Topic: Family Law

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. 

March 30, 2020

Things A Family Lawyer Wishes People Knew About Divorce

As many people know, divorce isn’t typically a simple or cheap process. There are different routes spouses can take to make the process less expensive and difficult, but many people don’t know this. 

In fact, most people don’t know a lot about divorce or the divorce process, and why should they? If you have never been through a divorce process, it makes sense that you wouldn’t know much about the legal processes.

At Dorsey Law Firm, we wanted to share some tips, advice, and thoughts that most family lawyers and/or divorce lawyers are thinking and want their clients and future clients to know. We hope by sharing these tips, the divorce process can go more smoothly for you as you navigate these issues with your attorney, so he or she can serve you better. 

  • Your attorney isn’t your therapist – Some attorneys are willing to listen to their clients’ problems, but they are not equipped, trained, or educated with the proper skills to help you through your emotions during a divorce. An attorney is there to help you with financials, custody, assets, and other legal matters, but not emotions. Divorce can be hard and it’s best for you to talk to a therapist or friends and family. Plus, if you spend more time with your attorney venting your problems, your attorney bills will start to rack up! 
  • Do your best to be organized and prepared –  If you come prepared and organized with all paperwork and information, it will save your attorney time and you, money. You don’t want to pay your attorney to sort through paperwork unnecessarily. Try to put all your documents in chronological order, and even type up a summary of everything you’ve included. An attorney will be able to help you more, if you give him or her everything needed. 
  • Be honest– You need to give your attorney all the facts, or else they won’t be able to do their job properly. Try not to minimize, exaggerate, or be selective with what you share with the attorney. With all the facts, your attorney can work towards getting you the best results with no surprises for them or you along the way. Also, attorneys have heard it all, so don’t be worried about embarrassing yourself if the details are important to the case. The attorney isn’t judging you; they just need all information revealed to them.
  • Ask for clarity   Your attorney knows you’re not a legal expert or lawyer, so they do not expect you to know everything about the divorce process. If you’re lost or confused, speak up. Ask for clarification. You want to be on the same page as your attorney, or you won’t succeed. 
  • Speak up about what you want  – Let your attorney know what your goal is with this divorce; whether it’s to keep a certain asset or get full custody of your children. You want to “win” things in the cases that you truly want and can handle physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. 

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, the divorce process will go more smoothly for you. 

William J. Dorsey is a divorce attorney and understands each divorce case is unique. Getting through the divorce process isn’t easy, but it 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, all while guiding them through the entire 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. 

March 25, 2020

Is Mediation Right For You?

What is a mediation? And, what is a divorce mediator? Mediation is a process where a third, neutral, party helps a couple negotiate and resolve issues regarding their divorce. The mediator helps guide the couple through the list of decisions required in a divorce and is seen as a less stressful and less aggressive way to go about it, especially if children are involved. 

The divorce mediator does not represent either party. Their main job is to help both parties reach agreements on divorce-related issues concerning finances, dividing assets, alimony, child support and custody, parenting plans and more. 

Mediation is more affordable than hiring a divorce lawyer to go to trial with you. Even if you hire a mediator who is a family law attorney, they cannot file paperwork on your behalf or provide you with legal advice. However, mediators can prepare documents for you and give you instructions on how to file the paperwork. 

If you want to go to trial, get legal advice, or need someone to file your paperwork, you must hire a family law/divorce attorney as an attorney and not as a mediator. Or, you can hire your own attorney on the side for legal advice and seek out another person as a mediator. With a mediator, all decisions are made outside of court. 

Although a mediator cannot give legal advice, they can give suggestions on how the couple can resolve issues. 

A mediation works best for couples who are on the same page with most decisions, did not come to fight, and who are willing to meet the other spouse halfway. If you are unable to talk amicably with your spouse, you may need to hire separate divorce attorneys and pass on mediation. 

At the Dorsey Law Firm, we attempt to negotiate settlements, but are willing to take a case to trial or appeal, if necessary.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL?

The decision of whether you need a mediator or divorce attorney is up to you, as it is dependent on your financial situation, relationship with your partner, and whether or not you have children involved. 

William J. Dorsey is a divorce attorney and understands each divorce case is unique. Give us a call and we can help you determine if you need mediation or if your case needs to go to trial. 

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 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. 

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P: 904-346-3883 | 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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