Family Law

Divorce

Sometimes marriage are not meant to last forever. It is important to understand the divorce process and what you can expect before, during and after your case is resolved. Dissolving a marriage is difficult both emotionally as well as legally. Learn how our firm can help you navigate the legal process, while remaining cognizant of the emotional toll a dissolution will have on your family.

Paternity

When a child is born to an unmarried couple, it is important to establish the father’s paternity. Unless further steps are taken to establish paternity, the mother is considered the only legal parent of the child in the eyes of the law. To learn how to establish parentage over a child, contact us today.

Child Support

Child support is one of the most commonly discussed family law topics. In Florida, both parents are obligated to support a child until his or her emancipation, which generally occurs on the child’s 18th birthday. Determining what one parent’s contribution to the household of the other parent will be is the process of calculating child support. This calculation is based upon the parents’ respective incomes as well as the amount of time each parent spends with the child. To obtain more information on how to establish a child support obligation, collect past due support, or to modify a current child support obligation, contact our firm today.

Alimony

Alimony is one of the most contested matters in a dissolution of marriage case, and may continue to be contested for may years after the divorce is finalized. Florida law provides for several types of alimony, including permanent periodic alimony, durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony and lump-sum alimony. Entitlement to alimony is based upon the recipient’s need and the payor’s ability to pay. Alimony is taxed as ordinary income to the recipient and the payor is entitled to a tax deduction for alimony payments made in any given year. Obtain more information about alimony, contact us today.

Timesharing and Parental Responsibility

Florida law provides for timesharing or physical custody of children with their parents through a schedule, which takes into accounts the best interests of the children. Parental responsiblity on the other hand governs each parents right to make decisions regarding the children’s well-being, including decisions regarding education, health, religion, enrollment in extra-curricular activities and the like. Parental responsibility is most often shared by the parents, but can be reserved for one parent alone or shared with one parent having ultimate decision-making authority. A timesharing schedule and parental responsiblity is established in a parenting plan agreed upon by the parents or created by the court. To learn more about timesharing and parental responsibility contact our firm today.

Modification Proceedings

Family law matters often continue to be contested long after entry of the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage or the Final Judgment Establishing Paternity. There are many items that are subject to modification as life goes on. Parenting plans, child support and alimony payments are the most commonly modified items. If a substantial change in circumstances has occured since the establishment of a parenting plan, child support obligation or alimony obligation, you may be entitled to a modification. To learn whether your case warrants a modification, contact us today.

Mediation

Mediation is a confidential settlement conference, facilitated by a neutral third-party – a mediator. A majority of Dissolution of Marriage cases settle at mediation, whether in one or multiple sessions. The parties are required to attend mediation before the court will set your case for hearing. To learn how to best prepare your case for settlement at mediation, contact us today.

Prenuptial Agreements

When entering into a marriage with substantial assets, it may alleviate anxiety to know what happens to those assets in the event the marriage doesn’t last. While a prenup often has the obvious effect of protecting the wealthier spouse’s assets, it can also provide peace of mind to the less established spouse, by providing for alimony and equitable distribution entitlements in advance of the marriage and possibly a later divorce. Child related issues should not be addressed as part of a prenuptial agreement, as child support and timesharing provisions are unenforceable. Prenuptial agreements are particularly important in second marriages, where one or both of the parties already have children, where one or both parties hold business interests or where one or both spouses expect to inherit substantial property. For more information on the drafting a prenuptial agreement, and what steps must be taken in advance of drafting, contact us today.