Family

Family

Our Senior attorney was a key force in drafting the legislation that we use today in family law cases.  He was pivotal to “time-sharing” between parents with children, as opposed to custody of the child given to one parent.

Our Senior attorney understands what works and what does not, both in real life and in the courtroom. He also understands the reasoning behind why the law is in place and the need that it fills.  This is important because we are truly fighting for the client’s best interest.

Due to his vast experience our senior attorney makes sure that clients understand their responsibility for the events that caused the client to come in, encourages client to seek counseling if needed, and “holds their hand” throughout the process.  Most of the clients leave the experience as a better, more responsible person, using better judgment in the future.

Our lawyers and quality staff are focused on the client’s needs, and our lawyers are NOT pressured by trying to meet case volume or transactional quotas.   We take the time to get the facts and understand the client’s case.   This is important for case theory and we are able to design unique strategies for approaching the case.

Pre Marital Agreements in Florida:
What You Need to Know to Protect Your Marriage.

Florida like all states has Statutes that govern the dissolution of marriages (commonly referred to as divorces). Most people who get married have little if any understanding of how the provisions of these statutes will affect their lives if their marriage ends in a divorce.

Additionally, the provisions in these statutes are subject to change from time to time and the law that will govern a divorce will be the law in effect at the time the action for divorce is filed.  Although no one enters into a marriage thinking about it ending in a divorce, today the statistics indicate that around half of all marriages will end in divorce.

When the parties to a marriage enter into an agreement to cover the understandings they have on how they will handle the various issues during the marriage and after the marriage in the event of death or divorce, the courts of this state will follow its terms if the parties have complied with a few reasonable requirements.

Therefore, more and more thoughtful couples are sitting down and drafting how they want their marital relationship to handle the sticky issues both during coverture and afterwards.

Unfortunately, most couples view a pre marital agreement (formerly called a pre nuptial agreement) as a indication that one of them is not fully committed to the marital relationship. As a result it has gotten a bad reputation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A healthy agreement includes an open discussion between the parties to the coming marriage of important issues, like children, in laws, chores, geographic issues, and financial matters, along with commitments to time alone with each other. By dealing with these kinds of issues before the “I Do’s” has led to fewer breakups.

In addition to covering the important issues that arise in most marital relationship, the pre marital agreement should cover the way the couple want to have the issues of support, property, and children, if any, in the event that the marriage ends either by divorce or death.

Anyone can draft a pre marital agreement however it is helpful if the advise of an experienced attorney is sought so that the reasonable requirements are met that will increase the likelihood of a court abiding by the terms and conditions you have agreed to. Further, this advise should insure that each party is fully familiar with how the various terms will effect them in the future. Unfortunately, as there could be a potential conflict between the parties to the marriage, it is required that each seek separate legal advise.

Our attorneys at SalfiLaw, P.A. have handled many cases involving pre marital agreements and have a good understanding on what it takes to advise a party entering a marriage on the various issues that need to be considered before executing any agreement.  We have written and published in the Florida Bar Journal an article on the ins and outs of Pre Marital Agreements in Florida.  If you believe that our approach can help you enter into this serious long term relationship with a feeling of comfort and control call us (407) 774-2700 or email our team now to set up a no pressure consultation.

TimeSharing 

Parenting time with a child should never be denied as long is a right that is guaranteed by the Parenting Statutes of our state.

Visitation has been replaced with the concept of timesharing in Florida.

Fla. Stat § 61.13(2)(c)(1) – It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.

There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child, or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child. Instead, courts must determine all matters regarding parenting and timesharing of each child in accordance with that child’s best interest.

In determining timesharing, Court looks at statutory factors that include:

  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment
  • The geographic viability of the parenting plan
  • The moral fitness of the parents
  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • The home, school, and community record of the child
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience
  • The demonstrated capacity of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things
  • The demonstrated capacity of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime
  • The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child
  • Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought
  • Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect
  • The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child, which is free from substance abuse

A court can order that a parent has sole parental responsibility, or limited timesharing, including supervised visitation, in the event that the Court finds that contact with a parent would be detrimental to the child.

Evidence that a parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher involving domestic violence creates a rebuttable presumption of detriment to the child.

Whether or not there is a conviction of any offense of domestic violence or child abuse or the existence of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence or child abuse as evidence of detriment to the child.

Relocation

Governed by Fla. Stat. § 61.13001

A “Change of Residence address”, as defined in §61.13001(1)(e), is a relocation that is more than 50 miles away from a child’s principal place of residence at the time of the entry of the last order establishing or modifying the time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing.”

A “Relocation”, as defined in §61.13001(1)(e), is a change in a child’s principal
residence for a period of 60 consecutive days or more.   If the parties are in agreement as to a relocation, they can enter into a written agreement that reflects their consent, defines the time-sharing rights for the non-relocating party, and, if necessary, any transportation arrangements.

If there is no written agreement, the parent seeking relocation shall notify the other parent and every other person entitled to access to, or time-sharing with, the child by serving a Petition to Relocate, which shall be signed under oath and contain specific in-formation regarding the proposed relocation, including a description of the location of the intended new residence (state, city and address, if known), the mailing address and home telephone number of the intended new residence (if known), the date of the intended move or proposed relocation, the specific reasons for the proposed relocation, including proof of any written job offer, if that is one of the reasons, and a proposal for the revised post-relocation schedule of time-sharing, including transportation arrangements.

In addition, the Petition must include, in all capital letters, a statement advising that a Response objecting to the proposed relocation must be filed and served within 20 days after service of the Petition, failing which the relocation will be permitted without further notice or a hearing, unless it is not in the best interests of the child.

The person seeking to relocate is under a continuing duty to provide current and updated required information when it becomes known. §61.13001(3)(c).

If a timely Response objecting to the relocation is not filed, it shall be presumed that the relocation is in the best interest of the child and the relocation shall be allowed.

If a timely Response is filed, the parent or other person may not relocate, and must proceed to a temporary hearing or trial and obtain court permission to relocate §61.13001(3)(e).

Relocating without complying with §61.13001(3) subjects the party in violation to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child and may be taken into account by the court in any initial or post-judgment action seeking a determination or modification of the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule.

The Court may grant a temporary order restraining the relocation of a child or ordering the return of a child, or other appropriate remedial relief, if:

  • The Petition to Relocate does not comply with the statute;
  • The child has been relocated without a written agreement of the parties or without court approval; or
  • From an examination of the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing that there is a likelihood that upon final hearing the court will not approve the relocation of the child.

The court may grant a temporary order permitting the relocation of the child pending final hearing if the court finds:

  • That the Petition to Relocate was properly filed and is otherwise in compliance with subsection (3); and
  • From the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, there is a likelihood that upon final hearing the court will approve the relocation (such findings must be supported by the same factual basis as would be necessary to support the permitting of relocation in a final judgment). §61.1300(6)(b)

In reaching its final decision, the court may not give any weight to a temporary relocation resulting from the issuance of a temporary order authorizing a party to relocate or move a child before final judgment is rendered.
§61.1300(6)(c)

If a temporary relocation is permitted, the court may require the relocating party to provide reasonable security, financial or otherwise, and guarantee that the court-ordered contact with the child will not be interrupted or interfered with by the relocating party.
61.1300(6)(d).

The party seeking to relocate has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. If that burden is met, the burden shifts to the non-relocating party to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed relocation is not in the best interest of the child.
§61.13001(8).

If relocation is permitted, the Court may, in its discretion, order contact with the non-relocating parent, including access, time-sharing, telephone, Internet, webcam, and other arrangements sufficient to ensure that the child has frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with the non-relocating party, if financially affordable and in the best interest of the child. If applicable, the court shall specify how the transportation costs will be allocated and may adjust child support, considering the costs of transportation and the respective net incomes of the parents.
§61.13001(9)(a)-(b).