top 10 list, including Jacksonville (ninth), Palm Bay (eighth), Deltona (sixth) and Panama City, which experienced the highest rate in the entire country.
Although Florida’s filing fee is unavoidable, the good news is that it is possible to reduce the overall expense of divorce. One of the largest contributors to a costly divorce is litigation. When spouses are unable to compromise, come to an agreement or even interact with each other in a productive manner, they are forced to handle matters through their lawyers and the court system. Resentment and lack of cooperation on the part of the spouses and scheduling conflicts and delays on the part of the attorneys and the court may cause expenses to multiply quickly.
A less costly approach is for the spouses to sit down independently and attempt to negotiate an initial agreement regarding the division of property and assets, as well as any arrangements related to the custody and support of children. For this approach to work, both parties must come to the table with honesty and be open to full disclosure, and have a commitment to a productive conversation and compromise.
Once you and your spouse have amicably arrived at an initial agreement, you can avoid many of the high costs associated with divorce. Consult an experienced Florida divorce attorney at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras to learn more about your options.