Family Law

Divorce, Children, & Mediation

Family & Divorce Law

Nothing is as important as your family. If you need an attorney for a family matter, you want to have someone who knows the law, but explains it to you so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family. I have done everything from wonderful adoptions to difficult custody battles. Each client needs to know the law, the process and how it will affect you and your family.

Florida law in dissolution or divorce cases is fairly simple. It’s the application of the law to the facts of a case that gets complex.

Florida law in dissolution or divorce cases is fairly simple. It’s the application of the law to the facts of a case that gets complex.

Divorce Coach

A second pair of eyes and experienced opinion can be helpful in many situations. If you would like a second opinion and guidance during your divorce, we can do that. This is an opportunity for you to confirm that you were on the right track to successfully negotiating the final pieces of your divorce. This is not second-guessing, but rather is a way to brainstorm with options and ideas that may work in addition to what your main counsel is already doing. Divorce is a difficult process, and it may be helpful to have someone who is not directly involved in your case to assist with the whole process, not just the legal piece. The goal is a successful unraveling of ties, in a way that you can effectively co-parent, if you have children, or just not hate each other at the end of the process. We will help you get through the whole divorce and accomplish the goal of coming out on the other side thriving, not just surviving.

Peaceful Divorce

When your hammer, everything looks like a nail. Sometimes, trial lawyers push going to court because it’s what they do. Not every client needs to go to court. In fact, many do not. It’s very scary to know that a judge that you have never met will be making decisions about your children or your finances. Reaching a good settlement is a terrific goal. It saves time, money, effort and the energy of enduring a trial. We approach every divorce as an opportunity to reach a peaceful agreement because that may be exactly what your family needs.

There are several ways to accomplish a peaceful divorce. This may be through a mediation or settlement conference with the parties and counsel. There may be many options and times to negotiate and reach agreements throughout the process, and all of them should be considered. The more agreements the parties can make, the better off the parties are in the long-run. Even if you do need a judge to finalize a few pieces that you cannot agree upon, that is better than trying every issue.
The first question in a divorce with minor children is what is in the children’s best interest? Sometimes parents can disagree on this, but many times, both parents want close to the same things for the children. Working in that area of agreement can spread the seeds of finding common ground that can help your children.

We are committed to helping you find the right solution to your family’s “new normal” after a divorce. It is possible to have this in a fairly peaceful way. It may take some work, but it is possible.


Every case will go to mediation in an attempt to help the parties agree on any matters which they can agree upon, even little things. There are many good mediators in Central Florida, and they are trained to help you agree on as much as possible. This is a fantastic process, because it allows the parties to keep control of their own lives instead of having a Judge do that for you. Mediation is worth the time and effort.

Children’s Issues

If a couple has minor children, a judge will make every decision by first asking one question: “What is in the best interest of the child or the children?” That means that parents should start every issue from that same standpoint. You are only doing what a judge will later do, if both parents cannot come to an agreement.

Once you involve the State of Florida in your child’s life, many decisions are no longer yours alone to make. For instance, neither parent can move and take the children more than a certain distance from the marital home. Relocation is more difficult, and has certain facts that must be shown to a judge. Support is called Child Support because it belongs to the child, not the parents. The law requires a certain amount of support, and that must be paid correctly. Support and timesharing are NOT tied together, and cannot be used interchangeably: that is, one parent cannot refuse to pay support because the other parent is denying timesharing with the child. Likewise, a parent cannot stop timesharing because the other parent is behind in support payments. The two issues are separate, and not dependent upon each other.

Florida law tries to make sure each child gets contact or timesharing with both parents. It is important for parents to focus on the needs and best interest of the children, not on disagreements with the other parent.

Money Issues

Financial matters can include temporary support for a child and/or spouse, child support, alimony and equitable distribution of assets and debts.

In almost every a divorce case, each party files a Financial Affidavit and Mandatory Disclosure. The Financial Affidavit outlines all assets and liabilities, and the Mandatory Disclosure proves that the affidavit is right by showing bank statements, tax returns, credit card statements, deeds, mortgages, etc. Preparing these documents correctly can be a time-consuming process because it requires gathering documents to which a party might not have easy access. The list is extremely detailed, because all of these assets and liabilities (debts) will be split. This is crucial, because it is a blueprint for what the couple has and what must be divided among the two parties. It also provides the basis for the Child Support Guideline which will determine the support amount, according to the statute. Spend the time necessary to get all of this information together, and it will make things go much smoother down the road in the process.

Get someone good on your side right away to help navigate the path.

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