- New York University School of Law, J.D.
- University of Virginia, B.A. in Economics
20 + years of experience as a litigation attorney
- Licensed to practice in 3 states: NY, NJ, FL
- Sole practitioner: Family law, Divorce, Paternity, Mediations, Estate Planning, Wills, Probate
- Court appointed Hearing Officer/ Traffic Court Broward County 2012-2022
- Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator
- Member of the New York State Bar since 1999
- Member of the Florida State Bar since 2007
- Member of the New Jersey State Bar since 2004
- Member of the New York State Bar since 1999
- Admitted to the Florida Southern District Bankruptcy Court
Attorney Hyde was born in Jamaica, West Indies and came to America in 1981. She lived in New York/New Jersey before moving to Florida in 2007.
Practice areas: Family law, Divorce, Paternity, Child Custody, Estate Planning, Wills, Probate and Mediations
Choosing an attorney
Choosing the “right attorney” can be a frustrating venture. After all, it isn’t every day that you need a divorce attorney. It is, however, important that you find an attorney who you are comfortable with and with whom you can establish a good working relationship. Throughout the process you will need to maintain effective communication with that person. The attorney needs to have a clear understanding of the specifics of your case, as well as your goals for the outcome. During the process, you and your attorney should be functioning as a team. Trust is paramount. Do your due diligience. It may be advisable to interview several attorneys in order to find one whom you feel comfortable with. You may also want to ask to meet the attorney’s assistant or paralegal since this person will be working on your case, and it is likely you will be speaking to him or her frequently during the course of the case.
What can a lawyer do for me that I can’t do myself?
The attorney’s role in a dissolution case is far more complex then knowing how to read and apply the law. An attorney’s job is to move you to a resolution. When you retain an attorney, you are paying for her expertise in many areas. An effective family law attorney will not only know which statutes to apply to your case to achieve an “equitable” settlement, but she will also typically have had years of experience dealing with the complexities involved in a dissolution of marriage proceeding, including parenting issues, real estate, pensions, investment plans, tax laws, evaluating assets, etc. An experienced attorney understands that the Court cannot and does not want to resolve every single dispute. Good attorneys seek to equip their clients with information and tools to improve communication and understanding. Moreover, if the attorney does not have first hand knowledge of a particularly difficult issue, she will typically have the resources to quickly find someone who does. In the event that your case becomes contested, a good attorney knows the “ins and outs” of court proceedings, including experience with the judges and magistrates who preside over domestic cases.
What type of services do you offer?
- Domestic Violence
- Estate Planning
Q &A with Attorney Suzette Hyde
What is the one principle that drives what you do?
Definitely a sense of fairness is an important driving principle in my business. I know there are people looking for that cutthroat ruthless lawyer, but they also need to realize that the ruthless lawyer will turn on the client, sooner or later. I treat people how I would want to be treated. So that means, I realize that most people work hard for their money, I do too. I try to stay away from ruthless people who don’t think twice about gouging or overcharging. And that principle of fairness is useful when it comes to dealing with the adverse party. Intelligent people can appreciate a sense of fairness and will often soften their stance when they realize they are being dealt with fairly.
What can clients expect from working with you?
I am a straight-forward, get things done kind of woman. There are some lawyers who take the approach of “the client is always right,” and “let’s just back everything the client thinks.” But a lawyer is not your cheerleader or your fan club president. If anyone should be able to tell you the honest truth, it should be your lawyer [and your mother]. Most people going through difficult family matters do not have time to go around the bend, take 2 left turns, wade through a river, climb a mountain and come back to base one to just hear, “Well, you didn’t make it because you didn’t take the right approach, so let’s go back to step 1 again.” Divorce/Family law litigation is not a destination; divorce is not a status; it’s a journey, and my job is to get you on the other side of it, without delay and better than when you started.
What qualities do you have that makes you especially suited for this kind of work?
Clients and colleagues tell me I have a “take no B.S.” kind of attitude. I think that attitude is important, especially because family litigation can get really contentious; people can get petty and often try to get under your skin. Ever since I was a little girl, I was the one, standing up against bullies for my siblings, my cousins, my friends and myself. I don’t let people bully me and I don’t let anyone, lawyers, mediators, judges, bully my clients. If we are in court, and someone is taking the heat for something we didn’t already consider, or someone is required to speak up, it’s me. I’m doing that. That’s just what an advocate does. I adopt positions where I am not reluctant to advocate or speak up on behalf of the client.
What is one the one piece of advice you can give to clients looking for a lawyer?
Do your homework. There is no “one size fits all” for this kind of profession. Once you start working with an attorney, you are building a relationship that is based on trust, or at least it should be. Think about it, you are revealing private, personal, financial information about your spouse, children; you are discussing your private family history and your future plans. Take your time, do your homework. Some people take days to buy a car but will pick a lawyer after a free 20 minute consultation.
- Suzette helped me get custody of my kids. I never would have thought not even in my wildest dream
- Her professionalism and understanding made this difficult [divorce] process much less stressful.
- This is not my first experience with lawyers. I have had 4 lawyers in my case and Ms. Hyde…