The Benefits of a Fort Myers Family Lawyer-Drafted Parenting Plan

When you and your spouse decide to part ways, you have several considerations to make, one of which is, “Should we draft a parenting plan?” If you and your partner are on good terms, you may assume you don’t need one, as neither of you anticipate the other making co-parenting difficult. Unfortunately, however, things can change, and you and your child’s other parent may not always see eye-to-eye. A professional parenting plan, drafted with the help of an experienced Fort Myers family lawyer, can help mitigate issues and ensure a more peaceful arrangement.

The Benefits of a Parenting Plan

Any reputable family lawyer in Fort Myers will tell you that a parenting plan is essential in any divorce case involving children. From helping you navigate everyday life post-divorce to offering guidance when the unexpected arises, parenting plans come with many benefits. Below are just a few:

· Your child’s best interests always come first.

· You can focus on parenting rather than on what comes next.

· You can ensure your child gets equal love, support and affection from both parents.

· You and your former spouse can remain a team despite being separated.

· You can minimize conflicts thanks to the guidelines and expectations outlined in the plan.

However, to ensure maximum effectiveness with your plan, retain the help of an experienced Fort Myers family lawyer.

Why Work With a Family Lawyer

Some divorcing parties assume that because they agree on everything that they don’t need the help of a Fort Myers family lawyer. This often proves to be a costly misconception.

An experienced family lawyer can help ensure that the language is clear and fair to both parents. He or she can also ensure that it leaves no room for interpretation for those instances when you and your child’s other parent are not getting along. A family lawyer can also help account for the “what-ifs,” such as, “What if the other parent is out of town,” or “What if the other parent gets a job across country.” Finally, a Fort Myers family lawyer can ensure you don’t forget the important details, such as those involving holiday arrangements, transportation, financial obligations and vacations.

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 and we will call you directly.

How a Fort Myers Domestic Violence Attorney Can Keep You Safe and Protect Your Rights

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you may feel trapped in your current situation and afraid of what the future might hold. You also may fear that if you try to take steps to leave your current situation, you or your loved ones will be subject to more severe forms of abuse. Whatever the circumstances, and however you may feel, know that a domestic violence attorney in Fort Myers can help you out of your oppressive position and into a better one, all the while ensuring your safety is not at stake.

What a Fort Myers Domestic Violence Attorney Can do for You

You may have considered reaching out for help before, but never to an attorney. Yet, an attorney may be just the professional you need to help guide you out of a bad situation and into a better one. Some ways in which a compassionate domestic violence attorney in Fort Myers can help you include the following:

  • A lawyer can help you get a protective/restraining order that prohibits the abuser from contacting you.
  • A domestic violence attorney in Fort Myers can help you file a domestic violence lawsuit that allows you to recover compensation for your medical expenses and emotional damages.
  • An attorney can help you file for divorce and ensure you get custody of your children.
  • A lawyer will stand by your side and support you in court and when faced with the abusive party.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, know that you are not alone. The right lawyer will serve as a staunch advocate and unwavering support system from the moment you contact them, until the moment you walk away free of your abuser.

Contact a Lawyer Today

Dealing with domestic violence can be challenging both physically and emotionally speaking. For this reason, you should never attempt to do it on your own. 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 convenient online contact form and we will contact you directly.

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.

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.

What to Know – Guidance from a Fort Myers Paternity Attorney

In cases where the father is known and recognizes the child, paternity is often not contentious. However, in other cases, determining paternity can be a lengthy and stressful process. A Fort Myers paternity attorney can help establish paternity and inform you of your paternal rights.

Voluntary Paternity

Signing your name on the child’s birth certificate at the time of birth is called voluntary paternity. However, this is not enough for Father’s to have legal rights for their child. A Court Order granting paternity, parenting responsibilities and other relief is required for Father’s to have legal rights to the child in terms of parenting=time and time-sharing. An experienced Fort Myers Paternity lawyer is essential to help give father’s the rights that they deserve!

Establishing Paternity

The court can step in and establish paternity in cases of dispute. If you know you are the father of the child, it may be a good idea to sign the papers after reviewing them with a Fort Myers Paternity attorney. However, if you have any doubt about the child’s paternity, do not sign the documents. A DNA test may be ordered to determine whether you are the father or not. Using a Fort Myers paternity attorney can ensure you are not financially responsible for a child that is not yours.

Paternal Rights

Once you know you are the father, you may be wondering what your rights are to that child. In some cases, absent fathers have the right to a relationship with the child once paternity is determined.

Paternity Benefits

A mother seeking to establish paternity for her child may benefit more than financially. However, this is not always true. While supporting the child monetarily is one obligation of the father, the child should have the ability to know who their father is and the father should have the legal right to spend time with their child.

Paternity issues arise in a variety of circumstances. Employ the knowledge of a Fort Myers paternity attorney before making any decisions. Contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077. You can also fill out the online contact form and we will call you directly.