Family law matters are complex. Decisions made during a divorce or when a child is young can have a significant impact far into the future. It is not uncommon for strong feelings to accompany family law proceedings. You should take care not to make important decisions in the heat of the moment, and to obtain legal representation and counsel regarding such matters as divorce, child custody, child support, and property distribution. If you are concerned about a family law matter, you should discuss your situation with Jacksonville family law lawyer Kevin M. Cobbin.Family Law
What must be shown in a family law proceeding differs based on the issues involved. In some cases, the parties are able to agree on certain matters, while others remain controversial and require decisions by a court. For instance, the parties may agree that marital property should be divided between the spouses in a certain way, but they may differ on how the children should be raised and whether one party should pay alimony to the other.Divorce
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. You do not need to establish that a spouse did something wrong or is “at fault” for the marriage breaking up to get divorced. Instead, you will need to let the court know that the marriage is irretrievably broken and meet residency requirements. To file for divorce in Florida, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of six months.
During a divorce, the court may need to address property distribution, alimony, child custody, and child support. Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning that property should be divided equitably, but this does not always result in a 50/50 split. Making ends meet during or after a divorce can be challenging for a spouse who has not worked to support himself or herself during the marriage. A family law attorney in Jacksonville can help a spouse pursue alimony as needed. Alimony may be temporary, permanent, durational, rehabilitative, or used for up to two years to bridge the gap between being married and being single.Child Custody and Child Support
It may be possible to reach an agreement with your spouse about a parenting plan and child support. The parenting plan is a document that specifies how the parents should raise and share time with their child after a divorce. It should include information about a time-sharing schedule, education, extracurricular activities, child care, contact with a non-custodial parent, and travel out of state.
Your agreement will need to be presented to the court for approval. The court will evaluate the agreement by looking at the best interests of the child. When the parents cannot come to an agreement that the court accepts, the court will need to issue an order based on the best interests of the child. A Jacksonville family law attorney can explain how this standard may apply in your case.
All parents owe their children financial and emotional support until they reach the age of 18, and sometimes for longer. This obligation and its duration cannot be waived. The amount of child support is generally determined by looking at the amount set forth in the Child Support Guidelines.Paternity
Another common family law issue is paternity. When a mother is married, the law assumes that the child’s father is the mother’s husband. However, if a mother is unmarried when the child is born, paternity needs to be established voluntarily or through a court order. When a mother and a father agree on a child’s father, a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form may be signed. When acknowledgment is not voluntary, by contrast, the mother or the person who believes that he is the father of the child can initiate a judicial proceeding.Retain a Family Law Lawyer in the Jacksonville Area
Family law matters require an understanding of the relevant laws, along with a sensitivity to how important these matters are to family members’ well-being. If you need legal representation from a Jacksonville attorney, you should consult Kevin M. Cobbin. He represents people throughout Duval County and the surrounding areas. Call him at (904) 357-8448 or complete our online form.