When you and your spouse decide or are considering dissolving your marriage, no matter the reason, it is always a stressful and challenging time. Regardless of the stage you are in, it’s always best to speak with a lawyer as soon as you can.
Divorce can involve many different issues including child custody, child support, alimony, marital asset and debt distribution, and exposure of business assets to the marriage. These elements make divorce incredibly complicated and personal for both parties involved.
Below are explanations of the various elements involved in family law and divorce proceedings and how they might affect your case. No matter the complexity of the potential divorce, Ralph the Lawyer will meet with you for a free initial consultation to review your options.
One of the hardest and most emotional issues parents may face in family law is a child custody issue; whether they are working through a divorce or settling issues between two parents. The best interest of the children is always the priority, and we want to help you establish that. Our team is fully dedicated to helping you figure out the best decision for your child and their needs.
Florida Statutes require all family law cases with minors (children under 18) to have a parenting plan. According to Florida Statute Section 61.13 (2)(a), a parenting plan will be required to describe:
These parenting plans ensure the child is well-cared for until they are old enough to care for themselves.
Child support in family law can be a sensitive matter, especially in parents who are newly divorced. A major part of child support is based on time sharing and income. The court does not view child support as a burden or punishment but as support for the children’s well-being, future, and support. With our team, we can help navigate this portion of the divorce proceedings, or simply navigate the process between two parents, to make sure the child is cared for.
Alimony can be defined as payments to a spouse in the event of a separation. Florida laws allow for alimony only under appropriate circumstances. The four types of alimony are: permanent periodic alimony, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, and lump sum alimony.
There are multiple factors to consider in an alimony case to determine what needs to be paid and what forms of alimony are best for both parties. A few of these factors (according to Florida Statute Section 61.08) include:
Alimony ensures that one party isn’t left unable to work and support themselves because of the actions of another. Each alimony case is reviewed individually and adjusted based on the circumstances of the people involved.
In a dissolution of marriage, a court separates marital assets and liabilities from non-marital assets and liabilities. This could be hard to determine on your own. Ralph the Lawyer can help you determine what is considered marital and non-marital. This will help give you a better understanding of what is to come in the divorce proceedings.
When distributing marital assets and liabilities, the courts need to be fair and equal unless relevant factors dictate justification for unequal distribution. Some of these relevant factors include (according to Florida Statute Section 61.075):
The courts take every step possible to ensure a fair asset distribution during a divorce, while considering the needs, desires, and circumstances of both parties involved.
In Florida, a paternity family law case determines the biological and legal father of a child to award parental rights. There can be no order against a father without this determination. Children conceived or born during a marriage are presumed to be the children of the husband and wife. Without marriage, there is no presumption and all parental rights and obligations, such as time sharing and child support, are not automatically assigned to the biological father.
Paternity can be established by two different blood tests: Human Leukocyte Antigen and DNA. The court may order these blood tests as part of the case, or the contested parties can complete them individually to prove whether or not they need to support the child (or children) involved.
Although there may be a divorce decree, child custody or time sharing order, or child support order already in place, circumstances may change in life. Parents have the right to motion the court to request an amendment to these orders. Sometimes circumstances have not changed but one party is violating an order. Both parties have the right to request the court to use appropriate means to enforce the orders.
An uncontested divorce can be a good situation for everyone involved. If there are no arguments and all parties cooperate then there could be a smooth and quick divorce. Although both parties agree, divorce agreements are legally binding. It is always a good idea to have an attorney at least look over the details to ensure your best interests are protected.
Not all divorces are complex and require the expense of a lawyer’s representation. In Florida, the courts have made it much easier for individuals to file for divorce, and other family law issues, without the need for a lawyer. However, even this process can be confusing for the average individual unfamiliar with the court system.
Ralph the Lawyer recognized this dilemma and came up with the unique, Self-Empowerment Program (SEP). The trademarked SEP program is designed to guide qualifying individuals through the court process without the expense of hiring a lawyer.
With reasonable, flat rate fees, qualifying individuals can have the assistance of an experienced firm paralegal guide them through the complexities of the form-driven court process, providing a roadmap for what to expect at hearings, and providing limited instruction throughout the process.
You will be guided, step-by-step under the supervision of a paralegal to fill out the forms and submit them on the court’s online portal. Your filings and notices from the court will be sent directly to your email. Furthermore, the experienced paralegal will be available to you for any procedural questions through the divorce.
While you will not be represented by a lawyer in this process, at any time along the way, should your issues evolve into those that may need a lawyer, Ralph the Lawyer will be available to provide legal consultation with reasonable rates
If you’re just starting divorce proceedings or need to adjust your court-ordered child support, custody, or asset distribution, contact Ralph the Lawyer. We offer free initial consultations to understand your case and take steps that are right for you.
My team and I are here to help. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case today.
Call: 1-800-RALPH-STAT! (800) 725-7478
Text: (813) 758-2306