May 18, 2020

Quarantining with a Domestic Abuser

Although the “stay at home” orders and social distancing are flattening the curve when it comes to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and keeping us healthy, it’s not a safe situation for everyone. Many domestic violence victims are trapped at home with their abuser, which means they are in a more unsafe situation than ever before.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline received 951 calls in a two-week period from domestic violence victims who say their abusers are using COVID-19 against them to harm them or to further control and abuse them. People are losing their jobs due to COVID-19 and historically, as unemployment rises so do the levels of domestic violence.

In Florida, some Florida police agencies and shelters for abused are getting less calls as domestic violence victims have less privacy to make a phone call if their children are home all day and their abuser. With social distancing orders in place, it’s harder for victims to find a safe place to go in fear or spreading or contracting the coronavirus. It’s also harder or currently not possible for friends/family/coworkers/school faculty to post when someone is exhibiting signs of abuse due to social distancing and quarantine.

Family lawyers are receiving fewer calls, as well, but believe there will be an influx of calls once the stay at home orders are lifted.

With fewer calls to domestic violence help services and lawyers, it seems that domestic violence victims may not be aware that help is still available.

During these uncertain times, domestic violence victims may be feeling more trapped and helpless than ever as it appears far more difficult to leave their situations.

However, some relief organizations for the battered have seen an increase in calls during this time. In fact, they’ve received double the calls a day from victims than before quarantine. Also, relief centers and shelters have had to decrease the numbers of emergency beds available to abide by social distancing guidelines.

Many people are still confused as to if the courts are still open. In Duval County and many other counties in Florida, they are open and taking domestic violence cases and emergency situations are still getting the court’s attention. It is believed there will be a huge surge in petitions to be filed at the courthouses as victims feel safer to leave their homes and make phone calls.

If you are a domestic violence victim or know someone who is, you can still get help during COVID-19. Shelters are open and screening for COVID-19 symptoms. Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Survivors can also chat with advocates here.
Other assistance available includes:

  • Report domestic violence by calling 911.
  • Visit the Shelters in Duval County page.
  • Read information about domestic violence in Duvel County Clerk of Courts page.

Looking for a Family Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL?

At Dorsey Law Firm, we wanted to let you know, you are not alone during these hard times. If you are able, please seek out help to get protection from your abuser. We will be here for you for any family law matter or emergency, whether it’s a divorce matter or domestic violence injunction.

William J. Dorsey is a family law attorney and understands the seriousness and timeliness of domestic violence cases.

As a Jacksonville family law attorney, with more than 35 years of experience in the state of Florida, Dorsey knows Florida divorce law and family law and how to apply it to get his clients the best possible outcome. He guides his clients through any family law process they are going through.

If you are considering divorce or a domestic violence injunction during COVID-19 or any time, our team would be happy to help you learn more about these processes in Florida. By hiring a family law attorney, you’re laying the groundwork for a better result, especially if your divorce is complicated.

William J. Dorsey founded the Dorsey Law Firm in 1975 and has practiced family law and tried numerous trials throughout Florida in state and federal courts.
To request your consultation at The Dorsey Law Firm’s Jacksonville Law Office or if you have any questions, call 904-346-3883 or click our Jacksonville Family Law Attorney page for more information.

 

April 13, 2020

Things to Keep in Mind When First Meeting with a Divorce Lawyer

Getting a divorce is a hard decision. Once you and your spouse have agreed upon a divorce, you need to look for a divorce lawyer and make an appointment to meet with him or her. Now, what? 

Meeting with a divorce lawyer for the first time can fill a person with many emotions like fear, anxiety, stress, and sadness. This meeting is a big step. If this is your first time going through a divorce, you may not know what to expect or what you should do ahead of time. 

At Dorsey Law Firm, we wanted to share some tips, advice, and thoughts on things you should keep in mind before and during your first meeting with a divorce attorney. The better you are prepared with information, the better your attorney can serve you. 

  • Try not to focus on the negatives of your current marriage ending, but focus on the positive things that you want in your post-divorce life. 
  • Write down a list of questions you want to ask the attorney. 
  • Be prepared to be asked questions about your spouse, children (if you have any), finances, assets, and goals.  
  • This first meeting is a time for the attorney to get to know you.  
  • The attorney will describe the different divorce processes to you (mediation, collaborative law, litigation). 
  • The attorney may refer you to a psychotherapist, divorce coach, estate attorney or financial planner depending on your situation.  Remember, a divorce attorney is just an attorney and cannot give you expertise in other fields. 
  • This first meeting/consultation with the attorney will determine if he/she will be a good fit for you. 
  • Even though this is the initial meeting, do not lie about your situation – this will only complicate matters for you and the attorney. 
  • Do not feel pressured to make any decisions during this first meeting.  

Don’t feel pressured to work with the first divorce attorney you meet. It’s perfectly normal to have consulted with a few different divorce attorneys to find the one you feel will best help you during this process. 

When you meet with an attorney, look for a divorce attorney who makes you feel comfortable, is sensitive to your needs and emotional state, and can explain things clear terms for you. You will be spending a lot of time with this attorney, so it is a good idea to find someone you work well with.  

Before the initial meeting, do some research on the attorney.  Look for:

  • Reviews 
  • Years of experience in family law/divorce law
  • Case of professional misconduct against them 

We pride ourselves on the hundreds of positive reviews we have received.

Divorce isn’t a simple process; it’s life-changing. You want an attorney who will help you every step of the way, explain your rights, options, and responsibilities in a clear way. 

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL?

This may be your first divorce, but it’s not ours.  By keeping the above tips in mind, you will feel more comfortable and prepared to meet and choose an attorney. 

William J. Dorsey is a divorce attorney and understands each divorce case is unique. Getting through the divorce process isn’t easy, but it is can be made a lot easier by working with a skilled attorney. 

As a Jacksonville divorce attorney,  with more than 35 years of experience in the state of Florida, Dorsey knows Florida divorce law and how to apply it to get his clients the best possible outcome. He guides his clients through the entire divorce process. 

If you are considering divorce, our team would be happy to help you learn more about the divorce process in Florida.  By hiring a divorce attorney, you’re laying the groundwork for a better result, especially if your divorce is complicated. 

William J. Dorsey founded the Dorsey Law Firm in 1975 and has practiced family law and tried numerous trials throughout Florida in state and federal courts. 

 To request your in-person consultation at The Dorsey Law Firm’s Jacksonville Law Office or if you have any questions,  call 904-346-3883 or click our Jacksonville Divorce Attorney page for more information. 

April 13, 2020

Thinking About Getting a Prenuptial Agreement?

Thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement? A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a prenup, is a legally binding contract that determines how spouses will divide assets and debts if a divorce were to occur.  Your financial situation does not have to determine if you get a prenup or not. These days, more people are getting one. 

Of course, there are pros and cons to this decision, but if you’re thinking about getting a prenup, you must confront and look past the emotional aspect of the prenup.  At its core marriage is a legal contract. Even though it is not very romantic, you can see past any negativity if you view the prenup as another legal contract that goes along with the marriage contract. 

Some benefits of getting a prenup is: 

  • It opens a dialogue between you and your spouse. It creates a space for you to be open and honest about money, properties, and expectations. Communication is key in a relationship and drafting up a prenup is a great way to open and create a level of trust that can keep your relationship strong. 
  • The prenup will allow you to address legal hurdles in a divorce much easier with quicker resolutions and no court battles. Divorce is expensive and time-consuming, and a prenup makes it possible for you to avoid a messy end. 
  • A prenup allows you to protect certain family heirlooms and property that you had before the marriage that you want to keep separate. 
  • A prenup helps you avoid a long property battle and how it should be divided. 
  • A prenup will help protect you from debt that was never yours to begin with like student loan debt or credit card debt. 

It’s important to discuss a prenup with your fiancé and why it is important for you to have or not have one. Sure, this isn’t a fun conversation, but it’s necessary if it is important to you. If you decided to go through with a prenup, do not rush it. Make sure you are sure of everything in the document and know exactly what you are signing. 

After you completed a prenup, don’t bring it up after the wedding. If you dwell on the prenup, it will only create problems in your marriage. When the prenup is signed and complete, lock it away somewhere safe with the hope that you both will never have to use it. But, if your marriage does not last, this document will save you a lot of headaches, time, and money. 

At the Dorsey Law Firm, we help couples with prenuptial agreements.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL?

The decision of whether you need a prenup is up to you and your spouse. We get involved once you know you need a legal document written up. 

William J. Dorsey is a divorce attorney and understands each divorce case is unique. Give us a call and we can help you put together a prenup. 

As a Jacksonville divorce attorney, with more than 35 years of experience in the state of Florida, Dorsey knows Florida divorce law and how to apply it to get his clients the best possible outcome. He guides his clients through the entire process. 

If you are considering a prenup, our team would be happy to help you learn more about the process in Florida.  By hiring a divorce attorney, you’re laying the groundwork for a better result. 

William J. Dorsey founded the Dorsey Law Firm in 1975 and has practiced family law and tried numerous trials throughout Florida in state and federal courts. 

 To request your in-person consultation at The Dorsey Law Firm’s Jacksonville Law Office or if you have any questions,  call 904-346-3883 or click our Jacksonville Divorce Attorney page for more information. 

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10752 Deerwood Park Blvd. Suite 100, Jacksonville, Florida 32256 (Duval Co.)

P: 904-394-2865 | F: 904-358-8060 | Email: Dorsey Law Firm

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COVID-19 Update

 

As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will remain open until further notice. As always, the well-being of our clients and staff remains our highest priority, therefore we have taken precautions recommended by global and local public health authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 

— We have encouraged our staff to practice social distancing by reducing physical contact with others to ensure we can continue to work for our clients.
— Requiring all client meetings and consultations to be conducted virtually.
— We are happy to have meetings with you via phone, online conferencing, as well as through email.
— Our team will continue to fulfill court obligations with the new methods required by the courts as they remain open telephonically.

 

If you’re in immediate need, including any family law, criminal law, or personal injury matter, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

 

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