Common Questions About Family Law

Guidance from Our Jacksonville Family Law Attorney

The family legal system in Florida can be complex to navigate on one's own. This is why the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. wants to inform and guide its clients so that they can achieve a successful resolution to their case. One way that the firm does this is by providing helpful answers to common questions about the family legal system in Jacksonville, Florida.

What is mediation and is it right for me?
Mediation is a favorable option for many spouses who are seeking a divorce or separation. This is an alternative to contested divorce, which is handled in family court. Mediation keeps spouses out of the courtroom and allows them to come to a favorable divorce agreement by way of a short sequence of mediation sessions. Mediation may not be appropriate for everyone, so have an attorney evaluate your case to learn the right choice for you.

What are the advantages of legal separation?
Legal separation does not always end in divorce, but it can. In the state of Florida, the family legal system does not recognize separation as a formal agreement. Therefore, spouses do not have to sort their separation out in court or through a mediator. A couple can simply choose to separate on their own terms without a hearing. Florida is one of only nine states that do not require a formal hearing. The advantages are different for everyone, but the main benefit is that couples will have time to test out living apart, to see if divorce is the best course of action.

How does one determine paternity?
The state of Florida recognizes a few different methods for legal paternity establishment. For one, if the mother is married at the time of the child's birth, her husband will be considered the legal father. Unmarried couples may also sign a form at the hospital at the time of a child's birth to recognize paternity. Another common form of paternity establishment is by way of genetic testing, which can be required through a court or administrative order.

Do I need an attorney for a pre or postnuptial agreement?
You do not require representation before entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, although it is often encouraged. An attorney can guide you through the process so that you agree to a fair and just agreement regarding your assets and the like should a divorce occur.

What is the process for becoming a legal guardian?
The court must appoint a legal guardian for a child. In instances where the current guardian(s) die, a Will can establish legal guardianship. If a Will has not been written, then the court will likely decide another close relative or family friend. In other cases, family members may wish to obtain guardianship of a child if they believe the current guardians are not fit to be parents. In this case, speak with an attorney about petitioning for guardianship.

How are assets divided in a Florida divorce?
Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means that only marital, not separate, property will be fairly divided upon divorce. The complexities of asset division usually come in the form of deciphering what is marital property and what is non-marital property.

Call the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. today!

If you have more questions about the divorce or family legal process, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and contact a Jacksonville divorce and family law attorney at our firm. Our firm has been recognized on a national level for our high ethical standards and legal ability, so you can trust us with your family legal matter.

For a free one-hour consultation, call the Jacksonville divorce attorney today!

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