Tampa Family Law Attorney Answers Common Questions about Divorce and Family Law

We help make complicated matters easier to understand

When you are considering divorce or are fighting for the custody of your children, you may be so overwhelmed with financial pressures and legal questions that you have a hard time knowing what to do next or how to make the right decision. Working with Tampa family law attorney Mark G. Rodriguez  from the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez can help you understand the issues you are facing and the legal rights you have.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most common questions we get to help you understand the laws surrounding your case a bit better. Of course, there is no substitute for talking with our Tampa family law attorney directly about the details of your case, and we encourage you to call our firm today for a free consultation about your divorce, child custody suit, adoption or other family law matter.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Florida?

Florida does not require you to be separated for a minimum amount of time like some other states do. The only requirement is that you or your spouse has been a resident of Florida for at least six months.

However, your divorce could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years to complete. The timeframe depends on how much you and your spouse can agree to at the outset, whether you have children together, whether you run a business together and more. How readily you and your spouse agree on the division of assets and child custody will have the biggest impact on how long it takes to finalize your divorce.

How much child support can I expect to get?

Child support is determined by evaluating how much income you make, how much income the other parent makes, how much you spend on health care and child care for your children, and the standard needs of the children. Therefore, child support judgments can vary widely. Those who have a child with special needs will be ordered to pay much more support, as will those who make a higher income.

The Florida Department of Revenue recommends using the child support calculator at All Law. Our Tampa family law attorney can provide a better estimate based on the specific details of your case.

How does the court determine custody?

In Florida, the term “custody” is no longer used. Instead, the court considers “sole parental responsibility” and “shared parental responsibility.” The court favors shared parental responsibility, which means that both parents are expected to be a part of decision making for the child. Shared parental responsibility does not necessarily mean that the child splits equal time between both parents or even lives with both. In fact, the child may live with only one parent.

Physical placement of the child depends on a large number of factors, including evidence of a stable environment, moral fitness, physical and mental health, and the parent’s ability to meet all the needs of the child. A parent’s ability to communicate with the other parent and to honor the time sharing agreement is also taken into consideration.

What if I need to modify the agreement for child custody, child support or alimony?

Our experienced Tampa family law attorney challenges the agreement and shows just cause for changing it. For example, if you want to change your timesharing agreement (the new term for child visitation), you will need to show evidence that the other parent is participating in harmful behavior, such as taking drugs or abusing the child. If you are trying to get more time with your child, you will need to show that circumstances have changed in your favor.

If you want to modify how much you pay in child support or alimony, you will need to show a change in your financial circumstances or in the those of your former spouse. If you want to get more for child support or alimony, you will have to show an increased need.

Can I move out of state with my children after my divorce?

Generally, the courts frown on an out-of-state move since it is not often in the best interest of the children. Courts prefer that both parents have the opportunity to see the children on a frequent basis. However, you may be able to show that the move is in the best interest of the children, such as by providing a higher quality of life thanks to a new job. If you and your former spouse both agree to the move, the court may also be more favorable to it.

A move may also impact the amount of child support you receive. Working with our Tampa family law attorney helps you understand any potential financial changes.

I suspect my spouse of hiding assets. What do I do?

Not all marriages have transparent finances. If one spouse works and takes on the primary responsibility for the finances, that spouse may also attempt to hide assets, such as savings accounts, stock packages and even real estate. These hidden assets could be robbing you of needed financial support either in the form of child support or alimony.

Our skilled Tampa family law attorney Mark G. Rodriguez helps you uncover the fraud of hidden assets and get a clear picture of your actual marital finances.  We work with investigators to find hidden accounts or assets to help you get the full financial support you deserve. Knowing about all assets can also insure you get the right settlement upon the dissolution of your marriage.

I suspect that I am not the biological father of my children. What do I do?

We help you get a paternity test to prove your true biological relationship to the child or children in question. If paternity testing reveals that you are not the biological father, you can avoid paying child support. On the other hand, if your spouse is trying to take away the children on the grounds that you are not the biological father, paternity testing may show that you are biologically related and that you have legal rights to the children.

Call the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez today to work with a South Tampa family law attorney who can help you through your divorce, child custody dispute or other family law matter. We provide compassionate representation while also creating a strong case that protects your legal rights. Call us at (813) 227-9642 or fill out our secure online form today.