Tips to Save Money with Divorce 
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Tips to Save Money with Divorce 

| May 8, 2020 | Firm News |

All clients want to know how to save money! Heck, I want to save when I buy something, without being stupid about it. First if there are no children and you have agreed on everything, then you can do it by Simplified Divorce. The Clerk has the forms in a packet that costs very little. Understand this requires that you both appear when it is filed, so the Clerk can swear you in to say this is what you want and then again, when the Final Hearing is scheduled about 7-14 days down the road. The Clerk gives you this date when you file. Failure of either party to show up will preclude getting the divorce finalized. You can find the instructions and initial forms at https://www.flcourts.org/content/download/403028/3456502/901a.pdf. 

Your only cost (unless you qualify as “indigent” which the Clerk can help you define and apply for) will be the filing fee which is $408.00 in Pinellas County as of 2020. 

Be careful! If you are dividing any asset that requires title transfer or sale, then you must include language in the agreement and Final Judgment that permits the Court to help with it later! By this I mean, if you are to get the 2019 car and it is jointly titled, then you must put language in on when the other spouse will transfer title into your sole name and what will happen if they do not do so. An example only is “The Husband shall transfer title to the 2019 Dodge Ram into Wife’s name concurrent with entry of the Final Judgment or the Final Judgment shall act to transfer title to Wife or permit Wife to sign for transfer as Husband’s attorney in fact.” Similarly, if the house is to be sold, then by example only you might say “The house located at 0000 Oak St., City, shall be listed for sale with XXX Realtor, at a price of $YY concurrent with execution of this Agreement. Any offer at or above YY-10% shall be accepted by the parties. If they are unable to agree on a sales price, list price or any other matter regarding sale, then the Court shall retain jurisdiction to insure sale and all aspects of sale.” If you were to only say, “We agree to sell 0000 Oak St.” and then get the Final Judgment, the Court would not have any authority to do anything with it later. 

A Court can only do what you permit it to do by retaining jurisdiction (authority) over any asset/liability. Think long and hard on what you might want the Judge to do down the road for you! Thus if you think the other spouse might not transfer title, give you $YY amount of money called for or to pay their half of the credit card(s), then put language in that permits the Court to make them do so later! 

In Pinellas County, as in many other Counties, there is a Self Help Center in the Courthouse where you can get some assistance in filling out papers, but they cannot give you legal advice. 

This is not an exhaustive Simplified Dissolution explanation but just an overview. Hope it helps. Phil