Every Orange Park family law attorney at Douglas Law Firm helps mothers, fathers, and guardians ease some of the strain that accompanies divorce, paternity, child custody, and other legal matters. Our attorneys guide them through the legal process with personal commitment, compassion, and a track record of success.
Our firm combines decades of experience representing people in Orange Park and throughout the community regarding family law matters. We work diligently to resolve property division, alimony, child support, paternity, and other pressing family matters in an efficient and respectful manner.
Every Orange Park family law attorney at our firm has significant success in avoiding costly and time-consuming court battles. Our team pursues settlement negotiations, mediation, and other alternatives to litigation. These strategies often allow everyone involved to avoid some of the tension and uncertainty associated with family law cases. We are experienced litigators who stand ready to fight for our clients in the courtroom when needed while easing stress along the way.
How Can an Orange Park Family Law Attorney Help You?
The pain and stress that often comes with a family law dispute can make it difficult for divorcing spouses, parents, and other family members to find common ground.
This is one reason why it is vital to have an experienced Orange Park family law attorney by your side. A lawyer can identify the issues that need to be resolved without a court weighing in while working to reach an optimal solution.
Do I Have to Go to Court to Get a Divorce?
Yes. Getting a divorce in Florida requires filing a complaint in your local court and potentially going before a judge. Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means you do not have to prove that your spouse is to blame for the break up of the marriage. You simply must tell the court that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
The Simplified Divorce Option in Florida
Florida offers a simplified divorce option for spouses who meet certain requirements and want to wind down the marriage efficiently. To be eligible for the simplified process, you and your Orange Park family law attorney must be able to tell the court the following:
- One spouse has lived in Florida for at least six months directly prior to the divorce;
- You do not have any minors;
- Neither spouse is seeking alimony or spousal support; and
- You have agreed on how to divide all property
Spouses who do not meet these requirements still have several options for streamlining the process through negotiated agreements. A seasoned Orange Park family law attorney can help.
Our Orange Park Family Law Attorney Compares Contested and Uncontested Divorces
A “contested” divorce is one in which the spouses are not able to agree on how some or all of the related issues - property division, spousal support, child custody - will be resolved. The spouses go before a judge in a series of hearings and an eventual trial to argue their positions. They are bound by the court’s decision.
An “uncontested” divorce is one in which the spouses are willing to come to an agreement on how the various issues related to the split will be handled. The spouses negotiate and sign a marital settlement agreement, which details the terms of the divorce. This is a binding legal document that must be approved by a judge and cannot be modified without going back to court.
Will Our Property Be Divided Equally Between Me and My Former Spouse?
Maybe. Florida’s equitable distribution scheme requires judges to divide a divorcing couple’s marital property in a way that is fair to both parties. That does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split. Instead, a judge will consider the circumstances and financial situation of each spouse in making this determination.
Assets, like a home, car, or savings account, obtained by one or both spouses during the course of the marriage is generally considered marital property under Florida law. Other property that a spouse owns prior to the marriage is generally treated as separate property, not subject to equitable distribution. In some cases, however, the increase in the value of the separate property may be considered a marital asset.
An Orange Park family law attorney can help you identify all of the assets, determine how they should be classified, and come up with a strategy for dividing marital property.
How Can My Orange Park Family Law Attorney Prove Paternity?
The father of a child that is born to unmarried parents does not automatically get custody and other parental rights in Florida. Similarly, the father in these situations is not automatically responsible for caring for the child or providing monetary support.
Legal action is often required to establish paternity and the rights and responsibilities that come with it. An Orange Park family law attorney at Douglas Law Firm can help you navigate the legal process. We represent both mothers and fathers seeking assistance.
What is Timesharing in Child Custody Cases?
Timesharing is used to describe child custody and visitation arrangements. These issues can be some of the toughest to resolve, as unmarried or divorcing parents often have different views on how a child should be raised, where he or she should live, and other child-rearing decisions.
Courts considering child custody and visitation disputes focus on one overarching question: What is in the best interest of the child? They weigh a number of factors - including the child’s relationship with each parent and the financial and emotional stability that each parent can offer - to try to answer that question.
Courts also give some significant leeway to parents to resolve these issues on their own through a negotiated settlement. Every Orange Park Family law attorney well knows parents can save a significant amount of time, money, and stress by at least attempting to resolve timesharing issues instead of leaving them for a judge to decide.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Orange Park Family Law Attorney
Call today, 1-800-705-5457, or connect with us online to schedule a free consultation and learn how an Orange Park family law attorney can help you.