DIY Divorce in Florida Blog Moved!
It's official. DIY Divorce blog has moved. All new posts will only be on the new blog. You can visit the new blog for constantly-updated free information to you help you represent yourself in a Florida divorce or other family law case.
If you want to have a successful do-it-yourself divorce, check out my free Special Report. Just sign up over in the right column and I'll send it to your inbox right away.
I also offer a complete Step-by-Step Guide to Florida DIY Divorce - The Florida Divorce Professor's Crash Course on Divorce Law & Procedure.
You don't have to struggle alone. Let the Florida Divorce Professor help you.
July 10, 2008
DIY Divorce in Florida Blog Moved!
June 30, 2008
Other changes took effect on July 1st. It is now possible to have the court order a partial equitable distribution when the situation warrants it. There is no more "special equity" in Florida. And, like real property, there is now a gift presumption for personal property.
Probably one of the most important change is that court fees increased. The filing fee for the petition increased about $50. There is now a filing fee for counter-petitions and you must pay $10 to have a summons issued.
June 18, 2008
We the People is a franchise that provides forms and help in legal matters including wills, divorces, bankruptcy and other areas of law.
The Ohio State Bar found that We The People was practicing law without a license because they advised people about how to complete forms for filing a personal bankruptcy, probate applications, and gave advice about how to complete the forms and what answers to put down. They were ordered to stop the unauthorized practice of law and fined $10,00 per violation.
We have written before about online form services and paralegal practices. Do not fall victim to these services. DIY Divorce teaches you what the law is. Once you know the legal principles, you can apply them to your facts. Do it yourself and do it right. DIY Divorce teaches YOU Florida divorce law.
June 12, 2008
Once a default is entered, you may be prohibited from presenting your side of the case unless you file a motion to set aside the default. If that happens, the relief requested in the Petition is likely to be granted. Pay attention to the deadline and file an Answer in your Florida divorce.
June 5, 2008
You filed you divorce petition and the other side filed an answer. Now what happens?
The middle phase of a divorce case is called "discovery." This is the time when you can "discover" information from the other side by asking questions (interrogatories), requesting documents or inspections or examinations, taking depositions or requesting the other side admit or deny certain facts. These discovery methods help you prove your case if there is disagreement between you and your soon-to-be-ex.
This middle phase helps you get ready for mediation, and then trial. It is your opportunity to get the information you need to prove your Florida divorce case.
May 21, 2008
Divorce cases generate many questions about alimony. Today we talk about the types of alimony available in
Temporary Alimony is payable while the divorce case pending. This type of alimony cannot be waived, even in a prenuptial agreement because it is based on the legal duty to support your spouse. It ends at final judgment.1
At final judgment, there are three possible types of alimony in the law.
Permanent Alimony is what we traditionally think of when we hear the word “alimony.” It is paid as long the receiving former spouse is alive and remains unmarried. If the receiving spouse moves into a “supportive relationship,”
Rehabilitative Alimony is paid while the receiving spouse gets education or training that will allow him/her to be self-supporting. To be eligible for rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific plan for the education.
Lump Sum Alimony is awarded, but not often. This is payment of a specific amount, in either one payment or payments over time. Once ordered, the whole amount becomes the property of the receiving spouse. This alimony cannot be modified.
May 18, 2008
The DIY Divorce Tele Classes begin Monday with the free Tele Test Drive Class on Basic Florida Divorce Law. The Tele Test Drive lets you check out how our virtual classroom works and the kind of information and material you can expect in the DIY Divorce courses.
If you are interested in the June class, sign up now. space is limited. You can learn more about the courses and virtual classroom on our website.
May 8, 2008
Can I stop a no-fault divorce?
If one of the spouses believes that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” the divorce will very likely be granted. The “no fault” law makes it extremely difficult to stop a divorce.
Can I date while separated?
Until the Final Judgment is signed by the judge, you are still married. Regardless of what this means to you, it is important not to introduce your dating partners to your children until you have established a relationship you believe is serious.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
Once all the required documents have been filed by both of you, your case is ready for final hearing. The scheduling of that hearing depends on your area. Expect the whole process to take a minimum of two months.
Can we use the same lawyer to save money?
The Rules Regulating the Florida Bar prohibit an attorney from representing more than one party in a case. Even if you both agree, the attorney can only represent one of you in a divorce case.
May 6, 2008
May 4, 2008
You have the right to represent yourself in court, however, you must understand that choosing to represent yourself means the court will expect you to follow the same rules and procedures that an attorney must follow. You will need to study
The judge in your case must remain impartial and cannot do anything to give any appearance of being partial to either side. This includes giving legal advice and having contact with either party without the other being present. When you go into court, the judge may give you information about what may be wrong with the papers you filed. Listen carefully.
Court staff can only assist you with procedures. Procedural information includes such matters as where to obtain forms for some procedures, how to file a petition, answer requirements, service requirements on common procedures, how to get a default, how to file a motion, how to get a hearing, etc.
Very often there is a fine line between procedural information and legal advice. Staff cannot give legal advice. Basically, questions are taken on an individual basis and a judgment is made about whether or not the question involves giving legal advice. If you are told that your question is legal advice, just accept that it is and don't continue to question court employees to help you when they cannot.
Filling out forms is definitely considered legal advice. You will need to seek an attorney’s assistance or learn some
May 1, 2008
- Asking your friends for legal advice. Unless you are friends with a
divorce attorney, avoid asking them for legal advice. You will get different advice and end up taking a poll. It will make you crazy. If you are representing yourself, get expert advice when you need it, but to do this right, you need to learn about Florida divorce law. Florida
- Incomplete Financial Affidavit. This is the most important document of your case if you have any property, debt or children. Take the time to get accurate information. Use at the past 12 months of household bills. Call the companies if you don’t have the information. Get current values for all accounts at the date of filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.
- Not customizing the
divorce forms. Your case is unique. The official online forms do not always permit you to add sufficient information to get what you want. If you want to ask that property be sold over your spouse’s objection, you need to include all the requirements for a partition action. The form permits only 5 additional lines of information for “other relief.” This is not enough space to meet the requirements for the relief you want in your Florida divorce. Florida
- Not Seeking Expert Help. There are times when it just makes sense to get some expert help with your case. If you have complicated or unique finances, you may need an accountant. If you have complicated property issues or non-marital assets, you may want to talk to an attorney about legal treatment of the property or to an accountant about valuation issues. There are just times when it makes sense to seek expert advice in your
April 29, 2008
April 27, 2008
April 23, 2008
Guardians ad litem are sometimes appointed in contested custody cases. With all the news coverage of the Texas polygamists, guardians ad litem have been in the news alot of the past few weeks. Just what is a guardian ad litem?
GALs are appointed by the court to represent the best interest of the child. GALs are required in child abuse cases in Florida. Each judicial circuit has a GAL program that trains volunteers to serve in the program.
In divorces, a GAL is appointed when one of the parties requests it by filing a motion and the court enters an order of appointment. GALs in divorce cases are usually attorneys in Florida.
Judges typically give the GAL recommendations great weight. You need to think about whether a GAL appointment would be helpful in your case. You should also speak with the proposed GALs prior to appointment because you and your child will be working with the GAL throughout the case.
April 19, 2008
The National Center for Health Statistics also follows marriage and divorce statistics. Their latest national numbers (2005) show that there were over 2.2 million marriages and a national divorce rate of 3.6 per 1,000 people - the lowest rate since 1970. Nevada had the highest divorce rate at 6.4.
The overall Florida divorce rate continues to fall from its high of 6.9 in 1990. Strangely, the highest divorce rates in Florida seem centered in Broward County. Pompano, Lauderhill, Hallandale, Hollywood, Davie, Ft. Lauderdale and Deerfield Beach all have divorce rates over 12%.