I can't afford an attorney but I need a divorce - what should I do?
If one spouse has the ability to pay the legal fees of the other, the court will often require the more financially able spouse to pay all or part of the other person's legal fees.
If neither party has the ability to pay commercial rates for an attorney, there are a few less expensive alternatives.
Is there a way I can get an attorney to help me when I have limited funds?
Any time that matters need to be moved through a court process, some type of legal assistance is going to be needed. The best assistance usually is obtained from a trained, experienced attorney. The attorney can render services all the way from a single conference, to handling a court trial. Court rules also provide that specific assistance such as an appearance at a hearing, or a deposition, or preparation of documents, may be obtained without retaining an attorney for the entire process. It may be well worth a call to the firm to find out more about this process.
My spouse is dangerous or abusive, how can I get a "restraining order"?
A "restraining order" is common language for what the Courts refer to as a Domestic Violence Injunction. A temporary domestic violence injunction can be ordered by the Court when the person asking for protection has a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm or serious injury.
Details on how to petition the court for a domestic violence injunction can be obtained from the Clerk of Court for the county in which you are located, or from an attorney who practices in such matters.
The judge can fashion many different types of conditions into a domestic violence injunction. Some of the more common terms include:
Can I get alimony to help me for a while until I can support myself?
Depending on the length of the marriage and several other factors, Florida courts sometimes require a spouse who is able to pay spousal support to do so if the other spouse has a need -up to the extent of maintaining the same standard of living established during the marriage.
Whenever there is an extended dissolution process, the court will usually grant a motion for such support while the dissolution is working its way through the court.
When appropriate, there are four types of alimony granted by courts in a dissolution:
How can I get sole custody of our child?
Custody and visitation are terms being replaced by the concepts of "contact schedules" and "time-sharing" schedules. Florida’s dissolution laws have changed as of October 1, 2008 to require a time-sharing schedule be included in every dissolution order involving minor children. Each parent typically has some contact, even if only by telephone with the child. If the mother and father are able to reach an agreeable contact schedule (time-sharing plan), then the judge will often order the parties to comply with the agreed schedule. When the parents cannot agree, the Court must set a schedule after considering a list of statutory factors set forth in the Florida Statues.
Can I make my spouse move out of our residence while we are going through a divorce?
Sometimes the courts will award one spouse the exclusive use of the residence while the dissolution is ongoing.