Cheap divorces in Jacksonville, Florida… the ads make it sound so simple and easy on your wallet. Think twice before signing any retainer agreement for the lowest price. Finding a good Jacksonville family lawyer is critical. Do not let price alone be the determining factor in choosing your divorce lawyer. Don’t be a fool….go prepared to your initial divorce consultation and ask the right questions about what is really included in the divorce representation.
Be sure to have in writing exactly the attorney is obligated to do for you at such a “money saving” price. Do not sign anything until you have full disclosure of what you are pay the attorney to do for you. Unfortunately the “cheap divorces” end up costing you a lot more than you had anticipated by the slick advertising bait and switch.
So what questions do you need to ask before signing on the dotted line? Additional money is required for filing fees, copies and mail, telephone calls, travel time, and unexpected representation for motions filed by the opposing party.
Is the clerk of court filing fee included in the price? Since you are not an attorney, I doubt that you know that there is a required filing fee to the county clerk of court where the petition for dissolution of marriage is file. That fee alone in the Jacksonville area is around $400. Add to that initial filing fee is the cost of a summons $10.00 (needed to serve the opposing party with the divorce petition). Then you have the cost of a private process server…another $40-$100. Initial fees without any attorney compensation—it’s adding up!
Copy and mailing costs….are copy and mailing costs included? The “paperwork” (filing of pleadings, motions, hearings answers, parenting plans, etc.) can be excessive.
If minor children are involved does the fee include preparation of a parenting plan and timesharing plan? Again, if not disclosed at your initial consultation there you may be in for unexpected additional “billable” attorney hours. Is this included or will an additional retainer be required later to cover those costs?
Before you call and make that first appointment make a list of all these questions and be prepared to discuss both your family law legal needs and all the associated costs you will be responsible for. Ultimately finding a good attorney to represent you effectively should be the more important than looking for “cheap” representation. Good representation to protect yourself, your future and your children is all that should matter. You can find the financial means to pay for good representation, but going with the cheapest can be a life long mistake when deciding on a Jackonville family lawyer.