Family Law

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Divorce: is the marriage irretrievably broken? Only you or a Judge can decide that. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means if you want one, you will get one!

 

Spousal support: this can be a separate claim different from filing for divorce. Although it is rarely used, persons can seek support without asking for a divorce. This is used if there are religious or personal reasons for not seeking a divorce. However, the person who is being sued for spousal support usually will file a counterclaim and ask for the divorce.

 

Child support: all parents owe a duty to support their children through the age of 18 or graduating high school. Child support must be calculated in accordance with Florida's statutes which contain a mathematical formula for calculating this obligation. It is based on income and certain Child related expenses. The number of overnights that the child spends with each parent also affects the calculations.

 

Timesharing: This is the new terminology for visitation rights. With few exceptions, parents have joint custody of their children with provisions made for "visitation". Many court jurisdictions have standardized timesharing or visitation schedules.

Equitable distribution: This is the splitting up of assets and debts acquired during the marriage. The Judge must start off with a 50-50 distribution of both assets and debts. Although there are circumstances in which the 50-50 split is not followed, those circumstances are very unique and unusual.

 

Termination of parental rights: Bad or abusive parents can lose their rights to be a parent. However, they can also still be held responsible for child support! Each case is unique and there are no set limits on what a Judge can do to remedy a situation.

 

Paternity: Either parent can file a lawsuit to determine parental rights and obligations. They can also demand a paternity test to make sure that the man is actually the father. The same child support calculations must always be made. Timesharing or visitation must also be determined.

 

Dependency and child neglect: there are circumstances when a parent does something or fails to do something that requires supervision by a judge. Usually, the action of the parent is not severe enough that there rights are terminated. However, that is always an option that the Judge can use if the parent refuses to follow the Judge's rulings.

 

Protection from abuse: Men and women can be abused by their partners or spouses. The abuse can be emotional, mental, or physical. Usually, the abuse must be physical for a Judge to intervene. However, restraining orders can be granted for a variety of reasons. Each case is unique.