Get Ready To Go To Court Online

Lawyer reviewing a case on the computer.

Since the pandemic, we have seen many online services or contactless services become available and this also includes court. Having online platforms like Zoom to help us continue the court process and to accommodate people is very valuable but online court does have its challenges. Below is some advice on what you can do to help make a good first impression in online court

First of all, you want to do a test run a day before your scheduled hearing date or conference with the program you are intending to use for this virtual appearance. You should make sure you know how to use the platform and all of its features.  When you are setting up your account make sure your username and photo that will be displayed is appropriate. Make sure there are no cat filters on either as you may have heard there was a famous incident last year where an attorney did not know there was a filter on and when he went to start a meeting with a judge, the filter turned on and he became a talking cat and he couldn’t change it. During your trial run, check to see if you have a camera that is functioning, the lighting is good and if the location you are tuning in from has a strong internet or wifi signal, if not think of relocating to an area with a steady signal, as this is very important.

Furthermore, take note of where you will be during the court hearing. You should be in an area with limited noise, preferably no noise, have a plain background behind you, do not have people in the frame conversating or doing other activities, dress appropriately, and make sure you talk to your lawyer beforehand so you know how the two of you will communicate throughout the hearing. Treat the virtual event as if you were in actual court, as judges have little tolerance for disturbances or anything that hinders the court process.

Have the attorneys at Hicks and Motto help you professionally and diligently fight for justice with your case and help you through this new world of online court.

Helping Families get Back to School

At Hicks & Motto, we know that preparing to send children back to school is sometimes a financial challenge, so our associates got together and filled our conference room with supplies we’re donating to children and classrooms in need. We believe that even if you cannot give much, giving back is something you can always hold close to your heart.

If you can, do. If you can’t, we hope someone reaches out to you. There needs to be more kindness in this world, especially when it comes to children and families in need.

Florida Is In for Some Significant Changes In Alimony

It appears that Florida is in for some significant changes in alimony. SB 718, the Alimony Reform Bill, has been passed by the Florida Senate with some amendments. There is a high probability that this bill will continue through the legislative process and become law as early as this July.

Many people do not realize that alimony is solely a creature of statute. That means that alimony was unknown in the “common law.” What the legislature granted the legislature can take away. And this legislature is positioned to make sweeping changes to the current statutory framework of alimony.

It is beyond the scope of this article to describe all of the changes set forth in the proposed bill. They are extensive and generally favor the party who is, or will be, paying alimony. Until the final version is signed by the Governor, we won’t know exactly what this new law will mean to alimony payors and alimony recipients.

Why is it important for the clients of Hicks & Motto to know about the new alimony reform bill? Well, we believe that knowledge is power, and individual clients who could be affected by the proposed bill may want to call their legislative representatives.

Also, persons who have an existing alimony order should have their situation reviewed by an expert in family law. Alimony recipients may need to adjust their future expectations and be proactive against modifications which may be coming, including automatic reductions when the payor reaches retirement age.

Alimony payors need to have their situations reviewed in order to determine if they should be preparing to file a petition for modification. But most importantly, people who are about to file for divorce, or who are presently in the middle of a divorce, should insist that their counsel understand the probable changes brought on by the Alimony Reform bill. These changes can significantly impact negotiations and trial strategy. If you have any questions about the changes in the alimony law, or any family law or divorce matter, Hicks & Motto is here to help.

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