Family lawyers represent individuals who are facing challenges which have to do with their families. Some of the types of cases a family lawyer often handles include:
- Divorces/Dissolution of Marriage
- Establishment of Paternity
- Protection of Father’s Rights
- Child Support Matters
- Alimony/Spousal Support Matters
- Custody/Visitation Matters
- Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements
Florida Divorce and Associated Matters
In Florida, a divorce is called a dissolution of marriage. There are several issues associated with a divorce, including property division, child custody and visitation matters, and support issues which must be addressed.
In situations where a couple agrees on the issues, a family law attorney will help them draft the required documents including parenting plans, support matters, and property division. A family law attorney would help file the appropriate documents for court approval.
Paternity and Father’s Rights
When the biological parents of a child are unmarried, there is a need to establish paternity. Not only does this help protect the rights of the father, but it also means the father has the legal obligation to provide support for the child. This process is best handled with the assistance of a qualified family law attorney.
Florida Support for Children and Spouses
When a divorce is final, one party may be ordered by the court to pay child or spousal support. Typically, child support is required until the child graduates high school. Spousal support is awarded based on specific criteria including the length of the marriage and the resources the couple had access to during the marriage.
Both child support orders and spousal support orders must be adhered to following the dissolution of marriage. In the event the orders require modification — for example, if a spouse remarries or loses a job — a family law attorney can help with processing a request for modification. When the person paying support refuses to comply, a family law attorney can make a request to the court they be held in contempt of court and provide legal assistance as needed.
Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements
Couples often make decisions prior to their marriage about what happens in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are recognized as legal and binding when the couple files for divorce unless they are proven to be signed under duress. These agreements are often used when one party was previously married, one partner enters the marriage with significant debt, or one party has significant assets.
Post-nuptial agreements are drawn up while a couple is married. They may be drafted because one of the spouses inherits a large sum of money, or when one of them starts a business. To be enforceable, a family law attorney should be contacted to help with the drafting of these documents.
Adoptions and Guardianships
The adoption process leaves families feeling optimistic but also vulnerable. There are extensive background checks, investigations into the family finances, and a host of documents which must be provided. A family law firm can help guide a family through this exciting but challenging time.
There are two instances where a child may be appointed a guardian. The first is if a child suffers an injury and wins a settlement or when the child inherits money. The second is when their parents are incapacitated or loses their life. While the guardianship process is typically handled through the court, the guardian needs legal help through this process.
There are also instances where a guardian may be appointed for an adult – voluntary or involuntary guardianship — in certain circumstances. Family law attorneys may help the guardian navigate their legal responsibilities and ensure they are following the rules established by the courts.
There are other types of cases where a family law firm may be able to assist families including when a child is facing delinquency charges or when a child is seeking to be emancipated. Family law is broad based and helps Florida families overcome legal challenges.