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.

Avoid a Stressful Battle With the Right Child Custody Attorney in Fort Myers

It is obvious that you want to give your child a secure future. If you’re facing a custody battle, a Fort Myers child custody attorney can help you plan the best approach and avoid these common mistakes made by many parents:

1.Letting Emotions Run the Show

Unfortunately, anger and sadness can make a custody battle more difficult than it has to be. If you are feeling emotional, then show restraint to avoid conflict and make the experience as easy as possible for everyone involved.

2.Failing to Communicate

You might not be on good terms with the mother or father of your child. However, communicating effectively with them is essential to get the results you want. A Fort Myers child custody attorney can help you plan what to say to get your desired results.

3.Communicating Too Much

Similarly, a stressful situation can cause you to turn to social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts can be used against you in court. Refrain from posting anything that can damage your reputation or avoid these platforms altogether.

4.Disobeying Court Orders

A judge may issue a temporary order at the beginning of a divorce. You should follow the order no matter your personal opinion about it. Common examples of disobeying are not returning a child to a parent on time or traveling to another state with your child without permission.

5.Stooping to Your Spouse’s Level

You cannot control another person’s behavior. If your former spouse is acting revengeful, don’t use that as an excuse to act poorly. Maintaining civility is the best approach for a good outcome to your case.

A custody battle can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to set an example for your child and formulate a good strategy for your situation. A Fort Myers child custody attorney can guide you through every step. 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.

Avoid Conflict in Your Divorce With a Fort Myers Divorce Attorney

The majority of partners who get divorced want to do so in an amicable way. If tensions are high, a divorce attorney in Fort Myers can help you through the process. Begin by following these tips:

1.Limit Conversations

Sometimes it’s best to not communicate with your spouse, especially if you or your partner are angry or suffering. Make a point to not meet for a casual chat, since these meetings can quickly escalate. Reduce communications to the bare necessities.

2.Use Written Communication

During a divorce proceeding, the words you say can be used against you in court. Protect yourself by ensuring that there is a record of your interactions whenever possible if you find that you cannot avoid interaction. Texts and emails can be valuable in court and also serve as an opportunity to think through your thoughts and phrase them in an appropriate way.

3.Consult With Your Attorney

A divorce attorney in Fort Myers can give you advice and act as a liaison with your spouse. He or she can communicate unpleasant information such as the need to pay a bill or fulfill an important responsibility. A message from an attorney can be phrased in a professional way and make an urgent impression.

4.See a Counselor

A divorce can be a stressful event, especially if there are children involved. A professional counselor can help you understand your emotions and deal with them effectively. Going to therapy can also help you bring your best foot forward during a trial or mediation.

5.Learn to Compromise

A divorce is not the time to act revengeful or act out your anger. Some battles are not worth pursuing. If your spouse is acting out, take the high road and step back.

A quality divorce attorney in Fort Myers is waiting to help your divorce go smoothly. Contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077. There’s also an online contact form for after hours convenience.