South Florida Divorce Representation
Statewide Divorce Document Preparation
Attorney Gruskin has 32 Years Experience (Click here to email your questions to attorney Gruskin when done reading)
Why Hire a Florida Divorce Lawyer
At a minimum you should sit down with a Florida divorce lawyer to learn your rights. If you are going to try and represent yourself you don't want to give up rights that you don't have to, either rights that you didn't know existed, or rights that you didn't think you were entitled to. Also note that if a party has need for financial assistance regarding their Florida divorce attorney fees, the Court can order the other party to pay all or part of those fees, if the other party has the ability to do so.
Why should I spend my hard earned money on a Florida divorce lawyer? It's a good question. After all, there are paralegals and mediators who offer services for the same or less money than a lawyer would charge. It must be understood that paralegals cannot practice law or give you legal advice and they cannot go to Court with you. (although if they work under the supervision of a member of the Florida Bar they can do delegated legal work) Florida divorce mediators may be able to help you reach an agreement but they cannot be an advocate for both parties. If you have anything at all at stake, why not hear what your rights and responsibilities are from someone who is on your side, and only your side? The last thing that you want to do is give up legal rights, or money or property that you didn't even realize that you were entitled to, because no one told you about your rights.
Mediators who don't represent either party are not necessarily going to suggest that you hang in there and fight for everything that you are entitled to. The price of a Florida divorce lawyer can be worth it if you obtain the proper amount of child support, alimony, or property, instead of some compromise or erroneous amount. No one should go deeply into debt to borrow money for a Florida divorce lawyer; but the money spent can be a good investment.
A Florida divorce is a very important for you and your family. It is usually not the time to try to find a bargain or try to practice law on your own unless you have legal training. Sometimes, if one party's financial situation is much better than the other's, than that party may have to pay the fees for both lawyers.
Sometimes the fact that one party has a Florida divorce attorney is a good reason for the other party to settle, because they know that their adversary is not going to give up easily. Lawyers may not be very concerned about an adversary who has no lawyer.
Another problem when representing yourself may occur where you fail to use the proper language in an agreement that you draw up. Parts of the agreement may end up unenforceable or cause an unintended result. You can also run into difficulty even where you feel that you have a clear cut case with regard to alimony, or timesharing with the minor children for example. The rules of evidence and procedure are often complicated. And if you do not know them, you may not be successful on a particular claim no matter how valid that claim is. Judges cannot relax the rules of evidence simply because you are not an attorney. You will be held to the same standards as a practicing lawyer in court if you try to represent yourself.
In conclusion, there are many reasonably priced Florida divorce attorneys who will work hard on your case. If you can reach an agreement with your spouse, the matter need not be expensive. The more issues you can agree upon with your spouse, the less work there is for the attorney to do. Getting a divorce and all the rights that you are entitled to is often not a matter of simply filling out some forms. Trying to deal on your own with the divorce system without legal training can be difficult, frustrating, and possible costly in the long run. Legal forms may not be able to cover your individual situation properly and you probably can't rely on your spouse's attorney to properly educate you about what your rights are.
At an absolute minimum you should consult with a Florida divorce lawyer to find out what your rights and responsibilities are, and have them look at any agreement that you are thinking about signing. You may have to live for a long time with the results of your decision. You don't want to find out next year that you made a poor deal that you are stuck with. Also, while it may be easier and less unpleasant to give up and let your spouse have their own way, you and your family may be entitled to certain benefits that you should not give up unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes waiting to take action can help but sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and defend yourself.
It is often wise to get an estimate from the attorney as what the total fee might be from beginning to end so that you can plan. Admittedly it is difficult to know in advance exactly what the case will cost as you don't know whether you will be able to settle the matter quickly or will have to have a knock down drag out battle. But an experienced attorney should be able to give you some kind of intelligent answer though as to roughly what the case will cost. You will then be able to plan your budget and not have to constantly worry that the case is a bottomless money pit. You should also indicate to the lawyer that you want to be made aware when your outstanding bill exceeds a certain amount, so that you can decide how to proceed.
Few Florida divorce lawyers can give you $2500 worth of services for $1000, but if the lawyer knows your budget he or she can concentrate on the most important issues and not waste time and money on petty matters. While there's no guarantee that a lawyer can get benefits for your that you couldn't get yourself, it often occurs.