Tampa Family and Marital Law
Work with a discrete and professional Florida law firm
Divorce, alimony, child custody, and support proceedings can be distressing. We listen to your concerns so we can help you achieve your goals. Westchase Law, P.A. works aggressively on your behalf to meet your objectives and to secure the rights that you are entitled to by law.
Westchase Law, P.A. provides clear and supportive legal guidance in highly personal areas of law:
We are dedicated to ensuring our clients receive support in accordance with the most current state laws. But we recognize the emotionally charged nature of any family law issue. We maintain a strong focus on the human side to offer full support for all needs of our clients and present the most amicable solutions possible to achieve the needs of our clients.
Florida Family and Marital Law
Florida divorce law ensures that people who are financially dependent on their spouses can still afford to hire a divorce lawyer. If you cannot afford an attorney, we file a motion asking the judge to compel your spouse to pay your attorney's fees. This request is commonly granted, especially when we demonstrate that your spouse has the greater ability to pay for legal services.
Spousal support payments, or alimony, may be ordered by the court. Factors in determining alimony payments include—
Florida law also describes different categories of alimony:
Westchase Law, P.A. assesses your situation and urges the divorce court judge to order the type and amount of alimony that is appropriate for your needs. Learn more about alimony >>
When establishing child custody in Florida, the court considers the best interests of the child. We advocate for our clients during the pendency of the case and for final judgments to achieve a parenting plan that establishes the roles of each parent in the education of your child, the healthcare of your child, and the overall well-being of your child.
The parenting plan must also propose a time-sharing schedule. Our Tampa child custody attorney works with you, your spouse, and your spouse's counsel to establish an amicable plan. Oftentimes, parties can arrive at a parenting plan that addresses these issues in mediation in an effort to reduce litigation costs.
In 2008, Florida made some changes to child custody law, including renaming visitation to time-sharing. This name change was made as part of the abolishment of the concept of primary versus secondary custodianship of the children. This does not signify a change to the primary concern of the law—the best interests of the children. Our Tampa visitation attorneys work closely with clients to develop a parenting plan that includes a time-sharing schedule that incorporates the needs of our clients while ensuring appropriate parental contact and continuity for the children.
Florida law establishes statutory guidelines. We help our clients to understand the respective obligations of each spouse under Florida law. Florida child support awards are based in part on the net income of the parents. In some cases, income deduction orders can be sought to ensure that payments are made on time and in full. In most cases, these amounts are straightforward and are not subject to challenge. However, our Tampa law firm helps ensure that—
- You receive your payments on time and in full.
- The child's special needs are taken into account when the award is made.
- Expenses not covered by insurance are reimbursed.
When we help you through your divorce proceeding, we assist you in addressing shared or sole parental responsibility, child custody, child support, visitation, alimony, and equitable distribution. Equitable distribution of the marital property is not necessarily equal distribution. Florida divorce courts begin with the assumption that distribution should be equal, but the judge can make adjustments based on many factors, including—
- The contribution to the marriage by each spouse
- The economic circumstances of the parties
- The duration of the marriage
Tampa firm Westchase Law, P.A. represents your interests to ensure that there is equitable distribution of property.
Our firm represents clients in seeking or defending against domestic violence injunctions and other non-domestic injunctions, including the following:
- Repeat violence injunctions: This includes at least two incidents of violence or stalking within a six-month period.
- Dating violence injunctions: Florida law defines this as violence between individuals who have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
The existence of any form of violence injunction can affect the strategy used by either party when seeking a divorce settlement. We carefully review the details of our client situation to pursue the most effective possible strategy when pursuing a settlement.
Even after a divorce is final, the final judgment can be modified under certain circumstances. We assist clients in seeking a change in custody, permission to relocate his or her residence, an increase or decrease in child support or alimony, and in some cases termination of alimony.
To avoid a contentious and potentially expensive courtroom proceeding, we make every effort to negotiate agreement out of court before seeking court approval for changes to the settlement agreement. But if we cannot obtain agreement for our client, we build a strong case showing the substantial change in circumstances required to obtain court approval.
Either the father or mother may initiate a proceeding to establish paternity.
Termination of parental rights
In some cases, a parent can initiate a proceeding to terminate the parental rights of the other parent pending adoption of the child.
Prenuptial and antenuptial agreements
We draft prenuptial agreements that will protect individuals from uncertainty and determine the financial disposition of each party in the unfortunate event of a divorce. Sometimes, couples seek to enter into antenuptial agreements once married. In either event, complete disclosure of financial circumstances is necessary before your spouse can consent to waive his or her interest in your assets.
Get legal support from an understanding Tampa lawyer
In all aspects of your divorce case, Westchase Law, P.A. is your advocate and advisor. For help with family law matters from a Florida attorney, please contact an experienced Tampa divorce lawyer at Westchase Law P.A.today.