Practice Areas

Family Law

 

“Family Law” can refer to many things. If you are looking for assistance with a simple pre-nuptial agreements, simple divorces or other “simple” things, like a name change, Well Good News! We have flat rates for all these simple matters for you to shop around.

 

Most commonly, “Family Law” attorneys are hired at the time of divorce. Of course, lawyers could be hired before the marriage becomes irretrievably broken, which would make it like the old program “Scared Straight” for couples in trouble, and nobody has pioneered the concept yet.

 

Often, because of the client’s unfamiliarity with the law, a lawyer is required to navigate even matters that seem basic. Family Law matters often are basic matters, but life itself is often complicated, and lawyers are quick to point that out in Family Law.

 

Clients enter the realm of a potential lawsuit or being already sued by a vague “Petition for Dissolution” (divorce) lacking a clear idea of what is ahead. Sometimes, realities like domestic violence demand that action be taken before a plan emerges.

 

Ideally, for families with children. Divorcing parents are already learning to work together by showing basic respect at all times and paying particular attention to the other parent’s right to understand and participate in all parenting decisions. You will be ordered to take a course to be a successful parent after divorce.

 

If you have worked out your divorce, you can show me your work, and if I think it is complete, I will quote you an “uncontested type” of flat fee to file your case and obtain court orders. If you have more work to do, I will tell you, and probably quote you a fee. There is no charge for this review.

 

If you do not have your divorce worked out, but you do not want (and do not need) to file a case immediately, I charge $125.00 /hour as long as the matter remains uncontested. This is a 50% reduction in fee to reflect the fact that you are preparing an uncontested case. If you need to file a contested case, we are ready to do that. My contested lawsuit fee is $250.00/hour and my trial fee (after Notice of Trial filed, several months after the case is filed) is $350.00/hour.

 

“Family Law” has a much broader usage including cases of Domestic Violence, Dating violence, Stalking, and Cyber-stalking. These matters are consulted for free where your legal options will be reviewed. In some cases self-representation may be recommended. Unfortunately, representation fees can only be quoted on a case by case basis.

Divorce Quotes

Uncontested, no children…………………..$500.00

Uncontested prenuptial……………………..$750.00

(client asset disclosure preparation)

 

Uncontested preparation

(Divorce with children)………………………$125.00/hour

 

Uncontested with children………………….individual quote after free review

(your documents completed by you)

 

Contested, no children……………………….$250/hour

Trial preparation…………………………… .….$350/hour

Debt Defense and Bankruptcy

 

The process of considering Bankruptcy often starts when the first lawsuit arrives. You can, and often should, consider defending the collection lawsuit, even if you know you owe money. If you need to avoid Bankruptcy and are being sued for collections, an attorney can assist you obtain fair settlement.

 

Debt Defense is initially billed at $250 for filing a response and discovery, plus $250 to settle or attend any court hearing (per hearing if more than one). If you wish to present a defense, I will provide you a pre-trial and trial fee quote based on the work involved.

 

Flat fee for response to lawsuit, basic discovery…. $250.00

Attendance at deposition, court hearing, mediation $250.00 per meeting

 

 

Bankruptcy

 

We take Bankruptcy very seriously because it is one area where you will very likely go to prison if you are dishonest with the Court or Trustee.

 

Chapter 7 is billed at 1000-2000 (+ filing fee and cost of credit counseling) depending on complexity. I am a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. I do not presently do Chapter 13 or 11 cases, however I can review the options they present as alternatives and provide a suitable referral.

 

Chapter 13 and 11 provide more solutions to more complex bankruptcy problems. You should consult multiple attorneys before filing any case, particularly in the case of a 13 or 11.

Wills and Trusts

 

There are basically 2 kinds of Will and Trust customers for any lawyer;

 

  1. “I have no reason to expect I will die.”

  2. I’m about to die any second.

 

If you are in the second category, please contact another lawyer.

 

Kidding. I have made hospital and nursing home trips on many occasions. I also videography anything that is remotely questionable as to testamentary capacity.

 

If you are in the first, I offer basic Family Testamentary Documents for $149.00. (includes fully reciprocal partner documents -  this may exclude “blended families with separate treatment.”)

 

Most of my Wills and Trusts work fall into the first category. Preparing basic documents for people who will probably never use them. (Because they will replace them when older in life.)

 

There are (IMO) four basic documents for a person to have concerning Death and Dying. They are;

 

  1. Designation of Health Care Surrogate.

  2. Living Will

  3. Will (without Trust)

  4. Designation of pre-need Guardian (self)

 

If you are a parent, you may seek

 

  1. Designation of pre-need Guardian (for minor child(ren))

 

Often discussed, and often prepared at this time is a General Power of Attorney.

 

I do not include a General Power of Attorney but will discuss preparation of one. I exclude the PoA because; 1) you should “generally” not rely on a GPOA, 2) if you expect to use one, you should “do it right” with the account holder (bank) of your asset, and 3) any future transaction will likely insist on “their own PoA”.

So, the Power of Attorney, it doesn’t fit in the “documents you must have strictly as back up for catastrophe. Each individual determines the importance of providing access your funds

 

All documents must be executed at my law office within 60 days of being provided to you.

 

You will be provided all originals along with an email scan.

 

Copies are not provided, we will provide without a staple!

Probate and Guardianship

 

Probate can only seldom be priced at a flat rate. These matters are subject to a free 30 minute consultation, which will be more like a free 60 minute consultation. If you have a matter to pursue, there will be much to discuss. Fees will be quoted in detail at this time and a written fee agreement will be required.

 

Guardianship can be handled many ways within a family. Ideally documents can be prepared that provide for alternatives to Guardianship. If Guardianship (court supervision) is required, that case is filed for the Petitioner. If you are appointed to be a Guardian, you are required to have an attorney at all times.

Landlord/Tenant

 

Landlord/Tenant (Tenant side)

Tenants under threat of eviction are offered a $100.00 “monitoring service” which includes advice and consultation as to their litigation options. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY LEGAL DEFENSE WORK.

 

CONSULTATION AND COURT DOCKET MONITORING ONLY. (So you know where the process is at.)

 

Tenants under threat of eviction are offered “attempted work out services” where I will communicate on your behalf to attempt a smooth transition to a new tenancy. Typical settlement costs are $250.00. DOES NOT INCLUDE LEGAL DEFENSE WORK.

 

Tenants are generally advised that rental market conditions in South Florida are generally so competitive (difficult to find a place), that it is highly desirable to maintain positive relations with the landlord.

 

When the Landlord is being bad (breach of contract, failure to perform landlord duties), cases are charged $150 for review, which will include a demand letter if applicable, and ongoing consultation. If you have no basis for claim, that will be explained.

Landlord/Tenant (Landlord side)

Eviction actions are personally managed step-wise with the Landlord or Landlord’s agent for the Landlord’s convenience and minimization of fees. Landlords should understand any non-default case will be very expensive and caution is always urged.

 

Landlords are businessmen. I have landlord references and understand the small landlord has a thin margin. No time for hand-holding!

Other Matters/ Excluded Matters

 

Some matters are unique and it is hard to find an attorney that fits. This is a good time to speak with several general practitioner attorneys. I will provide a free consultation for the purpose of quoting a fee for any services you may need. Most will require civil actions.

 

Some matters come up frequently but we know we cannot take them; Real Estate Closing, Criminal Defense, Tax, and Condominium Disputes.