Fill in the boxes or real legal help…
The internet has been a game changer for people seeking a divorce. Clients have access to a great deal of material online about Florida divorce, alimony, child support, and property and debt issues. Some of it was written by attorneys who take the time to stay abreast of Florida law, and some of it was written by non lawyers who have no clue what they’re talking about. Unfortunately some of these non lawyers who have no clue offer “divorce services” where they claim to be able to get you through a Florida divorce for a ridiculously low price.
Are you doing yourself a favor by thinking that to complete a divorce all you have to do is check off some boxes in an online form? Is it prudent to give up on the idea of talking to a knowledgeable lawyer about your divorce? Probably not. Even if the divorce service you want to use is run by a lawyer, do you actually get to consult with the lawyer or ask them questions from time to time? It’s very difficult for the lawyer to properly protect your interests if they don’t talk to you and ask probing questions to find out what’s going on.
You should seriously consider using a divorce lawyer in Florida rather than representing yourself or using one of the non lawyer outfits to help you with your divorce. No offense but you are not a lawyer and do not know the laws and rules that must be followed to complete a Florida divorce properly. Non lawyers may have memorized a few divorce principles but have absolutely no idea when to apply the many exceptions that exist for each rule.
How much is it going to cost you when you’re not told for example that you’re entitled to half of what was accumulated during the marriage, even though the money or asset is just in your spouse’s name (and there are exceptions to this rule too). Are you going to pay more than you should , or not receive as much as you should because the non lawyer has insufficient knowledge about alimony, division of pensions, or the correct way to calculate child support? .
The biggest mistake that people make during a Florida divorce is to make getting it over with fast the biggest priority (getting something close to what you’re entitled to should be the biggest priority). The next biggest mistake is convincing yourself, or being convinced, that it’s really really simple and that a $195 fee is all It takes to get through a divorce in Florida. To be sure, a divorce does not have to be a big deal, especially where there are no children. But you will not be a happy camper when the judge rejects your court papers because they were improperly done.
Even if the papers are accepted and you get your divorce, you will be very unhappy six months from now once you realize that you did not make a provision in your settlement agreement for a circumstance that has arisen and which will affect child support, timesharing, or alimony etc. Lawyers have the experience to make provision in the paperwork for contingencies that the client just doesn’t think about. And if the wrong language or vague language is used in the settlement paperwork, the judge may later interpret that language in a way that is detrimental to you. All of this could have been avoided if a Florida divorce lawyer had been involved.
None of the above is a criticism of people who want to get their matter over with quickly and in a cost effective manner. But just as most people don’t fix their own automobile engines, so should they not pretend that they have the expertise to complete their own divorce. A lot of damage can be done. The bottom line is you can’t make a good deal if you don’t know, (or aren’t informed of) your rights and responsibilities. There are usually no do overs in divorce court. Competent Florida lawyers spend time reading the latest appeals court decisions about divorce issues and continuing to learn about divorce topics. Reading a few things on the internet doesn’t make you an expert in divorce lawyer (and using a non lawyer who doesn’t have proper training can do more harm than good).
To save a few dollars by not using a lawyer now could cost you a lot later on down the line. Look for value for your money, not the cheapest price in town.