The first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of family law is often divorce and while this is certainly one of the most common reasons an individual is likely to contact an attorney, it is not the only type of matter in the scope of family law.
Custody matters are often associated with divorce proceedings, but they can and do exist outside of the dissolution of marriage. To go through a custody battle at any point is to experience a heavy emotional toll, and our foremost goal is to protect you and your children from as much drama and heartache as possible.
If you are involved in a high-conflict divorce, it is likely you will need an experienced attorney to aid in your child custody battle. Our team of attorneys bring their compassion and skill to every unique case, strategizing to build a plan to ensure the best outcome for both you and your children. We will never pursue a strategy that does not have your child’s best interests as our number one priority.
The ultimate goal of a child custody court is to determine what is in the child’s best interest and make a custody decision accordingly. One or both parents can be awarded physical and legal custody. Physical custody is who the child lives with, while legal custody is the right to make decisions concerning the child’s welfare, usually involving medical treatment, education, or religious upbringing.
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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.
Please contact us today for more information and a free evaluation.