Extra Fees on Top of Legal Fees?

Extra Fees on Top of Legal Fees?

The other morning, my husband asked me if I still carried cash in my purse. I sarcastically thought (out loud), “Yes, doesn’t everyone?” Turns out, I was wrong. He barked, as though I was standing twenty feet away (I wasn’t), “No. I just use my credit card . . . for everything.”

Now, I certainly use my credit card for many things, be that stopping at Publix for a gallon of almond milk or filling my gas tank on my way into the office (he doesn’t; he drives a Tesla!), but I use cash for various expenses, as well. Whenever I stop at Starbucks for a morning latte, I use $5 cash . . . I mean, it’s too easy. Of course, my change purse is getting pretty heavy; I keep it in the car now because I rarely need it in stores, so I don’t even have it on the rare occasion when I do need it.

I’ve also been under the impression that some places won’t accept credit cards for charges under $5, and I think many still don’t. Or perhaps they charge an additional fee for using a credit card?

Credit Card Fees, Your Responsibility

Turns out, I was wrong about credit card fees. Well, sort-of. Businesses like Starbucks cannot charge their morning regulars (like me!) the credit card fees that third-parties or banks charge them. In Florida, we’ve been fortunate enough that businesses cannot pass on their credit card fees to us.

But guess what? It’s a new year, and the rules are changing.

On March 5th, you may fall prey to businesses passing the fees that their credit card companies charge them on to you. A recent Florida statute will allow businesses to pass on third-party credit card fees to customers. Luckily for my morning coffee run, this fee cannot exceed the amount third parties charge the business. So, it looks like I may be able to afford that Starbucks latte still.

But, how will this Florida statute affect law firm clients who pay their, sometimes very high, invoices by credit card?

I’ve had many clients over the years who are truly desperate to restructure their families but just cannot afford to pay for it all-at-once. Most use credit cards to pay the balance on their accounts, planning to pay that credit card balance off over time afterwards. With this new Florida law, and the already high price of divorce attorneys, how are people who seek to restructure their families going to be able to afford these extra fees?

Find The Best Law Firm For You

Here’s two options.

First, find a law firm that won’t hold you accountable for third-party credit card fees. Florida’s new law does not require businesses to charge you these fees. Find a firm that puts your interests first, like we do at Open Palm Law. We won’t stress your wallet with even more fees. Restructuring your family can be expensive, and our firm puts its focus on restructuring families in the best possible way.

Second, avoid the litigated divorce in the first place. Know your choices when it comes to divorce. Visit our previous blogs to learn about less costly alternative resolutions for your restructuring. Try mediating, or better yet, collaborating!

If you’re in the market for a divorce, consider how you want to do it. Consider restructuring your family and give us a call! Open Palm Law offers clients the ability to dissolve marriages without destroying relationships—plus, you may save enough to continue your morning Starbucks runs.

Learn more about collaborative divorce. Follow Open Palm Law.

Need advice now? Contact Joryn!

About this week’s author, Joryn Jenkins.

Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed in the United States Supreme Court upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.

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