Completing a Family Law Case
Family Law consists of a variety of situations that a person or couple cannot resolve by themselves without the help of the legal system. Some of these situations include divorce, modifications, timesharing, child support, division of marital assets, adoption, and bankruptcy. In each of these cases, there will be several considerations which will determine how long it will take to complete the case. Here are the basic issues that will affect the completion of a Family Law case:
- Hiring an attorney or handling your case yourself: If a case is very simple such as a no-contest divorce where both parties agree on all accounts, there are no minor children or no jointly owned real estate, and each party files a full financial disclosure it is possible to save time and money by handling your own case. However, in most instances and if fact in some such as child support and timesharing, an attorney should definitely be retained. At this point, there will be other considerations which will add time to complete the Family Law Case.
- Successful mediation: In the state of Florida, most jurisdictions require mediation before a case can be scheduled to go before a judge. Here is a point where time and money can be saved if a successful agreement is signed by both parties. This is a time when those involved should try really hard to put angry feelings and emotions aside and be willing to compromise. Mediation empowers you to make your own decisions as to how your marital assets and debts are divided, alimony, and issues involving your minor children will be made. The proceedings are private and not made available to the public as court proceedings are. And, best of all, there is no waiting for a timeslot in a backed-up Family Court, and costs can be kept to a minimum.
- Availability of the Court: Unless the case is of an emergency nature such as child abuse and the child needs to immediately given into a safe situation, most cases have to wait several months to gain a place on the docket. Sometimes the hearing of cases will be cancelled several times before they are heard, thus making the time for completion even longer.
- Cooperation and compromise of parties: In most Family Law cases, adoption certainly being an exception, much time is taken with each party firmly standing by what they want the outcome to be. While this is understandable, it will just prolong the time to completion. Once the mediation has failed and the case is headed for the court there will be a number of time-consuming and costly events, including motions, depositions, interrogatories, orders to produce, procuring expert witnesses, and communication with legal professionals.
- Pre and postnuptial agreements: If the Family Law case involves a divorce or legal separation, couples with a valid pre or postnuptial agreement will usually have a shorter time needed to complete their case. Even if mediation is not successful, the judge will have fewer issues to deal with before he or she decrees the final order.
While there can be no guarantee as to the actual length of time needed to complete a case, consulting with a Family Law attorney can help you look at the best and fastest way to proceed. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County, in New York or Washington, DC you can have a free, initial, in-office consultation with Attorney Grant Gisondo, Attorney Gisondo has been successfully representing Family Law clients for over a decade. You can reach his office in Palm Beach Gardens at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.