Get the Guidance You Deserve from a Fort Myers Family Lawyer

Nothing is more important than family. A legal conflict can threaten what you value the most and drain your savings to boot. There are many situations that a Fort Myers family lawyer can assist you with. The following are the most common.

The End of a Marriage

Florida has the honor of the seventh-highest divorce rate in the nation. Over 50,000 couples file for divorce every year and roughly 15% of the state’s residents are officially divorced or separated. Depending on the circumstances, a divorce may involve paying alimony or arranging for the custody of a minor.

A lawyer can help this often-contentious situation go smoothly. He or she can represent individuals vigorously in court or even work to avoid court altogether while fighting for the most favorable outcome. Since the legal system is often confusing to navigate, it is imperative that you consult with a professional as soon as possible if you’re seeking a change in your marriage status.

Real Property in a Divorce

Valuable assets such as homes or property are often the subject of a Fort Myers divorce. A Fort Myers family attorney can handle the paperwork and explain what your legal rights are to a home or a particular property.

The Beginning of a Marriage

A Fort Myers family lawyer can also be heavily involved in the lives of happy couples. However, a Fort Myers family law attorney is only allowed to represent one party (not both parties). A Fort Myers family law lawyer can draft a prenuptial agreement that spells out how property should be divided in the event of a divorce. The conditions of an agreement can vary depending on the preferences of a couple and applicable Florida law. However, it is an important thing to consider before tying the knot.

There are many attorneys in Florida, and they don’t all provide the same quality of service. The Law Offices of Shawn Siegler prides itself on providing excellent legal of representation with constant accessibility. Please contact us today for more information and for a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077. Alternatively, you can also fill out the online contact form.  

Methods To Protect Yourself – Fort Myers Domestic Violence Attorney

Being a victim of domestic violence can be a scary experience. Fortunately, there are recourses you can take to protect yourself from abuse if someone doesn’t want to stop harassing you. A Fort Myers domestic violence attorney can file paperwork on your behalf and advocate for you in court.

Emergency Protection Order

An emergency protection order may be granted by the Court if an individual files a Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence with the Court. An experienced Fort Myers domestic violence lawyer can help guide you through this process. If a temporary injunction or restraining order is granted, during this period, an abuser is not allowed to contact the victim.

Protection Order

It is possible for a Fort Myers domestic violence attorney to provide legal representation in which a protection order can last between thirty days or indefinitely.

Restraining Order

A temporary restraining order is given out by a judge who feels that it is necessary to request that an individual does or doesn’t do something until a final hearing can occur. Once a suspected abuser is informed, then he or she can explain their side of the situation at a hearing. It is very important to have an experienced Fort Myers domestic violence lawyer representing your legal interests so that your rights are protected.

Become More Than a Statistic

Around 35% of women and 29% of men in the United States report experiencing a form of violence such as assault, physical abuse or stalking in their lifetime. Understanding your legal rights is key to keeping you safe and resolving a difficult situation. A Fort Myers domestic violence attorney from the Law Offices of Shawn Seliger has the knowledge and experience to help you today!. Please feel free to contact us today for more information and to receive a free telephone consultation at (239) 333-0077 or fill out the online contact form.

What You Need to Know About Getting Unpaid Child Support

Divorces and separations are stressful situations. These circumstances are made worse when a non-custodial parent doesn’t pay child support. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get what’s owed to you. Plus, if you need help navigating the legal system, you can always turn to a child support lawyer in Fort Myers.

Know the Legal Penalties

In 1984, Congress passed the Child Support Enforcement Act. This legislation requires the non-custodial parent to pay child support. It also lists penalties for the parents who fail to pay. These include the following:

  • Garnishment of wages
  • Freezing bank accounts
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Denial of passport
  • Liens against real estate or vehicles
  • Serving time in jail

Provide Proof

Unpaid child support is referred to as a child support arrearage. To get what is due to you, you must have the right documentation to support your claim. Below is the type of evidence the court needs to see:

  • Receipts of what hasn’t been paid
  • Attempts to collect
  • Non-custodial parent’s knowledge of court-ordered child support
  • Proof of father’s paternity

A child support lawyer in Fort Myers can help you gather the correct documents. Based on the evidence you provide, the judge determines the amount of the payments.

 Child Support Collection Steps

There are steps you can take to collect past due child support payments. A child support lawyer in Fort Myers can guide you through the process. Please contact the Law Offices of Shawn Seliger today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077. You can also fill out the online contact form.

What You Need to Know About Filing – Divorce Attorney in Naples

A divorce can be complicated, especially if child custody, alimony or property divisions come into play. This is why it helps to have a divorce attorney in Naples working on your behalf. Below is an overview of what you can expect when you seek a divorce.

File a Petition

In Florida, a divorce is called dissolution of marriage. The process starts when you file a petition in the Circuit Court where you reside. As the petitioner, your document must explain what you want a judge to do. Additionally, the paperwork must describe your marriage as “irretrievably broken.”

Expect a Response

Your spouse is served the petition. As a respondent, your spouse has 20 days to file an answer to your petition and/or file a counter-petition. You can submit paperwork to respond to your spouse’s counter-petition. A divorce attorney in Naples can assist you with filing these legal documents.

File More Papers

Divorce proceedings often involve filing paperwork related to children and finances. These documents include:

  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit
  • Child support guidelines worksheet
  • Financial affidavit

Undergo Mediation

Many Florida courts mandate that divorcing couples participate in mediation. This allows you to resolve issues with the help of a mediator. However, if you’re a victim of domestic abuse you may be exempt.

Prepare a Parenting Plan

A plan for parenting is either drawn up by the court or the divorcing parties. A divorce attorney in Naples can help with this step. Additionally, Florida requires parenting classes prior to a divorce being finalized. 

Attend Trial

A trial is known as a final hearing. At this stage, a judge reviews the case and addresses issues that weren’t resolved during mediation. After considering the evidence, Florida law and testimony, a judge grants dissolution of the marriage.

A divorce attorney in Naples can guide you through the complex process of obtaining a divorce. Please contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077 or fill out the online contact form.

Fort Myers Family Law Attorney: Can Extended Family Members Take Custody of a Minor Child?

One of the biggest issues in child custody law today is the question of whether extended family members have the right to take custody of minor children when their parents cannot care for them. In Florida, there is a clear statutory provision for extended family members to take custody and care for children within the family structure, and a Fort Myers family law attorney can help you if you need to make this kind of custodial change for a child.

How Temporary Custody for Extended Family Works

The law does not allow for extended family members to sue for permanent custody, but it does allow them to be granted custody until such time as the child’s parents can provide care again. Those circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Illness
  • Incarceration
  • Drug or alcohol dependence
  • Military deployment

To petition the court for custody as an extended relative, you either need the notarized, signed consent of the child’s custodial parents or proof the child is currently living with you and receiving care. You also need to be a blood relative with at least a third-degree relation to the child. Lastly, step-parents cannot take temporary custody if they are currently in a divorce proceeding against the biological parent.

Get Help from a Fort Myers Family Law Attorney

Custodial changes require a petition to the court, whether you are the parent seeking to regain custody after a temporary reallocation or the relative seeking temporary custody. When the time comes to file those petitions, legal help can make sure you have a smooth experience with minimal delays. Please contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077 OR fill out the online contact form.