Ocala Family Law Attorney
Safeguarding Your Rights in Divorce
At Anne E. Raduns, PA, we practice exclusively in the field of family law. We don't handle bankruptcy cases, we don't file personal injury claims and we do not represent clients on criminal charges. Family law is all that our lawyer and paralegals do. When you bring your case to us, you can have confidence in the fact that we have an extensive familiarity and understanding of the Florida Family Statutes, and we know how to get results for our clients. This may be an incredibly stressful, perhaps even overwhelming, experience for you, but you can greatly improve your chances of a favorable outcome by retaining our services from the outset of the process. Follow the links below to learn more about the different aspects of divorce and to find out how we can help you!
The court will not automatically make an award of alimony, also referred to as spousal support, but will decide to do so based on evidence and arguments presented by the parties. It is also possible for the spouses to agree to an arrangement for the payment of alimony through negotiations out of court.
Neither the mother nor the father is given preference in questions of child custody, but instead the matter is decided based on the answer to the question of what is in the best interests of the children. Whenever possible, the courts prefer to provide both parents with the opportunity to spend time with the children.
Both you and your spouse have a legal responsibility to provide for the care of your children in the time following your divorce, but neither one of you want to be saddled with an unfair share of the economic burden. The outcome of the question of child support can have an enormous impact on your future financial stability.
When the parties to a divorce are unable to settle their differences through negotiation out of court, it becomes necessary to go before a judge for a trial during which both sides will have to present their arguments and evidence. This is referred to as a contested divorce, and it is often a stressful and costly proceeding.
Marriage is a legal relationship, and before it can be brought to an end you must obtain court approval of a petition for dissolution of marriage. Your divorce cannot be finalized until you have resolved questions of property division, alimony and child custody, whether you do so in court or through negotiation.
Allegations of domestic violence can have an enormous impact on the final outcome of a divorce, and whether you have been accused or if you have been abused, you need a skilled and compassionate attorney on your side.
State law applies the principle of equitable distribution to the question of property division, meaning that assets and debts are to be split up according to determinations of what is fair, even if it is not what is strictly equal.
If you and your spouse are determined to avoid adversarial litigation in a contested divorce, you may benefit from the alternative dispute resolution strategy known as mediation. In mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a neutral third party to negotiate the terms of your divorce settlement.
It is possible in some cases to petition the family law court for a modification to the terms of a divorce decree, provided that there has been a major change in circumstances since the time of the divorce. Modifications commonly address issues such as child support, alimony and child custody.
Rights of Unmarried Parents
If a child is born out of wedlock, only the mother is presumed to have any type of legal rights and responsibilities in regard to the child, unless the father affirms paternity at the time of birth. It is possible, however, to bring a paternity action in order to gain child support or child custody rights.
Parenting Time / Visitation
Whenever possible, the courts prefer to keep both parents in the lives of the children, so even when one parent receives majority timesharing, the other parent will normally be awarded timesharing, such as on alternating weekends, mid-week overnights and certain holidays.
By executing a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse can provide considerable stability to your marriage, since such a document can serve to remove uncertainty about each spouse's economic rights and protections. It can also help you avoid a potentially costly contested divorce in the future.
If you and your spouse can work together to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, you can pursue an uncontested divorce which is both faster and less stressful than a contested divorce. You do not have to agree at the outset, but you must be willing to engage in constructive and respectful negotiations.
What to Expect in Divorce
Divorce may be the most emotionally challenging experience you will ever face, but you can greatly improve your chances of success by taking the time at the beginning of the process to learn the basics and to find out what to expect.
Do you need a divorce lawyer?
You are perfectly entitled to represent yourself in your divorce, and this is referred to as pro se representation. It is not, however, in your best interests to do so. As soon as you set foot into the courtroom, you will be held to the same legal standard as an attorney would, and you will not be able to ask the judge or anyone else for advice about how to proceed. Hiring an Ocala divorce lawyer gives you the advantage of having an experienced advocate on your side to speak on your behalf and to protect your personal interests. It also increases the likelihood that you will be able to negotiate an acceptable out-of-court settlement. Contact us now for an initial case evaluation to discuss your concerns and to learn more about how we can be of assistance.