Marital & Family Law

 

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.

Child Custody

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.

Parenting Plans

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:

  • How the parents will share the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child.
  • The time-sharing schedule arrangements indicating how many overnights each parent has.
  • A designation of which parent will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, other activities.
  • The methods and technologies for communication with the child.

These parenting plans ensure the child is well-cared for until they are old enough to care for themselves.

Child Support

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

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:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  • The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets, and liabilities distributed to each.
  • The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
  • All sources of income available to either party.

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.

Marital Asset Distribution

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 duration of the marriage.
  • The economic circumstances of the parties.
  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties.
  • The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunities of the other spouse.
  • Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
  • The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
  • The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home.
  • Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

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.  

Paternity

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.

Enforcement of Court Orders

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.

Uncontested Divorce

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.

Request Your Free Consultation Now

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

 

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American Association for Justice Florida Justice Association Avvo Rating Superb Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum Avvo Client's Choice Award 2017
Florida Justice Association
American Association for Justice
Avvo Rating Superb
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Client's Choice Award 2017