Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Divorce & Family Law

Do you offer free consultations?

We charge for the initial meeting with the client, which is called an “Initial Client Assessment.” This meeting is one of the most valuable services the attorneys in the office provide. The Initial Client Assessment conference generally takes up to two (2) hours, during which the client receives tangible documentation with regard to his or her legal rights and obligations, and obtains the benefit of our attorneys’ years of experience in providing valuable legal advice.

The rate for a case assessment conference or “Consultation” with Carolyn Zisser, our senior attorney with 40 years of experience, is $850.00.  The rate for a Consultation with Lynn Salvatore, also an experienced attorney practicing law over 29 years, is $650.00. Consultation conferences often last approximately 2 hours.  During this time the attorney will gather information regarding your family law matter and educate you on your rights and responsibilities as well as your legal and practical options.  Consultation fees are subject to change.

That fee covers the Initial Client Assessment in which the attorney answers all of your questions, reviews all pleadings, provides legal advice, and obtains preliminary information to discuss options and alternatives, and will determine if filing legal action is necessary. You will also receive worksheets prepared by our firm and copies of articles and other resource materials to assist you in understanding the legal process in your Dissolution of Marriage and other family law cases.

How much will my case cost?

The components of the costs of the case are attorney’s fees paid for the legal representation and costs of the action, such as filing fees, copy costs, expert witness fees, and the like. Each case is different and presents individual challenges. At the time of the initial assessment, our attorneys will analyze the issues in your case and give you an estimate of how long your case will take to complete, and how much it will cost. We are only able to give an estimate because we cannot control the other spouse’s/party’s level of cooperation or predict all of the factors that may arise in your case affecting the expense of the case.

How long will my case take?

The duration of the case from the date the case is filed until Final Judgment is entered is based upon factors including the complexity of the case, the amount of time needed to obtain necessary financial and parenting (including psychological) data, the cooperation of your spouse, and the number of cases assigned to your judge. We will do everything possible to expedite the legal action in your case.

Will my husband/wife be required to pay my legal fees?

It depends upon the relative financial positions of the parties during the case, their relative financial positions after equitable distribution and support have been assessed, and upon the extent to which the costs of the case have been increased by the failure of your spouse or his or her attorney to cooperate in the process. Florida Law assures each party the right to counsel so that the parties are on a “level playing field.”

What is mediation?

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution in which a neutral third-party, most often a practicing family law attorney, and sometimes a psychologist or financial professional, assists the parties in reaching a settlement. Mediation is required before a judge can hear your case (i.e., before trial).

Can my spouse and I use the same attorney?

Emphatically, no! You and your spouse cannot use the same attorney, as it presents a conflict of interest, and a violation of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

How soon can I get in for a consultation?

Usually, you will be able to get in for a consultation with one of our attorneys within several days of your call.