Orlando Family Lawyer
Family legal disputes can be traumatic for everyone involved. If you are facing a divorce, child custody dispute, or another family legal matter, call the Orlando family lawyers at O’Mara Law Group today. They can help you navigate this difficult time as effectively and inexpensively as possible.
In 2020 alone, more than half a million marriages ended in divorce according to the Statista Research Department. Women are in a particularly disadvantaged state after divorce as they are at an increased risk of poverty due to the division of income combined with child-rearing responsibilities.
If you are facing a divorce, child custody dispute, or other family legal matter, you need an Orlando family lawyer from O’Mara Law Group to help you navigate this difficult time as effectively and inexpensively as possible.
Call the O’Mara Law Group and invest in a better outcome for your family.
Family Law Cases We Handle
The family attorneys at the Orlando office of O’Mara Law Group can assist with simple legal advice, complex contested divorces, and everything in between.
These are legal documents outlining how personal and marital assets are to be divided in the case of divorce.
A prenuptial agreement is a document created before two people enter a marriage. It outlines post-divorce arrangements, usually concerning:
- Property ownership
- Debt ownership
- Other financial agreements
- Spousal rights
- Spousal agreements
Postnuptial agreements are created during a marriage rather than before the marriage to outline any post-divorce agreements. The attorneys at O’Mara Law Group are experts in postnuptial and prenuptial agreements and can help you create or modify your documents.
The state of Florida is a no-fault state, meaning neither partner needs to prove wrongdoing. Florida will grant a divorce (a dissolution of marriage) on the basis of an irretrievably broken marriage and the incapacity of one spouse.
If you and your spouse do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you are entitled to 50 percent of all accumulated assets acquired during the marriage, including:
- Checking and savings accounts
- Real estate
- Debts and loans
- Unpaid bills
- Retirement accounts
- Inheritance rights
Uncontested divorces are simple and inexpensive. They usually involve the mutual agreement of both spouses on matters such as:
- Division of assets
- Child custody
- Child support
- Selling a shared home
Uncontested divorces usually take only a few months to finalize, and you will not need to appear before a judge. These marriages are typically shorter, don’t involve children, and occur when both parties are financially self-sufficient.
A contested divorce occurs when parties cannot agree, requiring a judge to rule on disputed issues. Contested divorces are often traumatizing, as they involve decisions outside your control, such as the custody of children. If you are considering a divorce, call the Orlando family law attorneys at O’Mara Law Group to protect your interests and those of your children.
O’Mara Law Group understands that you want what is best for your child, but your former partner may disagree on what that is. We have decades of experience resolving even the most complicated child custody disputes.
The Parenting Plan
A parenting plan is a document describing how parental responsibilities are distributed. A parenting plan includes but is not limited to:
- Communication with the child
- Decision-making power
The Best Interest of the Child
Florida courts no longer operate under the tender years doctrine (an outdated doctrine assuming women are the natural and instinctive caregivers of a household) and rely instead on the best interest of the child.
Florida § 61.13(3) guides the judge’s final decision on custody, taking into consideration (not an exhaustive list):
- The capacity of each parent
- The division of parental responsibilities, including outsourced parenting
- The ability of the parents to meet the needs of the child
- The moral fitness of the parents
- Geographic location
- The mental and physical health of the child
- The child’s preference
- The history of each parent’s involvement in parenting
- The ability of each parent to communicate with the other parent
The court grants emergency custody in cases where the child is endangered or under threat of abduction. If emergency custody is temporarily granted, the judge issues a warrant and immediately sends police to obtain the child.
Emergency custody may be granted when the child is:
- In physical danger
- At risk of being removed from the state
- The victim of domestic abuse
- At risk of neglect or abandonment
- In an environment with substance abuse or mental health issues
- With a parent who refuses to comply with the terms of the custody agreement
The parent accused of putting the child at risk will be given the chance to release custody on their own. However, if they refuse, police are authorized to forcibly enter the environment and remove the child.
The hearing takes place the following business day, where both parents can present evidence, statements, and testimony for their case.
How to File for Emergency Custody
To file for emergency custody, file Family Law Form 19.941(d) with your local family court. Your attorneys at O’Mara Law Group know what information to provide to get your child out of danger and will help you prepare the document.
Alimony refers to spousal financial support awarded by a court in a divorce proceeding. Alimony can be awarded in the form of a one-time lump sum, temporary payments, or permanent payments. Alimony covers the expenses of everyday life and ensures financial security following a divorce or separation. Our team of alimony attorneys can help get you the amount you deserve.
Factors affecting alimony include but are not limited to:
- The standard of living during the marriage
- Duration of marriage
- The physical and mental condition of each party
- The respective and combined assets of each party
- Earnings, education, skills, and employability
- Parenting responsibilities
Child support refers to a required monthly payment from one parent to another. Child support covers the living expenses of raising a child and is used on expenses such as:
- Utility bills
Child support is required in all child custody cases, including when parties were never married or custody is split evenly. In the latter’s case, the parent with the higher income is designated as the payer.
Child support is not considered income as the money received by the payee has already been taxed by the IRS. Child support can be long-term or even permanent, depending on your situation.
What happens if I don’t pay child support?
Unfortunately, less than half of custodial mothers receive the entirety of the child support they are entitled. This staggering statistic persists even while failure to pay is criminalized.
Failure to pay child support could result in the following consequences:
- Reporting to a credit bureau
- Seizure of assets, including your house or vehicle
- Seizure of your tax return or bank account
- Repeated offenses lead to felony charges
How is child support calculated?
Florida courts use Florida § 61.30 as a guide when determining child support. However, the judge may deviate from this guideline depending on the child’s:
- Mental or physical needs
- Standard of living
- Child care costs
- Health insurance costs
- Amount of time spent with each parent
If a divorce or separation is taken to court, the judge decides how to divide marital property.
What is marital property?
Marital property includes but is not limited to:
- Assets and debts gained individually or jointly during the marriage
- Mortgage payments
- Interspousal gifts
- Retirement and pension
- Jointly owned property acquired before or during the marriage
What is non-marital property?
Non-marital property is not divided by the court. Non-marital property includes but is not limited to:
- Assets and liabilities gained before the marriage
- Assets acquired separately
- Income acquired from non-marital assets during the marriage, unless the income was treated as a marital asset
- Assets and liabilities excluded by a written agreement
- Penalties incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature
In some cases, parties may choose mediation, or the court may require it, when they are unable to resolve their disputes on their own. During mediation, an impartial third party will help the parties negotiate and work out their disputes outside of court.
The experienced attorneys at O’Mara Law Group will aid you in mediating matters such as:
- Married or unmarried separation
- Child custody and timesharing disputes
- Alimony and child support
- Dividing assets and debts
- Stepfamily issues
- Inheritance and will contests
- Eldercare concerns
It is possible to modify divorce agreements after the divorce has been finalized if circumstances change, such as changes in income, relocation, and other life events.
Alimony and Child Support
The circumstances to which alimony or child support can be modified include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Payer job loss
- Payee increase in income
- A change in the needs of the payee
- A recipient of alimony moving in with a new partner
- A change in a child’s medical, educational or extracurricular needs
Custody and Timesharing
Florida assesses any change made to divorce arrangements based on the child’s best interest. The court may consider modifications to custody or timesharing due to the following circumstances:
- When the child switches to a new school closer to the other parent
- The custodial parent takes a job resulting in less parenting time
- A parent moves more than 50 miles away for more than 60 consecutive days
A parental relocation without the explicit consent of the other parent or the court may result in a criminal offense.
What can a family lawyer do for you?
Any family law case can be harrowing and stressful. It is imperative that you have an expert by your side as you navigate legal decisions regarding the future of you and your children.
The lawyers at O’Mara Law Group are here to answer any questions you may have. We can:
- Safeguard your assets and keep you from signing unfair alimony or child support agreements
- Save you money by avoiding a painful and expensive court process if possible
- Help you create a fair parenting plan and child support agreement
- Protect your legal and parental rights
- Guide you through mediation
- Accompany you through court procedures if necessary
- File all legal paperwork
- Help you take legal action if child support payments are not paid
- Extend our advocacy and activism on your behalf
How much does a family lawyer cost?
The cost of a family lawyer varies considerably depending on your case and circumstances. However, going at it alone may result in an even more costly outcome.
You may be entitled to the financial relief laid out in Florida § 61.16 requiring your spouse to pay your court and attorney fees on your behalf. Don’t miss out on anything you are legally entitled to. Getting in contact with O’Mara Law Group could potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Why is O'Mara Law Group the right choice?
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