How Much Does Divorce Cost for Seniors in Florida?

Florida is a popular place for couples in their retirement years. But sometimes couples reach their golden years and decide their current partners aren’t who they want to spend the rest of their lives with. They might opt for divorce but have little idea about how divorce works for married couples later in life and how much it will cost.

One difference in a senior divorce, or gray divorce, is that couples often have more assets to divide after working towards their shared goals for so long. This can lead to more complex divorce proceedings, and spouses are right to wonder if they’ll be fairly treated as savings and retirement funds are distributed. It becomes a smart idea to allow a skilled Tampa senior divorce lawyer to oversee your financial and family interests during divorce settlement negotiations.

Schedule a Consultation with a Tampa Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering divorce as a senior citizen, an initial case evaluation with the team at Robert Sparks Attorneys provides you with vital information about the process ahead. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation as soon as possible.

We can review the steps as they apply to your situation as a Tampa area resident. This no-obligation divorce consultation ensures you are aware of your rights and thoroughly understand the court process.

Our experienced Tampa senior divorce attorneys utilize extensive knowledge of Florida divorce law to ensure our clients in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond receive fair treatment and protect their retirement years. We fight to secure a positive outcome for our clients during such a difficult period in their lives.

The Average Cost of a Senior Divorce in Tampa

The cost of a Florida senior divorce will depend on how much the spouses can work out for themselves and how much they’ll need help in allocating the marriage’s assets. Hiring a Tampa divorce lawyer will increase the expenses, of course, but seniors with a lot of assets to divide often benefit from having a legal representative to fight for their fair share.

Uncontested Divorce

For a “simple uncontested divorce,” couples will pay a $408 Hillsborough County Dissolution of Marriage Court Fee. There will be a few other minor charges, but if both spouses agree to the terms of their divorce, and file themselves, that may be the end of the divorce costs. The costs would remain low as long as the couple filled out the required documents and filed the papers themselves.

However, to use the “simplified uncontested dissolution of marriage” option, couples have to meet a few criteria, and older spouses may not qualify. You can’t have any minor children to file for a simple uncontested divorce. Neither spouse can ask for alimony. You must be in complete agreement on how to divide property and debts. One of you must have been a Florida resident for at least six months. You both give up your right to a trial and appeal.

Couples who don’t meet the standards above can still file for Florida’s “regular uncontested dissolution of marriage.” This option can take longer as assets, child custody, and alimony are worked out, but the cost won’t go up by much.

There are legal services companies that help couples fill out the proper paperwork and file the documents. This will increase the costs for both partners.

Florida Divorce Expenses with a Divorce Lawyer

Tampa seniors might also benefit from having a lawyer protect them through “uncontested divorce” proceedings, even though partners are of the same mind. Couples may desire to divide up their assets fairly and provide spousal support, but they may not know what fair means when it concerns these issues.

Dividing properties like a family home, vacation property, and especially retirement funds may prove difficult. A skilled divorce attorney can help you understand what’s at stake and help you hang onto the possessions and assets you’ve worked so hard for.

Entering a gray divorce with a lawyer’s protection may cost you on average between $4,000 and $5000. Attorney services can cost much less when the divorce is easier to sort out. It may cost more if a gray divorce involves high-net-worth partners with many more financial and familial factors to consider in a divorce agreement.

Contested Divorce with a Lawyer

When a lawyer helps you through a contested divorce, where couples dispute who should get what, the costs escalate quickly. When a senior divorce ends up in court, each partner may pay around $20,000 or more.

This would include legal costs, the cost of expert witnesses, and the price for extended research into the value of properties and the expected payout of retirement funds. The cost of living for both partners in the years ahead would have to be estimated by financial experts.

Some lawyers will require part of these fees upfront. They may ask for a retainer of several thousand dollars when couples can’t reach an agreement and will have to depend on a judge’s ruling.

What Are the Legal Fees for Divorce in Florida?

Some divorce lawyers charge a flat fee, and others charge by the hour. From your first consultation with a lawyer, and especially if you hire a lawyer, you should have a clear understanding of what you are paying and when those fees are due. Make sure your lawyer clearly explains how they get paid.

In Florida, attorney fee hourly rates typically run between $260 and $330. What an attorney charges per hour depends on factors such as:

  • The lawyer’s experience and skill
  • What other divorce and family law attorneys in the community or area customarily charge
  • The complexity and number of issues or disputes in the case
  • The possible or desired results of the case

Will My Spouse Pay My Senior Divorce Attorney Fees?

In some cases, one spouse won’t have the income to pay for quality legal representation in a senior divorce. At times, the court can ask one spouse to cover the divorce attorney fees for the other partner.

Florida Statutes Section 61.16 authorizes the court to require one spouse to pay the other’s attorney fees in divorce cases.

The outcome of a divorce proceeding has long-lasting effects on the parties’ finances and relationships with the children. For that reason, the inability to pay should not deprive a spouse of legal assistance in pursuing or defending claims and otherwise protecting rights as a spouse or parent.

The court would look at the spouse’s employment record during a marriage. If the partner sacrificed a career in order to stay home to raise children, the other spouse that continued to work might have to cover the legal fees. Other sources of income and assets would be considered when determining if a spouse could afford an attorney.

The skilled legal representatives at Robert Sparks Tampa Divorce Attorneys will explore the legal options for holding your spouse responsible for your divorce costs. If possible, we will hold your partner responsible for every hardship you’ve faced.

The Cost of New Wills and Trusts After a Senior Divorce

A divorce and redistributed assets often make it necessary for all new wills to be written. This is a cost that partners can add to the potential expense of a divorce.

After properties, business assets, and retirement plans have been reallocated, newly divorced seniors may need to ensure their new financial situation is reflected in their wills and trusts. It’s important to make sure those assets end up in the hands of children, heirs, and others.

Robert Sparks Senior Estate Planning Attorneys can help our clients adjust their wills after a divorce. Taking this action makes sure the client’s possessions and money end up in the right hands.

Speak with an Experienced Tampa Senior Divorce Lawyer and Estate Planning Lawyer

Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful events of your life. It’s especially difficult when a long-term marriage comes to an end. Above the emotional investment involved, couples can have extended assets to divide up and then difficult choices about how to leave their new assets to their loved ones in a will or trust.

It’s important to know that you don’t have to face divorce and estate planning alone. With decades of collective experience, our Tampa senior divorce lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys have the knowledge of Florida divorce law you’ll need to fight for the best possible outcome in your divorce. Our Tampa estate lawyers also stand ready to quickly get your assets protected with a will or trust once your divorce is official.

Learn more about what we can do to help you by contacting us and scheduling a free senior divorce consultation today. We protect those going through divorce in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dade City, and the surrounding areas.