Divorce, Custody, Support & Other Seven Letter Words
Making Sense of The “What’s Next” After Your Divorce
You planned the ceremony, the guest list, the location, the cake, the photographer, even the eco-friendly post-wedding exit toss materials, but you failed to plan the divorce. No one expects that their beautiful wedding ceremony will someday morph into a series of court filings and two sets of attorneys haggling over who gets what. We all like to believe, and rightly so because believing is a beautiful thing, that our marriage is going to be the one that lasts forever, replete with visions of evening strolls on the beach walking hand in hand as the sun is setting over the ocean, when we’re ninety years old.
That’s a great thing to hope for, and our hope is that you’re not reading this article at all, but are living that very dream in reality. However, regardless of which studies you believe and what projection models their data is derived from, we do know that the divorce rate is rather high in America. So again, we hope you’re not one of those whose marriages failed, but if you are, life’s not over and here are some topics just for you, to help you cope, understand, and manage your divorce and all its inevitable legal accoutrement.
So What Does A Divorce Attorney Actually Do? What Should I Expect?
That’s a good question, and the answer may surprise you. The fact of the matter is all divorce attorneys are definitely not created equal. You have your basic ‘fill out these forms and sign these documents’ types of divorce attorneys then you have the other kind, the good kind, the kind you want—divorce attorneys that will sit with you and counsel you on literally every next step, from the welfare of your children to who gets the house and everything in between.
A good divorce attorney in Hollywood, FL, or anywhere for that matter, will expertly advise you on a large number of crucially important issues that will impact your life and the lives of your children significantly, for the foreseeable future. A good divorce attorney will be able to thoroughly explain the grounds for a divorce, will provide valuable objective advice, will assist with the accounting for marital assets, explain the nuances of property division, and assist with devising a debt repayment plan.
Your divorce attorney should also counsel you in regard to spousal support and various other benefits, help with creation of custody plans and the preparation of divorce papers, negotiate a settlement, and represent you in court if that becomes necessary. If you have a family law attorney or divorce attorney who is not meeting the gold standard, there’s nothing stopping you from finding another who is better equipped to provide you with the quality counsel that you need. After all, it’s your life and your family’s future, you want the best input you can get. Don’t settle. In Hollywood, FL, and the surrounding area, when you need help, we’re here for you.
If you need expert advice, call us. We have the experience and we understand how important these issues are to you and your family. We are your divorce attorney in Hollywood, FL.
Florida’s Attorney Fee Statute | Will the Court Help Me Pay For My Divorce?
In Florida, it is possible for the court to order one party to pay the other party’s attorney fees, and possibly additional expenses, as long as they are reasonable and not excessive. The court will consider the financial situation of both parties and may choose to do this in dissolution proceedings, separate maintenance proceedings, child support proceedings and custody proceedings, enforcement and specific modification proceedings, as well as any procedures to vacate final judgments of dissolution. The state of Florida has enacted many laws to ensure fairness in all legal proceedings. The principle behind the law is that the court should have some authority in awarding reasonable attorney’s fees in order to allow both parties to have satisfactory, knowledgeable legal counsel. In its determination of how attorney fees are handled, the court seeks to ensure that neither party will be unduly disadvantaged when it comes time to settle important issues regarding child support, child custody, and others concerns.
If you need assistance or just simply want to get a better grasp of how the law works before you hire your divorce attorney, call us in our Hollywood, FL office and we’ll be glad to help you with all your family law matters.
Other Ideas For Funding Your Legal Fees
You may have other options to help you cover legal expenses and move forward with your divorce. When considering how to fund your legal needs, you should consider a broad range of options and decide which is best for you. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Some married couples have established joint accounts in which both parties are on the title. In most interpretations of the guidelines pertaining to joint accounts it is considered to be generally acceptable for one party to remove half of the funds in their joint account and deposit them into a private account in order to cover the costs of legal fees.
Home Equity Line Of Credit
In some scenarios, you may be able to draw down on the available credit in order to pay your attorney’s fees. Consult with a family law attorney in Hollywood, FL to find out if you are able to utilize this method.
Selling And Borrowing
While it is probably not your favorite option, selling personal property that you own outright can be a great way of bringing in needed funds to pay expenses. Additionally, many people choose to borrow money from friends or family. We understand that this is likely a ‘last option,’ but it is however an option you might want to consider. And if you officially document your debt to the family member or friend who serves as your lender, via a promissory note, the debt can possibly then become another debt that can be dealt with during the final disposition or settlement.
Should I Make A Prenuptial Agreement?
The decision whether to put a prenup in place is a very personal one, and is a decision you should carefully consider before moving forward. While having a contract in place for business is without question a necessity, a contract for your marriage may not always be seen in the same light. Yes, a prenup will certainly give you peace of mind, knowing that you are covered if there is a divorce down the line, but a prenup can make one or both parties feel that the marriage isn’t serious, otherwise why plan for its eventual failure? That said, there are still many reasons why some choose to have a prenup. Let’s consider a few.
One Person Has Been Married Previously
Sometimes people entering into their second or third marriage may be bringing significant assets, such as property, child support, business interests, diversified portfolios, etc., and may want to avoid possible entanglements.
If you already have children, you may want to consider a prenup to ensure that your children receive certain assets after your passing. While a will should cover this, a prenup can provide extra documentation of your intentions. As a skilled child custody attorney in Hollywood, FL, we have extensive knowledge in all legal matters that pertain to the protection and well being of children.
A prenup might be a consideration when one of the marrying parties has a significantly higher net worth. Consult with an experienced family law attorney in Hollywood, FL if you have one, and if you don’t, we’ll be glad to work with you, to help you find the best solutions for all your financial matters.
Prenups are sometimes considered when one party has a great amount of debt and the other does not. A prenup will help to keep the relatively debt free party from being saddled with financial responsibilities they did not incur themselves.
With social media now being an instant way to blast information to the world, some people are now choosing to protect their privacy in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. With a prenup, you can include provisions for privacy, barring an aggrieved party from posting private details or disparaging the other party on social media, or any other public forum, such as TV, books, magazines, etc.
These are just a few of the many reasons why someone might consider putting a prenup in place, but again, the decision is personal and should not be made without considerable, careful thought. As a skilled, experienced family law attorney in Hollywood, FL, we can help you make this important decision, and can provide counsel on any family law issue.
Our Commitment To You
We provide the kind of old school service that you rarely find in the legal profession any longer; we consider every client a friend, and we genuinely care about your issues. For us, it’s not just a job, it’s a passion. Everyone on our team works with us because they believe helping others is what’s important in life. When you’re going through a divorce, we understand how difficult that can be and we’re here to help you get through it.
When we work with you, on any family law, child custody, child support or other issue, we’ll carefully consider every angle, your wishes, your assets, your plan for the future, and always—your family’s best interests. If you have questions, call us; that’s what we’re here for. Rand Lieber, Esq. is your family law attorney in Hollywood, FL.
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