Is there really such a thing as no cost divorce? If you are willing to do some work on your own and qualify for a waiver of the filing fee, there is. Standard forms have been developed and approved by the Florida Supreme Court for the use of individuals who do not wish to retain counsel to represent them. You can find these forms on the Florida court system website, www.flcourts.org. You can also find form packets on the website of the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court’s website, www.hillsclerk.com, for the use of parties who will be filing their cases in Hillsborough County. The packets available on the Hillsborough County Clerk’s site include information about the process and tell you which forms you need to file. In Hillsborough County you can get free assistance filling out your forms from Bay Area Legal Services. Similar services may be available through the clerks’ offices or through legal aid in other counties.
If you qualify, you may also be eligible for a waiver of the clerk’s filing fee. In order to do so you must submit an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status to the county clerk.
If you and your spouse agree about all of your issues, including timesharing, child support, alimony and property distribution, the forms include a Parenting Plan and Marital Settlement Agreement. You can sign these and submit them to the court without the assistance of an attorney. However, I urge you to consult with an attorney before you sign either of these. You may qualify for free legal representation through legal aid. If you do not, you may consult with an attorney for a small fee to review the documents before you submit them. Robert Sparks Attorneys offers a low cost, flat fee divorce option for uncontested cases. This fee includes our representation through the entire process and we prepare almost all of the documents for you. If you want to prepare the documents yourself, our attorneys can meet with you for a one time hourly fee to review your documents and agreements before you submit them.