Orlando Family Lawyer
The Orlando family lawyers at the Arwani Law Firm have encountered nearly every possible family law issue, from straightforward divorce where speed and simplicity are the primary objectives to complex and contentious disputes involving significant assets, child custody battles, and domestic violence. With our clients’ circumstances and goals driving our momentum, we work to achieve the best possible outcome in every family law case we handle—no matter how clear-cut or complicated—and we put in the time to do so. When you hire us, you can be confident we understand Florida family law, and we will be devoted to your cause.
Types of Family Law Matters We Handle at the Arwani Law Firm
Our family law practice covers a full range of issues, and we have helped many Orlando area families come out on the other side of divorce with their financial and emotional resources intact, and their family relationships preserved. Our attorneys handle all the following family law matters:
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Collaborative Divorce
- Complex Divorce
- Contested Divorce
- Domestic Violence
- International Family Law
- Military Divorce
- Parental Rights
- Postnuptial Agreements
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Property Division
- Same-Sex Divorce
- Spousal Support
- Uncontested Divorce
There are many ways to go about resolving family law matters. At the Arwani Law Firm we are experienced in mediation, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, litigation, appeals, and modifications. When it comes to child custody and timesharing, we have information based upon the most current studies to help parents understand what they can do to protect children from the stress and difficulty of divorce and creating a new family structure. When you’re embroiled in a family law matter and getting through each day is a challenge, it can be difficult to think about the future. As your legal counsel, we will help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family now, so when all is said and done, you are in the best position to move forward with your life—secure, whole, and happy.
Questions about a troubled marriage, divorce, your children’s best interests, spousal abuse, or any family legal concern? We can help.
Can I? Should I? How do I? Whether you are just starting to think about the possibility of ending your marriage, have already decided to seek a divorce (or your spouse has made that decision), or you want to revisit issues from a prior divorce, such as timesharing, child support, or alimony, you likely have many questions about how to proceed to get what you want, and you’re probably wondering if you should be asking these questions at all. One aspect of family law that’s almost always certain is uncertainty.
Florida Family Law Video FAQs
Am I allowed to represent myself in court in Florida?
Yes you can. It’s always advisable to at least maybe have a consultation with an attorney to figure out exactly what your legal rights are. Alimony, child support are issues that needs to be maybe addressed before going to court. If there is abuse within the household, talk to an attorney. Figure out what your rights are. Your legal right is something that you need to know before going to court.
Are the child custody laws the same for same-sex couples?
Child custody or child time-sharing is based on the best interest of the child. There is one statute, there is the best interest of the child and the factors under Florida law. This is what the judges are going to take into consideration when making determination. The actual orientation of the parent is not one of these factors. There is no difference. What is important and what the court will look at is the best interest of the child and the factors under Florida law.
Are there different laws for same-sex couples going through a divorce?
There are no different laws for the same-sex couple going through a divorce. The only difference is if the parties have, let’s say minor children. Each have to have legal right to the child. That means either be the birth parents or have legal right to the child in adoption.
Can a judge order supervised visitation or no visitation following a same-sex divorce?
For the court or for the judge to make a determination and deprive a parent from contact with their child or order supervised visitation, the judge will go over the best interest and the factors under the best interest. There are 20 factors. To deprive a parent from having contact with their child is extremely difficult. It has to be proven that it is not in the best interest of the child to have any contact with that other parent, or to have supervised. That is very difficult to accomplish. Please to talk to an attorney to figure out if the factors work in your favor.
Can I lose my rights to see my kids because I am a lesbian?
Parenting is a fundamental right. Of course, that is if you are the legal parent of the child. Now, the way to be the legal parent is either you are the birth parent or you are the parent through adoption. Now, the only way that you may lose the right to see your child, if there is abuse, neglect or something of that sort. The judges and courts look into the best interest of the child. That is exactly how they base their decisions on how much time you spend with your child. If there is none of that going on, then nothing should stop you from having time with your child.
How are assets split in a LGBT divorce?
In an LGBT divorce, the assets are split the exact same way as a regular divorce. Whatever you acquired during the marriage or whatever liabilities you incurred during the marriage is gonna be something that are split 50/50. So during an LGBT divorce, your assets and your liabilities are gonna be split 50/50.
How can I increase my chances of getting a larger custody agreement following a same-sex divorce?
If you can’t settle with your spouse at that point and agree on that specific issue, what’s going to happen is you’re going to have to go to court and have the judge make the ultimate decision. The judge will make his or her ultimate decision based on the best interest of the child and the factors under Florida law. There are 20 factors. One of them is the moral fitness of the parent. There are other factors. Please talk to an attorney and figure out exactly how you can have these factors work in your favor.
How do I file for a same-sex divorce?
It’s the exact same way as filing for a regular divorce. You have to file the petition and serve it on your spouse within 20 days. Of course, it has to be filed within the county that you or your spouse have resided within the past six months, and you have to be a resident of Florida.
How does a same-sex divorce work?
Same-sex divorce works exactly like regular divorce. Once the petition is filed, you have 20 days or your opposing party has 20 days to file their answer. Once that is done, your equity, which is your assets and liabilities – have to be split 50-50. Assets and liabilities is whatever you acquired during the marriage. If there are children common to the couple, then what has to be done is figuring out the parenting plan and time-sharing schedule.
How is child custody decided with same-sex couples?
Child custody or child time-sharing under Florida law is decided based on the best interest of the child and the factors under the best interests of the child. There are 20 factors that the court will look into when making a determination on the best interest of the child and how to move forward with the case. Some of these factors include the moral fitness of the parent, the health of the parent. Who was the primary caregiver of the child? Who takes the child to school? Who takes the child to the doctor and helps them with the homework, helps him or her with their homework? Now the most important factor is co-parenting. The fact that a parent is keeping the other parent informed of what’s going on with the child is extremely important to the courts. So do not alienate. Keep the other parent informed. If you have any issues, please speak to an attorney to figure out how to move forward.
How will the court decide who gets the kids in a LGBT divorce?
In an LGBT divorce, it’s no different than getting the children in a regular divorce. However, the only difference is if you are the legal parent of the child, which means either the birth parent or the adoptive parent. Once that is established and you are the legal parents, you have the fundamental right to raise your child. What the judges and the courts look at is the best interest of the children. You will get equal time sharing with your child unless there is abuse or neglect or some kind of issue with the children having time with you.
I want to divorce my same-sex partner. How can a lawyer help me?
Well, it can help you by educating you on what is your legal right and what is not your legal right. For example, if you have a child and you have not adopted that child, and that child is not your child by birth, then maybe you need to discuss that with an attorney to figure out how to get the legal right to your child. Another thing that you can discuss and be educated on is marital assets, alimony, and maybe child support.
If I have custody following a same-sex divorce, will I receive child support?
It depends. Child support is based on Florida statute. There is a formula that we use to figure out child support, and the same formula is used by the court to determine what child support is going to be. Child support is something that a parent cannot waive. Therefore, once you plug in the numbers, what your income is, what the other parent’s income is, and apply those deductions such as daycare, and health insurance, and who makes those payments, then child support would be determined. At that point, you can figure out if you will receive child support or not. Discuss it with your attorney to figure it out.
In my Florida divorce case, will I have to pay for my spouse’s attorney?
It depends. It depends on each fact and each case. If you’re making more money than your spouse, if your spouse is a student, if your spouse is a stay at home parent and you are making way more than they are, and maybe they don’t even have an income, they may be entitled to attorney fees.
Is an LGBT divorce different than regular divorce?
No, it is not. However, the only difference that comes to mind right now is if you have common children with your partner. If there are children to the marriage, then you either have to be the birth parent or the adoptive parent.
Is my same-sex partner entitled to my assets in a divorce?
Yes, your partner will be entitled to your assets or whatever assets was acquired during the marriage, which will be marital property. However, if there is a postnuptial agreement, or a prenuptial agreement that was entered either before or after the marriage, then that would be controlling and that will limit what your partner is going to be entitled to.
My former partner and I both want the children. How can a lawyer help us in a LGBT divorce?
A lawyer can help you in your divorce by helping you reach an agreement. A settlement agreement where you both agree on how to split the time with the children, your time-sharing schedule, duties, how to split maybe the holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving, and so on.
My partner cheated on me. How do I file for a same-sex divorce?
The same way you would file for regular divorce. File for the petition for disillusion of marriage, get your partner served with for them to answer within the 20 day period. Now, the actual fact of cheating usually has no bearing on the divorce itself unless there was some dissipation of assets or that third party has been around the children. That is something you need to discuss with your attorney.
What if the parents in a same-sex divorce cannot agree on a custody arrangement?
If you can’t agree with your spouse at that point on a custody arrangement or a time-sharing or a parenting plan for your children or child, what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna move forward and have to go the trial. Ultimately, the judge is gonna make his or her decision based on the best interests of the child and the factors under the law. Please talk to an attorney and figure out how you can use those factors in your favor.
What if we get back together and want to cancel the divorce?
If you want to cancel your divorce, what you have to do is file a motion to dismiss your divorce. Now, you have to file that motion to dismiss before a judge assigns the final judgment. If the final judgment is signed, and you file your motion, it will not be granted because your divorce at that point is granted.
What is a parenting plan and is one needed in a same-sex divorce?
A parenting plan is a legal document. A parenting plan usually has a time-sharing schedule attached to it. It is very advisable for the time-sharing schedule to be in detail; what time each parent’s going to pick up the child, what time each parent is going to drop off the child, what days each parent is going to have the child, summers, how the summers are going to split up. If it is not detailed, it’s going to be very hard to enforce. Now a parenting plan is usually not signed by the judge but is a part of a final judgment. Yes, for a divorce, any disillusion of marriage, you have to have a parenting plan, but it is extremely important for that parenting plan to be unambiguous and detailed.
What should I do if I am considering separating from my same-sex partner?
What you should do is gather information. Gather your tax returns or your partners tax returns, bank statements, deeds to properties. Figure out exactly what is marital asset, what is non-marital asset. If you have children in common figure out if you are the legal parent to that child. Consult with an attorney and figure out exactly what you need before filing for divorce.
When it comes to gay divorce, what are my options?
Your option when it comes to a gay divorce is exactly the same as regular divorce. You can go to mediation. You can try to settle your differences with your partner. Another thing you can do, if that does not work out is maybe seek legal consultation, talk to an attorney, figure out exactly what your legal rights are. If you have children in common with your partner, figure out if you are the legal parent. Figure out what your marital assets are, what your marital liabilities are. Figure out exactly what you’re looking at if you end up going to trial.
Where do I need to file for my same-sex divorce?
If you’re filing in Florida, you have to be a resident of Florida for a period of six months. The county that you’re filing at is the county that you or your spouse lived in or resided in for that period of time.
Who gets to keep the house in a same-sex divorce?
It’s hard to answer that question, but the simplest way to answer this question is if the house is a premarital asset, then the party who owned the asset will keep the house. If the house is a marital asset and was acquired during the marriage, then that’s something that’s going to have to be discussed with an attorney to figure out exactly who keeps the house.
Who is responsible for our debts in a same-sex divorce?
Any debt that’s acquired during the marriage is a marital debt, which means you and your spouse are going to be responsible for covering that debt. Any debt that was acquired prior to the marriage is going to be a responsibility of that person who acquired that debt.
Who will get custody of our child after a same-sex divorce?
If the parties cannot settle on their time-sharing, custody, or the parenting plan, what’s gonna happen is a judge is gonna make the ultimate decision for the parents. Now, what’s gonna be looked at, what the court is gonna be considering is the best interest of the child and the 20 factors under the law. If you have any questions, please talk to an attorney to figure out what those 20 factors are and how they affect your custody case.
Will I get to keep my house, car, and property after my same-sex divorce in Florida?
Whatever property was acquired during the marriage is marital property, which means it’s going to be split in half between you and your partner. Any property that was acquired prior to the marriage is separate property. However you need to consult with an attorney to figure out if there is an appreciation in the value of the property and how that appreciation is going to be treated.
Will I have to pay for my spouses attorney in a LGBT divorce?
It depends on the facts of each case. Let’s say that you are the main bread winner in your marriage, and your spouse is either a stay-at-home parent or a student, and they have no income. Then, you are likely going to be responsible for paying those attorney fees. However, you need to consult with an attorney to figure out exactly how that’s going to be treated.
Will one parent in a same-sex divorce receive majority time-sharing?
A way that one parent can receive majority time-sharing is through settlement. If that parent is requesting majority time-sharing and the other parent isn’t agreeing to it, then they can settle and get it over with. However, if there is something that a parent is requesting and the other parent is opposing, then they’re going to end up going to court and presenting evidence in front of a judge and convincing the judge that it is in the child’s best interest to spend majority time-sharing with that parent. They have to look at these factors. Please discuss it with an attorney and figure out if these work for you and how to have these factors help you get majority time-sharing with your child.
Will the court favor the birth parent when making a child custody decision with a same-sex couple?
A mother who gives birth to a child, the fact that she is the mother has no bearing on the best interest or is not a factor under Florida law. What is important and what courts look at is the best interest of the child and the 20 factors under the law. If you have any questions, please talk to an attorney to discuss those factors and see how these factors affect you and your custody case.
Are there different types of spousal support in Florida?
Yes, there are different types of spousal support in Florida. There is the permanent alimony. There is bridge the gap alimony. There is the temporary alimony. Now the bridge the gap alimony is the type of alimony that is designed to help a spouse transition from being married to being single. You should talk to an attorney and seek legal representation to understand your rights under Florida law.
Can a dependent spouse be forced to work in Florida?
It is unlikely that court will force anyone to work in Florida. However, if you spouse is voluntary underemployed or unemployed, what the courts are going to do is they’re going to go back and figure out exactly how much he or she could be making, and they will impute that income to them.
Another thing that courts usually do is if that spouse has never worked, they will impute minimum wage to that spouse.
Can a Florida court order alimony payments after divorce or separation?
After separation, yes. After the divorce it depends. If the court reserved jurisdiction on alimony, then yes. She can go back to court and ask the judge to modify. However, if the court, if he requested alimony and the judge or the court declined or refused your request, then you cannot go back, because at that point, the court has lost jurisdiction on that specific issue.
Can a Florida court order payment of support during the marriage?
Yes, of course they can. Temporary alimony or temporary support is a type of support that is awarded during a divorce proceeding before the divorce is finalized and you are still legally married. So yes, Florida can order temporary alimony.
Can a person in Florida request alimony after the divorce is over?
Usually, they cannot. After the divorce is over and after the final judgment has been signed, if the court denies the request for alimony, then the court, at that point, loses jurisdiction. If the court, however, reserves on that specific issue or gives the requesting party some type of alimony, then that party can go back and modify it.
Can I renegotiate the length of time I receive spousal support in Florida?
Yes, you can definitely do that. You and your spouse can renegotiate the terms of your marital settlement agreement at any point. So therefore you can go back and renegotiate the terms of the alimony in terms of duration and amount being paid.
Can men seek spousal support in Florida?
Yes, of course. A husband can always request and ask for a court to award him alimony. If a husband cannot agree with his wife on an alimony payment, he’s gonna still have to go to court and show the judge his need for the alimony and the ability of his wife to make that alimony payment.
Can my ex-spouse terminate my spousal support in Florida?
Yes, of course they can. Entering into a supportive relationship or getting remarried are a grant for terminating or modifying spousal support.
Can spousal support be modified or terminated in Florida?
Yes, definitely. Spousal support can be modified or terminated in its duration and the amount being paid. However, if the final judgment did not grant you spousal support, there is nothing you can do and the court at that point lost jurisdiction. Another thing you need to think about is if you and your spouse agreed in a settlement agreement on spousal support, in that settlement agreement there is a clause of non-modifiable spousal support, then there is no way to go back and modify that spousal support.
Does my ex-husband have to continue to pay spousal support if I am now living with another man?
It depends on the facts of the case. If you are in a relationship, a supportive relationship, your ex can go to court and ask the judge to either modify or terminate the spousal support that he is paying you. Of course, it depends on the facts of your case, at that point, and how long you’ve been living with that man, if you’re living with that man, and if he is actually financially supporting you.
How do I enforce a support order in Florida?
The way to enforce a support order in Florida is by filing a motion for contempt. What you’re going to have to do is file your motion, serve it on your ex-spouse. Your order has to be clear and unambiguous. You will then proceed to a hearing where you will present your evidence in front of a judge and tell the judge why your spouse should be held in contempt for not paying that obligation.
How do I know if I qualify for spousal support?
The process of figuring out if you qualify for spousal support is a bit complex. What needs to be proven to the court is, number one, your need for spousal support. Once that is proven, then you move to the second prong, which is the ability of your spouse to pay you that support.
How does a spouse’s earning capacity affect spousal support in Florida?
The spouse’s incapacity comes into play after proving your need for that alimony. Once that is proven, then you move into the second prong, which is their ability to make that payment. If your spouse is not working, or voluntarily underemployed or unemployed, you have to prove to the judge or to the court what is, exactly how much they could or should be making. At that point, the judge will make a determination on what spousal support is going to be and how to impute income to your spouse.
How does spousal support work in Florida?
Of course you can agree with your spouse on how much spousal support you are entitled to and how long you’re gonna be getting it for. If you can’t agree with your spouse and if you believe you are entitled to spousal support, you’re gonna have to go to court and prove to the judge, number one, your need for that support, and number two, the ability of your spouse to pay that support.
How is spousal support calculated in Florida?
There is no magic formula to calculate spousal support. However if you can’t agree with your spouse on spousal support, what you’re going to have to do is request from the court to issue you or give you that support. What courts look at is your need, number one, and then the ability of the payer spouse to make that payment. Some factors that the court will consider is your age, the age of your spouse, your health, the health of your spouse, the lifestyle you guys enjoyed, and your incomes.
If a spouse remarries, does this terminate his obligation to pay spousal support in Florida?
The fact that an ex-spouse remarried has no bearing on their obligation to pay that support. However, if the receiving spouse is the one who enters into a supportive relationship or remarries, then that gives the other ex-spouse some grounds to go back to court and either terminate or modify his obligation to pay that support.
My ex-husband is now earning more money than he did when we divorced. Can I have my spousal support increased in Florida?
It depends. If at the time that the final judgment was entered, if you were awarded the full amount that you needed, then probably not. However, if at that time you awarded part of what you needed, you can go back and ask the judge to increase your spousal support.
What is spousal support?
Under Florida law, spousal support is alimony. Alimony is based on the requesting party’s need and the paying party’s ability to make that payment. If you think you are eligible for alimony, please talk to an attorney to figure out how that could be handled. There are many types of alimony. Talk to an attorney to figure it out.
When does spousal support get paid in Florida?
Any time. You can, for example, one of the earliest times you can get spousal support is after you file your petition. If your spouse decided not to support you anymore, you can always go back to court, and ask the judge to award you temporary alimony. That is one of the earliest times you can get spousal support in Florida.
Who can tell me how much spousal support I have to pay in Florida or how much I should receive?
If you can’t settle and agree with your spouse on alimony, you’re going to have to go to court and request for a judge to make a determination on alimony. Now, when going to court, you’re going to have to prove the need of the requesting spouse and the ability of the payer spouse to make the alimony payments. There are factors to take into consideration. Talking to an attorney is advisable.
Who gets spousal support in Florida and why?
Spousal support, further, is based on the need and the ability, the need of the requesting party and the ability of the paying party. The first thing you need to prove is your need if you are the requesting party. Once that is proven, then you move forward with the second prong, which is the ability of your spouse to make that payment. If you can’t prove your need, that is where it stops. The judge will not move to the second prong.
Now, there are different types of alimony. Please discuss it with your attorney to figure out exactly which type of alimony you are entitled to.
Contact Our Experienced Orlando Family Lawyers Today
At the Arwani Law Firm our Orlando family lawyers can help you find the answers you need to resolve your family law concerns. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Orlando to set up an appointment, so we can discuss your situation in person.