Southwest Florida is an area that is typically considered to encompass Collier, Lee and Charlotte Counties. If you live in one of these counties and you file for divorce, you must file your divorce in that particular county. However, that does not mean you have to hire a divorce lawyer with an office in your county. So, where do you find a Bonita Springs, Florida Divorce Lawyer?
Bonita Springs sits on the border of Lee and Collier Counties. A Bonita Springs resident may travel to Collier County to go to Trader Joe’s, their doctor, or a family law attorney.
The expertise of a divorce or family law lawyer does not stop at the county line.
I, personally, office out of North Naples, Florida so that I can have access to both Collier county and Lee county’s courts. In my experience, a divorce in Lee County is largely the same as a divorce in Collier County. A house in Bonita Springs gets divided as marital property in exactly the same way as it does in Naples Park.
Family law in Florida is very consistent throughout the state of Florida. This is because 90% of the rules that impact family law in Florida are from the Florida State Statutes or the Family Law Rules of Civil Procedure.
Lee, Collier, and Charlotte county are all part of the same judicial circuit, the 20th judicial circuit. This means that the entire Southwest Florida area shares the same batch of judges. So, your traffic judge in Port Charlotte today may be your divorce judge in Naples tomorrow.
The only significant difference in family law rules between Lee County and Collier County are the individual standing orders of the judges who currently sit in the family law courts of each county.
Travel expenses may be a factor in a Bonita Springs divorce. When a lawyer travels to court, he will often bill the client for that travel (for Lee and Collier county cases, I do not bill for travel).
The truth is, that there are very limited instances where going to court is actually necessary. Typically, in a Bonita springs divorce case, it will only be necessary to go to court for evidentiary hearings and case management conferences.
Evidentiary hearings are what you see on television where the judge says, “Put on your first witness” and the divorce lawyer begins to put testimony and exhibits into evidence.
Case management conferences are essentially meetings where a judge asks what’s going on in the case and sets deadlines for the divorce lawyers to do certain things like exchange discovery, exchange witness lists, etc.
Additionally, many Bonita Springs, Florida, residents have assets and residency in states other than Florida. A Bonita Springs, Florida, resident needs to consider the possibility that his or her divorce may happen or move to that other state if his or her Florida divorce lawyer does not secure jurisdiction for the divorce in Florida.
In conclusion, a Bonita Springs divorce doesn’t always need a Bonita Springs divorce lawyer, exactly. A divorce lawyer’s law degree, experience and temperament are much more important than a divorce lawyer’s address. So, drive 10 miles south to my family law office in North Naples, Florida. It’s 20 miles closer to my than it is to the Ft. Myers courthouse where your divorce will take place. Directions below.