Archive: February 2023

February 23, 2023

Questions to Ask an Attorney during a Child Custody Consultation

When going through a divorce, one of the most important decisions to make is how to handle child custody. It is a difficult decision for both parents and can involve a lot of emotion and stress. That is why it is important to have the right attorney to ensure that the best interests of both the parent and the child are considered. Here are seven questions to ask an attorney about child custody:

  1. What Is the Best Way to Approach Child Custody Negotiations?

The best way to approach child custody negotiations is to work with your attorney to develop an agreement that both parents can agree on. This agreement should consider the best interests of the child and both parents. Your attorney should be able to help you develop a plan that works for everyone.

  1. How Do Visitation Rights Work?

Visitation rights are an important part of the child custody process. An attorney can help you understand how visitation will work in your case. They can guide the best approaches to visitation, such as setting a schedule and discussing any special needs that may be required. They can also help you understand the legal implications of any agreements you make regarding visitation and ensure the agreement is in the child’s best interest.

  1. How Do the Court and the Law Factor into the Decision?

The court and the law will be important in determining the outcome of the child custody negotiations. The court will make the final decision and consider both parents’ wishes. The law will also play a role in determining what is in the child’s best interests.

  1. Should We Pay Child Support?

Child support is a payment that a non-custodial parent is legally obligated to make to the custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising a child. The amount of child support owed is determined by the state’s child support guidelines, which consider both parents’ income and the cost of raising a child.

If a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, they can be held in contempt of court and face serious legal repercussions. It is important to understand the state’s child support guidelines and the possible consequences of failing to make payments.

  1. What Should I Do If the Other Parent Is Uncooperative?

If the other parent is uncooperative, your attorney can help you devise a strategy to try and reach an agreement. Your attorney can also advise you on proceeding if the other parent is unwilling to cooperate.

  1. Which Laws Concern My Case?

Different laws may apply depending on the jurisdiction in which the case is being heard. It is important to clearly understand the applicable laws to ensure that your rights are properly represented and that the court’s decision is sound.

  1. Do Mothers get custody automatically?

There is no guarantee that mothers will automatically get custody regarding child custody. Each case is evaluated individually based on the child’s best interests. Factors such as the parent’s income and living arrangements, the child’s age and relationship with each parent, and overall health and well-being are all considered.


It is essential to ask an attorney the right questions before pursuing a child custody case. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make an informed decision and help you understand the process better. It is essential to make sure your attorney is experienced and knowledgeable in family law so you can get the best possible outcome for your child custody case. Ultimately, asking the right questions can help you make the best decision for your family.

Are you looking for an attorney in Jacksonville, FL? Dorsey Law JAX offers the legal services of highly experienced attorneys specializing in family law, among others. Schedule a legal consultation today!

February 16, 2023

Why You Should Consider a Separation Agreement Over a Divorce

Getting separated from your partner can be challenging. It doesn’t matter if you’re going through a divorce or going for a separation agreement; it’s still not an easy journey. For many people, divorce is the only way to do it, but for some, it might not be an option because of financial, medical, or religious reasons.

A married couple may choose to legally separate where they are free to negotiate child custody, spousal support, and the division of property without dissolving their marriage. That said, even if the separation is amicable, both spouses should still get the help of a legal separation attorney.

If you’re wondering if a separation agreement is the right route for you, read on as we share some reasons why it can be an excellent option to consider:

You Can Avoid the Stress of Divorce Proceedings

A separation agreement refers to a legally binding contract outlining the details of a couple’s separation. It covers issues such as the division of assets, spousal support, and child custody. By entering a separation agreement, couples can avoid the stress of navigating through the divorce process.

One of the significant benefits of a separation agreement is that it allows couples to come to an agreement on their own terms. It lets them communicate with each other and negotiate a fair and equitable arrangement that works for both parties. This eliminates the need for costly and lengthy court proceedings.

You Can Maintain Control Over Property and Finances

One of the biggest advantages of a separation agreement is that it allows you to determine who gets what when it comes to property and finances. You can decide what assets and debts will be divided between the two of you, how much money each of you will receive, and how much support (if any) is to be paid. This allows you to ensure that your assets and debts are divided in a fair and equitable way for both parties.

You Can Keep Your Health Insurance Coverage

One of the best reasons to consider a separation agreement is because it can help you keep your health insurance coverage. This is especially true if you are leaving a job that offers health insurance benefits or if you and your spouse both have health insurance coverage through the same employer.

A separation agreement can allow you to keep your health insurance coverage without having to pay for it out of pocket. This can be incredibly beneficial, especially if you need extensive medical care or a chronic illness requiring ongoing treatment. In addition, if you and your spouse have children, a separation agreement can also give you the ability to maintain their health insurance coverage.

It’s Less Expensive and Time-Consuming

Getting a separation agreement can often be less expensive than filing for divorce. This is because it eliminates the need to go through the court system, which can be costly. Additionally, since the agreement is negotiated between the spouses, there is no need to hire an attorney, which can be significant cost savings.

A separation agreement also takes less time to complete than a divorce. This is because the deal is negotiated between the spouses, which saves time in the court system. The agreement can be completed much faster than a divorce.

Why You Still Need a Lawyer for Your Separation Agreement

No matter how well you and your spouse agree on the terms of the separation agreement, disputes can still arise. A lawyer can help resolve these disputes quickly and efficiently and ensure that your rights are still protected.

Also, a separation agreement is only enforceable if it is properly drafted and signed by both parties. A lawyer can ensure that the agreement is properly drafted and enforceable if one party fails to abide by the terms of the agreement.

A lawyer can also provide valuable advice and explain the implications of the separation agreement in detail.


A separation agreement can be a beneficial option for couples who do not want to continue their relationship. It allows both parties to come to an agreement on issues such as child custody, financial support, and division of assets while avoiding the costs and potential delays associated with a court hearing. A family lawyer can help you ensure that everything goes well with your separation agreement.

Dorsey Law JAX offers the services of a seasoned family lawyer in Jacksonville, FL. Schedule your appointment today, so we can discuss your case!

February 10, 2023

Can You File a Divorce If You Can’t Find Your Spouse Cannot Be Located?

If your spouse hasn’t contacted you in a while and you want to file a divorce, you might wonder if it’s possible to file a divorce even when the said spouse cannot be located. The short answer is “yes”; you can certainly do so. If reasonable efforts have already been made to locate your missing spouse and you still failed to find them, it could indicate that your spouse is trying to avoid the divorce. However, should that happen, you can still successfully end your marriage and start anew.

Here, Dorsey Law Jax shares what you need to know:

Filing for Divorce Without Your Spouse in Florida

Florida law allows people to file for divorce even when they’re alone. What this means is that even if your spouse has somehow disappeared, and even if you suspect that they’re doing it on purpose as they refuse to cooperate with the legal process, you can still petition a Florida court for a divorce.

In general, you are allowed to file for divorce alone if any of these applies to you:

  • Your spouse is refusing to sign divorce-related documents
  • Your spouse’s location is unknown despite reasonable efforts to find them
  • Your spouse is hiding from your or the process servers

A divorce attorney can help you file for divorce on your own if any of these applies to you.

What Are the Requirements for Filing and Serving Divorce Papers in Florida?

When either spouse files for a divorce, the other spouse must be served. This service refers to the delivery of court documents that serve as a formal notification of the divorce filing, together with the set court date for the initial hearing.

Professional process servers are professionals who execute the process of service. They are experts in finding individuals who are subject to lawsuits and in delivering court documents. Process servers already know that many people try to avoid the service of process, so they hone their research skills and devise unique techniques to locate and serve them their papers.

There are a few requirements for serving divorce papers:

  • Petitioners cannot serve divorce papers themselves; only those with authority to perform service of process, including the county’s sheriff where the spouse to be served is located and professional process servers.
  • The process server should personally deliver divorce papers to the respondent. The papers are not to be left in a mailbox unless the respondent is evading service. Copies of the divorce papers can also be left at the respondent’s residence.
  • Process servers should contact the respondent’s employer so they are informed of the service of the process before the respondent is served at their place of work.
  • Service of process cannot be performed on a Sunday.
  • Service of process has to comply with specific local and state requirements.

What Happens If a Process Server Cannot Locate the Respondent?

If a process server cannot locate your spouse, you must ensure that they have exercised due diligence before you move forward. What this means is that you cannot just decide to tell the court that your spouse is either missing or evading the service of process after just one attempt. The process server should explore all possibilities as to where your spouse could be, and all theories should be acted upon to complete the service of the process.

Citation by Publication

This may be the only way to move forward with a divorce if the respondent is missing or evading the process. Citation by publication requires the notification of your spouse of a pending divorce in a newspaper. However, proceeding under such circumstances often does not conclude as typical divorces do.


If you are worried that you could not get a divorce because your spouse cannot be located, don’t be. As you have learned from this post, you can indeed file for divorce whether or not your spouse is present. The best way to ensure that things are done correctly is to seek the help of a seasoned divorce lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of divorce.

Dorsey Law JAX offers the legal services of highly experienced Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, among others. Schedule a legal consultation today to find out what your next step should be!

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