Read frequently asked questions about the different practice areas below:
Divorce, child custody, parental responsibility, child support, alimony, property division, domestic violence, judgment modification, judgment enforcement, paternity, disestablishment of paternity, name change and adoption, are some of the areas.
A divorce process where all parties are committed to negotiating through the process, rather than having the court determine issues. Each party may have their own attorney, but experts may be jointly hired if both parties agree. Many collaborative divorces involve mental health professionals to assist the parties through the process.
There is agreement that the parties will not take advantage of each other, move assets, cancel insurance policies or place assets at risk. Additionally, the parties agree to communicate in a civil and constructive manner.
Collaborative divorces are generally considered to be less stressful and easier than traditional divorces.
Paternity is the legal process in which a man’s legal ties to his natural and biological child are established. Prior to an establishment of paternity, an unwed mother has exclusive rights over the child, superior to all others.
Time sharing was formerly referred physical custody in Florida Statute. Time sharing refers to who a child actually spends time with on a specified day and time.
Parental responsibility was formerly referred to as legal custody. Parental responsibility has to do with a parent’s ability to make major decisions relating to the child such as religious upbringing, education and medical treatment. Except in limited circumstances, parental responsibility is always shared by both parents.
A legal process where a child is permanently separated from his or her birth parent(s) and relatives and transferred into a new family. All legal ties to the former family are forever severed and the new family is established as the child’s legal parents. The new family is responsible for the care and guidance of the child from that point on, free from any unwanted interference from the former family or family members.
Most stepparent adoptions result from an absent parent. The parent may be absent because he or she is deceased, has abandoned the child or children, or has not maintained a relationship with the child or children.
Sometimes a parent consents to the adoption believing it to be in the child’s best interest. If the other parent has regular contact with the child and will not consent to adoption, Florida law will generally not allow a stepparent adoption to proceed.
The adoption documents are filed in the Circuit Court in the county where the stepparent resides. Once this process if finalized by the Court, the adopted child will receive a new birth certificate, showing the new parent listed on the birth certificate, and also showing the child’s new name.
Insurance companies sell coverages in amounts that limit the amount that can be recovered by one person (the first number) and the maximum that can be recovered in one accident (the second number). For example, if a driver carries liability insurance in the amount of $50,000/100,000, this means that an individual can collect up to $50,000.00 on that policy, but in no event will the insurance company pay more than $100,000.00 per accident.
Basically, it is coverage that you buy for the other person who injures you in an accident, but doesn’t carry enough coverage. It is absolutely unfair that you are buying coverage for the person who is not responsible enough to carry the coverage themselves; but UIM coverage is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COVERAGES that you can carry. Do not waive it! And carry the highest amount that your insurance company allows you to buy.
You probably waived the coverage. Check with your insurance company. It is relatively inexpensive to buy UIM coverage. Buy it!
Another benefit of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage: if you are the victim of a hit and run accident and are injured, uninsured motorist coverage covers you.
Med-pay is an amount of insurance money available to help pay medical bills while your case proceeds to some sort of resolution. You can purchase varying amounts, and you should not waive this form of coverage. It covers medical expenses beyond what is paid under personal injury coverage. It applies whether the injury occurred in your car, another person’s car, or while you were a pedestrian.