Family Law FAQ’s
How long does the divorce process take?webadminEvery divorce case takes a different length of time, depending on the unique circumstances. This will likely depend on how many issues are contested and how quickly you and your spouse can come to agreements. The most common factors that affect the length of the process include the ability for you to cooperate with your spouse, honesty about existing assets, openness to negotiations, and willingness to make sacrifices. Stubbornness, evasion, and animosity can hurt the process and cost more time and more money.
How is property divided in a divorce?webadminProperty division can be quite complex and is completed by determining which property is community property and which is separate. The property which each party brought to the marriage will be treated separately than the property which was acquired in the marriage. Florida is an equitable division state, which means that property shall be divided in a manner that is fair, not necessarily equal. Thus, the division of property should ensure that each party receives an amount of the total assets that is enough to create a fair and equitable financial balance.
How can a divorce attorney help?webadminThe importance of a competent, experienced divorce lawyer cannot be overstated. Not only can your attorney guide you through all the necessary steps to the divorce process, but he or she can also provide neutral, rational insight that is crucial in such an emotionally charged situation. Having the right counsel by your side throughout your family law matters can make all the difference to the amount of time and money you spend, and can ensure you reach a favorable resolution.
Should I put together a prenuptial agreement?webadminIt is the personal choice of you and your spouse if you would like to draft a prenuptial agreement, but it can be very beneficial to put down the terms of what will happen to your assets, property, or children should you ever divorce. While a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial for every marriage, typical reasons for a couple deciding to draft one can include:
- A significant difference in age
- A significant difference in financial status
- One or both parties have children from previous marriages and want to ensure they can inherit certain assets
- One or both parties want to protect business partners
How can I enforce child support?webadminIf a noncustodial parent falls behind on child support payments, you do have options for enforcing it, but they must be carried out through the court. The court can use various methods to collect any back child support payments. These methods can include income withholding, wage garnishment, interception of tax refunds, liens or attachments to property. Additionally, a court can take punitive actions if these methods are unsuccessful, which include license suspension, passport denial, and even possible jail time.
How does the court determine child support?webadminIn the same thread as child custody, child support is typically determined to protect the best interests of the child. Judges will weigh a number of factors, namely the ability of one parent to support the child and the financial status of the other. Additional factors that will be considered include any special education needs of the child, the physical or mental health of the child or either parent, and the credentials or ability of the recipient to obtain work.
How does the court determine child custody?webadminThere are many different factors that are taken into consideration when the court makes a decision about the custody of your children, such as living situation, proximity to other family and schools, and income of each parent. First and foremost, a judge will determine a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. This means that unless there are extreme circumstances that warrant a need for the child to be separated from one parent, a judge will typically favor joint custody arrangements. These circumstances can include any history of abuse, drug or alcohol use, and mental or physical health issues. The bottom line is that your children's interests are always protected.
Criminal Law FAQ’s
What should I do if I get arrested?webadminIf you are arrested, you have the right to contact an attorney. The police will attempt to ask you questions and they may require you to make a formal statement, but you are not legally required to do so. You can request the presence of an attorney and if you are denied your right to an attorney, the law enforcement officers are in violation of your rights.
How do I know if I’m being arrested?webadminSometimes police will bring a suspect in for questioning, but not necessarily arrest them. Any time the police make you feel as though you do not have the right to leave their custody, then you are legally under arrest.
If the police have a warrant, can they search my property?webadminTo search through someone’s personal property, the police must have reasonable cause—and they use that reasonable cause or evidence to request a warrant. So, if they do have a search warrant, you must oblige with their request. If, however, they do not have a search warrant, and they request your permission, you do not have to give them permission to search your home, car or even your office.
Am I required to take a field sobriety test if I am pulled over and suspected of a DUI?webadminThere is a difference between a field test and an actual BAC or breathalyzer test. Because field tests are extremely inaccurate at determining whether or not a person is legally drunk, you could request a BAC instead. If you fail a field test, but do not fail the BAC, then they may not have probable cause to arrest you for a DUI.
Is it true that anything I say can be used against me in a court of law?webadminYes, anything you say in the presence of law enforcement can be later used against you in court. That is why you should answer questions as short as possible and contact a criminal defense attorney to assist you with your case.
Do I really need a criminal defense attorney?webadminWhether you are being questioned, arrested or arraigned, you should always hire a criminal defense attorney any time you become the subject of an investigation. An attorney can protect your rights and even prevent a case from ever going to arraignment just be negotiating or getting evidence thrown out. Without an attorney, you could face harsher penalties or be charged with a crime you are not even guilty of committing.