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  • Writer's pictureHannah Ross


Updated: Mar 8

Learn more about the additional fees needed for a court case.

When hiring an attorney, money can be tight. Most costs outside attorney fees aren’t thought of and can be overwhelming. From retaining an attorney to the cost of filing a new case, we at LaVia Law understand the financial burden our clients run into.

The first cost most people must pay is the filing fee. The filing fee is set by the Clerk of Court and cannot be changed. The fee typically is around $400. Some clients qualify to have this fee waived because they are indigent, which means they earn less than twice the federal poverty level. You can get this fee waived by filing an application along with your petition to the Clerk of Court. For more information, see Florida Statutes sections 57.081 and 57.082.

Additionally, after a Petition is filed, it must be served on the other party. A summons must be filed and signed by the Clerk of Court to begin this process. There is a $10 fee for issuance of the summons, unless you are indigent.

After the Clerk of Court signs the summons, the Sheriff's office must serve the Petition on the other party. The fee for service by the Sheriff is $40 unless you are indigent. A check payable to the Sheriff's Office must be mailed (along with the Petition) to the Sheriff's office in the county where the other party lives.

The next cost that comes up in a family law case is for mediation. At mediation, the parties try to resolve the matter without going to court. There are two types of Mediation: court mediation and private mediation (mediator agreed to by the parties).

The cost of court mediation depends on the gross income of both parties. Of course, if you are found to be indigent, this fee is waived. If the combined gross income is less than $50,000, the fee is $60 per party, per 3-hour session. And if the combined gross income is greater than $50,000 but less than $100,000 the fee is $120 per party, per 3-hour session If the combined gross income is greater than $100,000, the parties must mediate privately. Private mediation is much more expensive, but there are private mediators who will offer reduced fees based on a sliding scale. For a list of recommended vendors, click here and see resource 12.

If the case is not resolved in Mediation, then a final hearing can be set. The court doesn't charge anything for setting a hearing, but you may want to hire a court reporter and pay for a transcript of the hearing. The court reporter's fee cannot be waived even with a civil indigence application, but you can shop around for a less expensive court reporter. Hearings in front of a magistrate, and hearings on domestic violence injunctions are recorded at no expense to the parties, but if you want a transcript, you will have to pay a court reporter. For a list of recommended vendors, click here and see resource 11.  

After the final hearing is completed, and a Final Judgement has been issued, there is a recording cost of $10.50.

For a full list of fees, please visit your local clerk of court or see the Leon County Clerk of Court fee schedule:

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