Florida Family Law Attorney
Florida Family Law is much more than just getting people divorced. Steven D. Miller, P.A. is a Florida family law attorney who represents clients with a wide range of legal needs. These include preparation for marriage, divorce, and legal issues that arise after a divorce is complete.
Florida Pre-Nuptial Agreements
With divorce rates in Florida and the rest of the country at an all-time high, many people prepare for marriage with a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement has a specific purpose – how to deal with property and spousal support issues in the event that the marriage does not work out. How will you protect the property that each spouse brings to the marriage? It might seem crazy for couples to speak with a Florida family law attorney before they’re even married, but it’s a safety net that every couple should consider. For instance, if you have a savings account that you worked hard for and want to “protect” it as your own in the event of a divorce, a prenuptial will do the trick. Do you combine income or keep it separate? How do you intend to pay bills? What about the condo you owned before marriage? A pre-nuptial agreement can address all those issues and more.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract regarding financial issues. When negotiating a contract about finances, both parties are entitled to the other’s financial information. How much disclosure required is an interesting question. Unlike the divorce process, where each party is obligated to make full and fair disclosure, such is not the case when preparing a pre-nuptial. Instead, each party must disclose enough information so that the other party has a general understanding of your current financial situation. The other party then decides whether they choose to make further inquiry or agree. Don’t sign anything unless you are satisfied with the disclosure made by your fiancé. You should also have a Florida family law lawyer review every document before you sign anything. Provisions can be made for spousal support upon dissolution and is generally tied to the duration of the marriage (i.e., if we stay married for “X” years you will get “Y” dollars).
Timing of execution of the pre-nuptial is critical. You can’t make an informed decision if you’re “under the gun.” Making financial decisions of any kind when faced with the pressure of a marriage soon before the big day may not be in your best interests. How much time is enough time? The longer, the better. A reasonable amount of time under the circumstances, especially if you are going to involve your family law attorney. Like most major decisions in life, don’t rush into signing a pre-nuptial agreement.
Florida Family Law Attorney
The big day has come and gone and it just isn’t working out. “Time to leave . . . Call Steve.” Look, if you’ve given it your best shot and need to get out, do it. Florida is a no-fault state meaning that you do not need to allege any specific reason, just that the marriage is irretrievably broken and you want to dissolve the marriage. If you meet the jurisdictional requirement of being a Florida resident for at least 6 months, you can get divorced.
If you make the decision to get divorced, you and your spouse must address the following issues: division of property and debt, child support, child custody and spousal support. How you both chose to resolve these issues will determine whether your case is an uncontested or contested dissolution. If you and your spouse resolve all issues and sign the required documents before filing the case, it is a Florida uncontested divorce. If you are not able to resolve all issues prior to filing, you are the contested divorce case.
Regardless of your situation, the issues remain the same but the process changes and will take a longer to conclude your case. How much longer? Depends on the issues, the desire of both sides to get the issues resolved – it takes two to tango – and the lawyers, yes the lawyers. Most Florida family law lawyers charge by the hour. From an income standpoint, the longer the case drags on and the more time the lawyer spends on the case makes the monthly bill increase very fast. It’s easy to sign on the dotted line under the stress of starting the process.
Here’s what I know – A good Florida family law lawyer should be able to tell you, with reasonable certainty, whether a case will settle on the first day, reach mediation or go to trial. Yes, we need a certain amount of information to formulate an opinion. That said, you will have most of the information necessary for me to form and render a reasonable opinion about the resolution of all issues. It’s not rocket science; instead, it’s about understanding the issues and how they get resolved. Yes, sometimes motions, hearings and depositions are necessary but not most of the time. If there are significant property issues, then it takes much more time and money. Some examples would be a business that needs to be appraised or income needing representation because a spouse voluntarily did not work. However, most people don’t have those issues and simply want to get their cases settled and move on.
Post Judgment Issues | Florida Family Law
Divorce is final and life has been moving along without incident. Suddenly, child support or alimony is paid unpredictably. Your spouse misses a couple weekends of visitation and fails to send payments for your child’s activities or medical expenses. What now? Depending on the “violation” you may need to file a motion to enforce the agreement or seek an order of contempt against your ex. Under certain circumstances, waiting too long to enforce a legal right – “laches” – may act as defense to your motion. If you think an agreement has been violated, call us for a free consultation. We would need to see the agreement or final judgment and then we can talk about the facts and let you know your options. Regardless of the issue, we only charge a flat fee.
Understand Your Divorce | Steven D. Miller, P.A.
Here’s the bottom line about Florida family law and the lawyers that practice in this area. You’re entitled to understand the issues and how to get them resolved and your questions should get answered. A good lawyer, family law or otherwise, should tell you what you need to know and NOT what you want to hear. Usually, these are two very different things and, most importantly, you should be charged a fair fee. Steven D. Miller, P.A. is a Florida family law lawyer that represents clients throughout Florida always for a flat fee. We take advantage of all rules of court to keep the costs and fees to our clients at a minimum. Our goal is simple – get you in and out of the Florida divorce or other family law process as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Family Law Courts in Florida | Circuit Courts
There are 20 circuit courts in the state of Florida. Steven Miller will lead you through the process of determining what court you need to file in for your family law issues.
Includes Walton, Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties
Includes Liberty, Jefferson, Leon, Franklin, Gadsden and Wakulla Counties
Includes Dixie, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Hamilton, Lafayette and Columbia Counties
Includes Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties
Includes Marion, Hernando, Citrus, and Sumter Counties
Includes Pinellas and Pasco Counties
Includes St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Volusia Counties
Includes Bradford, Union, Levy, Gilchrist, Alachua and Baker Counties
Includes Osceola and Orange Counties
Includes Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties
Includes Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties
Includes Gulf, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, and Washington Counties
Palm Beach County
Includes Seminole and Brevard Counties
Includes Okeechobee, Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie Counties
Includes Glades, Hendry, Collier, Charlotte and Lee Counties