“Attorney Wilda Pomales was very helpful and informative when I called for my consultation. Most people think all family law lawyers will charge just for an initial phone call but that is not always the case. She answered all my questions and helped ease any anxiety I had towards my child custody case. I definitely recommend Attorney Pomales. Thank you!”
Family Law is a broad practice that encompasses many different areas. Although we focus on our Collaborative Divorce practice and encourage separating families to consider handling their needs through that method, we also cover almost any other area of Family Law that you might need. Ofrecemos todo los servicios legales de familia en Inglés y Español.
Child Custody & Parenting Plans
Child custody is known in Florida as “primary residential responsibility.” Primary residential responsibility can be given exclusively to one spouse, or you can share residential responsibility. In certain circumstances, the parties may agree or the court may order joint physical custody where the children spend time living with both parents on a regular basis. Usually, spouses share responsibility for important decisions affecting their children, such as choosing schools and medical treatment. If you are unable to agree on custody, the court will award it based on considerations such as parental fitness, the preferences of the children, and their age and sex.
You and your spouse are both responsible for the support of your children. Florida law mandates the amount of child support that must be paid, based on the net income of both parties. If you cannot agree on child support, the court will apportion the responsibility under the statutes based on custody, your incomes, financial resources and other obligations.
In some cases, you and your spouse may go back to the court in later years to ask the judge to increase or reduce child support or to change your child custody plan. However, to do so you must be able to show that there has been a change in financial resources or needs and that a new arrangement is in the best interest of the children.
If paternity is in question, we can also help.
Adoption establishes a legal parent-child relationship between the adoptee and the adoptive parents that is identical to a biological parent-child relationship in the eyes of the law. Florida law authorizes adoptions for all persons, minors and adults.
Four types of adoptions exist in Florida:
- The Entity Adoption (an agency or intermediary facilitated adoption)
- The Step-Parent Adoption
- The Close Relative Adoption
- The Adult Adoption
Florida’s current adoption law balances the interests of all parties – the biological parents, the adoptee, and the adoptive parents. However, the biological parent’s rights are primary until that parent voluntarily surrenders their rights or fails to act to protect their rights under Florida Law. For example, although there are exceptions, an unmarried biological father must register his paternity with Florida’s Putative Father Registry or the court will not require his consent before proceeding to complete an adoption plan. In a case where the child has been removed from their parents, a court must hear proof that the parent has abused, abandoned or neglected the child.
While these are not the only matters that fall under the broad scope of family law, they are the ones that we receive the most questions about. It’s impossible to provide explanations that will cover every individual case and when it comes to your family, you deserve a unique examination of your situation.
For more information on this, please contact our office at (352) 394-7408.