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.

Fort Myers Child Support Lawyer can Help you Find Peace and Balance When Children Are Involved in a Divorce

Divorce can be emotionally and mentally taxing all on its own, but that drain can be intensified when children are involved. While a divorce and child support lawyer in Fort Myers can help you a great deal during this time in your life, there are steps you can take on your own to figure out how to keep the situation peaceful for your children and work out the specifics with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.

How To Keep the Peace

If you and your current spouse are not on the best of terms during your divorce, those riled up emotions can easily spill over. No matter how the two of you may feel about each other, you’ve got to keep your kids in mind every step of the way to do what’s best for them. Try to disengage yourself and your emotions and see the divorce as the dissolution of a business rather than a marriage. If you can’t stand to be in the same room with each other or simply need your distance, communicate through text messages or email.

How To Determine Child Support

When it comes to financially supporting your kids, a Fort Myers child support lawyer will prove indispensable. Courts and your child support lawyer in Fort Myers will consider the overall needs of your children, their standard of living before the divorce, your income and how much the contributing parent can pay when determining the overall amount of child support that’s to be paid.

How To Plan a Visitation Schedule

As for the visitation schedule, you and the other parent have a few options to consider, including:

● Joint/Sole physical custody
● 50/50 schedules
● 70/30 schedules
● Summer break schedules
● Holiday schedules

Think about the current age of your children, your personal schedule, the other parent’s schedule and how close you live to the other parent when determining what type of schedule works best for everyone.

Contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation with a child support lawyer in Fort Myers at (239) 333-0077. Please also feel free to fill out our online contact form after hours and we will call you directly to schedule.

A Domestic Violence Attorney in Fort Myers Protects Your Rights

According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “in 2016, 105,668 crimes of domestic violence were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies resulting in 63,193 arrests.” Domestic violence is a serious problem in today’s society, but all too often, it’s forgiven, or the victim feels partially responsible. A domestic violence attorney in Fort Myers can help you protect your rights to stay safe and have accurate legal information pertaining to your situation.

Protect Yourself With a Restraining Order

Domestic violence often escalates quickly. A court injunction, or restraining order puts space between you and the assailant. There are criminal consequences if the order is violated. Florida offers four types of restraining orders, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence and repeat violence. Domestic violence restraining orders are for the petitioner and assailant who have a child in common or have lived together. Your Fort Meyers domestic violence attorney can help you fill out the petition for the court and walk you through the process.

Typically, a Florida judge will grant a temporary restraining order on the day it was filed with the court. The final hearing will be scheduled in about 15 days. The respondent, your assailant, must be served with the paperwork and given time to respond to the court. All evidence that is introduced must fall under the guidelines of Florida law. Your attorney can ensure that the evidence you present is admitted in court, increasing the chances of succeeding with your restraining order.

Reduce Your Risks Through a Divorce With an Attorney

Domestic violence should be taken very seriously. If you or your child is a victim of domestic violence, you need an attorney to protect your rights. A domestic violence attorney in Fort Myers can help you understand what steps you can take to ensure your safety. Contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077 or fill out the online contact form.