Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
When filing for divorce, certain requirements need to be met. However, while trying to comprehend the divorce law and process, clients often have a ton of questions but find answers to these questions difficult to come by.
To ensure you have all your doubts cleared and are armed with the most accurate information available, TJ Cade Law, LLC has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce.
1. How fast can I get my divorce?
This varies. If both spouses can resolve their differences amicably, it is as fast as two weeks after we finalize the paperwork, signed and executed by both spouses. However, if the spouses are not able to agree on everything that is material to their divorce (child support, timesharing, equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, alimony, etc.) then it truly depends on how adversarial or amicable the negotiations can be kept and whether the outcome can be negotiated successfully or whether the case will push to trial. Each case is unique. We review cases with clients and determine the issues to be addressed in the dissolution for each client during our free consultation and try to foreseeably determine best we can what each client can expect in their case.
2. How expensive is a divorce?
There is no hard and fast rule. If you can work out your case on amicable grounds and secure an uncontested marital settlement agreement between the parties, we offer dissolutions as low as $1500 flat fee, plus cost of filing. However, if the parties are unable to work out their differences amicably, then the billing goes by the hour.
At our firm, we work with clients as much as we can to mitigate the fees and keep the dissolution affordable. We believe that heavy litigation damages people and/or the families involved and always push towards an amicable resolution as a first effort whenever the situation allows. More often than not, even our contested divorces can be worked out in mediation during the process once the petition is filed and the litigation process has begun. Of course, this has to be weighed against making sure that the client receives a fair distribution in the dissolution and doesn’t waive rights they are entitled to and need to re-establish themselves post-dissolution. We offer free consultations during which the unique circumstances of each client’s situation can be assessed, and the client can get an idea of what to expect during the process.
3. Can I handle my own dissolution?
Yes, absolutely. Although, we typically recommend that you at least engage in a no-cost consult before making that decision. In some instances, there is nothing to be lost from self-representation. However, in most cases, that is not true. You could be leaving benefits such as alimony, or your fair share of your spouse’s retirement on the table if you are not aware of what you are entitled to. We offer free consultations and are happy to help you determine whether it is wise and advisable to proceed without counsel in their particular case and what the risks are if any, should they proceed without counsel.
4. Will I have to go to court for my divorce?
Not necessarily! If your case is uncontested and no children are involved, we can finalize your case with the proper paperwork, including sworn affidavits, and without a court appearance. However, in most cases, yes, you will have to go to court. Although, with an uncontested case or a case that resolves at mediation, we can typically finalize the dissolution in a quick five minute hearing with only the petitioner required to be present at the hearing.
5. Can you take a case without a down payment?
Unfortunately, we cannot. We must have an initial retainer. However, our firm works with clients and their ability to pay, and we can formulate a payment plan that fits your needs. Once we enter a payment agreement, our firm will not stop representation so long as the client abides by the payment arrangements agreed to, and memorialized in a written contract, at the time of hire.
6. How long have you been practicing law?
I have been in practice since 2007. I started my career working as an appellate attorney in a worker’s compensation firm. Within the year, I secured employment as an assistant public defender in Broward, working at the pleasure of Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, serving the indigent populace of Broward County. Upon leaving the office in 2012, I went into private practice and subsequently opened the doors of the office at our current location in August 2013. My paralegal, Karyn Miller is knowledgeable and has over eighteen years of paralegal experience and is an asset to the firm and our clientele.
7. Do you charge for consultations?
No, we do not. We offer free 30 minute consultations over the telephone or in person, as per your convenience.
8. What are your office hours?
The office is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. We offer evening and weekend hours by appointment to accommodate the work schedule of our clients and prospective clients.
If you have any more questions about divorce or any aspect of family law, reach out to TJ Cade Law, LLC. We provide dedicated and effective legal counsel in family law matters, including divorces, child support, alimony, and adoption matters to clients across Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Wellington, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Hypoluxo, Lantana, Loxahatchee, FL.