Family Law in Lake County
Are you currently dealing with a family law matter? The Law Offices of Jason G. Smith understand these cases can be stressful and overwhelming. Our law firm provides unparalleled legal representation to help your family recover legally, emotionally, and financially. Our Lake County family law attorneys deal with cases involving divorce, separation of marital property, alimony, and child custody and support. Contact our law office today to learn more about how we can assist you!
A divorce is the legal ending of a marriage that involves filing a Motion for Dissolution at your local courthouse. Although you may have a lot of anxiety over this big life change, our firm can help you maintain all your legal rights while you forge a new path.
A divorce can be granted when one states that their marriage is irretrievably broken. An uncontested divorce case is one in which there are no disputes between the parties. They agree to the divorce and on all issues. A contested divorce, however, involves issues of dispute. An uncontested divorce is usually quicker, cheaper, and easier than a contested one.
In every divorce case, marital assets will have to be divided between the parties. Florida uses the equitable division law to divide marital property fairly. This also means that any marital debt will also be distributed accordingly. Contact our lawyers today if you have questions about marital property division.
Prenuptial Agreements are documents signed by both parties prior to marriage detailing how assets will be divided if they ever separate. If parties divorce, the arrangement detailed in their agreement will be enforced.
Spousal support, or alimony, is a court-ordered payment awarded by the court in some divorce cases. The court looks at many factors when determining whether it would be fair for one spouse to make alimony payments. The court looks at:
- Length of the Marriage
- Income of parties
- Age, health, and mental health of the parties
- Earning Capacity of Parties
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
It can be hard to determine a potential alimony payment amount as the court looks at many relevant factors. For more advice, contact our Lake County, Florida attorneys today.
Child Custody in Florida
A family law case becomes much more complicated when children are involved. In fact, child custody is one of the most challenging legal issues in family law. Although it is a difficult process, an experienced lawyer can help find a resolution that benefits your whole family.
How is Child Custody Determined?
In Florida, parents are offered a chance to determine a parenting plan amongst themselves. Parents may try mediation, which is a form of alternative dispute resolution. They sit with a neutral 3rd party mediator in an attempt to work out a custody agreement If the parents cannot agree, then the dispute will go before a family court judge to determine custody.
The judge will use various factors in determining the appropriate custody and visitation schedule. Whereas it is optimal for both parents to be involved in the upbringing of children, equal (50/50) custody is not always feasible. The decision is always based on the best interests of the child standard. The court will award legal custody and residential custody decisions.
Dealing with family law cases involves sensitive and emotional issues. The decision of your custody case will impact you and your family members' lives. While it is always best to try mediation to work out issues with your spouse, sometimes things cannot be resolved independently. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and lost within the Florida legal system. It is especially crucial to seek legal guidance if you are dealing with complicated issues such as relocation, domestic violence, enforcement of orders, or modifications. Our family law firm can help provide the legal assistance you need to navigate the family court proceedings. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.
Child Support in Florida
Child Support is a court ordered payment between parents or guardians and specifically ordered for expenses relating to the upbringing of minor children. It is a right of a child to be financially supported by each of their parents. The support guidelines are found in the Florida Statutes, Section 61.30
Support orders are typically filed when a parent files a divorce petition or when unmarried parents separate and are no longer living together in the same family unit. In cases of unwed parents, paternity must first be established before an award will be ordered. It is the responsibility of a non-custodial parent to pay the custodial parent the weekly payment. In cases with a 50/50 child custody arrangement, the non-residential parent pays support to the parent who resides with the child.
How is the Child Support Award Determined?
The support award is determined by various factors. Florida law considers how many children the parents share and how much parenting time each parent has. For instance, a parent with several minor children will need to pay a greater amount than if they only had one kid. Also, a parent with a generous parenting time percentage, like 50% custody, for instance, will pay a lower support amount than if they only had a visitation schedule for 10% of the time. Sometimes, calculating the amount can get complicated. Every situation is different. If you have any questions on what your potential child support payment might be, contact our Lake County, Florida family law firm for a free consultation.
How Long Do Child Support Payments Last?
All support obligations last until the minor reaches the legal age of majority, which in Florida is age 18. Additionally, 18-year old’s who are in the last year of high school are also considered minor children for purposes of the Florida statute , and they are still eligible for payments. The amount will not change unless there is an unexpected change of circumstances, such as a parent’s salary has suddenly increased or decreased. In that case, a child support modification application needs to be filed with the family court.
A child custody or support order may be changed. In order to change an order, one must file a post-judgement petition, or Modification with the court. The law requires that the petitioner must show that there is a “ substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interests of the child.” Thus, an order may be changed, but there is a heavy burden to prove. Hiring an attorney will greatly improve your chances of success. Our Florida family law attorney has had great success in obtaining modifications for clients. Contact The Law Office of Jason G. Smith to learn more about family law matters such as modifications.
Contact an Experienced Family Lawyer in Lake County, FL
The Law Offices of Jason G. Smith has proven results in Fl family law cases. For nearly two decades, our founding attorney has helped clients all over central Florida reach successful solutions and peace of mind. Our family law firm will work tirelessly on your family law matter until we identify the best legal options for your individual situation. We stay active on your case and quickly return phone calls. If you need help with a family law matter, contact our Lake County office today!
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"Jason Smith helped our family through the worst time of our lives."He was caring and compassionate, and his services restored our lives when we had little hope.- Ryan
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