5 Tips from a Port St Lucie Divorce Lawyer
Making it through a divorce is not always easy. These 5 tips from a Port St. Lucie divorce lawyer hopefully will provide you some insight into the process of a divorce in St. Lucie County, Florida.
1. Be Respectful to your St. Lucie County Family Court Judge
Always be polite when you appear, whether in person or via Zoom, before your St. Lucie County Family Court Judge. Presently, there are only two Family Court judges in all of St. Lucie County who preside over divorce trials. As a result, husbands and wives only have one chance to make a good first impression. In less contested cases, the only times husbands and wives will be face-to-face (whether by Zoom or in person) with judges are essentially at case management hearings to set trials and at the trial itself. Conversely, in more contested cases, parties may be at several pre-trial hearings on motions for temporary relief, motions for appointment of guardians ad litem and other family law motions.
You must always address the judge as “Your Honor.” Further, you should be well-mannered to the opposing family law attorney and to others in the court. You must refrain from showing any anger, resentment or discontent. It is critical that you appear to be the mature, composed and collected party. You do not want to make a bad impression before the judge so that he or she remembers your actions when you appear before him or her at the trial at the end of your case.
2. Be Careful what you Post on Social Media Right Before and During a Divorce
It is easy to post critical or damaging comments about your spouse on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Similarly, it is also not difficult for your spouse, or his or her attorney, to copy those posts to use against you at any hearings in St. Lucie County Family Court. Believe me this happens in just about every contested divorce trial these days. Imagine that whatever you post on social media, that your judge will end up reading that post. What do you think a judge will think of you if he sees your Facebook post about your wife, stating “she will never see her daughter again?” My advice is that during the divorce process, take a social media break.
3. Get your own Cell Phone, Open a New Email and Change your Passwords
You and your spouse have been living in the same house for probably years. You may each use the same laptop and have access to passwords to your email or can obtain your password through answering questions, he or she probably knows. There are also settings on cell phones that can be changed to add in your spouses email, thereby allowing that spouse to read each and every text you receive and send. Step one is open up a brand new email and secure that new email with a complex password using numbers and symbols. Do not use names of your children or birthdays.
Remember, you will be emailing your divorce lawyer. You do not want your soon-to-be-ex husband or wife to be able to read those emails. If you and your spouse have had the same cell phone plan, get a new cell phone on your own plan. Step three is to change all your passwords to your private accounts, such as bank accounts, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to complex passwords that your spouse would not be able to guess.
4. Don’t Buy into Promises your Divorce Lawyer Candidate Makes that Sound too Good to be True
Regrettably, a few St. Lucie County divorce lawyers out there will promise you everything under the sun at the initial consultation. However, that same attorney will have you sign a legal services agreement, right then and there, where the agreement states that the lawyer cannot promise specific outcomes at the end of the case. This is the actual truth. How can any lawyer know what will exactly happen in every case after just speaking with a client for just an hour? The answer is that no family lawyer can.
Some lawyers will stir the pot and start off the case in a warlike fashion, then later drop their client when the client runs out of funds for continued legal services. If something sounds just too good to be true, it probably is. At that initial consultation, if your lawyer makes very specific promises, ask him or her to put that in writing. If they will not, then this family lawyer is probably not for you.
5. Talk to your Spouse
Some lawyers tell their clients to not talk at all to their spouse during the divorce. This makes absolutely no sense in 99% of the cases. The more spouses can discuss issues involving their own families before and during the divorce, the less each party will spend on their divorce lawyers. To minimize the costs of divorce, try talking to each other if possible. Now, do not sign anything without talking to your lawyer first. Your lawyer will put these agreements into a specific settlement agreement.
Remember, all lawyers in St. Lucie County charge by the hour. So, the more issues that can be dealt and resolved between the spouses, the less you will spend on two lawyers going back and forth arguing over the issues. For example, if the parties can sit down and agree on whether their child should go to private school or public school, that issue is resolved quickly and inexpensively than having two lawyers argue over this issue.
For free family law legal advice and for more tips from a Port St Lucie divorce lawyer, call Tim Nies or Chris Van Riper at 772-283-8712. Our PSL divorce lawyers and top-notch paralegals at Van Riper and Nies Attorneys take their jobs seriously and are known for outworking opposing divorce attorneys.