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.

The Emotional Impact of Divorce on Children – Fort Myers Divorce Attorney

The decision to divorce is never an easy one to make, but when you have children, it becomes even less so. How will your children react to the news? What long-term effects will it have on their emotional well-being? Are you making the right decision? A Fort Myers divorce attorney is prepared to help you address these common concerns and navigate whatever comes next.

The First Year Is the Hardest

Your divorce attorney in Fort Myers may warn you that the first year after a divorce is the hardest, and rightfully so. During this period, kids are more likely to experience anger, stress, anxiety and disbelief. Young children may struggle to understand why they must transition between two homes, while grade school children may internalize the divorce and assume it is their fault. Teenagers may act out and blame one or both parents for the dissolution of the marriage.

That said, most adolescents bounce back within a year or two. They get used to the changes in routine and accept that their parents are happier apart.

For Some, the Effects of Divorce Are Ongoing

Unfortunately, there are some children for whom the divorce has life-long consequences. Though your Fort Myers divorce attorney can advise you on what to expect, there are certain issues of which you should be aware. For instance, studies show that children of divorce exhibit higher rates of depression and anxiety. Children of divorce also tend to externalize issues and display increased behavioral issues. Many of these issues tend to affect academic performance or lead to increased risk-taking.

Helping Your Children Adjust to Divorce

Fortunately, there are ways you can lessen the emotional impact of divorce for your children. Agree to co-parent peacefully, never involve your children in your disagreements and always show respect for the other parent. It’s equally important to maintain a healthy relationship with each child, use consistent discipline across both households and encourage each child to discuss his or her feelings. Finally, work with a Fort Myers divorce attorney who has experience with divorces involving children, and who can guide you toward an amicable outcome.

Contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077 or fill out the online contact form after hours.

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 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.

Protecting Your Assets and Property During a Divorce – Naples Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is messy and complicated, even when it’s as smooth as possible and both parties want to cooperate. Unfortunately, much of the time, that’s not the case, and you need to know how to protect yourself and your future as you make plans to pursue it on your own. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Naples, you need to understand how Florida’s equitable division law might help you during your divorce negotiations.

Equitable vs. Equal

Florida law does not determine an exact proportional split of marital property during a divorce the way some states do. This means there’s no law stating that the division of assets must be 50/50. Instead, the judge is supposed to weigh the facts of the case and find a fair solution based on a form of equitable or unequal form of equitable distribution. This means you can make the case for your pre-existing assets being completely yours. It also means:

  • The balance of financial and other contributions to the household matters
  • Your presentation of your own contributions matters, and so does your spouse’s
  • The judge may weigh the reasons for the divorce
  • The financial obligations and overhead of both parties matters

What does this mean? It means that a good divorce lawyer in Naples can help you make the case that your assets are largely yours, as long as it fairly acknowledges the contributions your spouse has made in the final division of assets.

Protect Pre-Marital Property One of the key ways to protect your assets is to establish to the court what assets pre-existed your marriage. Those are typically exempt from division unless commingling of assets occurs.  If you are looking for help with your divorce, don’t wait to look for a divorce lawyer in Naples. Contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077 OR fill out the online contact form and we will reach out to you directly.

Hiring a Naples Divorce Attorney

When facing a divorce, you may be thinking that representing yourself will save you time and money. Unless your marriage was short, you have no children or assets, neither of you wants or needs spousal support and you are both committed to ending the union without a legal or financial battle, you will benefit from hiring a Naples Divorce Attorney. It can be a complicated and confusing process rife with emotion. It is nice to have a level-headed defender on your side. The Law Offices of Shawn Seliger are familiar with these types of proceedings. It is often in your best interest to hire legal counsel and here are some reasons why.

• You are not a professional. In court, self-represented individuals are not given special treatment. You don’t want to potentially push the judge’s patience by not knowing the law, what documents you need or how to proceed next. An experienced Naples Divorce Attorney knows how to navigate the maze of litigation.

• You are incapable of staying objective. You are going through an extremely emotional time where you might experience feelings of sadness, rage, depression, betrayal, confusion and resignation all in the same day. These emotions hinder your decision-making skills. A divorce attorney like Shawn Seliger may be able to lend his expertise and objectivity to your case and help you reach your objects.

• A Naples Divorce Attorney may even be able to suggest options that you didn’t even know existed. They can use their past experience with the judge and similar cases to suggest a variety of options to potentially settle your case. A lawyer can help you create a reasonable settlement proposal, evaluate whether or not to settle, develop a counter proposal or steer you toward the decision to fight it out in court.

When facing a divorce, hiring a seasoned professional is a wise decision in most cases. Hiring an attorney may ultimately save you time, money and frustration in the long run. Contact the Law Offices of Shawn Seliger for more information and a free telephone consultation today.