Experienced Family Attorney in Stuart and Port St Lucie
Child support in the state of Florida is determined by child support guidelines that account for the incomes of both parents, and take into consideration health insurance, day care expenses, and the amount of time each parent spends with their children. Although these guidelines are strict, they can be modified if either party’s income or circumstances change significantly in the future.
We help our clients with a wide range of child support issues. Sometimes parent will attempt to hide income to prevent their child support payments from increasing. We have access to a network of forensic accountants and private investigators who will be able to help us obtain the information we need to assist in preparing your case.
Also known as spousal support, alimony can help you adjust to your new life without the financial support of your spouse. Unlike child support calculations where you have to use formulas and abide by strict guidelines, determining the amount of alimony you may receive depends on several factors that including lifestyle maintained during the marriage, length of marriage, age and health conditions, assets and liabilities, annual income and contributions of each party.
There are several kinds of alimony that may benefit your particular situation. Temporary alimony may be granted to maintain the status quo during the pendency of a divorce case. If one spouse need some help getting on his or her feet, the Court may award bridge-the-gap or rehabilitative alimony in order to resume a career or acquire new skills. An award of permanent periodic alimony, which usually lasts until the death of either spouse or the remarriage or cohabitation of the receiving spouse, will usually only be awarded in long term marriages. Lump sum alimony is one large payment usually made as part of the distribution of the marital assets, and may consist of money, the marital home, or other assets. These matters are complicated, and understanding the role that alimony plays in your divorce is very important.
The first thing you need to note is that Florida is known as an equitable distribution state. This means that all property, assets and liabilities acquired during marriage will be divided in an equitable manner. However, this does not necessarily mean that you and your spouse will each receive half of the marital property. When couples are unable to reach a settlement, the court will step in and determine the equitable distribution of marital property and debts, and possibly the unequal distribution of assets or debts based upon a variety of factors.
One of the most challenging aspects of equitable distribution is determining what is marital and what is non-marital property. Some assets brought into or accumulated during marriage, such as real estate property, stock options and bonds, 401ks and family-owned businesses, cannot be equitably divided easily. In certain cases, a spouse may have had hidden assets during the marriage in an attempt to prevent the other spouse from assets that he or she may be entitled to. At the Law Office of Leonard S. Villafranco P.A., we assist clients in getting what they deserve through effective negotiation skills and aggressive representation in court. We understand the factors that the court may look at when determining equitable distribution and we also work with forensic professionals when appropriate to properly value your assets.
After obtaining a final court order in a family action, you have the right to either enforce that order if one party is not doing what they are suppose to do, or you may make modifications if your situation is considered to be a “substantial change of circumstances.” We understand that unexpected issues can arise that make the enforcement and modification of a final court order necessary to provide for your family.
Certain cases of post-judgment enforcement and modification involve the amount of money that one parent and/or spouse has to pay for child and spousal support. Certain reasons such as medical and child care costs, changes in income or disability may also necessitate an adjustment of support. With cases of parental responsibility and time-sharing, one parent may wish to modify a final order when issues regarding relocation, chemical addiction of a parent, age of the child, change in job status or other situations arise with respect to the best interests of the child.
If a parent wishes to relocate with his or her minor child to a new residence 50 miles or more away from the current residence, the relocating parent must enter into a written agreement with the other parent, or obtain the court’s permission. Parental relocation matters are specifically governed by statute.
Although the central idea of marriage is to have a life-long committed relationship, there are many reasons why relationships end in divorce. Carefully drafted prenuptial and post nuptial agreements can be important tools to protect valuable assets and property after divorce and to avoid complications in the future. The division and distribution of real estate, retirement plans, businesses, stocks and debt, among other issues, are addressed in these agreements. Although couples may not want to think about this issue before marriage, doing so and incorporating their intent into a well-crafted prenuptial agreement allows them to avoid potential and often expensive legal battles and complications if divorce does occur.
At the law firm of Leonard S. Villafranco, P.A., we focus on family law, and we understand that each individual situation offers new challenges to obtain positive resolutions to all family conflicts. In order to develop effective legal strategies, we listen carefully and in detail to all of the relevant aspects of each of our client’s family matter. And we tell it like it is – providing honest, straightforward legal advise. We will guide, educate and support you throughout the legal process. We want you to make the right decisions today because they will affect you and your family for years to come.
We handle a wide range of family law and divorce-related issues, including:
- Dissolution of Marriage (Contested and Uncontested)
- Parenting Plans, Child Custody and Time-Sharing (previously known as visitation)
- Child Support (including enforcement, Department of Revenue actions, Income Deduction Orders)
- Spousal Support and Alimony
- Equitable Distribution and Complex Property Division
- Paternity and disestablishment of paternity
- Parental relocation actions
- Prenuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements
We are devoted to finding beneficial resolutions to complicated area of divorce and family law. Throughout the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach legal communities, we are strong advocates inside and outside the courtroom. Whether persuasive negotiation or aggressive litigation is required to resolve your case, we will protect your interests.