My husband and I separated 8 months ago, now I want to file for divorce. I cannot afford a lawyer. I have two children by my husband, they live with me. My husband is incarcerated and I want to serve him papers before he is released in mid October.
Where do I go to fill out the proper paperwork, and what will be the cost? I live in Duval County.
Filing fees vary slightly by county but are around $400 for a dissolution of marriage case. It also costs $10 for the summons and $20 for the sheriff to serve it. Your local courthouse probably has a self-help center where you can buy the forms, or you can find them on the Florida Supreme Court website for free.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I do not practice in Duval County, but you can go to the court's website to obtain the information on how to obtain forms you will need for your divorce. It is the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court's website and there is also information with regard to free legal clinics and the Florida Courts website (as mentioned previously) where you can download a number of forms to assist you.
You may also wish to speak with legal aid in your area to see if you qualify, or speak to an attorney around you to see if you can work out a payment plan or a low cost retainer.
Family Law Attorney
You can obtain a divorce package from the Clerk of Court - Duval County Court house - 4th floor, family center. The cost is $25.00 or so. The filing fee is $409.00 and the Sheriff has recently increased the amount for service of process to $40.00. IF the summons is not included in the package there may be a charge for that as well- $10.00. You can hand fill these out and have them served on your estranged husband. Once he has been served you have 20 days (not including the day of service) for him to answer. If he does not answer, then you may proceed with a default and appear for a hearing. Since you have children, you might want to consider speaking with an attonrey about the issues of child support - he will eventually get a job and will need to support them.