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All About Divorce Filing Fees In Florida

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The depressing statistic about how half of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency expense has been bouncing around the Internet since before the COVID-19 pandemic, but even in the age of stimulus checks, it is as true as ever.  Now that 2021 is coming to an end and the omicron variant threatens to keep you cooped up in the house with your family for another winter, divorcing your spouse seems like a true emergency.  That is why there is Divorce Monday to round out the holiday season; it is the first business Monday of the year, when more couples file for divorce and contact divorce lawyers than on any other day of the year.  This year, divorce Monday is on January 3.  It costs a little more than $400 to get your divorce process started without a lawyer, but you should only do this if your financial situation is truly desperate.  If you can possibly afford it, or if a family member who never cared for your spouse will float you some money for Christmas, you should hire a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

How to Dump Your Spouse When You’re Broke

When you submit your divorce petition to the court, you must pay a $409 filing fee, and the court will begin processing your case.  If you are not hiring a lawyer, the court will add a $12 fee, because people who represent themselves in divorce cases are more likely to end up with post-dissolution legal disputes that bring them back to court.  If your divorce is uncontested, which means that you and your spouse agreed on all the details before filing for divorce, then that is all you have to pay.  If not, you must pay $10 for the court to generate a summons (a copy of the divorce petition and a notice that you have filed for divorce) and $40 to have the Sheriff’s Office serve your spouse with the divorce papers.  If you are truly indigent, you can get the court to waive some or all of these fees.

The Case of the Missing Divorce Filing Fees: A South Florida Story

Once you have filed the papers and paid the fees, divorce moves quickly unless you are so wealthy that you have lots of valuable assets to fight about.  At least, it is supposed to.  Some couples in Miami experienced unexpected delays, however, because a court clerk was pocketing their filing fees.  Tyrone Smith, Jr., would print phony receipts for people who submitted divorce petitions and then keep the money the people paid as filing fees; the clients thought they had filed for divorce, but in fact the cases never got processed.  Smith stole more than $100,000 before he got caught, and now he is facing criminal charges.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A divorce lawyer can help you get out of a bad marriage even if you are struggling financially.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.

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