Oldsmar Family Lawyer
Although many people associate family law with divorce, the reality is that this area of the law actually encompasses a much wider range of issues, including everything from adoption and child custody matters to pre and postnuptial agreements and property division. For help with your own family law matter, please contact one of the experienced Oldsmar family lawyers at Pawlowski // Mastrilli Law Group today.
In Florida, family law courts divide custody into two categories: time sharing and parental responsibility, with the former referring to the amount of time that each parent actually gets to spend with his or her child and the latter referring to each party’s responsibility for childcare-related decision making. Although courts generally presume that shared parenting and responsibility for decision making is in a child’s best interests, they will ultimately be guided, when drafting a parenting plan, by what would be in a specific child’s best interests. This in turn, requires an assessment of a number of different factors, including the distance between the parents’ homes, the child’s school, home, and community records, the child’s relationship with both parents, and whether the child has any specific physical or mental health needs.
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that couples who have decided to legally end their marriages must divide their assets in an equitable, or fair manner. However, this rule only applies to marital assets, or property acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage with the exception of:
- Gifts; and
- Personal injury awards.
Separate assets, on the other hand, or property that was acquired by either spouse before the marriage took place will remain in the sole possession of the original owner. Fortunately, if a couple can come to an out-of-court agreement on how their assets should be divided, they could avoid leaving the decision up to a judge.
Before a couple’s divorce can be finalized, they will be required to contend with a host of complicated issues, including whether one of the parties will need to pay spousal maintenance to the other. When making these determinations, courts assess a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, both parties’ incomes, whether the couple shares minor children, and both parties’ separate assets. In the event that a court does decide that alimony is appropriate in a specific case, it will then be tasked with determining the amount, form, and duration of payments.
Pre & Post-Nuptial Agreements
In an effort to avoid property division, spousal maintenance, and child custody issues at a later date, many couples decide to enter into premarital agreements before getting married. These agreements allow couples to decide how assets will be disposed of in the event of divorce, determine whether one spouse is guaranteed spousal support if the parties end their relationship, and even how child custody will be shared. However, these agreements will only be considered valid if they comply with certain strict rules, making it especially important for those with questions about drafting a pre or postmarital agreement, to speak with an attorney before proceeding.
Schedule An Initial Case Review With Our Oldsmar Family Lawyers
Call the experienced Oldsmar family lawyers at Pawlowski // Mastrilli Law Group today for help with your own family law matter.