Q. How long does it take to finalize my divorce?

This is the number one question asked in all client consultations and unfortunately, there is no set answer. The longevity of your case depends on how complex your case is and how willing both sides are to fully cooperate with providing the documentation and signatures necessary to complete the divorce . A simple divorce with no property, debt or children can be finalized very quickly. On the other hand, a divorce which involves the equitable distribution of property, debt, child support calculations and time-sharing negotiations will take a lot longer to finalize. If your case involves a lot of disagreement, lack of cooperation from one of the spouses, or issues which involve multiple court hearings, a divorce can last a significant amount of time. As your case progresses, the firm can provide you with an estimate of how long cases such as your typically take to finalize. 

Q. How much will I have to pay in child support?

Child support is calculated based on a variety of factors such as the net income of both of parents, the amount of overnight visits each parent has with the child, who pays for child care expenses, and who pays for health insurance costs. During your child support case, mandatory financial disclosure must be provided to the other parent and a certificate of compliance with this obligation must be filed with the court. After full financial disclosure is exchanged, child support is calculated.. It is not until the full financial picture of each parent is revealed that we can properly calculate the amount of child support that would need to paid. 

Q. I was never married to the mother of my child and she does       not let me see my son/daughter. What do I do?

If you were never married to the mother of your children and there is no legal proceeding adjudicating you as the "legal" father of your child, you have no rights. Being on the birth certificate of your child is not enough to give you time sharing rights or parental decision making authority. In order to establish parental rights you must begin a paternity case and obtain a court ordered parenting plan which would be enforceable in the event you are later precluded from seeing your children, 

Q. I have been separated from my spouse for years and now I        have no idea where my spouse is or how to find him/her.            Can I still get divorced?

Absolutely. There are additional steps necessary to obtain a divorce from a totally estranged spouse, but the firm will ensure it is done correctly so that you could move with your life. 

Q. I have personal/real estate property and money in bank            accounts that I acquired prior to the marriage. Am I at risk to      lose it because of the divorce?

Florida is an "equitable distribution" state, which means that property is equitably (aka fairly) distributed in the event of a divorce. Property could be real estate property, personal property such as jewelry or furniture, or even intangible property such as cash or stocks. Whether it is subject to be equitably divided during the divorce depends on whether the property is classified as "marital" or "non-marital". It is an incorrect layman's belief that property acquired prior to the marriage is not subject to division during a divorce. This is not true. Non-marital property can easily lose it's non-marital status by certain actions undertaken by the parties. Even a house that you have owned for years prior to marriage, can be converted into marital property subject to equitable distribution due to simple mistakes. This is why it is important not only to obtain a pre-nuptial agreement prior to marriage, but also to obtain proper legal representation if your divorce involves property. During your divorce proceeding, all your property and debts will be analyzed and classified as "non-marital" and "marital", and your attorney will work with you to formulate an aggressive strategy to fight for your assets. 

Q. How much will my legal representation costs?

The Law Office of Lace M. Hernandez, LLC strives to provided excellent legal representation while offering affordable and flexible payment options. Depending on the complexity or simplicity of your case, the firm can offer you flat fees, payment plans, and fair hourly rates. A customized payment solution can be created to meet your budget while still having access to top-notch legal representation. During your initial consultation we discuss the details of your case, your goals, and your expectations and based on the information provided, you will be provided a quote for attorney's fees and estimated costs. For your convenience, credit cards are accepted.

Most importantly, the firm does everything in its power to keep your costs and expenses as low as possible. For example, the firm does not charge certain fees that most other law firms charge such as file set up fees, legal research subscription fees,  or long distance calls, With the Law Office of Lace M. Hernandez, you never have to worry about hidden, unnecessary, or excessive fees and any up-front payment expenses that may be necessary, such as filing fees, are limited to the minimum amount needed to work your case so that you can worry less about the costs of your legal issues and focus more on obtaining a favorable results and preserving your peace of mind.