Divorces are complex and highly emotional. A good divorce lawyer is familiar with Tallahassee laws and can give you objective advice. They can also help you find creative solutions to standstills and take care of extensive paperwork. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best divorce lawyers in Tallahassee to help get you through your breakup with less hardship.
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Divorce rates have significantly declined since their all-time high in the 1970s, but divorce remains common and still is a challenging and emotionally intense process. Florida has a higher rate of 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people than the national average of 2.9, according to the National Vital Statistics System.
A quality divorce attorney understands that battles are often about more than assets and navigates the negotiation process so the divorcing couple can reach mutual agreements.
Types of divorce in Tallahassee
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the party seeking the divorce does not need to prove any grounds other than the marriage is irretrievably broken. How the divorce proceeds depends on several elements, including how amicable the couple are and whether there are issues in dispute in the divorce settlement.
The type of divorce you expect should influence your choice of attorney. The chart below shows the most common ways to settle a divorce in Tallahassee.
Common types of divorce in Tallahassee
Types of divorce
Spouses are in complete agreement about all issues in the divorce and do not need to negotiate terms or go to court.
Spouses have disputes over issues such as child custody, division of property or alimony and must use a method to resolve any differences.
The couple agree to negotiate in good faith and work with lawyers and professionals to settle disputed matters and avoid going to court.
A neutral third party works with the couple to resolve common divorce issues. A mediator can only make suggestions and not binding decisions.
Issues are submitted to a family court to be resolved by a judge. These are binding decisions.
If your case involves child custody issues, hire a family law attorney. These lawyers seek to put your children first and defend their best interests by gathering and presenting relevant evidence to help determine custody arrangements.
The cost of divorce lawyers in Tallahassee
Most divorce attorneys in Tallahassee charge hourly rates, so the complexity and contentiousness of your divorce influences the total cost. Cases that take longer to resolve cost more. Unless you’re going through an uncontested divorce, be wary of divorce lawyers who give you a firm estimate at the beginning of the case. Most explain that costs are difficult to estimate in advance.
The average rate for an attorney in Tallahassee is $260 an hour, but that ranges from $150 to $500 an hour depending on the attorney’s experience and expertise. The average total cost of a divorce in Florida is $13,500, of which nearly $11,000 is attorneys’ fees. Costs increase with more complex issues — a divorce involving children has an average cost of more than $20,000.
Most lawyers in Tallahassee ask for a retainer, which is an upfront payment that they draw fees and expenses from during your divorce. The amount of the retainer may depend on expected costs — you may need to pay a larger retainer if your divorce is expected to take a long time or be contentious.
Questions to ask a divorce lawyer in Tallahassee
Many divorce lawyers in Tallahassee offer free consultations, though some may charge a fee for initial meetings. These meetings are an excellent time to ask the attorney questions and make sure they’re the right fit for you and your divorce. It’s a good idea to meet with several different divorce lawyers to better understand your options.
When looking for a divorce lawyer in Tallahassee, it's important to verify they are licensed, have the proper qualifications and are personally compatible with you. You may have to share highly personal or embarrassing information with your attorney, so they should be someone you feel comfortable working with and whose personality meshes well with yours.
To vet attorneys, some questions to ask during your initial consultation include:
What areas do you specialize in?
How much are your rates, and how will I be charged?
What additional costs might there be?
What is your strategy in the divorce process?
What philosophies govern your decision making?
What is your response time when I call or email?
Choosing the right method of divorce and the best lawyer to handle your case can be confusing. There are many free resources available to help, and Florida Courts can direct you to free or low-cost legal aid and local self-help centers. Parents can apply online to request or manage a child support case.
A client-focused practice, Liebenhaut Law strives to provide clients with the best legal representation in family law. Scheduling a consult is easy and can be initiated using an online case evaluation form. Clients in Tallahassee singled the firm out as being knowledgeable, and many appreciate the care the staff shows to clients.
Max Factor, Attorney at Law
Max Factor is a seasoned lawyer in family law who has been practicing for nearly 30 years. He helps with various aspects of the divorce process including mediation, child custody and complex asset distribution. Multiple reviews from Tallahassee praise him as being an outstanding attorney who is trustworthy and reasonably priced.
Thompson, Crawford & Smiley
Voted “Best of Tallahassee” 4 years in a row by Tallahassee Magazine, Thompson, Crawford & Smiley has more than 25 years of experience and commitment to providing superior legal services. The firm’s specialties include complex family law matters and litigation. Tallahassee customers appreciate how professional and courteous the attorneys are.
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