Palatka Family Lawyer Dedicated to Your Family Law Needs
Family law covers many areas including divorce, alimony, child support, time-sharing, adoptions, modifications, paternity, and guardianships. Every Palatka family attorney at Douglas Law Firm is willing and able to help if your family has a legal concern in one of these areas. We have divorce and family law attorneys in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Palatka who focus on family law and will be there for you every step of the way. Call a Palatka family attorney for a complimentary consultation today at 800-705-5457.
The Difference a Palatka Family Lawyer Can Make
At Douglas Law Firm, our family lawyers help good people restructure their pain and uncertainty of divorce as minimally as possible. We also understand that you have rights, and many different areas of your life can be impacted by a divorce.
That is why you need an attorney with our knowledge and experience dealing with the multitude of issues that can arise in a divorce, including child custody, alimony, dividing assets, and child support. We help guide you through every step of the process, from filing to final judgment. A Palatka family attorney is here to protect you and your family’s best interests from the moment you contact our firm.
Parenting Plans and Support
Florida law operates under the presumption that shared parental responsibility is in the best interest of the children, which means that both parents are responsible for any decision-making regarding their children. That decision-making includes educational, religious, and medical needs. Additionally, parents must enter into a custody arrangement known as a Parenting Plan that will dictate the time-sharing (formerly "visitation") of the minor children. We tailor our Parenting Plans to fit your precise needs regarding what is in your children's best interests.
Child support guidelines are governed by a formula that considers several factors, including the number of children; the net income of both parties; the health care costs for the minor children; the expected daycare costs; and any past-due child support. Your Palatka family lawyer will work with you to ensure you understand Florida's child support laws and how they relate to your case.
Sometimes people mistakenly believe that their spouse or next of kin will automatically take over their affairs should they become incapacitated. This is not the case unless proper steps have been taken prior to the incapacitation. Some of these options include:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Proxies
- Health Care Surrogates
Our firm is experienced in drafting and executing these documents.
If you are now in the position where a loved one has been incapacitated and you are not legally authorized to step into their shoes to manage their personal and financial affairs, you may need to initiate a Guardianship Administration. A guardianship Administration is a court-supervised process of administering and managing an incapacitated person's financial and medical affairs.
If you believe that your loved one can no longer manage his or her affairs, contact a Palatka family lawyer for a consultation to explore your options.
Paternity Explained by a Palatka Family Attorney
It is important to remember that the father of a child born to unmarried parents does not automatically have the rights or responsibilities of paternity. When a child is born out of wedlock, many legal issues can be addressed by a paternity action, including:
- Establishing paternity
- Adding the father's name to the child's birth certificate
- Changing the child's last name
- Initiating child support
- Establishing parental responsibility
- Developing a parenting plan that includes a time-sharing schedule
Both the mother and father have a legal obligation to provide support to their child. Beyond that legal obligation, however, each parent has a basic right to be involved in raising their child. We represent both mothers and fathers in various situations that require an establishment of paternity, child support, and time-sharing ("visitation") schedules. Whether you are a mother or father requiring assistance with a legal matter, you need an experienced attorney who is dedicated to protecting your rights and the best interests of your children. Call a Palatka family attorney for a free consultation: 800-705-5457.
How a Palatka Family Lawyer Can Reduce Stress; Helping You Seek Solutions
Divorce, alimony disputes, child custody battles, and paternity matters can be stressful and trying situations for everyone involved. The truth, however, is that they do not always need to be contentious, drawn-out legal fights.
Florida law gives divorcing spouses significant leeway to come up with their own solutions to a wide range of questions, from who gets the house to how to handle custody of the kids. Marital settlement and other agreements detailing the answers to these questions are binding legal documents once they have been approved by a court.
At Douglas Law Firm, our Palatka family lawyers help clients explore every opportunity to unwind their marriages and resolve related legal issues effectively. Even if clients cannot come to an agreement on every issue, finding some common ground on some of the legal questions can go a long way in reducing the stress and acrimony that often comes with family law cases.
If you are dealing with a family law issue, you do not have to go alone. It is imperative to have an experienced attorney in your corner who can guide you through the legal process. A Palatka family attorney at Douglas Law Firm will keep you apprised of your rights and options every step of the way.
What is Expected of Children in Florida Family Law Cases?
Children often play a central role in divorce and other family law cases, even if they are not filing documents, appearing in court, or negotiating a settlement.
How the kids are cared for along with when and where each parent can see them are (in many situations) the most important and most contested questions. Courts encourage parents to reach their own arrangements through a marital settlement agreement and by collaborating on a parenting plan.
In child custody and support cases, courts are required to consider what is in the best interest of the kids involved. Judges do that by considering several factors, such as the child's relationship with each parent, the stability of the home life offered by each parent, and the child’s needs.
Courts often try to gauge the child’s wishes when it comes to custody and visitation. A child who is old enough to understand the gravity of the decision and has had a sufficiently meaningful relationship with each parent may be asked to weigh in by a judge. That can mean testifying at a hearing or deposition or expressing a preference in a written document or in communication with a court-appointed specialist.
As trying and stressful as divorce and family law disputes can be for parents, they can be even more difficult for the children involved. Parents can ease the difficulty by continuing to communicate with each other and their children and collaborate to reach a mutually agreeable solution to the issues. They should also understand that these situations are often particularly tough for kids and acknowledge that the children’s needs may change over time.
A Palatka family lawyer at Douglas Law Firm can help you navigate divorce, child custody and child support issues in a way that fosters collaboration and communication in an effort to reduce the hardship for your family and your children.
COVID-19’s Impact on Family Law Matters in Florida
Douglas Law Firm’s Chief Palatka Family Attorney Chris LoBianco has appeared on News4Jax as a contributor regarding family law topics like divorce and child custody. Click here to view the full story.