I want to represent myself and get legal advice when I need it
Contact the Florida Bar referral service to locate a family lawyer in your area.
THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Many family lawyers will offer "unbundled" legal services. The Florida Bar has changed the rules and permits attorneys to provide representation on specific aspects of your divorce. In some cases it can be quite effective and an effecient use of resources to use an attorney for only the more complicated aspects of your divorce. There are specific forms for attorneys to use when they are entering a limited appearance.
The rules permitting unbundled legal services have been around for quite some time now. However, the concept never really caught on. Perhaps it is because only after a pro se litigant has gotten himself in trouble does he look for a lawyer. Or perhaps it is because lawyers in divorce actions serve as counselors as well as litigators, and there are not specific legal task that can be easily separated from the divorce is a whole. In any event, it is best to consult the lawyer early on, even if you intent to use the lawyer's services for specific aspects of the divorce.
561-687-3266 is the number for the Palm Beach County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, where you can be referred to an attorney for a 30 minute consultation for $30.00. You may need more time than that, depending on the nature of the document to be filed.
Also, it is important to make a distinction between unbundled services and an attorney preparing a document for you to file. Ordinarily, when a lawyer makes an appearance in a case by filing a pleading, the lawyer is in for all proceedings relating to the case.
An exception has been created by the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, which allows a lawyer to represent the party in court for one particular aspect of the case, but does not require the attorney to do anything else that is not within the scope of that aspect.
Entirely different is an attorney preparing a document for you to sign and file with the Clerk. The attorney is not representing you, just preparing a document. A "bulletin" must be placed on the documents that "This pleading was prepared with the assistance of an attorney", but the name of the attorney need not be disclosed.
This MAY be what you have in mind when you say "get legal advise when I need it".
Now, here is why I do not like the approach of getting advise when the client needs it, and before I go on, I do understand that legal fees are expensive. Having said that, the process of having to make an appointment to see the lawyer is very inefficient. By the time you get something in the mail, call and make the appointment, see the attorney, and then do what you need to, an awful lot of time will have passed. Or, that which you receive may not be important, and you are wasting time, effort and money scheduling a consultation only to find out that the item is not important. It is much more efficient that you have an attorney actually representing you in the case so that your interests will be protected and you can follow the rules of procedure in timely manner.
Good luck to you.