Under Florida law, if the parties agree on all terms of divorce, the process is usually faster, easier and more affordable than a contested divorce. However, it is important to have an attorney represent you so that you know what those issues are and what you would be entitled to under Florida law BEFORE you sign an agreement.
In some cases, contested legal proceedings may be the only option. In these cases, it is important to have a professional and experienced attorney on your side.
Under Florida law, either spouse can file for divorce. We have a no-fault divorce system in which spouses do not have to prove wrongdoing on part of the other spouse. Instead, we must simply assert that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and that you have been a Florida resident for 6 months preceeding the filing of the Petition.
The contested divorce litigated all the terms of divorce that have not been agreed upon by the parties. These include parental responsibility, timesharing, and child support for any minor children; distribution of any marital assets and liabilities, alimony, attorneys’ fees, and any other issues particular to your case.
If parents were not married when their child is born, paternity must be established through the Florida courts. Paternity provides rights to the parents, including certain legal rights and is entitled to be involved in legal decisions regarding the child, timesharing, access to medical and school information, and obtain child support if needed. The child also receives certain legal rights, including timesharing, child support and health insurance, if available.
Under Florida law, if a parent desires to relocate 50 miles or more from his or her principal residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing, then the parent desiring to relocate must obtain the Court’s permission or the consent of the other parent prior to relocating with a child. If the non-relocating parent objects to the desired relocation, the party seeking to relocate shall not do so with the child until Court approval is obtained. There are strict rules and procedures to follow in order to qualify for a relocation hearing. We are here to assist you every step of the way.
If there has been a substantial change in your circumstances since your divorce judgment, you may qualify for a modification to the parenting plan, child support, or alimony. We can help you determine if this is the correct course of action for you.
ENFORCEMENT & CONTEMPT
When one of the parties fails to comply with the court’s order, Florida law gives the judge the power to enforce his or her legal ruling. Two of the methods that can be used to enforce a legal ruling are “Enforcement” and “Contempt.” Depending on the case, your attorney will advise one or the other. Additionally, if applicable, attorneys’ fees may be used as a sanction.
PRENUPTIAL & POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENTS
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements are important to consider when planning for marriage. Not only do these agreements help keep finances clear, they also assist couples address issues such as treatment of pre-marital property, inheritance, secondary schooling for future (or existing) children, alimony for either spouse, small businesses, etc. Additionally, should the Prenuptial or Postnuptial agreement ever need be enforced, it is important to meet the legal requirements under Florida law.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & RESTRAINING ORDERS
We represent parties in both civil and criminal domestic violence cases. In Family Law cases, you may obtain a restraining order in a stand alone Petition or as part of your existing case. If you feel you are in need of a restraining order, or have been served with one, contact our office immediately to schedule a consultation.
If you are being investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families, your rights as parents need to be protected. Whether the Petition is for Dependency or Termination of Parental Rights, the sooner you are represented, the better. DCF allegations likely fall into one of the following categories: abuse, failure to protect, abandonment or neglect. Abuse can be defined as sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Failure to protect is defined as knowingly failing to protect the child from abuse while having the opportunity to do so. Abandonment is defined as parents who physically abandon their child, fail to provide the necessary daily, emotional and financial support, or leave their child with inadequate caregiver. Neglect allegations include failing to provide a clean, habitable living environment, fail to provide education,or failing to feed and clothe your children properly.
Dependency cases are fast moving and have serious consequences at every stage.
Mediation is a settlement negotiation meeting between parties led by a neutral mediator. A mediator is an independent third-party who facilitates a discussion between parties attempting to negotiate the issues. Both parties can also be represented by counsel during a mediation, but the structure is less formal or confrontational than litigation. Additionally, mediation is confidential and there is no requirement that an agreement be reached. However, Mediation affords each side the opportunity to be heard and attempt to resolve their differences in a custom plan that fits their situation allowing creative solutions that the Court may not have the power to order.
As a Family Law Mediator, Dianne Jauregui has helped thousands of clients reach a fair resolution to their family law matter.