We specialize in all areas of family law, including divorce (contested or uncontested), collaborative divorce, prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements, paternity, timesharing (formerly known as “custody”), alimony, child support, and all other facets of family law.  We also specialize in appeals of family law matters.

Our office typically handles matters on an hourly retainer basis, wherein you will be required to provide an initial retainer upfront, from which we bill for the attorney time spent on your matter.  If your retainer runs low, we will request replenishment of a certain amount depending on how much more time it appears your matter will need and how close it is to resolution.  If the initial retainer is too large an amount to undertake at once, we can discuss payment plans, wherein a large portion of the initial retainer is paid upfront and then supplemental payments toward the initial retainer are made over an agreed period of time.  For certain matters, such as uncontested divorces under certain circumstances, we will occasionally engage on a flat-fee basis.  If you are interested in exploring collaborative divorce, we are willing to explore all options to make it available to you as we believe strongly that collaborative divorce should be available to everyone. 

Every attorney-client relationship with our firm begins with an initial consultation, which is just a fancy way of describing a meeting between attorney and potential client. This meeting can be via telephone, Zoom conference, or in-person at our office. During the initial consultation, we will discuss your situation, whether you are just contemplating a divorce or are already embroiled in a legal matter, possible strategies to explore, and any questions you may have.

If you decide to retain our services, then you will memorialize it by signing a Retainer Agreement or Engagement Letter provided to you which outlines the terms, conditions, and scope of our representation. Once we receive that, in addition to payment of the agreed-upon initial retainer, you will have officially retained our office.

From that point on, each case is unique, though many of them follow a familiar path with similar guideposts as other matters we have handled. Our office understands that the number-one biggest complaint clients have about their attorneys is lack of communication—as such, we make all reasonable efforts to keep you informed as to the progress of your matter, any developments, or any communications that may be of concern to you. We prefer scheduled telephone calls or Zoom conferences with clients instead of “cold calls” as it allows us to ensure that we are giving each matter its deserved uninterrupted attorney. You will email directly with your attorney, not through support staff or other third parties.

Attorney Teris Deitsch has been licensed to practice law in Florida since 2005 and has been practicing family law exclusively since 2010.

Attorney Paul Shafranski has been licensed to practice law in Florida since 2010 and has been practicing family law primarily since 2018.

Every divorce ends with a determination of how all marital assets and liabilities (the stuff you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage) are to be divided up—nothing is left out. If you are parents of a minor child or minor children, there will also be a determination of the timesharing schedule and all parental responsibilities and details (including how to communicate, how to handle holidays and summers, and any other issues like child support) in a Parenting Plan. Resolution of these issues can come either via a judicial determination after a full trial, which is the most expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally taxing process, or through agreement between the spouses, which will be memorialized in a Marital Settlement Agreement. You can obtain a Marital Settlement Agreement through mediation, the collaborative divorce model, or informal or formal negotiations through your attorneys. While not “cheap,” this route tends to be much more cost-effective ultimately than going to a trial. Additionally, it permits you and your spouse to have a say in how your divorce will proceed and how you will move forward, whereas a trial puts all of those details in the hands of a stranger to your family who has case loads in the hundreds, if not thousands.

We will update you on your case via email, phone call, Zoom, or in-person meetings, depending on the level of engagement necessary. For example, in order to inform you that a document was received from opposing counsel, only an email may be necessary. If there are facets of that document or details to explore, a phone call, Zoom, or in-person meeting may be warranted. Some clients prefer more hand-holding from their attorneys than others, and that is entirely understandable. We are prepared to meet clients’ communication needs where they are; we understand that this is a difficult process and that more communication than “normal” may be appropriate.

If you are seeking a divorce, one of the most important components if “equitable distribution,” which means dividing up all of your marital assets and liabilities. The only way to do that is to create an exhaustive list or catalog (often in the form of a spreadsheet) of all of your marital assets and liabilities, which means we will need documentation of every aspect of your financial life, including but not limited to credit card bills, paystubs, mortgage and retirement statements, investment account details, bank account statements, and more. Further, these documents are required to be shared with your spouse through the legal process known as “mandatory financial disclosure.” You will also be required to complete a Financial Affidavit, which is an exhaustive document detailing the above financial components as well as your monthly living expenses, from your phone bill and travel budget to gasoline and health insurance expenses. Whatever amount of financial documentation you are imagining you may need to provide, it will likely be more. This is often the more arduous and time-consuming part of a divorce.

In the Collaborative Divorce Model, this process goes through the Financial Neutral, who facilitates this process and creates a spreadsheet of the marital assets and liabilities for the team.

Our office believes in seeking creative solutions to your unique problems. We understand the reality that the vast majority of cases settle at some point, whether mediation or informal negotiations, before they ever make it before a judge at a trial. Therefore, we approach each case with that reality in mind, looking for ways to find compromise and resolution outside of court if at all possible. We also understand that sometimes that is not an option and proceed accordingly. But we will not waste your time and money unrealistically viewing your matter through the lens of litigation and trial if we believe that is not how the matter will resolve, as is the case with most matters.

Your case will be handled by either attorney Teris Deitsch or attorney Paul Shafranski. We discuss our cases together and strategize so you obtain the benefit, though not the billing, of two attorneys when necessary. You will not go through a paralegal or support staff to work with your attorney; you will work directly with Teris or Paul throughout your case.

There are many things you can do to help your case and work toward a more favorable outcome. Gathering all of the needed financial documents will help to advance your matter and allow your attorney to understand the entire picture more accurately. Responding to emails in a timely fashion will also help your case and avoid a “start and stop” pattern that can sink into some cases when clients are not fully engaged with their attorney. It is also a good idea to create a support group of some kind, whether it be family, friends, clergy, a therapist or divorce coach, because family law matters can be incredibly difficult emotionally—you will need all the support you can get. It is most cost-effective to focus your time with your attorney on legal matters, and to direct other concerns to your support structure. Staying open-minded to potential resolutions will also help your case.

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We understand that these moments can be some of the most stressful in your life. That’s why we promise compassionate counsel backed by unmatched legal expertise.