What is Family Law
Disputes between family can arise, and the choices you make today will have a lasting effect on your family forever. At De Pury Law we realize that any familiar dispute can lead to increased pressure, feelings, and uneasiness, it is our goal to lessen these stressors and create an efficient and streamlined process.
Areas of Family Law
- Child Custody
- injunctions for Protection
Divorce, otherwise known as the "Dissolution of Marriage" can be a difficult undertaking for anyone. Emotions run high during this process as many factors need to be considered. Are there children involved? When were assets and debts incurred? Is alimony or spousal support necessary? Is there a joint business? What will happen with joint monies and retirement savings? Did infidelity or abuse occur? All of these factors will play into the final divorce agreement. At De Pury Law, we ensure that each marital asset and the above factors are discussed in depth to ensure that our clients receive a fair agreement.
In the majority of divorce cases there is property, assets, and debts that must be divided between the parties. Under Florida law, it may not matter which party incurred a debt or purchased an asset during the course of the marriage, as both will be considered as part of the marital holdings. Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts is the legal term used in the divorce proceedings, where these debts and assets are divided among the parties. In many cases, this process can become easier and faster through the use of mediation instead of within the confines of court. In these cases, the spouses may agree to make their own decisions, rather than having the decisions made for them by a judge.
Divorce vs. Annulment
the difference between a divorce and an annulment is that a divorce terminates a legally valid marriage, while an annulment provide evidence that a marriage was never legal. A marriage may be deemed invalid for one or more of the following reasons bigamy, forced consent, fraud, mental illness, or one participant was underage at the time of the marriage. When a marriage is annulled, the couple may not divide marital property in the same manner as divorce.
Child Custody can be a great point of contention during the dissolution of a marriage or other separation. Florida law offers two forms of child custody, sole custody can be awarded to one parent, or joint custody will be awarded to both parents. Florida law also requires a parenting plan to govern how the parent will maintain legal and physical custody of the child. This includes decisions regarding education, religion, medication, and discipline of the minor. One aspect of the Parenting Plan that must be decided is Timesharing, which determines when the child will be under the care of each parent. Additionally, the amount of timesharing a parent is awarded can directly affect the amount of child support the parent is ordered to pay or to receive.
There are many factors that may affect the outcome of a child custody hearing. Some factors that may negatively affect a parent's motion for custody include:
- Abandonment or desertion
- Drug, alcohol and/or other substance abuse
- Felony conviction or incarceration
- Mental instability
- Physical or mental abuse and/or cruelty
If paternity is not certain, a mother or father can file a petition for paternity, where a judge will rule on whether or not the father is the natural and legal father of his children. A DNA testing may or may not be required in all cases. This order can provide legal status to the father and provide additional support and care for the child. Once the father's paternity has been proven, the mother and father will be viewed equally by the court. The court will then enter an Order called a Parenting Plan to determine the legal and physical custody of the child.
Injunction for Protection
Your safety is paramount, and you have a right to protect yourself against violence. An Injunction for Protection, also known as a Restraining Order, is a court order against another person who has been physically violent with you and/or has placed you in fear of physical violence. The objective is to require him or her to avoid your home, vehicle, place of business, and any other location the court determines. In some cases, this injunction can stop him or her from contacting you in any way including by phone, text, email, or face-to-face.
Injunctions for Protection may be issued by the Court or the following reasons:
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Violence
- Dating Violence
- Repeat Violence
When a petition for an Injunction for Protection occurs there are many factors that need to be proven to finalize the order. Because of this, the Court will issue a temporary Injunction for Protection until a court date can be set and evidence presented. At this time, it is essential to have a lawyer versed in Injunction for Protection law to protect your right to safety.