Love & Math

When the love is gone, it is only math.  If both sides are ready to sit down and take the necessary steps to complete the procedure, then a divorce can be over and done with in about a month, and it does not have to cost a fortune or the remainder of your sanity. Marriage is a choice; divorce might be a necessity, but you can choose how you go about it.  Divorce does not have to be a blood sport. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning you can get divorced if you just say the marriage is irretrievably broken.  Furthermore, you can choose to have a Therapeutic Divorce (no, that does not mean you keep getting divorced until you feel better).  The idea behind Therapeutic Divorce is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details. Advantages to Therapeutic Divorce include the following: You negotiate the settlement (instead of having a Judge decide it for you). No public records—because Therapeutic Divorce goes through mediation and not […] Read More

Wills & Spouses

Getting married can change your life.  It can also change what happens after your death.  You cannot disinherit your spouse…no matter how much you may want to.  Regardless of what your will may or may not say, your wife or husband is entitled to your homestead property when at death you do part (unless there is a properly executed marital agreement). Even if your will was made before you got married, your spouse is still entitled to half your estate, the same as if you had died without a will. You may be “ABD” (All But Divorced), but happily or unhappily, while you are still married, you and your spouse have a Tenancy by Entirety.  Tenancy by Entirety includes the unities of Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship plus the Unity of Marriage, which subscribes to the legal fiction that husband and wife are one entity.  As long as the marriage is intact, neither can break the tenancy nor otherwise convey the property. If you want your children to inherit your homestead without having to share with your estranged spouse, then divorce may be part of your estate planning.  ‘Putting your affairs in order’ may literally mean ‘putting your affairs […] Read More

May Day & Marriage

May of 2013 was the most popular month for marriages in St. Johns County…it was also the most popular month for divorce.  While 166 couples got married in May 2013, 89 couples dissolved their marriage that same month. Marriage is a choice; divorce might be a necessity, but you can choose how you go about it: Courtroom Drama OR Therapeutic Divorce You can choose all the nasty he-said / she-said courtroom drama drawn out over a fortune in legal fees, or you might consider Therapeutic Divorce. The idea behind Therapeutic Divorce is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details. Advantages to Therapeutic Divorce include the following: You negotiate the settlement (instead of having a Judge decide it for you). No public records—because Therapeutic Divorce goes through mediation and not the courtroom, your dirty laundry remains your private matter. The process does not have to be expensive or take a long time. When the love is gone, it is only math. If both sides are ready […] Read More

Choices in Divorce

Well, you picked her, now what are you going to do?  There are choices in divorce just as there are in marriage.  Divorce can be a very long, expensive courtroom drama…but it does not have to be.  You can choose NOT to make it a blood sport, and it does not have to cost a lot or take a long time.  Therapeutic Divorce offers each side an opportunity to negotiate a deal through their own choices instead of following the decisions of a judge. When the love is gone, it is only math. The idea behind Therapeutic Divorce is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details, and also does not make public those details.  Because the process goes through mediation and not through the court, the dirty laundry is hampered from public view. In some cases, divorce is necessary, but it does not have to be a Kardashian epic drama.  If both sides are ready to sit down and take the necessary steps to complete […] Read More

Quick Question V. Best Answer in Legal Matters

Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean, so they decided to get divorced and divide everything in between.  Mrs. Sprat was so tired of cooking to her husband’s dietary specifications, and she wanted to get divorced with as much speed and economic efficiency as possible.  So she downloaded the necessary documents from Jack Rabbit Legal Forms…but then she had a question. No problem at all, Mrs. Sprat thought, and she popped into an attorney’s office one day while she was out shopping.  “Oh, I do not need an appointment,” Mrs. Spratt told the attorney, “because I just have a quick question.” “What are you trying to accomplish?” the attorney replied, and “How successful are you trying to be?” Mrs. Sprat was quite taken aback by the attorney’s questions.  “Why, you do not even know the nature of my business!” she retorted. “Which is why I need to know the nature of your business to give you a full and proper answer,” said the attorney.   The fast answer may not be the best answer to a legal question depending on your circumstances.  Consult competent legal counsel to discuss the details of your case and learn […] Read More

Right to an Attorney

You have a Constitutional right to an attorney in a criminal case, not in a civil case.  That does not mean you should avoid hiring an attorney for cases of home foreclosure, credit card debt, or divorce.  Decisions in a legal conflict can be difficult to make on your own.  Attorneys remove the emotion so their clients can take the necessary steps to move through a legal problem. You may not be able to see every legal angle as effectively as an attorney, plus, you have to follow the rules and procedures of court—if you do not know what the rules and procedures are, you may miss opportunities to present key elements of your case.  The law is technical, and from a technical standpoint there are things you can mess up that will hurt what you are trying to accomplish. A lawyer can reframe the situation into business terms to help you look at the possible choices and consequences. The more you know, the less stress you have about the unknown.  Seek competent legal counsel to learn what choices you may have and to review the legal process of your case. If you think you cannot afford an attorney, contact […] Read More

The Three D’s & Our Public Defenders

Attorneys deal in the three D’s—Debt, Death, and Divorce.  Generally those are not happy circumstances and so lawyers enjoy such titles as “weasel” or “shark” or “blood sucking attorney.”  Those terms can make for humorous attorney jokes, and sometimes we deserve some of that reputation.  However, when you are in trouble, whether it is civil or criminal, you want the best weasel or shark or blood sucking attorney you can find to obtain the best result possible under the circumstances.  Our Public Defenders are not the least of these. Legal Counsel is so necessary in a criminal case that if a defendant cannot afford counsel, the State provides counsel without fee.  Contrary to what some people believe, attorneys working in the Public Defenders office are not attorneys who received bad grades in law school or could not find jobs elsewhere.  They are some of the best public servants we have.  They cannot pick and chose their cases.  They take all qualified applicants regardless of the charge or defendant.  They are also in Court working criminal cases with the State Attorney’s office almost every day.   Read More

How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

You know why divorces cost so much?  Because they are worth it!  (The humor of this joke depends on your circumstances, just as the length and cost of a divorce does.) A divorce can cost roughly $500 to $5,000 depending on your attorney, amicability, and how well prepared you are.  It can be done cheap and fast.  If both sides are ready to sit down and take the necessary steps to complete the procedure, then it can be over and done within about a month.  Furthermore, Florida is a no-fault state, meaning you can get divorced if you just say the marriage is irretrievably broken. Once the love is gone, it’s only math, and lawyers can help you get through the long division.  In a personal situation, you may need separation from the emotional aspect in order to proceed with the “business” of divorce.  Lawyers remove emotion so that a problem can be resolved. Divorce is sometimes necessary; however, you can leave the courtroom drama to television, and leave the big budget production to a film crew.  Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your circumstances and your divorce options.   Read More

When Venus & Mars Collide – Evidentiary Hearing

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus…sometimes they meet at an Evidentiary Hearing after a Temporary Injunction.  That hearing is like a mini-trial, the atmosphere can be thicker than you think, and the gravity can be more than you expect.  When worlds collide in court, the best of a bad situation is when both planets show up with competent legal representation. A Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence means that without notice, the defendant cannot come home, and cannot get belongings (even if the defendant owns the home or pays rent on the apartment).  Furthermore, the defendant violates the injunction by phoning the spouse, sending flowers, or having any contact. Venus may be lying.  However, judges have to make tough decisions in these situations, and they generally want to err on the side of not getting somebody hurt (or worse).  The judge will have better evidence to make a proper decision if you have counsel.  An attorney can properly represent your case, and also reframe the situation so you can objectively evaluate your possible choices and the consequences of those choices. Mars may be dangerous.  The law is technical, and from a technical standpoint, you can make […] Read More

Fastest Divorce in the East!

There are two ways to get divorced:  the hard way, and the quick way.  Divorce is not necessarily ‘easy,’ but it does not have to be a long process, or an expensive one. A divorce can be done in a week and cost as little as $500 depending on whether it is amicable and how well prepared you are.  Competent legal counsel can guide you through the process so you do not have to spend undue heartache and hard cash.   Read More