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Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

Whether you have you have decided to file for divorce, you have been injured in auto accident, you are facing criminal charges, or need assistance with a Will, in order to make smart decisions you need to have as much information as possible. For some important information about your situation, we encourage you to read these answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs):

Florida Divorce FAQs

Q
Does Florida allow spouses to file for a “no-fault” divorce?
AYes, Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that you can file for divorce for any reason. When you file for a no-fault divorce, you have the option to resolve the terms of your divorce (i.e. property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody) through negotiations, mediation, collaborative law, or courtroom litigation.
Q
If my spouse and I cannot agree on certain issues, will we need to go to court?
ANot necessarily. In many cases, even spouses who are completely at odds are able to overcome their differences amicably. Mediation is required by the court and offers a structured venue for working out differences with the help of a neutral third-party, while the collaborative process also engages the assistance of qualified experts who can help you arrive at a mutually-agreeable resolution.
Q
Does Florida have a “waiting period” to obtain a divorce?
AIn Florida, the waiting period for obtaining a divorce is just 20 days. However, even when spouses are completely on the same page, it will usually take quite a bit longer to work out all of the terms of a divorce settlement.

Florida Family Law FAQs

Q
What is the difference between shared and sole parental responsibility?
AIn Florida, the courts no longer address “custody”, but determine parental responsibility and timesharing. The court will consider what is in the “best interests” of the child involved. With shared parental responsibility, the parents confer with each other to make all major decisions affecting the child, like education, healthcare or medical needs and religion. It is very difficult to obtain sole parental responsibility because you have to prove that having shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.
Q
What is “timesharing”?
ATimesharing is a contemporary alternative to a traditional custody and visitation schedule. With timesharing, the parents split time with their children based upon an analysis of the “best interests” factors.
Q
How much will I (or my spouse or partner) owe for child support?
AAll child support determinations are subject to Florida’s Child Support Guidelines. In order to determine what you or your spouse or partner will owe, you will need to apply the guidelines to your personal family and financial circumstances.

Florida Personal Injury FAQs

Q
What should I do if I have been injured in an accident?
AIf you have been injured in an accident, the most important thing you can do is to seek medical attention promptly. You should also speak with an attorney about filing a personal injury claim as soon as possible.
Q
Can I obtain financial compensation if I slipped and fell at a business?
AMaybe. Under Florida’s law of premises liability, business owners have a legal obligation to protect their clients and customers from hazardous conditions. If you slipped and fell due to a dangerous property condition, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Q
Can I obtain financial compensation for a dog bite?
AMaybe. In Florida, the general rule is that dog owners are strictly liable for bite-related injuries. But, there are some exceptions, and to protect your rights you should speak with an attorney.

Florida Auto Accident FAQs

Q
What does Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law mean for my accident claim?
AUnder Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law, many auto accident victims are limited to securing compensation under their own personal injury protection (PIP) policies. However, it is possible to recover additional compensation for severe and permanent injuries; and, to maximize your recovery, you will need to work with an experienced auto accident lawyer.
Q
What if my medical bills exceed my personal injury protection (PIP) coverage?
AIf your medical bills exceed your PIP coverage (which, in most cases, is $10,000), then it will be particularly important for you to speak with an attorney about filing a fault-based claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
Q
Can I recover my lost wages if I miss time from work due to an auto accident?
APotentially, yes. Personal injury protection provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages; and, if you have claim outside of PIP, you can seek to recover all of your accident-related losses.

Florida Criminal Defense FAQs

Q
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
AUnder Florida law, a misdemeanor is any crime that is punishable by a term of jail not exceeding one year and fines. A felony is punishable by more than one year of imprisonment and fines.
Q
Will I go to prison if I am convicted of a felony?
AMaybe. While prison time is certainly on the table, depending upon the circumstances involved in your case, your attorney may have grounds to argue for a sentence that does not include incarceration.
Q
Do I need a defense lawyer if I am guilty?
ANever assume that you are guilty! As someone who is facing criminal charges in Florida, you could potentially have numerous defenses available, and you should discuss your case with a defense attorney right away.

Florida Estate Planning FAQs

Q
What do I need to include in my will?
AThis is a complicated question, and there is no “right” answer. A well drafted will usually contains provisions tailored to a person’s unique individual circumstances. Broadly speaking, however, some typical terms in a will include:

  • Designation of a person to serve as the personal representative
  • Designation of a guardian for your minor children
  • Directions for the distribution of your assets
  • Provisions for payment of estate expenses, taxes, fees and other costs
  • Setting aside funds for funeral and burial costs
Q
Can I avoid probate?
AThis is one of the most often asked questions. In almost all circumstances, the answer is “No, you cannot avoid probate.” However, the probate process may be simplified with the proper planning. Probate is a process used to distribute your assets and pay creditors after you have passed. Most people are actually concerned with minimizing estate taxes which is a separate matter.
Q
What documents should I include in my estate plan?
AEveryone’s estate plan is unique. An attorney is best able to assist you in determining which documents will be “best” for you. However, most basic estate plans generally included:

  • General Durable Financial Power of Attorney
  • Living Will
  • Advance Directives for Health Care (a.k.a. Medical Power of Attorney)
  • Last Will and Testament
Q
What is the cost of probate in Florida?
AA typical probate estate includes costs such as filing fees, publication fees, accounting fees and attorney compensation. Attorney compensation is likely to be the biggest expense, however, attorney compensation for an estate must be reasonable. The Florida Statutes contain guidelines establishing the amount the courts will presume to be reasonable. Attorney compensation may range from $1,500.00 for a small estate to more than $190,000.00 for an estate valued at ten million dollars.

DISCLAIMER: The information appearing on this web page is general information related to FAQ’s and does not imply the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Information appearing on this web page is not a substitute for competent legal representation and is not intended to provide advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendations. If you need legal representation, contact a licensed Florida Attorney.

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