No divorce is easy, but working with the right divorce lawyers in Fort Myers can simplify the process. You should look for a lawyer who has a good reputation, fair hourly rates and excellent client communication. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best divorce lawyers in Fort Myers to find an advocate to protect your personal and legal interests.
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Grossman Law & Conflict Management
Exclusively practices marital, divorce & family law
About 16 percent of the adult population in Fort Myers is divorced, and Florida has a rate of 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people, higher than the national average of 2.9. Because divorce is so common in the area, there is a strong need for divorce lawyers in Fort Myers, which leads to a wide selection of available firms. You need to choose carefully.
Because most divorce attorneys in Fort Myers specialize in specific areas, it’s helpful to know how your divorce is likely to proceed. If you and your spouse are amicable and agree to all terms, the divorce is uncontested. These divorces are generally the most straightforward, and couples can file for a simplified dissolution of marriage if the following conditions are met:
The divorcing couple must have no minor children from the marriage
The parties must not be expecting a child
Both parties must agree on all property division issues
Both parties are required to attend the final divorce hearing
If the parties agree to terms but do not meet these requirements, they must file for a regular dissolution of marriage. It’s often helpful to hire an attorney to review the documents even in uncontested divorces.
If you and your spouse cannot agree to the final terms of the divorce, the divorce is contested. There are multiple ways to finalize a contested divorce in Fort Myers, including:
Collaborative divorce: In a collaborative divorce, both parties hire attorneys and enter a formal agreement to negotiate in good faith to reach an out-of-court divorce settlement. If they are unable to reach terms both parties find equitable, they must hire new attorneys before proceeding to litigation.
Mediation: In mediation, the divorcing spouses meet with a neutral party who presents compromises to disputed issues and works to keep open lines of communication. Either party may reject the proposed solutions if they do not consider them fair.
Arbitration: Like mediation, arbitration uses a neutral third party to resolve the final terms of the divorce. Unlike mediation, however, the divorcing parties surrender their rights to reject the terms of a divorce. An arbitrator’s decisions are binding.
Litigation: If the divorcing spouses are unable to come to an agreement by any other method, the case will likely end up in court. Each party hires an attorney to argue their side to a judge, who makes binding decisions and determines the final terms of the divorce.
The cost of divorce lawyers in Fort Myers
The average hourly rate for a divorce lawyer in Fort Myers is $260, though prices range from $150 to $450. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for certain services, such as uncontested divorces or reviewing documents for a simple dissolution of marriage. The average cost of divorce in Fort Myers is $13,500, of which $10,700 comes from attorney’s fees.
Expect to pay more than average if your divorce is contentious, has complicated issues or goes to trial. Factors that may increase the cost of your divorce include:
Disputed custody of minors
Ownership of multiple properties or a business
Division of high-value assets
Contested alimony payments
You typically need to pay an attorney a retainer when hiring them. The retainer is an upfront fee that goes toward hourly billing and court filing fees. If your case exceeds the retainer, you need to pay the extra costs.
Many divorce lawyers in Fort Myers offer free consultations. These meetings allow you to ask any questions about fees while seeing if the attorney is the right fit for your case.
Choosing a divorce attorney in Fort Myers
When consulting divorce attorneys in Fort Myers, consider several factors. For instance, you should compare hourly rates. You should also look into their areas of expertise. If your case involves children, you should work with a lawyer who specializes in family law and has experience with child custody agreements. If you and your spouse plan to reach a mediated settlement, you don’t need an attorney who specializes in litigation.
Be sure to ask questions during your initial consultation, such as:
How much experience do you have?
When did you begin practicing law?
What would your strategy be for my divorce?
Have you handled similar cases in the past?
How often will you update me on my case’s progress?
Personal compatibility matters as well. If you dislike the lawyer’s personality or communication style, look elsewhere. You and your lawyer need to work closely together to get the best possible outcome. Without a good relationship, you don’t have a good chance of success.
Grossman Law & Conflict Management
If you want an amicable divorce, Grossman Law can help. They specialize in mediation and conflict resolution, but also handle other family law issues such as child support. Grossman Law won the 2018 Avvo Clients’ Choice Award. Reviews from Fort Myers clients recommend Keith Grossman for his professionalism and high level of care.
Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law
Calvo & Calvo has the resources necessary to handle any aspect of divorce cases, including property division, alimony, child custody and visitation rights. The lawyers have a combined 30 years of experience and are active members of the Lee County Bar Association. Fort Myers clients appreciate the firm’s ability to resolve a situation quickly.
Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A.
Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi has attorneys experienced in divorce and family law. The firm offers free consultations and tailors individual strategies for each case. Many Fort Myers customers praise the firm for its excellent communication, noting that the attorneys are always available and keep clients informed on their case’s progress.