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Who Pays for Attorney Fees and Costs in a Florida Divorce?

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Just about everyone knows that a divorce can be very expensive. The attorney’s fees and costs are just one expense that you may incur if you choose to go through the divorce process. Many people wonder whether they will have to pay all their own fees as well as their spouses fees as well.

The legal fees and costs to consider in a Florida divorce include not only your own legal fees and your spouse’s attorney’s fees, but also costs such as for court filings, mediation, process servers, experts, copies, appraisals, court reporters, transcripts, and more.

In a divorce, the court wants to ensure that both parties leave the marriage on an even financial footing. Due to this, the law allows one party to request that their spouse pay all or a portion of their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. This request must be made known in the appropriate court filing, or else it will likely be found to be waived. Now you may be wondering, well what factors will the court consider?

In evaluating a party’s request for attorney’s fees and costs, the court will assess factors such as:

  • The financial resources of the parties
  • The history of the case
  • The merits of both parties’ positions
  • Whether the award is needed

As previously stated, an award of attorney’s fees and costs in a divorce must be reasonable. This means that even if the court finds that an award of attorney’s fees and costs is appropriate, the court then has to determine how much is reasonable. This determination varies from one case to another. The court may take into consideration the amount of legal fees versus the other attorney’s legal fees, whether the party has engaged in frivolous matters, how much work was performed, the complexity of the issues, and the nature of the case overall. A hearing will then be held on the issue of attorney’s fees and costs in which evidence and testimony would be presented from both sides for the court to evaluate and rule on these factors.

Divorces can be expensive, that is why it is important to ask your lawyer direct and upfront questions as to what the fees and costs of your divorce may look like so that you can plan accordingly with the understanding as to your legal rights as to the same. However, please keep in mind that as your case develops, and the issues are better understood you may need to revisit these discussions as the expected attorney’s fees and cost may change as more issues are determined along with the needs surrounding the same. Embarking on your divorce journey with confidence begins with being well-prepared. Download our FREE guide, “10 Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce Checklist,” to arm yourself with critical insights and actionable steps for the road ahead.  SplytUp is here to simplify your split and guide your future, helping you to move forward on solid ground. Secure your smoother pathway today by downloading your free guide.

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