Q
What does it cost to file divorce?
AThis is a common question and the answer really depends on how much your spouse fights the divorce.  If the divorce is completely uncontested and it is a matter of drafting a marital settlement agreement and obtaining court approval, the cost can be relatively low.  This Firm will handle a uncontested divorce without children and without division of a business for a flat fee of $1,000 plus court filing fees and a flat fee of $1,500 for a divorce with children and without division of a business plus court filing fees.  Contested divorces can be far more expensive as can be divorces where a business needs to be divided.  These more complicated divorces are handled at an hourly rate as the amount of time it will take to complete is unpredictable.  Our Firm does our best to keep the costs reasonable and we can discuss your particular situation in more detail at an initial consultation.
Q
What is the process for filing for divorce?
AIn the State of Florida, a divorce is initiated by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the Circuit Court.  At this point, a Summons is also issued and your spouse would be served by a process server or Sheriff with the Petition and Summons.  After being served, your spouse has 20 days to respond to the Petition.  The Response is called an Answer and contains a specific response to all allegations in the Petition to determine what issues are agreed on and what issues are not agreed on.  After the initial filings in the case, then there is the discovery phase of the case where both sides exchange information related to the case which in divorce cases usually focus on financial information.  Once both sides have sufficient information from discovery, mediation is usually scheduled to determine if the parties can come to a settlement agreement.  If mediation does not resolve the case, then the case is set for trial and each side presents their case to the judge for the Court to make a decision.  The vast majority of divorce cases are settled in mediation, however, there are times where the two sides simply cannot agree and a trial is necessary.
Q
Is bankruptcy my best option for resolving my debt issues?
AThis is a question that cannot reasonably be answered in a website Q&A section.  There are numerous factors that need to be considered.  Further, all other alternatives should be explored such as renegotiation of debts.  Additionally, while filing for Chapter 7 could discharge most or all of your debt, there are income limits that make many people ineligible for filing Chapter 7 in consumer bankruptcy cases.  While there are other bankruptcy options such as Chapter 11 or Chapter 13, these bankruptcy chapters involve a long payment plan process and should be reserved as a last resort for most consumers struggling with excessive debt.  To get a better understanding of your options, call us or schedule an initial consultation.
Q
Why should I use a lawyer to form my business rather than one of those business formation websites?
AFrankly, if your new business is only you with no other partners or shareholders, using one of those business formation websites is perfectly fine as you can always change your governing documents without needing anyone else’s vote.  However, if you are starting a business with a partner, investor, or shareholder, having carefully drafted governing documents can prevent a lot of issues down the road.  Spending the money to have a lawyer draft governing documents from the beginning that meets your needs and prevents issues in the future can end up saving tons of money down the road by preventing or limiting litigation from a partner, investor, or shareholder that becomes unhappy.  Call us or schedule a consultation before using a business formation website if you have someone other than yourself as an investor or shareholder.
Q
What if I have other questions?
AFeel free to fill out the contact form below or schedule an initial consultation to discuss your legal issues in more detail.

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