Family Law2021-07-27T16:13:45+00:00

family law

Family law, or domestic relations law, covers a variety of issues that relate to family relationships, including but not limited to divorce, paternity, child custody, timesharing, child support, and adoptions. Even if your legal needs do not necessitate a ‘fight,’ everyone should involve an attorney in family law matters. You should understand the law and have an advocate to draft settlement documents, including marital settlement agreements and parenting plans. Our Florida family law attorneys are trained not only in family law but in contract law and other related fields. They can draw on a full array of knowledge to ensure you are well represented. Of course, if litigation is necessary, our Florida family law attorneys are well equipped to guide you down that path as well.

Family law, or domestic relations law, covers a variety of issues that relate to family relationships, including but not limited to divorce, paternity, child custody, timesharing, child support, and adoptions. Even if your legal needs do not necessitate a ‘fight,’ everyone should involve an attorney in family law matters. You should understand the law and have an advocate to draft settlement documents, including marital settlement agreements and parenting plans. Our Florida family law attorneys are trained not only in family law but in contract law and other related fields. They can draw on a full array of knowledge to ensure you are well represented. Of course, if litigation is necessary, our Florida family law attorneys are well equipped to guide you down that path as well.

Primary Contacts

Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage

Typically, each party will have their own attorney to help navigate a divorce and negotiate on their behalf. An attorney’s goal should always be to avoid a trial and minimize attorney fees such that your issues are resolved quickly and economically. A divorce attorney can help you divide your assets and liabilities, develop a parenting plan in the best interests of your children, and assist in the establishment of spousal support and child support if appropriate.

Our Florida family law attorneys are litigators at heart, so should the need arise to attend a trial because parties are unable to agree on settlement terms, we are experienced courtroom advocates and will fight for you.

Alimony or Spousal Support

Incident to a divorce, one party may be obligated to pay the other what is called ‘alimony’ or ‘spousal support.’ The parties’ circumstances will determine whether this type of support is appropriate.

There are several types of spousal support, including:

  • Bridge-the-Gap: This type of alimony is typically for short-term marriages.  It helps one party  transition to single life.
  • Rehabilitative: This type of alimony can assist one party in improving their condition such that they can ultimately provide for themselves. Often this can include provisions for education or job training.
  • Durational: When permanent alimony is not appropriate, durational alimony may be the solution. Typically, such awards are for short to moderate-term marriages, however, they may be appropriate for some long-term marriages as well.
  • Permanent: Some parties may be entitled to permanent alimony should their needs be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

Alimony is always based on one party’s need for the alimony and the other party’s ability to pay. If one of these elements is not found, no alimony will be appropriate. Often, alimony can be modified based on a substantial change in circumstances.

There are many factors the Court will consider in determining an award of alimony, including:

  • Marriage duration
  • Income (from all sources)
  • Earning capacity
  • Educational
  • Vocational skills
  • Financial resources
  • Age
  • Physical and emotional condition
  • Contribution to marriage and child-rearing
  • Tax treatment
  • Responsibilities for children
  • Standard of living
  • And other factors necessary for the court to do justice

Child Support and Custody / Timesharing

Incident to a divorce or the establishment of paternity, a parenting plan will be issued (either by agreement or by the Court). This plan will address the responsibilities and decision-making each parent has, as well as the specific times that each parent will spend with the children. This is often the biggest fight in a family law matter, which is why a Florida family law attorney could be pivotal to your case. There are many types of schedules that may be adopted that range from multi-week exchanges to daily exchanges. What is best for your family will depend on your circumstances and the best interests of the children. Let a Florida family law attorney help you figure this out.

Once a timesharing arrangement has been determined, child support can also be determined. Child support can also change from time to time based on changes in circumstances. Child support is determined primarily from a statutory formula that considers the time spent with each parent along with each parents’ income and financial contributions to the children. Ordinarily, child support ends when a child reaches 18, graduates from high school, marries, is emancipated, or joins the armed forces.

Relocation

If one party intends to move more than 50 miles away, that party needs the court’s permission to do so when the parties have children. This is called a relocation. Several factors go into the determination of whether a parent or parent and children may relocate. Should relocation be granted, a new parenting plan will be required. A Florida family law attorney can help you navigate these issues and fight for you – whether you want to relocate or oppose the other party’s attempt to relocate.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are governed by Florida statutes. They are not as simple as entering information into an online form. A prenuptial agreement is typically accomplished to protect property or allow/disallow for spousal support/alimony. The prenup can be as simple or as complicated as the parties require depending on their individual needs and circumstances. It is important to know that prenuptial agreements cannot waive child support. In order to establish an agreement that will stand up if challenged, an attorney should be consulted far in advance of a marriage. Of course, an agreement can also be entered into after the parties are married should the need later arise.

Uncontested of Friendly Divorces

Friendly divorces or separations can still be complicated. Settlement agreements and parenting plans need to be established, and the State forms simply do not contemplate the many issues families can go through to divorce. An attorney can help you affordably draft appropriate documents that give you the peace of mind that established rules are in place.

Get the Help You Need from a Florida Family Law Attorney

Work with a Florida family law attorney who cares about your specific needs. If you require legal assistance, contact us at Bitman O’Brien & Morat today. One of our family law attorneys will review your request and connect with you soon.

Bitman O’Brien & Morat proudly serves Florida with offices in most major cities. We have family law attorney teams in Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Follow us @BitmanLawFirm on social channels to keep up to date with all of our latest news.

FAQ’s

How is alimony determined in Florida2021-07-06T17:13:31+00:00

Alimony in Florida is based on one party’s need for alimony and the other party’s ability to pay. If this criteria is not established, no alimony will be awarded.

How much does a family law attorney cost?2021-07-06T17:13:11+00:00

The cost of a family law attorney varies and may come in the form of an hourly rate or retainer. For more information, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.

What is the difference between a family law attorney and a divorce attorney?2021-07-06T17:12:51+00:00

Divorce is simply a subset of family law. Therefore, a divorce attorney is a family law attorney who handles divorce cases, among other family law matters. In divorce matters, each party typically hires their own attorney to negotiate on their behalf.

When should you hire a family law attorney?2021-07-06T17:12:28+00:00

It is essential to involve a family law attorney early in the process when undergoing family law matters. A family law attorney will serve as your advocate and ensure you are well represented, especially if litigation become necessary.

What is a family law attorney?2021-07-06T17:11:55+00:00

Family law attorneys specialize in issues that have an impact on families. These include divorce proceedings, paternity, child custody, child support and adoptions, among others.

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