Central Florida Family Law Attorneys.
General Topics of Concern in Family Law
Children have the right to be supported by their parents whether the parents are married, divorced, or have never been married. Establishing paternity can be very beneficial to a child. It allows a child born to unmarried parents to have the same benefits as a child with married parents, including:
• Knowledge of the identity of both parents
• Benefits from the father's medical, dental, or life insurance
• Family medical history is known to give to health professionals
• The father's name on the birth certificate
• Financial support (child support, Social Security, veteran benefits, other allowances)
Under Florida laws, a father, who is not married to the mother, is not automatically entitled to many rights unless paternity is first established. Although the Florida Department of Revenue can establish paternity for child support purposes, this does not give parental rights to the father. These rights can be given to the father through a paternity agreement or court paternity action. If paternity is established, the father will have legal father rights, including the right to:
• Seek a court order for parental rights
• Request a change or modification in child support
• Request that the child reside with him the majority of the time or that a timesharing schedule be established
• Assist in important legal decisions regarding the child
A Paternity case in the State of Florida is a lawsuit to determine the natural and legal father of a minor child and to confer the rights and duties of a parent. The Mother in a paternity action has the right to raise and litigate the minor child's rights on the child's behalf.
The mother has the right to bring a paternity action on behalf of the minor child against an alleged father to determine whether he is the biological and legal father of the minor child. The mother is designated under the laws of the State of Florida the natural custodian of the minor child. This means that the mother has the initial legal right to exercise sole parental responsibility over the minor child until a legal father has been determined by a court of law. Once a paternity action is filed and a legal father is determined by a court of law the mother will most likely have to share the parental responsibility concerning the minor child with the father. If the mother does not wish to share these rights with the legal father then she should consider whether she should file a paternity action.
The mother has the right to request, on the minor child's behalf, that the father pay child support, cover the minor child with medical and health insurance, pay a portion of the non-covered medical expenses of the minor child, pay a portion of the mother's medical expenses related to the birth of the minor child, and pay a portion of the mother's attorney's fees and litigation expenses.
Florida Child Support Laws
The divorce and family law process can be lengthy and complicated and involve a number of issues that need to be settled. One of these issues is child support. Florida child support laws are designed to make the process straightforward and simple. However, it is important to seek the help of a qualified Florida divorce attorney who can ensure that your rights and your children's rights are fully protected.
Florida child support laws are based on the Income Share Model, which is used to calculate the amount of child support due by one parent to another. The Income Share Model takes into account the number of children in the household and the net income of each parent before determining the amount of monthly support. The definition of "net income" for child support purposes is not necessarily the same as the definition of "net income" for federal income tax purposes.
According to Florida child support laws, the court will set child support using a formula based on a number of factors, which include, but are not limited to:
• Salary or wages of each spouse
• Bonuses, commissions, allowances, and tips
• Business income from self-employment, partnership, etc.
• All workers' compensation, social security, disability benefits
• Interest and dividends
Because the Florida child support laws are designed to produce a fair child support arrangement, the court has the authority to increase or decrease the support up to 5%. The court can also adjust the amount of child support by more than 5% for a good legal reason, including, but not limited to:
• Extraordinary medical, psychological, education, or dental expenses
• Independent income of the child
• Seasonal variations in one or both parents' income or expenses
• Special needs of the child
• The age of the child
There are also special provisions in Florida child support laws for children who spend a substantial amount of overnight timesharing with the non-residential parent. These laws can be complicated and should be discussed with an experienced family lawyer.
There are several child support matters that need to be addressed during divorce proceedings. Besides deciding on the amount of child support due from the non-residential parent, most child support agreements must set the terms for the payment of the child's health and dental insurance, daycare, and/or after/before school care. In addition, parents need to agree how they will split the costs for co-pays and other un-reimbursed medical and dental expenses for the child.
No-Fault Divorce & Dissolution of Marriage
The state of Florida does require a married person to show grounds for divorce. The marriage must be shown to be irretrievably broken. The term "marital dissolution" also has the same meaning as "divorce". Florida laws also require its residents to go to court to get a divorce. While it may be possible to obtain dissolution without a lawyer, it is very difficult for a non-lawyer to do so if there are issues of property settlement and child custody. If complications develop, most non-lawyers are not equipped to deal with the complex rules.
Dissolution of Marriage Requirements:
? RESIDENCY: One of the spouses must be a resident of the State of Florida for the past six months.
? DISCLOSURE: A proper financial affidavit must be filed before a dissolution of marriage can be granted. The parties are required to exchange mandatory financial disclosure within 45 days after the opposing party is served with the petition, unless the parties agree in writing to waive that requirement.
? GROUNDS: The marriage is irretrievably broken or one of the parties has been adjudged to be mentally incapacitated according to the provisions of Florida Statute Section 744.331 for at least the last three years. There is no requirement that the other spouse must consent to a dissolution of marriage.
? COURSE: All parties to a dissolution of marriage proceeding with minor children or a paternity action which involves issues of parental responsibility shall be required to complete the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course prior to the entry by the court of a final judgment. The court may excuse a party from attending the parenting course for good cause.
USEFUL LINKS FOR FAMILY LAW CLIENTS
Orange County Clerk of Court: www.ninthcircuit.org
Osceola County Clerk of Court: www.osceolaclerk.com
211 Community Resources: www.211.communityresources.com
Parenting Choice Online Course: www.parentingchoice.com
Parents, Children & Divorce Course: www.educationprograms.com
American Safety Institute, Inc. Parenting Course: www.theparentclass.com
If you want to find out more about how our firm may be able to help you or if you have questions about what to do next, complete our free contact form at the right of this page. You'll be contacted by one of our family law lawyers to discuss your claim in greater detail with no obligations. If you decide you would like to have Young DeLoach, PLLC represent you, call 407-422-4000 Orlando or 386-308-8810 Daytona Beach
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is general in nature and does not constitute legal or medical advice. If you have a matter that has a deadline and requires an urgent response please call us immediately at 407-422-4000 Orlando 386-308-8810 Daytona Beach or email. Please be aware that sending an instant message or e-mail and/or receipt of a response does not create an Attorney-Client relationship or constitute the formation of a contract. No obligation is created on the part of the sender or the recipient. A contract of representation can only be created by signature of an Attorney-Client Agreement.
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It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for law, so much as a respect for right."
- Henry David Thoreau