How Can I get Divorced in the Cheapest Way Possible

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Hello and welcome to 60 Seconds with Sergio. I am your host, Sergio Cabanas, Attorney-at-Law here in Florida. Thank you for joining me today.
Today’s question is a good one. “Sergio, my spouse and I have decided to move forward with a divorce.” “However, we want to do this in the most cost-effective way possible without expending a lot of money.” “How is it possible to do that here in Florida?”
Well, that’s a very good question. Obviously everybody wants to keep their expenses down as best they can to get through life.
So, it really boils down to one important secret. And the secret is…
You ready?
You have to be, two words, reasonably agreeable.

Now, let’s start with the word agreeable.
I would suggest that both spouses try to sit down and try to reach an agreement on the most important aspects of the divorce. Now, obviously a non-attorney is not going to think of everything relating to a divorce.
But, you can go a long way by reach an agreement on the most important topics and let the lawyers figure out the minor details as best we can, to settle your case in full.
So, without further ado, one of the big topics. Well, the first one is, if you have any minor children, that is, children under the age of 18, and are not in need of any special medical attention. Meaning the kids are not disabled in any way.
So, the important topics to resolve, relating to children in this situation, will be simply to reach an agreement on parental responsibility.
Meaning which of the two parents will decide issues such as: the child’s education, the child’s medical care, the child’s religion, etcetera.
Usually, the parents can agree to reach an agreement on these things on ongoing basis by simply consulting with one another and that’s simply called ‘shared parental responsibility’.
The other important topics relating to minor children are time sharing, or what some people refer to custody.
Which of the parents are going to have the children for the majority of the time or if they are going to have equal time sharing, and what that schedule is going to look like.
Another important issue, of course, depending on the time sharing arrangement, is calculating child support.
That’s usually determined by the time sharing arrangement and the relative incomes of the parties and other expenses that one of the parties or both parties are covering for the children.
Any doubt in this area, you should feel free to consult with an attorney who can guide you through that process.
The next big topic, of course, is the division of marital assets.
Basically, you take a look at everything that was acquired during the marriage, and you try to split it up as best you can.
Of course, we don’t want to go extremes here, right?
We don’t want to end getting a chainsaw and chopping off the appliances to divide everything in half.
The general principle here is, again, being reasonable, is: How do we divide up the assets keeping in mind that a judge will usually accept whatever the parties agree to in this respect.
So, we take a look at the house, pensions, any other investments, and, of course, debts are also subject to the division.
And finally we get the alimony. That could be a little more complicated, depending on the length of the marriage and the financial circumstances of the parties.
So, remember those two words that I mentioned at the beginning. Be reasonably agreeable.
We talked about how the parties should cooperate with one another and reach an agreement on these important topics.
The other words that I used, remember, was to be reasonable. That is, trying to be fair.
And if you are unsure about what’s fair because you don’t know how the law works in one particular area, again, feel free to consult with an attorney who can provide you with guidance.
You don’t have to hire an attorney to do everything relating to your case.
If you want to keep your expenses down one way you could do it is to hire that attorney to work with you as a consultant. That is, to give you advice, tell you what the law is, calculating things like child support, discussing such topics of alimony, and the division of marital assets.
Remember that there are lawyers that specialize in this area so of course they are very knowledgeable and experienced as to a wide variety of ways to settle cases.
Keep in mind that a good divorce lawyer should help you try to reach a settlement as quickly and as easily as reasonably as possible.
As I mentioned, an attorney can also do all the paperwork and think about the little details that you and your spouse may not have considered.
Of course, sometimes the details can complicate a settlement.
But if you have an experienced attorney to guide you through those details there is a good chance that if you reach an agreement on all the major topics, and you are just refining the little details, a good lawyer should help guide you through that process in the best way possible, minimizing the friction that may result in an impasse or a non-agreement.
Remember, a divorce is still a legal process, and it has to ultimately result in what’s called a final judgement.
That’s really what a divorce is. In order to get a final judgement, the paperwork has to be approved by a judge who ultimately has to review everything to make sure everything is in order, in order for it to be qualified for a final judgement.
Many times I find that I client would try to do this on their own. They would order this huge ‘do it yourself’ kit and as they go through the process they figure out: “Wow, I don’t really know what half the stuff means.”
“In fact, I don’t even know what any of it means”. “Am I filling up the paperwork right?” “Am I doing it wrong?” “Should I sign this or that?” Well, of course that’s where an attorney can help put all that paperwork together so that it’s done reasonably and it’s done correctly, so that the judge can approve it.
Otherwise you are wasting your time, money and a lot of stress.
I’m often asked, also: “Hey, do I really need an attorney when I have a marriage that has millions of dollars at stake?”
Well, as I just explained, don’t get scared about the numbers.
It really has the same principles as any other case. That is, it is possible to settle a multimillion dollar divorce by paying a nominal fee to an attorney to get you through this process, as long as the parties are reasonably agreeable,and reach an agreement.
So there’s a couple of points that I want to mention to wrap up this important topic.
And that is, be careful what you put in writing.
You don’t want to make it seem like a contract or that you are committing to something. Now, it’s okay to have bullet point agreements. I’ve had clients come in with bullet points on a back of an envelope, or a paper napkin.
They say: “look, my spouse and I have discussed these major topics and this is what we agreed to.” “Can you help us?”
Well, I’ve been able to use these simple notes to put together a more formal agreement that’s legally binding.
And finally, just be careful not to sign anything until you have an attorney review it.
Of course, we don’t want you to compromise any important legal right that you may have.
Wow, I see my crew that is telling me that I went way over the 60 seconds. But I wanted to get this information out because it’s a very common question and I want to let you know that it is possible to get a very cost-effective, low-cost divorce.
I hope this short, or medium length video, has provided you with at least some guidance over a very important area of the law.
Thank you again for joining me. As always, stay informed, so you can stay strong.

Hello and welcome to 60 Seconds with Sergio. I am your host, Sergio Cabanas, Attorney-at-Law here in Florida. Thank you for joining me today.
Today’s question is a good one. “Sergio, my spouse and I have decided to move forward with a divorce.” “However, we want to do this in the most cost-effective way possible without expending a lot of money.” “How is it possible to do that here in Florida?”
Well, that’s a very good question. Obviously everybody wants to keep their expenses down as best they can to get through life.
So, it really boils down to one important secret. And the secret is…
You ready?
You have to be, two words, reasonably agreeable.
Now, let’s start with the word agreeable.
I would suggest that both spouses try to sit down and try to reach an agreement on the most important aspects of the divorce. Now, obviously a non-attorney is not going to think of everything relating to a divorce.
But, you can go a long way by reach an agreement on the most important topics and let the lawyers figure out the minor details as best we can, to settle your case in full.
So, without further ado, one of the big topics. Well, the first one is, if you have any minor children, that is, children under the age of 18, and are not in need of any special medical attention. Meaning the kids are not disabled in any way.
So, the important topics to resolve, relating to children in this situation, will be simply to reach an agreement on parental responsibility.
Meaning which of the two parents will decide issues such as: the child’s education, the child’s medical care, the child’s religion, etcetera.
Usually, the parents can agree to reach an agreement on these things on ongoing basis by simply consulting with one another and that’s simply called ‘shared parental responsibility’.
The other important topics relating to minor children are time sharing, or what some people refer to custody.
Which of the parents are going to have the children for the majority of the time or if they are going to have equal time sharing, and what that schedule is going to look like.
Another important issue, of course, depending on the time sharing arrangement, is calculating child support.
That’s usually determined by the time sharing arrangement and the relative incomes of the parties and other expenses that one of the parties or both parties are covering for the children.
Any doubt in this area, you should feel free to consult with an attorney who can guide you through that process.
The next big topic, of course, is the division of marital assets.
Basically, you take a look at everything that was acquired during the marriage, and you try to split it up as best you can.
Of course, we don’t want to go extremes here, right?
We don’t want to end getting a chainsaw and chopping off the appliances to divide everything in half.
The general principle here is, again, being reasonable, is: How do we divide up the assets keeping in mind that a judge will usually accept whatever the parties agree to in this respect.
So, we take a look at the house, pensions, any other investments, and, of course, debts are also subject to the division.
And finally we get the alimony. That could be a little more complicated, depending on the length of the marriage and the financial circumstances of the parties.
So, remember those two words that I mentioned at the beginning. Be reasonably agreeable.
We talked about how the parties should cooperate with one another and reach an agreement on these important topics.
The other words that I used, remember, was to be reasonable. That is, trying to be fair.
And if you are unsure about what’s fair because you don’t know how the law works in one particular area, again, feel free to consult with an attorney who can provide you with guidance.
You don’t have to hire an attorney to do everything relating to your case.
If you want to keep your expenses down one way you could do it is to hire that attorney to work with you as a consultant. That is, to give you advice, tell you what the law is, calculating things like child support, discussing such topics of alimony, and the division of marital assets.
Remember that there are lawyers that specialize in this area so of course they are very knowledgeable and experienced as to a wide variety of ways to settle cases.
Keep in mind that a good divorce lawyer should help you try to reach a settlement as quickly and as easily as reasonably as possible.
As I mentioned, an attorney can also do all the paperwork and think about the little details that you and your spouse may not have considered.
Of course, sometimes the details can complicate a settlement.
But if you have an experienced attorney to guide you through those details there is a good chance that if you reach an agreement on all the major topics, and you are just refining the little details, a good lawyer should help guide you through that process in the best way possible, minimizing the friction that may result in an impasse or a non-agreement.
Remember, a divorce is still a legal process, and it has to ultimately result in what’s called a final judgement.
That’s really what a divorce is. In order to get a final judgement, the paperwork has to be approved by a judge who ultimately has to review everything to make sure everything is in order, in order for it to be qualified for a final judgement.
Many times I find that I client would try to do this on their own. They would order this huge ‘do it yourself’ kit and as they go through the process they figure out: “Wow, I don’t really know what half the stuff means.”
“In fact, I don’t even know what any of it means”. “Am I filling up the paperwork right?” “Am I doing it wrong?” “Should I sign this or that?” Well, of course that’s where an attorney can help put all that paperwork together so that it’s done reasonably and it’s done correctly, so that the judge can approve it.
Otherwise you are wasting your time, money and a lot of stress.
I’m often asked, also: “Hey, do I really need an attorney when I have a marriage that has millions of dollars at stake?”
Well, as I just explained, don’t get scared about the numbers.
It really has the same principles as any other case. That is, it is possible to settle a multimillion dollar divorce by paying a nominal fee to an attorney to get you through this process, as long as the parties are reasonably agreeable,and reach an agreement.
So there’s a couple of points that I want to mention to wrap up this important topic.
And that is, be careful what you put in writing.
You don’t want to make it seem like a contract or that you are committing to something. Now, it’s okay to have bullet point agreements. I’ve had clients come in with bullet points on a back of an envelope, or a paper napkin.
They say: “look, my spouse and I have discussed these major topics and this is what we agreed to.” “Can you help us?”
Well, I’ve been able to use these simple notes to put together a more formal agreement that’s legally binding.
And finally, just be careful not to sign anything until you have an attorney review it.
Of course, we don’t want you to compromise any important legal right that you may have.
Wow, I see my crew that is telling me that I went way over the 60 seconds. But I wanted to get this information out because it’s a very common question and I want to let you know that it is possible to get a very cost-effective, low-cost divorce.
I hope this short, or medium length video, has provided you with at least some guidance over a very important area of the law.
Thank you again for joining me. As always, stay informed, so you can stay strong.

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