JEROME C. WILLIAMS, JR., ESQ.
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One of the areas in family law that comes up quite often, is a dissolution of marriage (divorce).  In a dissolution of marriage, you have two parties, known as the petitioner and respondent.  The petitioner is the party who initiates the divorce process and the respondent, is the party that responds to the petitioner's petition.  Florida is known as a "no-fault" state when it pertains to obtaining a divorce.  Essentially, this means that it doesn't matter whose fault it is (or alleged) as to why one party is filing for divorce.  All that is necessary to file, is that the marriage is "irretrievably broken."  Once that has been established, and either of the two parties have been a resident of Florida for at least six consecutive months prior to filing, you now have subject-matter jurisdiction to file for your divorce. Please note that personal jurisdiction is not necessary to obtain a divorce. 

At the Law office of Jerome C. Williams, Jr., located in St. Petersburg, Florida, we focus primarily in the area of Family Law.  Family law is a very extensive field and as a result, can cover so many different facets. Family law subtopics could involve, but are not limited to the following: DivorcePaternity, Adoption, Establishment of Child supportTime-sharing, Modification of Child support/Time-sharing, Alimony, relocation, etc.  As your St. Petersburg Family Law attorney, I can assist you in most family law matters.  
Paternity law is another aspect of Family law that comes up quite frequently.  Essentially this occurs when one parent of the minor child is trying to establish a time-sharing schedule with the minor child, and/or obtain child support.  You may have an instance where the mother of the minor child may look to collect child support from the father.  As a result, paternity must be established first before any decision is rendered involving the minor child.  More often than not, paternity is established in the hospital when the minor child's father signs what is called an "Affidavit/Acknowledgement of Paternity."  This immediately identifies the putative father as the minor child's father, unless within 60 days he disputes that notion.  You do have instances, where one party will request a DNA test, to confirm whether the minor child is his.  Common issues resolved in paternity cases include, but are not limited to the following: child support, time-sharing, parental responsibility, and any other ancillary issues.  

As your family law attorney, I will make sure that you are apprised of your rights during all stages of your proceedings.  Whether it's a highly contested divorce, paternity matter, or petition to modify your time-sharing schedule, I will be there with you every step of the way.  While we do not practice in all areas of family law, we are more than happy to refer you to competent counsel who may practice in that area.  We offer free consultations (over the phone and in our St. Petersburg office will require a fee).    
Understandably so, child support is often a hot topic when the issue of paternity, or a dissolution of marriage is raised.  Upon the court's finding (absent an agreement that is enforceable by and approved by the court), one party is usually ordered to pay the other party child support. This cannot be waived, as this is a right vested in the child (different to alimony as that is a right vested in the spouse receiving assistance). The two biggest factors by far that determine how much one party will pay in child support, or whether they will pay child support at all, is the parties' respective monthly net income and the number of overnights each party has with their child.  If you do not have at least 73 overnights, or 20%, you will pay a lot more in child support.  A good family law attorney will be cognizant of a trick that many litigants try to pull when filling out their financial affidavit.  They will claim that they do not make any money and as a result, "0" will be placed on their financial affidavit and child support guidelines worksheet.  Please be advised that there are legal arguments that can be raised to dispute this notion. A knowledgeable family law attorney can usually recognize the issue and respond accordingly. 



Because of the financial and emotional aspects involved, the practice of Family law can be quite complex. It is because of this complexity that every one of our lawyers knows very well that each case presented to them is different and that careful, individualized attention is needed to attain a resolution that is favorable to a client. Our attorneys specialize in all matters of Family Law, a practice that handles complex disputes within the family such as divorce, alimony, and child custody. Enforcement, relocation, and distribution of assets are also part of what our lawyers do. Our lawyers are capable and highly dedicated in resolving all disputes with as little collateral damage as possible. The protection of you and your children are our top priority. Our attorneys are excellent in litigation, so should your dispute reach that level of resolution, know that you are covered.  In every case, our focus is to find the fastest and most amicable path to resolution. Our attorneys will provide each and every client the best available steps and options with regards to their current family dispute. Excellent legal advice combined with expert litigation is what you will expect day in and day ou from us.

St. Petersburg, FL Family Law Attorney

Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage

Florida Paternity law

Florida Child Support

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