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What Our Previous Clients Said
Steve and his staff were top notch! He (and Tiffany) really seemed to care about me and the outcome of my situation. He is easily accessible and wonderful to deal with. I have referred several friends to him and will continue to do so!
Kerrye T. – Orlando
The divorce lawyer Steve Caplan was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, guiding us through the complex legal process of divorce and child support. They provided support during a challenging time, making us feel in control. We’re extremely pleased with the results. Thank you!
Sarah H. – Orlando
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Got Questions? Check out Our FAQs Below
When do I need a divorce attorney?
Hiring a divorce attorney is advisable whenever you are considering or facing the prospect of divorce. While not every divorce situation requires legal representation, having an experienced attorney by your side can provide numerous benefits and help navigate the complexities of the process.
You might consider hiring a divorce attorney if:
- Complex Financial Situations: If you and your spouse have significant assets, properties, or shared financial interests, an attorney can help ensure a fair division of property and assets.
- Child Custody and Support: When children are involved, custody arrangements and child support negotiations can become emotionally charged. An attorney can advocate for your rights and the best interests of your children.
- Alimony and Spousal Support: If you are seeking or contesting alimony or spousal support, an attorney can help determine the appropriate amount based on legal considerations.
- Legal Paperwork and Procedures: Divorce involves a multitude of paperwork and legal procedures. An attorney can guide you through these processes, ensuring everything is completed accurately and on time.
- Mediation and Negotiation: If you and are looking to reach an amicable settlement, an attorney can facilitate mediation and negotiations, striving to minimize conflict and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
- Protection of Rights: An attorney can help protect your legal rights and prevent you from being taken advantage of during the divorce process.
- Emotional Support: Going through a divorce can be emotionally challenging. An attorney not only provides legal guidance but also offers support during this difficult time.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a divorce attorney depends on your individual circumstances and goals. Consulting with an attorney during an initial consultation can help you better understand whether legal representation is necessary for your situation.
Please reach out to us for a confidential consultation to discuss your unique circumstances and explore how we can assist you during this important transition.
How long does a divorce take?
The duration of a divorce process in Florida can vary based on several factors. While we can’t provide an exact timeframe without understanding the specifics of your situation, we can offer some general insights into the divorce timeline in the state of Florida.
In Florida, there is a mandatory waiting period of at least 20 days after filing the initial divorce petition before a divorce can be finalized. This waiting period is applicable to cases where both parties agree on all terms and no exceptional circumstances warrant a waiver.
Factors that can influence the timeline of a divorce in Florida include:
Type of Divorce: Whether the divorce is uncontested or contested plays a significant role in how long the process takes. Uncontested divorces, where both parties agree on major issues, tend to proceed more quickly.
Complexity of Issues: The complexity of matters such as property division, child custody, alimony, and more can impact the timeline. Resolving intricate financial or child-related matters may extend the process.
Negotiations and Agreements: If you and your spouse can reach agreements on various issues, the process can be expedited. On the other hand, disputes and disagreements may require additional time for resolution.
Court Caseload: The workload of the court where your divorce is filed can affect the timeline. Courts with heavy caseloads may experience delays.
Legal Requirements: Florida law mandates certain procedures and requirements in divorce cases. Adhering to these requirements can influence the timeline.
Mediation and Settlement: Participating in mediation or using alternative dispute resolution methods can sometimes help accelerate the process by facilitating agreements.
While our aim is to help you achieve a timely resolution, it’s equally important to ensure that your rights are protected and your best interests are served. During an initial consultation, we can gather more details about your situation and provide you with a better estimate of the potential timeline based on your unique circumstances.
Please reach out to us to discuss your specific case and learn more about how we can assist you in navigating the divorce process in Florida.
Do I have to go to court?
In many cases, it’s possible to avoid a courtroom appearance during a divorce process. The extent of court involvement largely depends on the nature of your divorce and the ability of both parties to reach agreements on key issues.
Uncontested Divorce: If you and your spouse are in agreement on major aspects of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, alimony, and other financial matters, an uncontested divorce may be an option. In this scenario, you might be able to finalize the divorce without appearing in court. Your attorney can help prepare the necessary documents and guide you through the process.
Contested Divorce: If there are disagreements or disputes that cannot be resolved through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative methods, a contested divorce may be necessary. In these cases, court appearances may be required to present arguments, provide evidence, and have a judge make decisions on unresolved matters.
Benefits of Avoiding Court: Opting for an uncontested divorce not only saves time and costs but also provides more control over the outcome. It can be less emotionally taxing and allows for privacy in sensitive matters. Our aim is to help you explore options that minimize court involvement while ensuring your rights and interests are protected.
When Court Is Needed: In some situations, even in an uncontested divorce, a brief court appearance may be necessary for finalization. This typically involves presenting the agreed-upon settlement terms to a judge for approval. Your attorney will guide you through this process to ensure all legal requirements are met.
During an initial consultation, we can assess your unique circumstances and provide you with a clear understanding of whether court appearances will be required in your divorce case. Our priority is to help you navigate the divorce process in the way that best suits your needs and achieves a favorable resolution.
Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss your specific situation and learn more about how we can assist you during this process.
How does the court determine child custody?
Child custody determinations are made by the court with the best interests of the child as the primary consideration. The court aims to create a custody arrangement that provides a stable and supportive environment for the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs.
Several factors influence how the court determines child custody:
Child’s Well-being: The court evaluates each parent’s ability to provide a safe, nurturing, and stable environment for the child’s growth and development.
Parent-Child Relationship: The court assesses the relationship between each parent and the child, considering factors such as emotional bonds, communication, and mutual support.
Parental Fitness: The court reviews each parent’s physical and mental health, as well as their capacity to meet the child’s needs.
Primary Caregiver: The parent who has been the primary caregiver often receives consideration due to their familiarity with the child’s routines and needs.
Child’s Preference: Depending on the child’s age and maturity, their preference may be taken into account, though this is not the sole determinant.
Co-Parenting Ability: The willingness and ability of each parent to cooperate and facilitate a positive co-parenting relationship are important.
Stability and Continuity: The court may favor maintaining the child’s current living situation, school, and community ties to ensure stability.
History of Care: The court considers each parent’s historical involvement in the child’s upbringing and decision-making.
Work Schedules and Availability: The parents’ work schedules and availability to care for the child play a role in determining custody arrangements.
Any History of Abuse or Neglect: Any history of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence can significantly impact custody decisions.
It’s important to note that there are different types of custody, including physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (who makes major decisions). The court may award joint custody (shared decision-making and parenting time) or sole custody to one parent.
Ultimately, the court’s goal is to establish a custody arrangement that serves the best interests of the child while promoting their well-being and overall development. An experienced family law attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout the process and help you present your case effectively to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.
For personalized advice on your specific situation, please reach out to us to schedule a consultation. We’re here to assist you in understanding the child custody process and advocating for your child’s best interests.
How are properties divided in a divorce?
In Florida, the division of marital property during a divorce follows the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means that the court strives to distribute marital assets and liabilities fairly, though not necessarily equally, between the spouses. Marital property generally includes assets and debts acquired during the course of the marriage.
Key Factors in Property Division:
Florida courts consider various factors when determining how to divide marital property:
Contributions to the Marriage: The court assesses each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, child-rearing, and supporting the other spouse’s career.
Duration of the Marriage: The length of the marriage can influence property division. Longer marriages often lead to a more equal distribution of assets.
Financial and Non-Financial Contributions: The court evaluates both spouses’ contributions to the acquisition, enhancement, and preservation of marital assets.
Economic Circumstances: Each spouse’s financial situation, including their earning capacity and financial needs, is considered.
Custodial Arrangements: If there are children involved, the court considers the custodial arrangement and the financial needs of the custodial parent.
Debts and Liabilities: Marital debts and liabilities are also part of the equitable distribution process.
Premarital and Non-Marital Property: Assets acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance are generally considered separate property and may not be subject to division.
Property classified as “non-marital” or “separate” generally remains with the original owner. This includes property owned before the marriage, gifts received individually, and inheritances.
Settlement and Negotiation:
Spouses have the opportunity to negotiate and reach a property settlement agreement outside of court. This gives them greater control over the outcome and allows for customized solutions.
An experienced family law attorney can guide you through the property division process in Florida. They can help identify and classify marital assets, determine their value, and advocate for a fair distribution that aligns with your circumstances and the law.
Navigating property division can be complex, and having legal guidance ensures that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you in handling property division during your Florida divorce.
How can a divorce attorney help with my case?
A divorce attorney plays a crucial role in guiding you through the complex and emotionally challenging process of divorce. Their expertise and legal knowledge can provide invaluable support to ensure your rights are protected and that you achieve the best possible outcome.
Legal Expertise: A divorce attorney is well-versed in the laws and regulations governing divorce in your jurisdiction. They can provide you with a clear understanding of your legal rights, responsibilities, and options.
Objective Advice: Emotions can run high during a divorce, leading to impulsive decisions. An attorney offers objective advice, helping you make informed choices that align with your long-term interests.
Paperwork and Procedures: Divorce involves a substantial amount of paperwork, including petitions, agreements, financial disclosures, and more. Your attorney ensures that all necessary documents are properly prepared, filed, and presented to the court.
Negotiation and Mediation: An experienced attorney can skillfully negotiate on your behalf during settlement discussions. They aim to reach agreements that are fair and protect your rights, helping you avoid costly and lengthy court battles.
Child Custody and Support: If children are involved, a divorce attorney can help you navigate the complexities of child custody, visitation schedules, and child support arrangements. Their focus is on the best interests of your children.
Property Division: An attorney will advocate for a fair division of marital property, ensuring that your financial rights are upheld during the process.
Complex Cases: In cases with significant assets, debts, businesses, or unique legal issues, an attorney’s expertise is vital to protecting your interests and achieving a favorable resolution.
Court Representation: Should your case go to court, an attorney provides skilled representation, presenting your case effectively and advocating for your rights before a judge.
Minimized Stress: Having an attorney handle legal matters allows you to focus on healing and moving forward, minimizing the stress and challenges that come with navigating the legal process alone.
Personalized Strategy: Every divorce case is unique. An attorney tailors their approach to your specific circumstances, working to achieve outcomes that align with your goals and priorities.
At [Your Law Firm Name], we understand the complexities of divorce and are committed to providing compassionate guidance, expert advice, and strong representation throughout the process. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you during this important transition.
How much does a family lawyer cost?
The cost of hiring a family lawyer in Orlando can vary based on a variety of factors specific to your case and the legal services you require. While we can’t provide an exact cost without understanding the specifics of your situation, we can offer some insights into the factors that influence pricing.
Hourly Rates: Many family lawyers in Orlando charge by the hour for their services. Hourly rates can vary widely based on the attorney’s experience, reputation, and the complexity of the legal matters they handle.
Retainer Fees: Some family lawyers in Orlando require clients to pay a retainer fee upfront. This initial payment is placed in a separate account and is used to cover the attorney’s services as they work on your case.
Flat Fees: For certain routine services, such as drafting agreements or handling straightforward matters, some family lawyers offer flat fees. This means you’ll pay a predetermined amount for a specific service.
Consultation Fees: Our consultation fee is $150. During a consultation, you can discuss your case and get a better understanding of potential costs.
Case Complexity: The complexity of your case plays a significant role in determining the cost. Cases involving intricate financial matters, child custody disputes, or other complex issues may require more time and resources.
Geographic Location: The cost of legal services can also be influenced by the geographic location of the attorney’s office. Costs may vary between different areas within Orlando.
Transparency and Communication: At Caplan & Associates P.A., we believe in transparent communication about fees. During your initial consultation, we’ll provide you with a clear understanding of our fee structure and an estimate based on your specific situation.
We understand that each case is unique, and we work closely with our clients to find the best solution that meets their legal needs while being mindful of their budget. Our priority is to provide quality legal representation that achieves the best possible outcome for you.
Feel free to reach out to us to schedule a consultation and learn more about our fee structures and how we can assist you with your family law matter in Orlando.
Do I have pay any upfront fee?
Our approach to fees varies depending on the nature of your case and the services required. During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss our fee structure and any potential upfront fees that may be applicable. Our goal is to provide transparent information about our fees and work with you to find a suitable arrangement that meets your needs.
Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about our fee policies for your specific case.
How to settle a family dispute?
Resolving a family dispute can be a sensitive and complex process, but there are several approaches you can consider to reach a resolution:
- Open Communication: Initiate an open and respectful conversation with the other party. Effective communication can help clarify misunderstandings and identify areas of agreement.
- Mediation: Consider engaging a neutral third party, such as a mediator, to facilitate discussions and guide both sides toward a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation promotes collaboration and can often lead to more amicable resolutions.
- Negotiation: Both parties and their attorneys can engage in negotiations to address concerns and reach compromises. Negotiation can help you find common ground while preserving relationships.
- Legal Counsel: Consult with an experienced family lawyer to understand your legal rights and options. They can provide legal advice and help you navigate the complexities of family law, ensuring that your rights are protected.
- Focus on Common Interests: Identify shared interests and goals, and work toward solutions that benefit everyone involved.
- Prioritize Children’s Well-being: If children are involved, prioritize their well-being above all else. Focus on co-parenting strategies that serve their best interests.
- Consider Future Impact: Think about the long-term consequences of your decisions. Strive for solutions that promote stability and allow for future adjustments if needed.
- Seek Professional Help: In some cases, family disputes may require professional counseling or therapy to address underlying emotional issues.
Remember that each family dispute is unique, and the approach that works best will depend on your specific situation. Consulting with a family lawyer can provide you with legal guidance and help you explore the most suitable methods for resolving your dispute.
At Caplan & Associates P.A., we’re here to provide you with advice and support tailored to your circumstances. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you in settling your family dispute.