Legal issues surrounding your marriage and family can often be the most stressful type of legal issues. Not only are you facing significant time and money expenses as well as the stress of having to deal with the court when working through these issues, they are centered on the most intimate areas of your life. This is why you need a Lakeland Family Law Attorney who is not only experienced and driven to succeed, but compassionate and sensitive to your needs.
Experienced Family Attorney
One of the most experienced divorce attorneys in Lakeland, FL. This vast experience makes us uniquely qualified to deal with the complex negotiations often involved in marital and family law matters. He enjoys using the analytical skills he developed to solve complicated issues and achieve the best possible solutions for his clients.
Lakeland Family Law Attorney who is not only experienced and driven to succeed, but compassionate and sensitive to your needs.
Work with a Lakeland Family Law Attorney who can help you address all of your legal needs as well as those you anticipate facing, not just your immediate need. We are here to help you work through all of the legal issues attached to your divorce and life in the months and years that follow. Remember, your relationship with your spouse does not end with your divorce, especially if you have children. We can continue to serve you after your divorce as you navigate the world of co-parenting with a former spouse and find yourself on either the paying or receiving end of a spousal support agreement.
Our Lakeland family law firm knows the legal processes
This is possibly the most important reason to retain an experienced Lakeland Family Law Attorney when working through a divorce or other family law issue. Your attorney knows how to petition for each type of legal order and how to work with the court to make or change existing legal orders. Your attorney will help you avoid mistakes like missing deadlines or critical paperwork, filling out legal forms incorrectly, or violating the rules of your legal order.
Based in Lakeland, our Law Offices assist clients throughout Central Florida with sensitive and often complex marital and family law matters, including divorce, child custody and support, and property distribution. We also handle separation agreements and domestic violence cases.
Why Work with a Lakeland Family Attorney?
Although you might be tempted to try to work out your divorce and family law issues on your own, it is usually in your best interest to work with an experienced Lakeland divorce and family attorney instead. Why? There are a few reasons why this is beneficial:
Your emotions are running high
In any divorce or family-related legal case, all parties’ emotions are intense. When you are feeling scared, angry, anxious, or overwhelmed, you are prone to making irrational decisions that can harm you in the long run. Work with an attorney who, despite working to protect your rights and promote your interests, is emotionally detached from your personal issues. Let your attorney guide you through the divorce process to help you make productive decisions.
You have options
Many individuals assume that their divorce has to be decided in court. This is not true. An experienced Lakeland divorce attorney can examine the circumstances of your case and determine if another resolution method, such as mediation, is best for you.
An experienced Lakeland family law attorney can protect your interests
During the divorce process, it can be easy to become overwhelmed to the point of losing sight of your own interests. It can also be easy to say or do something that compromises these interests. Work with an attorney who will protect you by guiding and coaching you through every step of your divorce.
Our Lakeland divorce & family law attorneys can help
Whenever possible, divorce lawyers in Lakeland work with families to achieve an amicable divorce through mediation. He is certified as a Family Law Mediator by the Florida Supreme Court, and his negotiation skills help clients obtain agreements that are mutually beneficial, both financially and emotionally. However, if his clients’ interests are best served by going to trial, we are an aggressive advocate in the courtroom. our extensive trial experience includes litigating in the state courts of Florida and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Divorce — We handle all types of divorces and family law matters. Our negotiation and litigation skills allow us to efficiently and effectively represent clients in contested and uncontested divorces, in complex divorces involving substantial assets, and in highly contested custody issues. His prior investigative experience in questioning people and analyzing facts is extremely helpful to him in the courtroom.
Child Custody, Child Visitation & Child Support — As one of the most experienced Lakeland divorce attorneys, we vigorously defends parents’ rights to see their children. Parents must make arrangements for where their children will live, who will make important parenting decisions and who will cover various expenses. Florida law promotes the doctrine of “shared parental responsibility,” which means courts presume that both parents will maintain an equal role in all aspects of a child’s life unless the best interests of the child demand otherwise.
A legal parent has a right to visitation as long as it is in the best interests of the child. If the parents were not married at the time the child was born, there may be paternity issues that call into question the putative father’s right to visitation.
I particularly do not like it when a parent is unlawfully withholding contact with their children, as it happened to me once. Therefore, we take such behavior very seriously and vehemently defend our client’s rights to see their children. Recently, we got an award of Attorney’s fees and costs from a parent who refused to allow the children to take a previously agreed to out-of-state trip with the other parent.
Spousal Support & Alimony — Spousal support is the financial support of one former spouse by the other and can become a financially crippling event unless very careful planning is done. In fact, agreeing to pay any form of modifiable alimony will almost guarantee future litigation and costs. The availability of spousal support depends on various factors, such as the length of the marriage and the age, skills and earning capacity of each spouse. There are now six different types of alimony in Florida — permanent, temporary, bridge the gap, rehabilitative, lump sum and durational, enacted July 1, 2010. There are many variables and rules to consider when determining the appropriateness of alimony. Therefore, we urge you to contact him so that he may carefully review your situation and advise you on the types of alimony appropriate in your particular case BEFORE you even discuss this with your spouse.
Property distribution — Florida is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that courts begin with the premise that any asset or liability that comes in during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution. A court’s first take on this is that distribution to each spouse should be equal unless there is a specific reason for unequal distribution. I can help you protect your assets and come away from divorce with all that you are rightfully entitled to.
Paternity A court can compel a mother, her child or children, and the alleged father to submit a blood or DNA sample to establish paternity. Once paternity is established, the court may order the father to provide child support, and the father may also gain visitation and custody rights in accordance with the best interests of the child. If a child is born out-of-wedlock, the Father has no custodial or visitation rights until a judgment in circuit court through a paternity action gives him these. If the Department of Revenue orders child support alone, this will not give him any rights beyond the legal requirement to pay child support; they are two separate actions entirely. I can help you with both by combining child support and visitation issues into a single Paternity action. Children should not go without support nor be wrongfully denied time with their parents.
Domestic violence & Protective injunctions — If a client has suffered domestic violence, we request emergency protective orders and temporary restraining orders. If you have had a domestic violence injunction placed upon you, you need to retain counsel immediately as these injunctions can cost you your job if your job involves a security clearance or the use of a firearm. The Domestic Violence Court can even deny you any contact with your children, remove you from your home and force you to attend batterer’s intervention courses. To obtain a domestic violence injunction against your spouse or significant other, you must show that there has been an act of Domestic Violence committed by them against you. Verbal disagreements do not usually meet this standard.
Appeals & modifications — Appeals and modifications to an existing order may be sought when an order does not reflect a family’s current circumstances. For example, if one parent plans to relocate, a custody order modification may be necessary.
Prenuptial agreements — As a Lakeland divorce law firm, we have experience helping clients create effective prenuptial agreements that protect assets in the event of a divorce or dissolution. Under recently enacted Florida law, you could actually lose substantial interest in your real property upon divorce even if you had the property before you got married. It appears that a prenuptial agreement may be the only way to protect such assets. Prenupts are perhaps the most complex of all Marital and Family law documents and should never, ever, be attempted by anyone other than an experienced marital and family law attorney who also regularly drafts them. In fact, I have never personally seen any prenuptial agreement that was drafted by a non-lawyer that would be upheld as valid in court.
If you have substantial assets and are contemplating marriage to a partner who does not, a prenuptial agreement can help you protect these and assets you may acquire in the future. Prenuptial agreements should be executed at least 30 days prior to your wedding. Having a prenuptial agreement is similar to having car insurance. You certainly never plan on crashing your car, nor would you plan on getting a divorce at the time you get married. However, a prenupt is the similar to having car insurance. Just in case the unthinkable happens. Given the complexities and cost of a highly litigated divorce action, having a prenupt can not only save you both a tremendous amount of stress but also a lot of money if your marriage ends up in a Divorce court.
Name changes — We know when to file the proper documentation during the divorce proceeding, so that the client can make a fresh start once the divorce is finalized. If you have the opportunity to effectuate a name change during a divorce and do not, you may have to start an entirely new court proceeding to do so later at additional costs.
Child support establishment & enforcement — We help ensure children receive the support they need and deserve from both parents. When a parent repeatedly fails to meet child support obligations, this negatively hurts your child as well as you. We handle the contempt case when necessary.
Separation agreements — While Florida law does not require legal separations, it does allow individuals to enter into separation agreements when they live apart that can address who pays the bills, who pays child support, visitation with the children and other issues. A separation agreement is a legal contract that governs the rights and obligations of the parties while they are separated. It is virtually the same as a Marital Settlement Agreement but without the end result always being a divorce.
Marital settlement agreements — Marital settlement agreements (MSAs) may accompany a no fault divorce and are intended to help parties allocate their property and finances. We help clients formalize their property distribution agreements, and we work to make sure that his clients’ assets are protected during the divorce process and in the years to come. If an MSA fails to put in times certain for the performance of an act or a payment of monies, your rights to collect these could forever be unenforceable. MSA’s are legally binding contracts and should never be attempted to be drafted by a non-lawyer. In a family law matter, they will affect (and sometimes have serious adverse affects on) your children, your property, your liabilities and income for years to come. If you and your spouse have an understanding as how to resolve all of these differences, you will find that it is more cost-effective to allow me to draft your MSA, making sure it is done quickly and correctly, than trying to haphazardly do it yourself or trying to use a non-lawyer to do it for you.
A Message from Us to Our Clients: Thank You for Rating Us at the Top of Our Field
We now have been rated at the top of our field by the four independent organizations which will not allow you to “buy” a top rating instead of earning it. We have to thank our clients for giving us the cases which have allowed me the opportunity to help them and at the same time, demonstrating why I’ve been so highly rated.
Contact a skilled Lakeland Family Law Attorney
If you need help resolving a family law or divorce dispute while protecting your family’s physical, financial and emotional well-being, contact the Lakeland divorce attorneys of our Law Offices today for an initial consultation.