Hollywood, FL asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Florida

Q: If divorce is necessary, which spouse will be paying for filing fee. Is the one that file first or both

We got married in Dec 2015 and got a 16 month old together. We've been in a really bad place lately and I'm really tired of the verbal abuse and want out. He's been threatening divorce for almost a year but never file. I'm wondering if he's doing everything because he thinks he's going to pay the filing fee if he file first so he's acting very cruel towards me so I can file first. He want full custody as well. I'm wondering how can I protect myself and make sure I won custody. I'm the one paying all the bills right now and taking care of everything and he's taking advantage of that. What can I do because I don't have money to pay for the fee I can't take this anymore. Please help

1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew J Ausley
Matthew J Ausley
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: To answer your question: the person who files a Petition pays the filing fee. Attorneys usually recommend that the person who didn’t initially file the Petition (called the Respondent) file a Counter-Petition, which also requires a filing fee.

That being said, if you are going to get divorced, who pays the filing fee should be the least of your concern. Typically, in Florida, parties both get timesharing and parental responsibility. Typically, exceptions to that rule involve abuse, neglect, or drugs. That means that the two of you will have to work together for the next 17-18 years to raise your child. Compared to the time, effort, and money involved in doing that, a filing fee is meaningless.

You need to hire a competent attorney that can help you obtain a favorable parenting plan that protects your parental rights and clearly lays out the responsibilities of both parents. Unless you want to be back in court a lot, and you don’t want that, the parenting plan you fashion during the divorce will govern your relationship with your future ex-spouse for the better part of two decades. It’s important that the parenting plan be done right. What you do in the divorce is going to have a tremendous impact on your life for a long time.

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