Clearwater Family-Law & Divorce/Child Custody Attorney serving the Clearwater, FL area
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​One of the greatest blessings in the world, is the birth of a child.  More often than not, both parents are on the same page as to how they will raise their child(ren).  However, what happens in the event that one parent decides that he/she no longer wants the other parent involved?  Furthermore, what happens if both parents were not married at the time the minor child was conceived, or even after birth?  This is where your Clearwater Child Custody attorney can come in handy.  In most instances, if both parents were not married at the time the minor child(ren) were born, it is determined per Florida Statute, that the Mother has 100% Time-sharing and Sole-Parental Responsibility, unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise.  While it is not encouraged, it is the law so be very cognizant of that.  So where does a parent begin?  First, if you are the father, determine if your name is on the minor child's birth certificate.  In just about every instance, the Father had signed a document and notarized in front of two witnesses (Paternity Acknowledgement) which then allows Father's name to be on the minor child's birth certificate.  The Father would then have sixty (60) days to challenge paternity.  If no challenge is asserted during that time-frame, then Paternity is established.  There is one misconception that must be addressed; the notion that the Father's name being on the birth certificate grants the Father rights is not true.  While Paternity has been established by law, in order for a Father to assert his rights (Time-sharing/Parental Responsibility), he must file the appropriate Petition in the appropriate Circuit Court.  Switching topics, what about child support?  Child Support can be established administratively through the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement (however, please note that if child support/paternity has been established via this route, the Father does not have any rights until he asserts them in Circuit Court).  If you are a mother or father seeking legal advice regarding child support, time-sharing/parental responsibility, or would just like to know your legal rights, please feel free to reach out to your local clearwater, fl paternity attorney to see how we can help.  

Clearwater, FL Divorce Lawyers & Family Law Attorneys

Clearwater, FL Child Custody Attorney

Clearwater, FL Divorce Attorney

Divorces can be hard for most people.  In some instances, both parties can go their separate ways, agreeing on all issues present (this is usually the best case scenario).  However, in other instances, both parties can't come to an amicable resolution regarding their divorce, and that's when problems ensue.  Here are the following issues discussed in most dissolution of marriage actions: child supporttime-sharing/parental responsibility (formerly known as child custody), alimony (spousal support), and equitable distribution (division or marital assets and liabilities).  In order to initiate a divorce action, one party must file what we call a "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage."  It can be with or without children and or property.  Once the petition and accompanying documents are filed, the responding party (known as the respondent), has twenty (20) days to respond to the petition.  If no answer if filed within the time frame allotted (for the exception of the 20th day falling on a weekend or court observed holiday), then the responding party can be defaulted.  Please note, that even though a party has been defaulted, case law has determined that if a party does decide to take part in the case at some point, that the default can be set aside, as courts would rather have issues determined based on the merits, as opposed to technicalities.  

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Prenuptial Agreements in Clearwater

Getting married can be an exciting occasion when all of the future spouses’ attention are on the preparations leading to the ceremony and starting a new life together. Future issues concerning property and finances are often overlooked until relationships turn sour or end up in divorce. If you are engaged to be married, entering into a prenuptial or premarital agreement can help protect properties that you own before the marriage and settle matters without need for lengthy and drawn out litigation.

In Florida, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act allows future spouses to enter into an agreement which will take effect upon their marriage. The prenuptial agreement must comply with formal requirements of being in writing and signed by both parties. Parties may enter into terms and conditions on:

- Their respective rights and duties to their property
- The acquisition, disposal, and management or control of properties
- Distribution of properties in the occurrence of specific events
- Spousal support
- Other matters that are not contrary to criminal laws or public policy.