• Child Support

    Child support requires one parent to pay the other—or a third party in custody of the child—money towards providing for the child’s needs.

    About Child Support
    In most cases, Florida establishes child support by using a mathematical calculation called a child support guideline calculation. The calculation involves each parent’s income, information on certain deductions that are allowable from both parents’ incomes, the daycare expense, the health insurance expense, the number of children, and the number of overnights each parent spends with the child or children. That information is taken to reduce gross income to net income. A basic obligation is calculated which is adjusted for a substantial contact discount (when a parent has over 20% of the overnights with the child), and then it is adjusted for the health insurance and daycare expenses. The child support figure that is produced by the child support guideline calculation is usually what the Court imposes as a duty. However, the Court is not required to use this figure in some situations.

    Modification of Child Support
    Once child support has been established by the Court, it remains modifiable, meaning that the Court can adjust the child support amount that is required to be paid. Modifications of child support are usually based on changes to the income of one or both parents, changes to the timesharing schedule, or a child becoming an adult or emancipating. If you are paying or receiving child support and there has been a change in circumstances, it is important for you to seek legal advice quickly. Alterations are usually only applied from the date a modification action is brought forward.

    Substantial Contact Discount
    If you have substantial timesharing, Florida’s child support calculation allows for a reduction in the child support obligation. That means that you may be entitled to pay less child support if you spend over 20% of the overnights with your child or children. The number of overnights each parent is entitled to is an important component of the child support calculation. In some cases, a parent receives substantial contact but does not actually spend the time with the child. In those instances, the discount in child support may be taken away from the parent that is not seeing the child or children.

    Appellate Standards of Review
    Child arrearages form when child support is paid untimely. The parent entitled to the child support has the right to ask the Court to hold the non-paying parent in contempt if payments are delayed. Contempt is a serious offense that can include jail time. The Court and Department of Revenue can also use other remedies to enforce child support. These include suspension of a driver’s license, professional licenses, garnishing tax returns and suspending other forms of licenses. Forest Lake Law understands how to pursue and defend child support collection efforts and has experience in representing fathers and mothers in these proceedings.

    Let us speak with you regarding your situation.

  • Divorce

    In Florida, divorce is often referred to as dissolution of marriage. The two terms are often used interchangeably.

    About Divorce in Florida
    To file for divorce in Florida you typically must establish residency six months prior to the date you file a petition—the papers requesting a divorce¬—with the court. Florida no longer has “fault” grounds for divorce, and is often referred to as a “no fault” state. This means that neither party needs to establish that a bad act has occurred to get a divorce. It also means that proving bad acts, like adultery, abandonment, or domestic violence, generally do not entitle the innocent party to more money in the divorce. Instead, the court will consider if your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which is similar to asking if any amount of counseling could put the relationship back together. If this is the case for you, then you want to understand the different divorce processes that exist in Florida.

    Mediation
    A very large percentage of Central Florida divorces are resolved with a mediated divorce settlement, which is often titled “Mediated Marital Settlement Agreement”. Most courts, such as Orange County, Seminole County, and Osceola County, require that a divorce or other family law case go to mediation before the Judge resolves issues. The system is set up to encourage parties to resolve their own matters, as opposed to having someone who does not know the family resolve their intimate family issues. Forest Lake Law prepares our clients for mediation thoroughly so that they will understand the process, and so that they will have given thought to the difficult decisions that will be presented at mediation. We have extensive experience using private mediators and mediators that are provided through the courthouses’ mediation services.

    Divorce Processes in Florida
    The attorneys at Forest Lake Law recognize that each person’s divorce is as unique as his or her relationship. We have extensive experience resolving marital disputes through uncontested divorce processes, mediations, the collaborative law process, and contested proceedings (where the matter goes to trial and the Judge makes a determination). The selection of which one of these processes is right for you is an important decision that takes into consideration your needs and desires, as well as those of your children; the ability for you and your spouse to work together; the financial issues at stake; the history of abuse or domestic violence; and other important aspects of your family dynamic. We are available for consultations if you would like to discuss the specifics of your family’s difficulties.

    Uncontested Divorce
    An uncontested divorce usually refers to a situation where both parties are in agreement with how they want to resolve their divorce issues. It is all too common for people who are not represented by an attorney to attempt to navigate the uncontested divorce process and unknowingly make detrimental mistakes that leave them with very different results than what they intended to achieve. When Forest Lake Law handles an uncontested divorce, our goal is to ensure that our client is fully informed about the decisions they are making, the consequences of those decisions, and other options that may be available. We then navigate our client through the complex procedural processes of the court system, draft their legal documents, and attend any necessary court appearances. It is important to remember that one attorney is not permitted to represent both you and your spouse, even when you are in agreement on all issues.

    Contested Divorce/Trial
    Unfortunately, some divorce issues are unable to be resolved by the agreement of the parties. In those cases the Judge is asked to make the final decision. Whether it is a hearing or a trial, the courtroom process is very different than what is seen on television. Divorce matters almost never have jurors; instead, the Judge makes the findings and decisions. If your case needs to go to the Judge for a resolution, it is important that you consider retaining an attorney with divorce and family law trial experience to help mitigate your expenses. Forest Lake Law has divorce and other family law trial experience, and we are available to sIn Florida, divorce is often referred to as dissolution of marriage. The two terms are often used interchangeably.

    About Divorce in Florida
    To file for divorce in Florida you typically must establish residency six months prior to the date you file a petition—the papers requesting a divorce¬—with the court. Florida no longer has “fault” grounds for divorce, and is often referred to as a “no fault” state. This means that neither party needs to establish that a bad act has occurred to get a divorce. It also means that proving bad acts, like adultery, abandonment, or domestic violence, generally do not entitle the innocent party to more money in the divorce. Instead, the court will consider if your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which is similar to asking if any amount of counseling could put the relationship back together. If this is the case for you, then you want to understand the different divorce processes that exist in Florida.

    Mediation
    A very large percentage of Central Florida divorces are resolved with a mediated divorce settlement, which is often titled “Mediated Marital Settlement Agreement”. Most courts, such as Orange County, Seminole County, and Osceola County, require that a divorce or other family law case go to mediation before the Judge resolves issues. The system is set up to encourage parties to resolve their own matters, as opposed to having someone who does not know the family resolve their intimate family issues. Forest Lake Law prepares our clients for mediation thoroughly so that they will understand the process, and so that they will have given thought to the difficult decisions that will be presented at mediation. We have extensive experience using private mediators and mediators that are provided through the courthouses’ mediation services.

    Divorce Processes in Florida
    The attorneys at Forest Lake Law recognize that each person’s divorce is as unique as his or her relationship. We have extensive experience resolving marital disputes through uncontested divorce processes, mediations, the collaborative law process, and contested proceedings (where the matter goes to trial and the Judge makes a determination). The selection of which one of these processes is right for you is an important decision that takes into consideration your needs and desires, as well as those of your children; the ability for you and your spouse to work together; the financial issues at stake; the history of abuse or domestic violence; and other important aspects of your family dynamic. We are available for consultations if you would like to discuss the specifics of your family’s difficulties.

    Uncontested Divorce
    An uncontested divorce usually refers to a situation where both parties are in agreement with how they want to resolve their divorce issues. It is all too common for people who are not represented by an attorney to attempt to navigate the uncontested divorce process and unknowingly make detrimental mistakes that leave them with very different results than what they intended to achieve. When Forest Lake Law handles an uncontested divorce, our goal is to ensure that our client is fully informed about the decisions they are making, the consequences of those decisions, and other options that may be available. We then navigate our client through the complex procedural processes of the court system, draft their legal documents, and attend any necessary court appearances. It is important to remember that one attorney is not permitted to represent both you and your spouse, even when you are in agreement on all issues.

    Contested Divorce/Trial
    Unfortunately, some divorce issues are unable to be resolved by the agreement of the parties. In those cases the Judge is asked to make the final decision. Whether it is a hearing or a trial, the courtroom process is very different than what is seen on television. Divorce matters almost never have jurors; instead, the Judge makes the findings and decisions. If your case needs to go to the Judge for a resolution, it is important that you consider retaining an attorney with divorce and family law trial experience to help mitigate your expenses. Forest Lake Law has divorce and other family law trial experience, and we are available to sIn Florida, divorce is often referred to as dissolution of marriage. The two terms are often used interchangeably.

    About Divorce in Florida
    To file for divorce in Florida you typically must establish residency six months prior to the date you file a petition—the papers requesting a divorce¬—with the court. Florida no longer has “fault” grounds for divorce, and is often referred to as a “no fault” state. This means that neither party needs to establish that a bad act has occurred to get a divorce. It also means that proving bad acts, like adultery, abandonment, or domestic violence, generally do not entitle the innocent party to more money in the divorce. Instead, the court will consider if your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which is similar to asking if any amount of counseling could put the relationship back together. If this is the case for you, then you want to understand the different divorce processes that exist in Florida.

    Mediation
    A very large percentage of Central Florida divorces are resolved with a mediated divorce settlement, which is often titled “Mediated Marital Settlement Agreement”. Most courts, such as Orange County, Seminole County, and Osceola County, require that a divorce or other family law case go to mediation before the Judge resolves issues. The system is set up to encourage parties to resolve their own matters, as opposed to having someone who does not know the family resolve their intimate family issues. Forest Lake Law prepares our clients for mediation thoroughly so that they will understand the process, and so that they will have given thought to the difficult decisions that will be presented at mediation. We have extensive experience using private mediators and mediators that are provided through the courthouses’ mediation services.

    Divorce Processes in Florida
    The attorneys at Forest Lake Law recognize that each person’s divorce is as unique as his or her relationship. We have extensive experience resolving marital disputes through uncontested divorce processes, mediations, the collaborative law process, and contested proceedings (where the matter goes to trial and the Judge makes a determination). The selection of which one of these processes is right for you is an important decision that takes into consideration your needs and desires, as well as those of your children; the ability for you and your spouse to work together; the financial issues at stake; the history of abuse or domestic violence; and other important aspects of your family dynamic. We are available for consultations if you would like to discuss the specifics of your family’s difficulties.

    Uncontested Divorce
    An uncontested divorce usually refers to a situation where both parties are in agreement with how they want to resolve their divorce issues. It is all too common for people who are not represented by an attorney to attempt to navigate the uncontested divorce process and unknowingly make detrimental mistakes that leave them with very different results than what they intended to achieve. When Forest Lake Law handles an uncontested divorce, our goal is to ensure that our client is fully informed about the decisions they are making, the consequences of those decisions, and other options that may be available. We then navigate our client through the complex procedural processes of the court system, draft their legal documents, and attend any necessary court appearances. It is important to remember that one attorney is not permitted to represent both you and your spouse, even when you are in agreement on all issues.

    Contested Divorce/Trial
    Unfortunately, some divorce issues are unable to be resolved by the agreement of the parties. In those cases the Judge is asked to make the final decision. Whether it is a hearing or a trial, the courtroom process is very different than what is seen on television. Divorce matters almost never have jurors; instead, the Judge makes the findings and decisions. If your case needs to go to the Judge for a resolution, it is important that you consider retaining an attorney with divorce and family law trial experience to help mitigate your expenses. Forest Lake Law has divorce and other family law trial experience, and we are available to speak with you regarding your situation.