Going through the legal process can be emotional demanding. You not only need an attorney, well versed in the law but also someone who will be supportive and assist you through this stressful time. Jennifer L. Sweeting, PA works side-by-side with each client to ensure individual concerns are addressed and the issues that matter the most to the client are resolved.
Prenuptial/Postnuptial/Cohabitation Agreements: These agreements are written agreements that two people enter into either before or after they marry. The purpose of these contracts is to specify precisely how financial matters, including property and other assets, debts, and support will be managed and allocated in the case of divorce or when a cohabitation relationship dissolves.**Cohabitation agreements are contracts and are therefore binding and enforceable. However, these agreements are not part of a family law case. If a party fails to comply with the terms of such an Agreement, the other party may file a civil lawsuit, in Circuit Civil Court, for breach of contract.
Paternity: Two-thirds of women, by the age of thirty (30) will have had a baby outside of marriage. Some of these children will be born to parents who are in committed relationships, and some will be born to parents who are not. If you are not in a committed relationship with the other parent of your children, or that relationship has ended, a paternity action is necessary to establish the parental rights and obligations you and the other parent have to your children. A paternity action may be initiated by either party to establish each parent’s parental rights, child support obligations, and an appropriate parenting schedule.
** If you believe that you may be a father to someone’s unborn child, and you want to protect your parental rights, then you must register with the Putative Father Registry.
Modifications: Sometimes life’s circumstances change. You may realize that you need to modify the provisions of your parenting plan; child support obligation; or spousal support agreements, as they are no longer working for you. The parent paying spousal or child support has had an increase in income. You have been forced to take a job that pays less money, or you have become unemployed, and you are unable to make your support payments. The needs of your child have changed, and the current parenting plan is inadequate to address the changes. There are almost an unlimited number of circumstances that can change over time that may cause you to seek a modification of your Final Judgment.
Enforcement: Courts retain the ability to enforce their Judgments and Orders for as long as necessary. After a Court has entered a Final Judgment in your case, there is always the possibility that your former spouse or partner will not comply with its terms. Ex-spouses do not always pay alimony; parents don’t always pay their child support. Deeds to transfer title refuse to be signed. Parental responsibility is ignored; Time-sharing is denied. Parenting Plans are not followed. There are infinite reasons for why a Final Judgment may need to be enforced.
Step-Parent Adoption: If you have re-married and your new spouse wants to adopt your child from a previous relationship, it can be accomplished through a step-parent adoption. If both biological parents are living, then the parent who is giving up their parental right must sign Consent to the Adoption. If the child to be adopted is over twelve (12) years of age, the child will also have to sign a Consent form.
Relocation: In October 2006, the Florida legislature enacted a new statute that changed the law in Florida regarding a parent’s ability to relocate with their children. The new statute sets a 50-mile radius as the acceptable range within which you can relocate without consent of the other parent. If you wish to relocate outside that 50-mile radius, you must either get the consent of the other parent, or the approval of the Court.
Jennifer L. Sweeting, PA is here to provide you with the security of an experienced, dedicated attorney, who will assist you in dealing with your current situation quickly and effectively, while ensuring your rights are protected. Call us for a thirty-minute consultation at 850-681-1010.
Will Preparation: Your will is a written legal document that specifies how you want your assets to be distributed after you are gone, and who you would like to handle the administration of your estate. It is the only way parents can designate the preferred guardians of their minor children. It can be used to set-up a trust to protect and manage large sums of money being left to minor children and young adults. It must be filed with the Court upon your death; the court then supervises the distribution of your assets. If you die without a will, the State of Florida determines how your assets get divided, and who your beneficiaries will be. A judge will decide who handles the administration of your estate. Make sure you have a Will in place, so that you are the one making these important decisions.
Living Will: A living will is a legal document which allows a person to let his or her family or designated individuals know of his or her wishes regarding the use of life prolonging medical treatments. It is also be referred to as a health care directive, a physician’s directive or an advance directive. A living will serves to inform your health care providers and your family about your desires for medical treatment in the event you are not able to speak for yourself.
Durable Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney is a legal document which shifts, or ‘delegates’ decision-making authority from one person to another. In a Power Of Attorney document, the maker of the Power of Attorney grants the right to act on the maker’s behalf to an ‘agent. What authority is granted depends on the specific language of the Power of Attorney. A person giving a Power of Attorney may make it very broad or may limit it to certain specific acts.
Healthcare Surrogate: A Health Surrogate is an individual to whom you invest the power or authority to provide informed consent for medical treatment, surgical and/or diagnostic procedures should you be so incapacitated as to consent yourself. You may so designate one or more individuals to have this decision making power. Your Health Surrogate will be empowered to make health care decisions and to provide, withhold, or withdraw consent on your behalf or apply for public benefits to defray the cost of health care and to authorize your admission to or transfer from a health care facility.
We, at the law office of Jennifer L. Sweeting, P.A., can assist you in deciding if you need to write or update a will or trust. You can take care of your Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and the designation of your Healthcare Surrogate at the same time. Give us a call at 850-681-1010 for a thirty-minute consultation.