The term “family law” encompasses a wide array of legal issues from divorce, child custody, visitation, and adoption to premarital agreements, guardianships, annulments, and paternity.
There is no "one-answer-fits-all" approach to resolving family law issues. Every relationship is different. Every set of circumstances is different. What works well for one family may not suit another.
However, the process and options to resolve family law issues are similar for most individuals.
When deliberating your options, part of your decision-making is to reflect on your unique family goals and needs, time, money, and efficiency of the process.
Generally, the process begins with filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Modification, or Paternity. An attorney from The Marin Law Firm, P.A. will listen. We will have a detailed conversation to understand your unique family and find the best path to achieve your goals. We will educate you on the law concerning the division of assets, liabilities, child support, and child custody. We will also discuss the emotional and financial impact on the children and yourself. Together, we will develop a strategy centered on achievable goals.
After a Petition is filed, it is served on the other spouse and they will then have 20 days to respond. The other spouse may simply answer your petition with admittance or denial of each allegation, or they may choose to file a Counter-Petition. If a Counter-Petition is filed then your attorney, on your behalf, will file an Answer. An exchange of Mandatory Disclosure between the parties is required in Florida. An attorney at The Marin Law Firm, will assist you with gathering the bank statements, credit card statements, pay stubs, filed income tax returns, and other required documents. We will also review the documents that are provided by the other spouse.
At The Marin Law Firm, we want you to feel informed about your case, that is the reason why every client has a secured portal where they can view, print, and download all the documents that are part of their case. This means we will be able to review together with your spouse’s important financial information and find any abnormalities in their finances. It is here where some spouses find out the truth of the other spouses’ earnings, debts, and spending. Sometimes, after careful review by both client and attorney, important information is found that can be useful in negotiating a settlement or used at trial as evidence.
An important part of the divorce process is Mediation. In Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Polk County it is required that parties attend mediation before filing a Notice for Trial. Sometimes, we can motion the court to excuse the attendance of mediation. Mediation is a conversation with an impartial party called a “mediator”. The mediator, along with the attorneys, talk directly with the other party. This approach allows you to hear the other person's perspective and find solutions that make sense for your unique family situation. The mediator is not a judge and does not issue an opinion as to the validity of any of the parties’ disputes. What “happens in mediation, stays in mediation”. That means that just because you gave a generous offer at mediation and the other spouse declined the offer, that offer cannot be discussed outside of mediation to third parties or at trial. The goal of mediation is to understand each other's points of view so an agreement that satisfies both of you can be reached. In the event you cannot settle all your differences, it can narrow down the issues left for other processes.
Here at The Marin Law Firm, P.A. we believe that a family law issue can be resolved amicably with fairness and dignity. However, if the other party is unreasonable, unwilling to compromise, unfair, or acting contrary to the best interest of the minor children, we can equally be assertive in securing and achieving your best day in Court.
Contact us at 407-449-7804 to schedule a consultation and evaluation.
We encourage you to visit https://www.flcourts.org/Resources-Services/Alternative-Dispute-Resolution/Mediation-in-Florida for more answers to your questions in regards to mediation.