Family law cases often involve sensitive matters that carry emotional and personal weight. A qualified family attorney will know how to approach these delicate issues with professionalism and finesse.
The rules on child support vary by state, and an experienced family attorney Tampa can provide helpful insights into what you should expect. Generally speaking, this court-ordered requirement aims to offset some of the expenses related to raising children. The primary custodial parent will typically get funds from the noncustodial parent to help with the cost of housing, food, clothes, extracurricular activities, and childcare.
The process of obtaining child support begins with either party filing a petition in Family Court. A hearing is held when a Support Magistrate takes testimony from both parties and their witnesses about their incomes, expenses and the cost of supporting the child. It is also likely that paternity will be determined voluntarily or by court order, impacting how much support is awarded. A family lawyer can ensure the necessary procedures are followed and your parental rights are upheld.
Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, involves various issues, such as property division and child custody. The process is often complex, lengthy, and emotionally charged. A family lawyer can help you and your spouse agree on these matters. Your attorney can also assist you with divorce mediation. This is a process where you, your spouse, and your separate lawyers meet with a mediator to settle issues such as child custody, visitation, financial support, and property division. If you and your spouse disagree on these issues, it might be necessary to go to trial. Your lawyer can assist you with this process by preparing legal documents, filing them with the court, and representing you in court hearings. They can also help you find alternative ways to resolve these disputes, such as a legal separation or collaborative divorce. These are less expensive and quicker alternatives to a contested divorce. They can also be more amicable to your spouse.
Adoption is a legal process that allows parents to assume full parental responsibility for children who are not biologically their own. It can occur between related or unrelated individuals and is often used in conjunction with a divorce or other family law matter. There are many ways that a lawyer can assist with adoption, and prospective parents should know the options available to them. A family attorney familiar with all process aspects can provide guidance and ensure the child’s best interests are served.
More heterosexual and same-sex couples are choosing to cohabit, including purchasing homes together and forming families, without getting married or entering into a civil partnership. However, unlike marriage, this arrangement does not automatically allow the couple to share any assets or debt equally if their relationship ends, and they will likely need to draw up a cohabitation agreement.
Similar to a rental or roommate contract, this document can include specific provisions such as who pays what portion of household expenses, who owns the home and any associated property, and what happens if one of the parties becomes incapacitated or dies. A solicitor can help draft this agreement and ensure it complies with state and province contract laws.
Spousal support is intended to limit the financial impact of divorce. It provides a spouse with regular income on a long-term basis to maintain the standard of living they experienced in the marriage. The court considers several factors in determining alimony, including the length of the wedding, each spouse’s earning potential and whether either spouse gave up a career to care for children or another person. Some states also allow for rehabilitative alimony to help a former spouse obtain job skills necessary to earn a sufficient income. Lump-sum alimony awards are typically non-modifiable, but periodic payments can end or be modified depending on a change in circumstances, like the paying spouse suffering a loss of income or retiring. A family law attorney can help you determine a fair and reasonable alimony figure.
A prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial agreement or marital property agreement, establishes the rights and responsibilities of two people before marriage or a civil union. The document lists each spouse’s assets and debts, sets forth their duties during the wedding, and determines what may happen to them upon divorce or death. While media portrayals often depict prenuptial agreements as devices that celebrities or high-net-worth individuals use to protect their wealth, these documents can benefit any couple. It is important that both parties fully disclose their assets to ensure that the agreement is enforceable.
A family attorney can help each party draft an agreement that is fair and compliant with state law. Both parties should then retain their independent attorneys to review the document and advise them about it.