Family law matters can become heated and acrimonious, even when couples agree on most aspects of a divorce or other proceeding. It is crucial to retain an experienced and compassionate Volusia County family law lawyer who understands the importance of family law matters to your life and who knows how to develop a strategy to achieve your objectives. Genine Ann Mejia represents clients in a wide range of family law matters, including uncontested divorce, contested divorce, alimony, adoption, child support, child custody, modifications, mediation, and juvenile delinquency.Family Law Overview
In Florida, a divorce is also known as a dissolution of marriage, and it can be obtained when a marriage is irretrievably broken. Either spouse can petition for a dissolution of a marriage, and then the other spouse will need to file an answer replying to the petition. While some spouses agree on most issues, others disagree in many areas. Important issues in a divorce may include how the property should be distributed, who should have custody of the kids, and whether spousal support and child support should be paid. The spouses will also need to submit a written agreement to the court describing their desired arrangement. When the spouses are not able to reach an agreement, there will be a trial on any remaining issues.Simplified Dissolution (Uncontested Divorce)
When certain conditions are met, it may be possible for a couple to achieve a simplified dissolution of marriage with the assistance of a family law attorney in Volusia County. This is available when both spouses agree to this form of dissolution, there are no kids under age 18, there are no adopted kids under age 18, a wife is not pregnant, one of the parties has lived in Florida for the last six months, the parties have agreed on the division of all of their property and obligations, and both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and want to terminate the marriage due to significant differences.Property Distribution
Florida follows the doctrine of equitable distribution. That means that the court will split up the property as it thinks is fair, rather than committing to an even split. The factors that a judge can consider include the contributions to the marriage by each spouse, including the economic condition of each spouse, the length of the marriage, any contributions to the care and education of the kids, the contributions of each spouse to acquiring, enhancing, and producing income, whether it is desirable to keep the marital home as a residence for a dependent child, waste or dissipation of marital assets after the petition is filed, and whether either spouse helped the other spouse in career or educational opportunities. A Volusia County family law attorney can further explain the factors that a judge may consider.Child Custody and Support
One of the most commonly disputed aspects of a divorce involves the role of each parent in the upbringing of their children. While the parents generally receive joint custody under the terms of a parenting plan, this is not always appropriate if a parent has engaged in extreme misconduct, such as physical or sexual abuse. The paramount concern of the court will be the best interests of the child. This involves considering issues related to the physical and emotional needs of the child and each parent’s ability to meet them. In many cases, a court also will award child support to the parent who spends the majority of the time with the child. Florida imposes certain guidelines for child support payments, although sometimes a parent may seek a deviation.Alimony
A spouse can owe another spouse alimony, depending on the court’s consideration of multiple factors, including how long the marriage lasted, the standard of living during the marriage, each spouse’s emotional and physical condition, each party’s financial resources, the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, tax treatment, each party’s obligations with regard to minor children, and each spouse’s earning ability.Seek Guidance from an Experienced Family Law Lawyer in Volusia County
Decisions made about family matters can affect the rest of your life, so it is very important to select an experienced attorney who understands how to develop a strong strategy and will work hard to achieve the best available resolution. At the Law Office of Genine Ann Mejia, our principal is a caring and capable attorney who inspires confidence. We also represent people in Flagler County. Call us at (386) 463-0849 or complete our online form.