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How long is a piece of string? That’s how some lawyer will describe how much a divorce will cost in the State of Florida. Much depends on the issues involved in the case. Depending on those issues, a divorce in Florida might cost as little as $600 on up. How far is up also is about as long as a piece of string.

On the average, a divorce in Florida is around $14,500 without children, and $21,500 with children. If the divorce is contested, those numbers can go down or up, depending on what issues are contested, if any.

The more contested issues that a case has, the more likely that it will become costly.

Here at some of the contested issues:

Your Net Worth

The higher the value of your net worth, the more expensive it might be to determine what you take and what you don’t take. Those with a low net worth and relatively few assets, might do well be agreeing to “Simplified Divorce” without the costliness or need for attorneys, especially if they don’t have children. You’re looking at less than a $1,000 range in that case. Those with a high net worth can expect their divorce to be far more expensive, especially if there are disputes over spousal support or a business. A high net worth divorce can result in legal fees well over $100,000.


The fact that one or more minor children might be involved is going to be at issue when the issues of custody, support and visitation arise, especially if there are special needs of a child. Determining how much child support should be paid becomes even more difficult when a parent’s income might turn on bonuses, the fact that he or she is self-employed or even an unfit parent that the child or children shouldn’t be anywhere near.

The Parties

The issue of how willing the parties might be to participate in a good faith resolution of the issues surrounding a divorce also has a direct link to the cost of the proceeding. All it takes is for one of the parties to be obstinate and unwilling to compromise. Hearings on every issue in the divorce may be required, making the divorce increasingly expensive.

Obstinate Attorneys

All it takes is one of the parties to the divorce to have an attorney who is unwilling to compromise. If an attorney is unwilling to settle matters without fully litigating them, that could drive up the cost of litigation even further. Couple that with a party who is unwilling to compromise, and you know you’re in for a high-end divorce.

Willingness to Dissolve the Marriage

A judge isn’t going to keep two people married if one of them wants out of the marriage, but the other party might be uncooperative. If both parties are amenable to dissolution of the marriage, the legal fees tend to drastically decrease.

Hourly Rates and Retainers

A divorce lawyer in Florida is likely going to charge $250 per hour up to $500 per hour. They’re going to want an up-front retainer that typically starts out at $2,500. Some lawyers won’t bat an eyelash at $7,500 or even $10,000 though. If that retainer is depleted, he or she will require an additional retainer. If you don’t pay it, then it’s likely that you’ll be seeing a motion to withdraw from your representation. Judges are lawyers too. It’s highly likely that it will be granted, leaving you with the choice of settling or finding another attorney who is going to want another retainer anyway.

Learning how long that piece of string is requires consulting with a divorce professional, laying the case out for him or her and obtaining an estimate of the legal fees. Issues might be raised that you never contemplated. If the parties to the divorce are in agreement on most, if not all of the issues in the divorce, it’s likely to be far less costly.

Getting Divorced in Tampa?

Our attorneys take divorces seriously. If you’ve been served divorce papers or are considering divorce, contact the Tampa Divorce Lawyers of Robert Sparks Attorneys, PLLC today.

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