FAQ & Resources
What is your consultation fee, and what does it provide?
The consultation fee for each attorney in our firm is $300.00 for a one hour session. In this initial meeting, your attorney will discuss your needs in detail, develop a list of your unique concerns, outline a general plan for your case, and provide an estimation of the costs involved.
What is a retainer fee?
A retainer fee is an amount that a client provides in advance for the legal services that their case will need. It is from this initial sum that we gradually deduct the fees for our services as your case progresses. A retainer fee is always determined on a case-by-case basis, and is based upon multiple factors, including the general difficulty of a case, unique client circumstances, and the estimated amount of time involved in pursuing a resolution. Our attorneys do their very best to make the retainer fee estimation for your case as clear and accurate as possible.
Is it possible to hire an attorney to simply prepare my paperwork and walk me through the proceedings if my spouse and I agree on all issues?
Yes, we do offer a flat fee for uncontested cases, determined by the volume of your particular case. We'll prepare all of the documentation for signatures and filing, and take your case to a final hearing with the speed and efficiency that you seek.
Is it possible to hire an attorney to handle limited issues or proceedings in my case?
Yes, our attorneys are authorized to accept limited representations, and we are proud to provide the same high quality of legal attention to specific issues as we do to entire cases. We are happy to assist you with your needs regarding particular phases of your case, which can include pleading preparation, discovery, trial planning, and presentation of specific issues, among numerous other aspects. Our attorneys will also ensure that you're clear on the scope of both your representation and your responsibilities, because we value your desire for a satisfactory conclusion.
If I retain your firm for a contested matter, what will I need to do?
We'll provide you with a client questionnaire and a list of mandatory disclosure documents that you'll need to complete. We ask that you please take your time with these documents, giving us the most clear and accurate responses that you can. These documents serve as a basis for many critical aspects of your case, and in turn allow our attorneys to pinpoint the best ways to serve you. After completing these vital forms, we'll perform a legal analysis on the specifics of your case, and you'll work closely with your attorney and paralegal to address your unique issues and prepare for their resolution.
What do I need to do if I am served with a divorce petition?
If you are served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, we strongly recommend seeking the advice of an experienced Family Law attorney, if for no other reason than to be advised of your valuable legal rights. You have just 20 days from the date of service to respond to the Petition by filing a response with the Court. Filing a response ensures that your voice will be heard; without it, your spouse may obtain a default judgment against you.
How do I schedule a consultation?
If you've decided to seek legal assistance, our scheduling assistant is ready to serve you at 407-324-0778. We recommend that you prepare for our meeting as thoroughly as you can, by building a list of your burning questions, as well as any unique details your case may have. We ask that you please arrive fifteen minutes prior to your scheduled appointment, so that you'll have the time to complete our initial questionnaire with the detail that will help us serve you well. Alternatively, you can download the initial questionnaire from our site, complete it at your own pace, and bring it with you to your consultation.
What should I do to prepare myself for serving my spouse, or for the event that I am served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage?
First, you should have an intimate knowledge of your current assets and liabilities. Make sure that you have copies of all available financial documentation including bank statements, investment statements, etc. Additionally, try to get copies of important documents such as mortgage deeds, payroll records, tax returns, insurance policies, etc.
Next, make a list of your current monthly expenses, including: your mortgage/rent payments, children's expenses, vehicle expenses, etc. Using this information, determine how much you spend on these items yearly.
Finally, make a list of all of the marital issues that are significant to your divorce, including, but not limited, to domestic violence, child related issues, irreconcilable differences, etc. It's important that you are as clear and detailed as possible in your description of these issues, so that we can develop a thorough understanding of the nature of your case.
Will a trial be necessary?
We are proud to settle the majority of our cases without the necessity of a trial. We try to accomplish this for you in a number of ways, provided that both parties are cooperative and reasonable. Our goal is always to moderate the impact of the process for you, making it as smooth as can be expected within the circumstances.
What is Mediation?
The Mediation process involves the help of a neutral third party, who works to achieve common ground as the parties of the case attempt to resolve their issues. The Court requires that the parties in a case undergo this Mediation period before the matter can be heard by the Court. If the Mediation process is successful, the parties enter into an agreement which is then filed with the Court. In turn, if this agreement resolves all outstanding issues for the parties, a final hearing will be scheduled for the entry of a Final Judgment.
If Mediation, however, is not successful in finding early resolution between the parties, then it will be necessary for the case to proceed to trial. During a trial, the Court will provide decisions about the outstanding problems that still exist, so that the case can reach a conclusion.
What is Collaborative Law?
This is a relatively new approach for handling Family Law matters in which the attorneys for both parties agree to assist in resolving the issues using cooperative problem-solving strategies and without any court proceedings. This requires that the parties sign an agreement which reflects that they will agree to negotiate in good faith. If this attempt at collaboration fails, then the attorneys will withdraw from the case, and each party will hire new counsel strictly representing the interests of the party.
What happens once I retain your firm for divorce proceedings?
Mandatory Disclosure: There are standard documents that each party is required to provide to the opposing party and the opposing party's attorney. After you've completed these for us, we'll file a "Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure" with the Court for you. By using a "Request to Produce,” additional documents may be requested by the opposing attorney, such as account records, credit card statements, and other pertinent documents. Our office will work with you to produce these documents in a timely fashion. In the event that the opposing party is not entitled to review the documents (e.g. the request in unreasonable), we can also file an objection on your behalf.
Financial Affidavit: Our office will prepare a financial affidavit for you after we've received your completed client questionnaire, which you'll get from us after you've provided the initial retainer for your case. If your financial circumstances should change for any reason or at any time (i.e. a salary raise, unemployment, etc.), you will need to immediately notify our office so that an Amended Financial Affidavit can be prepared. It is important that we have the status of your financial circumstances at all times, so that we can accurately and effectively represent your position.
Parenting Class: In the event that children are involved in a dissolution of marriage, the State of Florida requires that each spouse attend a parenting class. Our office will provide you with a list of agencies approved by the Court for providing such education. Upon your completion of the class, we'll need the original "Certificate of Completion" so that we can file it with the Court. It will not be necessary for you to attend this class with your spouse. You may view the approved parenting classes here.