Family Law

Providing Peace and Order During Emotionally Charged Times

Our legal team understands how intimately family law disputes can impact the day-to-day lives of you and your children. If family law matters are not dealt with in an efficient and delicate manner, they have the potential to turn verbally abusive—and even physically violent. To help families experience peace during these turbulent times, we provide the following family law services:

  • Collaborative DivorceIf both parties in a divorce or other family law matter agree on the need for an amicable and effective resolution, they may choose to settle the issue in a collaborative process. This route allows the parties to have more control over the outcome, as well as the ability to reduce stress without the threat of litigation. Both parties must be on board and the key is transparency.  There are numerous benefits to the collaborative approach, but not all cases are a good fit. It is important to talk to an attorney to see if your case is a good fit for the collaborative process.
  • AlimonyMoney is one of the most hotly contested aspects of any divorce. If one spouse qualifies for alimony, the amount still has to be agreed upon.There are many factors that courts consider when deciding on an appropriate amount—and type—of alimony. Some spouses may receive alimony for a short period of time after the divorce is finalized, while others may need a permanent arrangement. Our pledge is to thoroughly evaluate your financial circumstances so you receive or pay a fair amount when it comes to alimony. 
  • Contempt & EnforcementIt can be beyond frustrating when an ex-spouse stops paying child support or alimony or is not abiding by a Parenting Plan. You and your children need those funds to make ends meet. Some parents withhold these support payments in response to the other parent’s withholding time-sharing. This isn’t permitted; and parents have legal tools available to enforce court-ordered alimony, child support, or time sharing—including jail time for the parent or ex-spouse in contempt of the court order. There are intermediate steps you can take that are often effective, but having an attorney increases the likelihood of success. 
  • DivorceOur firm has years of experience dealing with divorces of varying degrees of conflict and complexity. Just because you and your spouse agree on the need for a divorce does not mean you can do without legal counsel. It’s important to have an experienced attorney by your side so your rights are protected and goals are met. We are passionate about providing compassionate yet assertive legal representation during a client’s divorce. 
  • Domestic Violence InjunctionsWhenever possible, Florida courts prefer for due process to play out between petitioners and respondents of domestic violence allegations. However, time is often of the essence, and petitioners who believe they are in imminent danger of violence may be able to get a temporary injunction (protection) from domestic violence. A court hearing is scheduled as soon as possible after these ex parte injunctions. Meanwhile, the respondent will likely be ordered to stay away from the petitioner. At the civil court hearing, the judge will consider whether a permanent injunction should be awarded or denied. These are incredibly stressful and difficult situations, which make it imperative for you to enlist the help of a quality family law attorney. 
  • Equitable DistributionThe division of property is often misunderstood by spouses who are just starting out in the divorce process. One common misconception is that courts will always divide marital assets exactly equally. This is not necessarily the case; judges have an obligation to divide marital assets in a “fair and equitable” manner. There are many factors judges use to determine the equitable division of assets. It is essential to have an attorney by your side during contested property division so you get your fair share. 
  • ModificationsIt’s natural for your circumstances and the circumstances of your children and ex-spouse to evolve after the original judgments are handed down. If the current time sharing, alimony, or child support arrangements are not working out for you or your children, it may be time to seek what’s called a modification. The conditions you must meet for a modification to be granted by a judge differ based on the order you want modified, but it generally requires a material, substantial, and unanticipated change of circumstances. Conversely, securing a modification is easier if both you and your ex-spouse agree on the modification. 
  • PaternityUnder Florida law, there is a presumption that if a married couple has a child, that child is the child of both parents. Where it can get complicated, though, is if a child is born out of wedlock.  Even if a “father” signs a birth certificate, he is not necessarily the legal father until there is a court order establishing paternity.  Without a court order establishing paternity, you could be denied rights to your child. Paternity suits can also be filed by mothers to establish financial support. Our firm wants to protect the rights of all fathers and mothers, because all parents deserve to have relationships with their children.  
  • Prenuptial AgreementsPrenuptial agreements have a reputation for attracting greedy spouses who want everything to go their way should they ever divorce. This reputation is unfair.  Prenuptial agreements can be important tools for any spouse to protect whatever is important to them prior to entering into a marriage. It’s not the most romantic thing you and your spouse will ever agree to, but it can be incredibly useful. Another legal matter we handle in this area is fighting against extremely unfair prenuptial agreements. 
  • RelocationFlorida law prevents co-parents from “relocating” while time-sharing orders are in effect. Relocation, under the law, is defined as moving 50 miles or more from your principal residence for a period of 60 or more consecutive days. If this situation applies to you—say, you get a new job or your employer transfers you—you must get written consent by the other co-parent before going through with the move. Additionally, you must work out a new time-sharing arrangement. If the other parent contests relocation, you must file a petition with the court.  During this time, you might be temporarily barred from relocating yourself and your child while the legal process plays out. 
  • Time-Sharing — This is usually, by far, the most contentious issue spouses have to address during a divorce. Florida courts recognize that, except in rare circumstances, children benefit from the involvement of both parents. The best way for developing a time-sharing arrangement is having both parents come up with one themselves. Occasionally, though, parents just cannot come to an agreement—even in mediation. In this case, you need an understanding and experienced attorney to protect your rights and help you meet your goals.  It is important to remember that the goal is always to put the children’s best interests first.

Call a Compassionate and Quality Attorney for Your Family Law Needs

Our firm understands how emotional family law matters can be on parents AND children. Attorney Heather Bryan has been on the other side of divorce; as a result, she intimately understands how important it is for parents to work towards an amicable resolution when it comes to time-sharing, alimony, child support, and other important issues. We’re waiting for your call so we can get started on a better future for you and your children. Call us at (863) 825-5309 today.