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Matrimonial and Family Law Representation
for South Florida Residents

More Than 34 Years Of Experience

Even If You Agree On All The Issues, Hire A Lawyer

Under Florida law, divorcing parties without assets or children may file what the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office ratherly lightly refers to as a simplified divorce, without legal representation by an attorney. But too often, even the simplest of divorces can result in major problems. What you save by trying to avoid legal fees in the beginning can cost you significantly more in the end.

Most divorcing couples have a good idea of what they expect out of the final property, custody or spousal support settlment. Drafting an over-arching agreement together at the kitchen table isn't too much of a problem, as long as communication is still possible. But like most things in law, the devil is in the details.

Bring Us What You Have Already Worked Out With Your Spouse

At the Law Office of David B. Mitchell, P.A., in Coral Gables, we frequently represent clients who come to us with the basic framework they have worked out with their spouse. In a sense, husband or wife only wants to hire us to make sure the transaction moves through the process correctly.

When we sit down to review the framework of the proposed agreement, however, we usually find that there are major areas the spouses overlooked. In child custody matters, for example, the mother may want custody, to which the father readily agrees as long as there will be "ample" or "frequent" visitation rights. When we clarify terms, however, what seems fair to one parent is considered excessive to the other. In addition, the courts may have a completely different idea of parenting expectations. 

In property matters, many couples have no problem agreeing to who gets the house. However, when we review the financial realities, many significant details are overlooked. For example, how will keeping the house affect monthly cash flow after paying for utilities, general maintenance and property taxes? Often, major decisions like keeping the house seem like a "win" on paper but actually becomes a financial burden over the years. In most cases, property judgments cannot be revised after the divorce is final. They have to be done right the first time.

Hire A Lawyer So You Know Your Rights When You Sit Down To Negotiate

If you do intend to handle as much of your divorce as possible, be smart about it. Invest some money in an in-depth consultation or two with an attorney who can explain the process and potential pitfalls you face. You may not need full trial representation to resolve minor disputes with your spouse, but it is important to get sound legal counsel to protect your rights. Before you put anything informally into writing, it makes sense to understand what you are agreeing to.

If you are worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer, rest assured, the money you spend on legal counsel now will be significantly less than the money you may end up spending in litigation on the back end.

No matter how far along you are in your decision to file, it is never too early or too late to get the assistance of an experienced attorney. Call the Law Offices of David B. Mitchell, .A. in Coral Gables to arrange an initial consultation.  

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