Modification of Alimony and Modification of Child Support Video

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Transcript:

If your income’s been affected and you can no longer afford to pay child support or alimony due to the coronavirus, you’re going to want to watch this video.

Hi everyone. My name’s Christopher Bruce. I’m a board certified divorce lawyer with the Bruce Law Firm in West Palm Beach. And what we’re going to be covering today is how the loss or reduction of your income due to this coronavirus pandemic and the related recession that’s going to follow can allow for a temporary or permanent modification of your alimony or child support obligation in Florida.

Who this helps. Anyone who’s paying or receiving alimony or child support ordered by a Florida court. Why you should pay attention and care. If you don’t pay alimony or child support after you get laid off or your income is reduced and you don’t make the right legal filings, you’ll likely never be able to be excused from paying the money. Even though you couldn’t afford to make the alimony or child support payments. But, if you take the correct legal action before unpaid support piles up, you can likely avoid having unpaid support build up during the time period you can not afford to pay it. And this is, we’re going to help you understand and learn about on this video.

The two main things we’re going to go through is the problem with ignoring alimony and support payments after job loss and income production. And then what can be done to prevent your job loss or income reduction from becoming a bigger problem in family court. And just to clarify, coronavirus and this likely recession to follow does not mean alimony or child support you’re paying or receiving is going to disappear forever. But you can probably prevent your support from having to be paid if you’ve suffered a serious decrease in income or job loss. And that temporary reduction is likely going to be during the time that you cannot afford to pay it, and that’s it.

So this is important because nobody knows how long this recession and loss of most people’s income and jobs is going to last. This recording is not a substitute for competent marital and family law attorney. Consult with a lawyer before you do anything. Don’t base everything on your case from what this video shows. And this course does not create an attorney client relationship between yourself and the Bruce Law Firm. A couple of other resources if you don’t have time to watch through everything, go to SupportModificationLawyer.com. There you’ll find a transcript of this webinar and we’ll be adding other materials and resources as soon as we can get them up. Also SupportModificationBook.com. There you’ll find a link to our free book on the reasons to modify alimony and child support during the coronavirus situation.

What we’re covering applies to alimony and child support. The law in Florida on changing alimony and child support is basically the same. There are a few small technical differences between alimony and child support modification or abatement, but we’re not going to split hairs on that here. This is a big picture view. There are some differences that can be important though, and that’s where the lawyers come in. So talk to a lawyer about all this stuff.

We’re going over legal concepts here and what the law allows you to do. But you should think twice about just being technical with the law. At the end of the day, a lot of good comes from doing the right thing. What goes around comes around. You got to balance the fact that people cannot afford to pay alimony or support, and shouldn’t be punished for that for circumstances that are legitimately outside their control. And that has to be balanced with the fact that people who are counting on alimony and child support payments really need the money. And not receiving that money really puts them in a bad spot. There’s no great answer here. This pandemic hurts everyone. This is not a pro-man or pro-woman issue. Everyone’s affected by the income loss that stems from this global pandemic. And the point here is having a fair outcome for everyone involved who needs financial support or is required by a court order in Florida to pay it.

The problem. Why you cannot wait long to modify the alimony or child support you’ve been ordered to pay. It’s a concept of vested rights. This is what you need to pay attention to here. Alimony or child support payments become a vested right of the other person once they become due, if there’s not been the right lawsuit filed to invoke the court’s jurisdiction to modify the payments.

So what the heck does this mean in plain English? If you don’t pay the support and the due date passes, and you haven’t filed the right lawsuit, the support payment becomes a vested right of the other person. And a vested right is bad news when you cannot afford to pay. As an example, say you lost your job and you’re paying 5,000 a month in alimony or child support. And it comes due on the first day each month. Say you lose your job in March, and your next payment’s April 1st. And before that payment comes up, you’ve lost your job and you cannot afford to payment. April 1st comes and passes. You don’t pay the required 5,000 a month in support. At this point in time, the $5,000 you did not pay is a vested right of your former spouse or the other parent. Once the support becomes a vested right, it means you cannot get out of paying it. There’s no exceptions to this. Vested means the other person has it, has the right to it, and that doesn’t change.

And think yourself as you’re hearing this, “But I lost my job and I can’t afford to pay.” Well under the law, that doesn’t make a difference. A vested right means you can’t get out of it. The payment is vested. And then you think yourself, “Well if I have to, I guess I’ll have to file for bankruptcy. I don’t want to do that. But if I have to do it, it’s the only way I’ll get rid of the payments that way.” And no, that ain’t going to help you either. Bankruptcy does not allow you to discharge alimony or child support payments that are vested in the other person. They call these in bankruptcy terminology a domestic support obligation. And that’s not dischargeable in bankruptcy. This means that these payments folks are not going away once they become a vested right.

And here’s another thing. Vested rights can be enforced in family law through all kinds of ways. And once the support payments have vested, the person who’s owed the support can seek contempt of court or enhanced garnishment remedies that don’t apply to collections of most other types of debts. In a contempt of court proceeding, the court can give you the choice of liquidating assets to pay the past due support or going to jail. Pay or go to jail. Can you imagine that? Judges work very hard to be fair, but in many instances their hands are tied with this stuff. If the support’s a vested right, the courts are supposed to enforce collection of the money, and not determine whether if it’s fair for you to owe the money in the first place. And that’s the big problem here.

And you might not end up in jail, but the courts can and probably will enter an income withholding order that can deduct at a maximum up to 65% of your wages from your next job.

This can be crippling. Think about it for a second. If you lost your job and taken a big income hit, and you’ve been out of work for several months, maybe even a year. Getting reemployed isn’t the magic bullet. It’s just the start of getting back on your feet. That’s going to be hard to do if your wages are getting garnished up to 65% to pay the unpaid support that accumulated while you’re unemployed due to no fault of your own. You’re really not going to have the ability to get back on your feet. And the federal law sets the garnishment caps, but it’s between 50 to 65% maximum depending on whether you’re single or supporting another person, and how far behind you are.

The perfect storm here is when you have a vested right of support and somebody files for contempt or enforcement. Say as an example, you lose your job in March and you can’t afford to make the payments and April, May, June, and July. And you get a job in early August and make the August payment. You might think to yourself, if you hadn’t watched this, “Hey look, I lost my job. I couldn’t to pay, and I started paying again once I got my job back. No harm no foul.” Well actually at this point based on the law, all of the missed payments, $20,000 in this example, are a vested right of your former spouse or the other parent. And they can take you to court over that in a content or enforcement case.

And the court can give you the choice of liquidating your retirement assets or other creditor exempt assets in most cases, for other debts. The courts can give you a decision of taking out everything that you have as an asset and paying towards the debt, or going to jail. And if you have to make that choice, you’re probably going to end up wiping out a good portion of your assets to the extent you even have them, to stay out of jail. And if you don’t have any assets, the court can garnish your wages substantially. It can be pretty hard to support yourself if you have 65% of what you make going to the person that you owed the support to.

And the whole thing here is judges work real hard to be fair, but the court is not supposed to question whether it was fair for you to have to pay the unpaid support that added up when you were unemployed. The only discretion the court has is in determining how you pay the money back.

So the moral of the story here is that doing nothing can cause you a big problem. As much as the judges might want to cut you a break because you lost your job or had a decrease in income in the middle of a huge global pandemic, the courts have to follow the law. And the law says that unpaid support payments that pile up without a proper court filing are vested rights of the support recipient.

What’s the solution here? File to modify or abate your alimony or child support obligation before the payments pile up. This is not all doom and gloom folks. Yes, losing your job can be a problem. But there is a legal way to go about making sure that the unpaid support, the support you cannot afford to pay does not also become a huge problem. And a solution exists for those who qualify for the health. Florida law calls this an abatement or temporary modification of support. And what the law says is someone who is paying alimony or child support can seek a temporary, complete, or partial reduction in what they have to pay if they suffer a job loss or material change in income. The solution is to file the appropriate court filing seeking a temporary reduction or abatement in the support based on the reduction in income.

And it’s kind of as easy as one, two, three. At least at a very high level. Well, maybe not. But maybe it is. Kind of the way it works is with the law. If number one, you suffered a loss of income due to no fault of your own. And number two, you made your best efforts to diligently find another job. Then the courts are supposed to reduce or eliminate your support obligation during the time you are not earning enough to pay the full support amount. And this is as long as you file the appropriate legal filing before the support payments come due. The key here is filing the request for the modification or abatement before the support payment is due. If you don’t do this filing and the support deadline passes, the support is a vested right. And the law doesn’t excuse you from paying it, even if you’ve lost your job.

And the do the right thing concept should apply here. If somebody owes you support, think about it for a second. If you’re owed alimony or child support and your former spouse or the other parent lost their job, it wasn’t their fault. Maybe they deserve a break. If the law says technically they’d owe you the money, maybe they should get a little bit of a break here. But, you get to decide what you want to do.

Another thing that filing for the abatement does is it protects you from contempt of court. If you file a petition for modification with an abatement request, any contempt of court case that your former spouse or the other parent brings must be heard at the same time the court considers whether your job loss and income reduction excuses you from paying the support. In other words, your former spouse or the other parent can’t rush to the courthouse and have you potentially put in jail for not paying child support or alimony. They can’t do that before you have a chance to show the court that you lost the job to no fault of your own and you couldn’t afford to make the payment. So it’s a good bit of protection is triggered by filing these lawsuits.

Another important concept. Some people think that just because they have money in the bank, that they’re required to spend down that money to pay the alimony or child support if they’ve lost their job and can’t pay out of their income. Look, that’s not how the law works here. The case law says if you would otherwise qualify for a reduction in support due to a loss of income, you shouldn’t be forced to spend down all of your assets. But, the key distinction here is you have to file the petition for modification and abatement before the support payment becomes due. Otherwise if you don’t do that, if you don’t file the petition prior to the support payment coming due, it does become a vested right to the other person. And your assets can be looked at as a source for you to pay that amount.

And this is another one of those do the right thing moments. While the law might allow you to abate your support and say you don’t have to pay alimony or child support from your other assets, it very well might be the right thing in your situation to spend down your assets and make the payments to the other person. It’s a thing of fairness, and you have to decide what is right in your situation. But the law is not fair all the time. The law does allow you to file the lawsuit and not spend down your assets and get a break from paying support if you’re not making enough income to pay it.

So what about a permanent modification? Can you change the support you owe forever because you lost your job? Probably not. It’s going to be more difficult. If you’ve lost your job and the evidence reflects, you’re more likely to get re-employed earning about the same amount of money, then you’re probably not going to get a permanent pass on paying alimony or child support. You’re probably just going to get a temporary reduction or elimination during the period that you’re unemployed or underemployed. But this is still a huge help and is usually a reason worth doing this, whether it’s with an attorney or on your own.

Moral of the story here is don’t wait to file the modification case. Remember that you get no relief until you file the proper petition for modification or abatement. The longer you wait means the more arrearages that you cannot legally get excused from paying. Lest you get a written promise that’s turned into a court order, it’s usually best to file as soon as you realize the reduction in income, and then you can negotiate later. Unless you want to do the right thing and give it a little while knowing that you’re always going to have to pay the money.

Modifying alimony or child support. Where to start when you’ve lost your job. The next steps are a mix of legal and practical things to do. And let’s start with the practical things that you’re going to want to do as soon as you lose your job or have a significant income reduction. Practical step one, try to lock in the evidence. You’ve lost your job. Do everything you can to substantiating and writing that the job loss or income reduction wasn’t your fault. If you get a severance agreement, keep it. It’s best to get something in writing if you can, preferably in a letter or an email format from the person who decided to lay you off or reduce your income. And have that person put in writing very clearly that the reason for the job layoff or the income reduction is due to economic circumstances and not your performance.

If you cannot get a letter or email from the person who made the decision to reduce your income or lay you off, then try to get at least a text or email from somebody else in the company with knowledge of your situation. Take what you can get in terms of evidence.

If you have your own business, you want to start assembling the proof of what led to the decreased revenue. Sometimes the proof is going to be obvious. Like Governor DeSantis had an executive order that required your business to close. Other times though, you might have to gather evidence of other types of proof. Like a supplier having problems that prevents you from producing your product, or customers confirming they can not buy from you due to the economic effects of the coronavirus.

Step two, you got to try to find another job or get as much income as you can. The law requires you to be making a diligent effort to restore your income. If you cannot prove that you tried to get another job, you might not be able to get help from the court in getting a temporary reduction in your support. Yeah we know, you’re probably doing this anyway. Anybody who loses their job is usually trying to find a new one as soon as possible. But if you don’t, the law’s likely not on your side here when it comes to trying to get a temporary reduction or abatement of your alimony or child support. A lot of how the law works revolves around what is called a good faith test. And that’s did the person, did you make a diligent effort to try to become re-employed or restore your income back to what it was? And did you make a consistent good faith effort at that?

So how do you satisfy the good faith test if you just lost your job? Well, you got to show that you’re trying to find a new job. Sign up for recruiting websites, submit job applications. And you need to keep a detailed log of this, preferably with all files that relate to it. Make the law the who, what, when, where, and how of how you tried to seek reemployment. Save every single application that you send. These days you can take a picture on your phone of everything you’re doing on your computer. Or save the emails. Do everything that you can so that if you have to, you can prove in a court of law the efforts that you went to to try to find a job to replace your income during the time that you were out of work. Courts are not going to reward somebody with a temporary reduction in support if they’re not trying to get a new job.

And another thing here is you need to take what you can get in terms of replacement income. Courts generally don’t want you to sit and wait for the next perfect job. They want you to suck it up and work in whatever job you can get to try to make as much money as you can. So that even if you can’t pay the full amount of support, you can at least pay something. And I think all of us who are affected by this economic crisis are trying to take what they can get. But you can’t just be picky here. You can’t wait for the perfect opportunity and not do anything less. You got to go back to work at least if you want help from the courts. And if you’re a business owner, you need to do what you can to earn what you can. You’re probably doing this already. But just as an example, if you’re a restaurant owner who made the majority of his or her money from dining, customers dining in the restaurant. If the governor makes an order that says the people can’t come in your restaurant, you’re still going to have to try to sell takeout at least to the point where the evidence shows it’s not an economically viable money-making proposition. So you got to try to make as much money as you can, however you can. Which is what most people are going to try to do anyway.

The legal process for modifying alimony and child support when you’ve lost your job or suffered a decrease in income, is not all that complicated. And it kind of goes in the following steps. Step one, as soon as you can, as long as it’s appropriate, file the appropriate petition for modification and seek a temporary abatement. Make sure you do this before the next support payment is due. For child support, you’re required to file a financial affidavit with the petition. And if you forget to do this, you risk having your case dismissed and allowing missed support payments to accumulate as vested rights.

The second step is serving the other party with the lawsuit. There are certain rules on how long you have to do this and in the manner in which it needs to be done. And step three is to comply with mandatory disclosure requirements. And what mandatory disclosure is is what you probably went through in your divorce or paternity case. And within about a month and a half of the case being filed and served, you and the other person is going half to exchange a minimum set of documents that typically includes three years of tax returns, about a year’s worth of savings and investment account statements, and three months of credit cards, and bank accounts, and pay records to the extent they exist. Both parties have to do this. And we’ll come back in a second and talk about how you might find some interesting information by obtaining the other person’s financial records. You might actually be entitled to a reduction in support due to their income changing. But more on that later.

And kind of where it gets with these cases. A lot of them end by step four. And depending on what’s happening after a few months of the case being filed, hopefully you have regained employment. And the question is not whether you need a permanent modification in support, but whether you should be entitled to not have to pay the other person for the support payments that accumulated and were unpaid during the period of time that you couldn’t afford to make the payments. And a lot of times, this is where alternative dispute resolution, settlement out of court comes in.

A lot of these cases are settled through mediation, and cooler heads prevail. Because the law kind of is a law on this. If you truly couldn’t afford to pay, you don’t have to and you’re supposed to get a break on the payment. But if the other person doesn’t agree, if it makes financial sense and they’re going to push the issue of trying to make you pay for the support that added up when you didn’t have a job or had your income slashed, then you’ll need to have a court hearing over whether you’re entitled to a temporary or permanent reduction in support. And all the good lawyers are going to make an effort to keep you from having to go to a court hearing. But the fact of the matter is that it’s a tough issue here. The other person, your former spouse, or the other parent may very well be sympathetic to you, but in fact need the money. And sometimes that requires going to court hearings that really nobody wants to be at.

So remember, the other person’s income matters too. When you file the modification, you’ll be obtaining the other person’s financial records, typically three years of tax returns and three to 12 months of records of other information. Including bank statements, pay records, and credit cards. And that’s at a minimum. If you have a lawyer, and on your own, you can ask for more significant records than that depending on the situation.

And through this process of getting the other person’s financial records, you might learn that their income has increased or their need for financial support has decreased. And with alimony and child support, that can possibly make it so that you don’t have to pay the support anymore, that you lower support. Or in the case of child support, if the income change has been drastic enough, the other party may in fact owe you child support.

So this means that depending on what the other person’s finances are, even if your income returns to normal, you might be entitled to a permanent decrease in support based on the change in the other person’s income. Which is an interesting concept.

Modifying alimony or child support in the wake of the coronavirus and related recession. Should I really do this? So, this can be an interesting question and whether you should actually be modifying alimony or child support is going to depend on a couple of different things. We have a couple of reasons why you should probably definitely be doing this here soon. If you’ve suffered a major decrease or complete loss of your income due to no fault of your own, then this is the time to file one of these temporary abatement or modification cases. If you cannot afford to pay the alimony or child support from your bank accounts during the period of time you’re unemployed or doing so would be crippling to you, then this is the time to file one of these cases. And I just make the point again that the law says you’re supposed to pay alimony and child support from your income, not from your assets. You’re not required to spend down your assets to pay support.

Also, if you have a good reason to believe that your former spouse or the other parent has had their income increase since support was last calculated, which would possibly result in you not having to pay support on a permanent basis or paying less support on a permanent basis even if your income pops back up, it’s probably the time to file one of these lawsuits. As it would also be if you just know that your former spouse or the other parent, they’re not going to agree to a court order to excuse you from paying support. If you know they’re not going to cooperate, then probably the best thing to be doing is filing the lawsuit sadly.

A couple of reasons to stay away from the courthouse and not do this. If your income at the time of your job loss was very high, much higher than it was when support was calculated, you probably want to stay away. Odds are you could be opening yourself up to a modification of support that goes up once your income goes up. And the reason I say this is during the lawsuit, your former spouse or the other person’s going to get your financial records and tax returns, so if you’ve been making more money, they’re going to see it. It might very well be best for you to not get them this information and just avoid the modification and deal with the short term loss in income. Also, if you’re seeking to modify child support and you haven’t been seeing your children and support was based on you seeing the children more than 20% of the overnights, you’re probably going to want to stay away from this type of a lawsuit or at least have an attorney really help you understand whether you’re opening yourself up to a retroactive support claim.

The law allows the other parents to seek child support going backwards to the time you stopped seeing the children as much as your time-sharing schedule contemplates, and get an increase in support based on that lack of timesharing, so be careful with this. Also, if you think you’re a target for paying the other person’s legal fees, you might want to look at this really hard. If your assets are significant and the others are minimal and it looks like under the law, you’d have to pay their legal fees, you don’t want to start one of these lawsuits if the legal fees you’d be paying for the other person are going to be more than the child support you’re seeking to be temporarily excused from paying. And we’ve got more resources on legal fees on our website, brucepa.com under the attorney fee laws overview section.

Reasons to stay away from the courthouse continued. If you have a history of not complying with your divorce or child support orders, be careful here. The judge may remember you as somebody who can’t be trusted. You should get a fair shake in every case, but just remember you might have an uphill battle here realistically. Also, there’s what’s called an unclean hands doctrine that gives courts discretion to deny you relief for equitable reasons. If you owe a lot of back child support, this doctrine could in theory apply to you, so be careful.

Should I get a lawyer for the modification of alimony or child support caused by my job loss or income reduction during this pandemic and recession? Do you need a lawyer? Not necessarily. There’s self-help forms available on the internet. You can Google Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms and most everything you need is there. It might not look pretty but it works. The use of lawyers makes sense when there’s too much to lose by messing things up by doing it yourself. If your case gets dismissed based on failure to follow procedural rule, then this could mean a lot of support becomes a vested right that you have to pay that you otherwise had things been done correctly you might have been able to get excused from. If you’re only paying a few hundred dollars a month in support payments then hiring a lawyer probably is not going to make sense for you, but if you’re paying several thousand dollars a month, then it probably makes more sense to get an attorney involved. And just remember, hiring a lawyer can also make sense when you can make more money or try to make more money by focusing on your business and leaving the law to the lawyers.

If you’re a dollar per minute of compensation is higher in your business or doing what you are paid to do once you’re re-employed, it might make sense to have an attorney do the legal work and you focus on making the money, especially if you expect to be ramped up again a couple months down the line when these lawsuits might start getting into court. Right now the courts are closed, the lawsuits can be filed, but the major hearings that would happen in these cases aren’t going to happen until further off in the future when many of the people who actually file the suits might actually be back into jobs and the fight might be over whether they should have been entitled to a temporary reduction, not whether they have one for the future. So, just remember that as you make the evaluation.

In terms of legal fees, a lot of law firms charge by the hour. Usually between 250 and $500 an hour for most of the attorneys in the Southeast Florida area. Our firm, we charge fixed prices typically for the first 60 days of representing you. You’ll pay a price and the price is what it is and you’re not going to pay more, you’re not going to pay less. We don’t like nickel and diming people, and we’re comfortable enough in our processes to know what it’s going to cost and just attach a number to our services. In terms of what the amount is with us, it’s usually going to be between 4,500 and $10,000 for the first 60 days of representation depending on how complex the finances are and how clear cut the job loss is tied to economic conditions outside of your control. So, if you’re an employee who was laid off by a industry business that completely stopped during the coronavirus crisis, then your fees going to be in the lower range of this 45 to $10,000 scale.

If you have a business, you’re a business owner and your quick books are a mess and there’s more work for us to actually do to show the reduction in income than the legal fees are likely to be at the higher end of this range. And lawyers who charge by the hour are likely going to have a upfront retainer comparable to the range of our initial fixed price. It’s just with us, you know what the price is going to be on a fixed basis based on the contract. And for lawyers charging by the hour, it could be higher, it could be lower. There just is not certainty.

So, rule of thumb here, you want to get a lawyer involved or it only makes sense to get a lawyer involved if you’re going to at least get two to three times return on investment for the legal fees that you spend. So, just as an example, if you’re paying alimony at 5,000 a month and you expect to be unemployed for six months, the total amount of support you might try to be getting a reduction of is $30,000. Well, in that type of a situation, it makes sense to pay a lawyer five to $10,000 because you’re potentially tripling your return on investment of your legal spend. But this just doesn’t make any sense at all if you’re only making $500 a month. You’d be better off handling it yourself or not at all in set of circumstances.

So, the math can also be a little different if you think you’re subject to a permanent modification of support and if the other person’s income’s increased and you might be able to get out of that alimony obligation for forever, the cost of the lawyer starts to make a lot more sense when compared to a lifetime reduction in support, but it’s really a case by case basis here and this is the stuff that lawyers can help you evaluate.

How do I start evaluating whether I should modify my alimony or child support obligation if I’ve been laid off or have suffered a loss in income due to the coronavirus crisis? Well, a good place to start that’s free is SupportModificationLawyer.com. There you’ll find a link to our free book on Dealing with Support During the Coronavirus Crisis and other resources on modification of support. And we try to give away as much information as possible so that we can help as many people as possible. And whether you hire us or not, we want to help you. And one of the ways we do that is by making information like this available in as many ways as we can. In case you’re wondering about how it works with our law firm, a good place to start with us or in the process even if it’s with another attorney is to have an initial consultation. And for us, we charge $350 for this meeting, but it’s quite extensive and involves some preparation and follow up. And I say meetings can be in person by phone or video conference, and if you want to get your social distancing on while talking about alimony and child support, we can do that through video conference or phone. But we are still seeing clients in the office because the governor has not required us to close at this point in time.

With our firm, the process for a consultation and strategy session starts beforehand. Our paralegal will interview you to determine what is going on in your situation, what are the most pressing questions on your mind, what were the general circumstances that led to your reduction in income or job loss? And they’ll also work with you to try and get a copy of your final judgment of divorce or your child support order so the attorney can review that prior to the meeting. In the actual meeting, which is in the office, or phone, or over the Zoom conference, will help you understand your options and whether it makes financial and moral sense for you to pursue a temporary or permanent modification of your support obligation.

And these meetings usually will be anywhere from one to two, sometimes a little bit longer than two hours in time. And our goal is, besides answering your questions, is to give you a plan. We want you to leave the meeting with a clear plan for what you should do and how you should do it. And if you’re somebody who’s planning on having an attorney, it’s great to have this top-level outline of what’s going to happen and when. And if you’re somebody that might be representing yourself, it’s a good idea to meet with a lawyer, whether it’s our firm or another one to get a plan for what you need to do and how you need to do it. And just with our firm, we do charge for these meetings, but we always include a followup call to answer any of the questions you can think of since the first meeting with the firm. We’d like to give you value in exchange for your hard-earned money.

A few other resources to help you. DivorceInformationBooks.com has free books from our firm on a variety of marital and family law issues. One of the books, The Florida Divorce Law Guide has sections on alimony and child support that go further into these topics that we’re covering today. Also, if you signed up for this through email, check your email after the webinar. There’ll be a few follow up messages with information to help you sort all of this out and if you’re seeing a recording of this and think of a question, you’re free to send the question to CBruce@brucepa.com. We can’t handle your whole case through questions and answers through emails, but we’re happy to answer a question or two and send them as you have them. We’re happy to address them for you.

My name is Christopher Bruce. I’m a Florida board-certified marital and family law specialists and attorney with the Bruce Law Firm. We’re in West Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, but we handle these types of cases throughout the state of Florida. If you want an attorney that’s in your local area to handle your case and you don’t know of anyone, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll do our best to connect you with a qualified attorney in your area of the state. We hope this has been helpful for you in your time of need and just wish you the best through these circumstances. We’ll all get through it here soon.