The Law Office of Mayra Talarico, P.A. Practice Areas
Marital and Family Law
The Law Office of Mayra Talarico can help you with your marital and family law matters. These areas include: Dissolution of Marriage, Alimony, Child Support and Custody/Timesharing, Paternity, and other related issues. Let us make things easier for you and your family as we guide you through each step of the way.
Generally, there are four main parts to a Dissolution of Marriage in Florida: Equitable Distribution of the Marital Assets and Liabilities, Alimony, Timesharing with the minor child(ren), and Child Support — if applicable. Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes governs these areas.
It is important that parties consult with a lawyer regarding all the requirements and time limitations associated with the Dissolution of Marriage Proceeding. A Florida Family Law Attorney can guide you through this process.
Commencing a Dissolution of Marriage action in Florida:
If the parties are in agreement on all of the issues involved in the dissolution, a Simplified or Uncontested Dissolution may be possible.
If there are contested issues, the Dissolution process begins with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, along with other documents being filed with the Clerk of the Court. These documents are then served to the other party. Once served, the other party must file an Answer and if necessary, a Counter-Petition, within 20 days. It is important to note that the Court may be limited in what it can do if the petition is not pled with specificity. Also, the Court will be unable to address the sale of real estate, such as a marital residence, without a partition count being properly pled according to Florida law.
Florida Dissolution of Marriage Residence Requirements:
To obtain a Dissolution of Marriage, one of the parties must have been a resident of Florida for at least six months before filing the petition (some military exceptions apply). However, simply being a resident of Florida for six months does not necessarily mean that a Florida Court will be able to address all of the issues in your Dissolution. If one of the parties does not live in Florida or if they reside in another country, the Florida Court may be limited in its jurisdiction. You should consult with an attorney about where to file for divorce.
In a Dissolution of Marriage Proceeding, the court will divide the parties’ assets and liabilities. The court shall set apart to each spouse that spouse’s nonmarital assets and liabilities, and in distributing the marital assets and liabilities between the parties, the Court must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution based on all relevant factors as listed in Florida Statute 61.075.
In some cases, the Court may grant alimony. Florida has various forms of alimony, such as: Bridge-the-Gap, Rehabilitative, Durational, Permanent in Nature, or any combination of these forms of alimony to one of the parties.
The two main considerations in alimony cases are the need for alimony and the ability to provide alimony. When discussing the issue of alimony, the length of the marriage is also an important factor. In a short-term marriage (less than seven years of marriage), there is a presumption against permanent alimony. In a long-term marriage (17 years or longer), there is a presumption in favor of permanent alimony.
Parenting Course Requirement for Divorces:
The Court requires the parents in all dissolution cases involving minor children to complete a four-hour parenting course. It is in the best interest of the parties to attend the course as early as possible during the divorce process.
Timesharing and Child Custody in a Divorce:
If the parties cannot agree on a timesharing schedule, the Court will determine one in accordance with the best interests of the child. The factors that the Court can consider are defined in Florida Statute 61.13.
It is the public policy of this State to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved. It also encourages the parents to share the rights, responsibilities, and joys of childrearing. There is also no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child when creating or altering a parenting plan for the child(ren).
Child Support in a Dissolution of Marriage with Children:
All parents have a responsibility to support their child(ren) according to their needs and the parties’ financial abilities. This obligation usually ceases once the child(ren) turn 18 years of age and have graduated from high school. In certain cases involving children with special needs, child support may extend beyond this date.
During the initial determination of child support in a divorce case, the court has the discretion to award child support retroactive to the date when the parties did not reside together in the same household with the child(ren). This should not exceed a period of 24 months preceding the filing of the petition.
Florida Dissolution of Marriage Statutes:
You may review the following Florida Statutes if you would like more information on divorce law in Florida:
Florida Statute 61.021 – Residence requirements.
Florida Statute 61.043 – Commencement of a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for alimony and child support; dissolution questionnaire.
Florida Statute 61.052 – Dissolution of marriage.
Florida Statute 61.061– Proceedings against nonresidents.
Florida Statute 61.075 – Equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities.
Florida Statute 61.076 – Distribution of retirement plans upon dissolution of marriage.
Florida Statute 61.077 – Determination of entitlement to setoffs or credits upon sale of marital home.
Florida Statute 61.079 – Premarital agreements.
Florida Statute 61.08 – Alimony.
Florida Statute 61.13 – Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court.
Florida Statute 61.13001 – Parental relocation with a child.
Florida Statute 61.16 – Attorney’s fees, suit money, and costs.
Florida Statute 61.19 – Entry of judgment of dissolution of marriage, delay period.
Florida Statute 61.21 – Parenting course authorized; fees; required attendance authorized; contempt.
Florida Statute 61.29 – Child support guidelines; principles.
Florida Statute 61.30 – Child support guidelines; retroactive child support.
Generally, there are three main areas which are subject to modification. It is important to consult with a Florida Family Law Attorney regarding the following:
Child Support Modification
Child support is based primarily on the parties’ incomes and the overnight stays that each parent has with the children. If either party experiences a loss or gain in income that would change their child support obligation by at least 15% or $50.00 or more, a modification is substantial enough to merit filing a supplemental petition to modify.
Additionally, a substantial change in healthcare or childcare cost may change your child support obligation, which will also require modification of child support. Lastly, a change in the timesharing may also be a basis for a change in child support.
Parenting Plan Modification
As circumstances change, the parenting plans need to change as well.
The child’s best interest is always the court’s primary concern.
If a parenting plan is no longer in a child’s best interest, then it may meet the standard for a modification. If there is a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstance that affects the best interest of the child, then filing a supplemental petition to modify may be justified in order to change the parenting plan.
In order to modify the alimony, you must show a substantial and material change in circumstances. Depending on the type of alimony obligation, alimony may be modified for various statutory reasons.
The alimony obligation may be modified if either the need or the ability to pay by either spouse has significantly diminished or if the spouse receiving alimony is in a supportive relationship.
In Florida, when an unmarried mother gives birth to a child, paternity must be established voluntarily or through a court order. It is important to note that unmarried fathers do not have the same rights as married fathers in regard to their children.
Without a court order or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, Florida fathers will find it difficult to exercise their constitutional right to parent, to be involved in major decisions affecting the minor child, to exercise timesharing, and to overall be involved in the minor’s child’s life.
If there is no voluntary acknowledgment, either the mother or the man who believes he is the father may proceed to court to establish paternity. Under Florida law, any of the following persons or agencies can start the court process:
- The child’s mother
- The man who believes he is the father or who has been identified as the father
- The child through a Legal Representative, Or
- The Florida Department of Child Support Services
In commencing a properly filed Paternity action, the Court has jurisdiction to determine Paternity and order child support, health insurance for the child, timesharing, decision-making authority over the child, and payment of either party’s attorney’s fees and court costs.
If the judge does not make orders for parenting time or decision-making for the child, Florida law assumes that the mother has all of the parenting time and sole decision-making authority. A Florida Family Lawyer can help guide you through this process so that the best interests of the child are determined.
More information on Florida’s paternity law can be found under Florida Statute 742.
Domestic Violence Injunctions
Victims of Domestic Violence have the right to file a petition asking the Court to issue an injunction. This court order prevents aggressors from approaching the victim’s home, vehicle, place of business, and other areas that the court may find significant. As a Victim’s Attorney, Mayra Talarico can help represent you throughout this process.
Our practice can also defend you from a Domestic Violence allegation. With Attorney Mayra Talarico’s experience as a former prosecutor, you will benefit from zealous advocacy and a thorough evaluation of the evidence against you.
Domestic Violence Injunctions/Restraining orders
Domestic Violence is a serious problem. If your spouse or domestic partner has engaged in violence or you have a reasonable fear of domestic violence, that fact must be brought to your lawyer’s attention. According to Florida Statute Section 741.28(2), “domestic violence” means "any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member."
Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 741.30, a party has the ability to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence if he or she is a victim of domestic violence as described herein or has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence. This means that if you have been a victim of domestic violence, or if you have the reasonable fear that you are in imminent danger of becoming a victim at the hands of a family or household member, you may file a petition for an injunction for protection.
What is an injunction?
As a victim of Domestic Violence, you have the right to file a petition to ask the court to issue an injunction to protect you against violence. The injunction process is civil in nature but should not be underestimated. An injunction is a court order against another person who has been physically violent with you and/or has placed you in fear of physical violence. The injunction will require that the offending party avoid your home, your vehicle, your place of business, and different areas the court discovers significant. In addition to physical protection the individual may not contact you by telephone, email, text messages, face to face or even through a third party. The court may also incorporate additional conditions on the individual that the court feels is appropriate, such as 28 week batterer’s intervention program, substance abuse evaluations and treatment, among other programs as the court deems appropriate.
Injunctions for Protection can be issued by the Court for: Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, Repeat Violence and Stalking.
There are very specific elements that must be proven to the Court during the final injunction hearing. This hearing requires evidence and often petitioners who attend these hearings without a lawyer under estimate the rules of evidence. An experienced Domestic Violence Attorney will know how to present your case to the court within the rules of evidence and pursuant to the Florida Statutes. Call Attorney Mayra Talarico today to schedule your Free and Confidential Domestic Violence consultation.
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