The city of St. Cloud sits on the shore of East Lake Tohopekaliga in Central Florida. Whereas its neighbors, Orlando and Kissimmee, are known for their theme parks, St. Cloud has worked hard to cultivate an image of quiet, small-town life.
When domestic and family life gets complicated, however, residents of St. Cloud need to know where to turn for sound legal guidance. Family law is legally and emotionally complex. Most people who find themselves involved in one issue, like child custody, inevitably have to contend with something else like child support.
No two domestic cases are alike, but every client matters to Orlando Family Team. Regardless of what issues you are facing, or whether they are contentious or amicable, we will treat your case with the dedication it deserves. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.
Family Law Issues In St. Cloud, Florida
Parents, whether they are married or not, will need to resolve issues of child custody and child support if they have minor children together. Custody tends to be hotly disputed because the parents now must raise their children in two separate households. They have different parenting methods, habits, and goals for their children, and that often lands them both in court.
A judge will have to determine what is in the child’s best interests. This approach will affect how time with the child is split between the parents, what sorts of activities the child is involved with, the child’s schooling, and so much more. If you have concerns about the other party’s parenting habits, and whether he or she is fit to raise your child, bring them to the attention of your lawyer.
Even when the parents can agree with each other, a judge can always set aside that agreement and rule differently if he or she believes it is necessary for the child’s best interests. However, if the two parents can come to an agreement, it can save significant time and money. Working with your attorney, you and the opposing party can work out terms such as overnight custody, vacation and holiday time, and more.
While child custody is determined by considering the child’s best interests, child support is calculated according to Florida’s child support guidelines. Numerous factors such as the parents’ respective incomes and costs for the child’s health insurance are included in that calculation. A parent cannot escape his or her obligation to provide for their child by simply not working or by deliberately depressing their income. On the other hand, parents who pay child support are often concerned that the other parent is misrepresenting their income or the child’s needs and expenses. Whichever side of the ledger you find yourself on, Orlando Family Team can help.
Married and unmarried parents have to deal with child custody and child support. But there are several family law issues that are unique to married couples in Florida. Chief among them are equitable distribution and alimony.
Equitable distribution. This is the process by which married couples divide their marital property and debt during divorce. With some exceptions, property and debt acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered “marital.” But in Florida, the division is not necessarily 50/50 between spouses. That’s where the “equitable” portion of equitable distribution comes in.
Equitable simply means fair. The court will evaluate numerous factors, such as the respective economic conditions of the parties, in deciding who should get the marital home, credit card debts, retirement benefits, and more. Separate property (such as that acquired prior to the marriage) is generally excluded from this process.
At Orlando Family Team, we are well-versed in Florida’s equitable distribution laws. Not only do we understand the factors the courts will use, we recognize when property is marital (or not). That can be a significant issue if the other spouse is trying to claim a portion of your assets that are actually separate.
Alimony. Spouses who gave up their jobs during marriage to support the household will find it difficult to be out on their own. Alimony, or spousal support, exists in part to help these spouses become financially self-supporting. The court considers several factors in determining a fair amount of alimony, including both spouses’ relative incomes and reasonable expenses. Whether you are the spouse in need of alimony, or the one from whom alimony is being demanded, we will work to ensure the process is fair and that your interests are represented in court.
Contested and Uncontested Divorce in St. Cloud, Florida
Contested divorces are those in which the spouses cannot agree to one or more issues, like alimony, and must have a judge make a decision. But the divorce may be uncontested. If the two parties are largely agreeable with each other, they can resolve most issues by way of a separation agreement.
Working with your attorney, you and the opposing party can agree to matters like child custody and equitable distribution, and reduce them to a written separation agreement. This allows the spouses, rather than a judge, to decide how to handle issues arising out of their marriage. It also saves time, money, and stress. You should have a skilled Florida family law attorney draft your agreement to make sure it is comprehensive and meets all legal requirements. Orlando Family Team is experienced with all aspects of separation agreements.
Other Issues We Handle In St. Cloud, Florida
Orlando Family Team also helps clients with the following:
- Father’s rights
- Agreement modifications
- Contempt of court
- High net worth divorces
- Paternity issues
- Domestic violence
- Name changes
- Stepparent adoption
Contact Our St. Cloud Family Law Attorney
Divorce and family law matters are some of the most difficult issues you will face. Orlando Family Team brings experience, compassion, and aggressive legal advocacy to the table. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.