One of the biggest stressors in a Family Law case, whether a divorce or paternity matter, is how expensive legal representation is. And it’s not just how much – it’s not knowing how much it will be. Traditionally, these types of matters have been billed by the hour. At Pamela Fero Law, we are different. We will let you know – up front – how much you will have to pay for each phase of the case. You do not pay us for our time – you pay us for our experience. You also do not have to pay us the entire fee at the beginning. You will have a chance to make payments for each phase of the case as it moves along. This will enable you to budget for this expense.
Family and Marital Law
There is no doubt that when some marriages reach the point where one or both parties want to end the marriage, things can get emotional, stressful, and sometimes, downright ugly. When parties argue over the distribution of assets just for the sake of arguing, the truth of the matter is that oftentimes the parties end up with almost nothing. Why? Because the assets have been liquidated to pay the lawyers.
It does not have to be that way. Our firm promotes a kinder and gentler divorce, whether you are proceeding with an uncontested divorce, simplified divorce, or collaborative divorce. We also offer unbundled services to clients who only require limited assistance, such as preparing and filing documents, client coaching, or making appearances in court on your behalf.
Collaborative Family Law
The Collaborative process empowers you to resolve your legal disputes without judges making the decisions for you. A combination of specially trained Collaborative lawyers and neutral professionals – usually in the mental health and financial fields – support and guide you in reaching equitable and lasting agreements. This is done in a calm and cooperative environment which will help reduce the conflict and minimize the impact on you, your children, your family, and your life. The Collaborative process can be used for both divorce and paternity cases and is often the best choice for a good outcome where children are involved.
Litigated (Contested) Divorce
When a couple cannot come to an agreement on one or more issues pertaining to their divorce, they must let the judge make the decision. While it is often better for couples to be able to come to an agreement, either through the Collaborative process or through mediation, sometimes it just is not possible. At these times, you need an attorney to represent you in trial so that your case is presented in a way that will get you the best outcome possible for your situation. At Pamela Fero Law, we understand how important your legal case is and will work tirelessly for you.
Some couples are in complete agreement as to the terms of their divorce or can come to an agreement fairly quickly in the process. However, even when they agree, the legal process can be confusing and exhausting. Having an attorney will allow you to rest easy that the legal process is being followed and your case will be concluded correctly. Why spend hours filling out legal documents and worry if you have done it properly? At Pamela Fero Law, we know that you have better things you can do with your time. We will draft and file all your documents so that all you need to do is show up for your final hearing.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
In a marriage where there are essentially no assets and no children born of the marriage, a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage is likely the best path to take. There are a number of benefits to a Simplified Divorce such as waiving the filing of financial affidavits and scheduling a final hearing before a Judge without having to wait a minimum of 20 days. In certain instances, you may not even have to appear in court. There are requirements to be able to file a Simplified Divorce. After consulting with you, we can help you decide if, in fact, this is the appropriate path to take.
Many unmarried fathers are shocked at how few rights they have to their children, even when their name is on the birth certificate. Even though your paternity may be established by putting your name on the birth certificate, if you and the mother split up you are not automatically entitled to any time sharing with your child. However, you will still be obligated to pay child support – especially if the mother or child receives any services from the state (such as food stamps). Additionally, the other parent can also seek retroactive child support for two years before the date of the petition. At Pamela Fero Law, we understand that both parents should be allowed to see their children and we have successfully concluded paternity cases both at mediation and at trial.
Mediation is a part of nearly every family law case. Cases with any unresolved issues are almost always sent to mediation by the judge. Alternatively, some couples seek mediation prior to filing a petition with the court. At Pamela Fero Law, you will have a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator who will assist you and the other party reach an equitable agreement that both of you can live with. Mediation can be used for divorce, paternity, or post-judgment matters.
Dealing with the criminal justice system after an arrest can be overwhelming. Convictions have serious consequences, including imprisonment, fines, and issues with obtaining employment with a criminal record. It is crucial to have competent legal representation. At Pamela Fero Law, we have over 30 years of combined experience to help you. We represent clients with both felony and misdemeanor charges. If your freedom is in jeopardy, you can count on us to work to protect your rights and keep your good name.
Pamela Fero Law, PLLC offers unbundled services to make legal help in family law matters financially affordable to everyone.
If you try to negotiate any kind of marital settlement agreement without any legal advice whatsoever, you may find yourself in an unfavorable situation. This could be an agreement that is unenforceable, an agreement that contains egregious terms, or at mediation where there is a clear power imbalance between you and your spouse. It is likely that you may be uncertain about what is going to happen or how to handle the negotiation. These types of problems may cost more money to “fix” down the road, and will certainly cause you unnecessary stress. While it may be more affordable to handle a proceeding on your own rather than retain full-blown legal representation, you can have access to legal advice and/or limited legal services without paying huge retainer fees. By offering unbundled services to a client, I can assist with settling your case with more confidence. This will make you more comfortable having a complete and thorough understanding of what you are agreeing to and what the consequences will be of any agreement that you enter into.
How Does Unbundling Work?
By offering unbundled services to my clients, these are some of the ways I can assist you with your case:
1. Make sure that your position is reasonable, and help you to advance your position
2. Consult with you during your pending case to review and evaluate your analysis of your own case, as well as reviewing your spouse’s position and analyzing how their position affects what you want
3. Plan and strategize with you on how to best move your case forward and help you develop a negotiation strategy
4. Represent you at mediations or settlement conferences
5. Review your marital settlement agreement or mediated settlement agreement
6. Help you prepare your discovery documents including a financial affidavit and mandatory disclosures
7. Work with you to produce child support guidelines, calculate a fair and reasonable amount of alimony, and develop your position regarding a fair and equitable distribution of property
8. Provide coaching to you so that you feel more confident about how to handle yourself in court
9. Make court appearances on your behalf
The foregoing are just some examples of how I can help you with unbundled services. Every case is unique. I have helped clients in a variety of different and interesting ways to negotiate settlements of their cases tailored to meet their needs and that their spouse would agree to. Unbundled services are becoming more popular, sought out by individuals who want only limited assistance. Often, working with me in this way has helped clients facilitate a case moving forward, effectively leading to settlement agreement that everyone is happy with.
Unbundled services are a Limited Scope of Representation. Services would be paid for based strictly on the specific services provided and nothing more. A retainer agreement would specifically outline the agreement of the limited services to be provided with the understanding that the only services provided are those set forth in the contract.
In the event that at some point your needs as the client change and we decide that full representation would be in your best interest, we would renegotiate a full-service contract.
The obvious benefit to the client of unbundled services is that the client is at all times in charge of their case, with access to a qualified family law attorney for advice, strategizing, preparation of documents or other tasks that require my specific areas of expertise.
If you are contemplating a divorce or post-divorce proceeding and think that unbundled services may be a fit for your family law case, please contact me so we can discuss the specifics of your case. In this way, you can make an informed decision of what is best for you.