Orlando Family Lawyer
Orlando Family Attorneys Who Understand Your Stress And Can Protect Your Rights in Family Law
My name is Sean Smallwood I am an Orlando family lawyer who will always try my best to strategically obtain a peaceful settlement for your case before going to court.
Of course, we cannot settle every single case and regularly go to trial on a wide range of divorce issues, however, we try our best to reach amicable resolutions in every case before heading to court.
I also feel very strongly that many people seeking a divorce attorney in Orlando, FL have not explored every possible option to avoid divorce and that is why I encourage every potential client to at least try to seek marriage counseling before they make the decision to finalize their divorce. We can even offer referrals to local marriage and family therapists to anyone who wishes to give this a chance.
Our team of Orlando family lawyers understands the emotional and financial toll that a divorce, paternity, or other family law case can take on a person’s life. We also know how important it is to have a strategic plan in place from the first day to maximize your chances for a favorable settlement for your case. Our Orlando family lawyers can develop a plan for your case now.
“When people find out that we offer refundable fees I think they realize that they really can can trust us as their family attorney”
Sean Smallwood, Esq.
There Are Many Complex Legal Issues That A Family Attorney in Orlando, FL Can Help You Understand
As a divorce lawyer in Orlando, we are often are tasked with many highly complicated legal issues to tackle in a dissolution of marriage litigation. The list of these legal issues is extensive and if any of the following apply to your case then you need an experienced family law attorney on your side.
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Division of Assets
- Division of Debt
- Marital Business
- Spousal Support
- Attorney’s Fees
If there are any children under the age of 18 then your case will include the process of deciding how the child’s time will be divided between the parents. This is often one of the most contested issues in the case that leads to many cases having to go to trial. It is very important for you and your Orlando divorce attorney to have a strong strategy to ensure a fair and reasonable outcome.
The courts hold to the principle that the parents have a duty to financially support any children of the marriage who are under the age of 18. This means that after the parenting time has been agreed to then a monthly child support amount will be calculated based on different factors including parent’s income, the number of overnight stays the child has with each parent, childcare costs, and health care costs.
DIVISION OF ASSETS:
During a dissolution of marriage, your lawyer will need to separate all assets acquired during the marriage as they are subject to equitable distribution. This can include anything from retirement accounts and stocks to household furnishings and even pets.
DIVISION OF DEBTS:
Similar to assets, all marital debt in an Orlando, FL divorce case must also be divided. Often this will include student loans, credit card debt, second mortgages, and IRS debts. It is common for divorcing couples to fight over splitting debts with allegations of mishandling funds going back and forth. Make sure your lawyer is familiar with the history of your case.
Very often in the marriage, a business may have been started which has its own assets and earning history. The court will also see this as a marital asset to be divided. The business will need a value placed on it and often one spouse will “buy out” the other from their interest in the business. One thing to watch out for is the situation where your spouse has a business that is registered and has all of its managing done under a friend or family member’s name. When this happens it can make the attorney’s job very time-consuming in proving ownership in the business.
Also called spousal support, this equalizing payment is meant to ensure that the parties to the divorce walk away on an equal footing to go out and support themselves. Alimony is typically seen in marriages lasting longer than 7 years and can be ordered anywhere from short-term (a few months or lump sum) to order for permanent alimony in much longer marriages that fit certain criteria. There are many factors that the courts consider when determining alimony awards so make sure that your attorney for divorce in Orlando understands these factors and how to apply them to your particular case.
In cases where one party to the case earns substantially more than the other judges will liberally award some contribution for attorney’s fees to the lesser-earning spouse. This is to say that if the lesser earning spouse shows a need and shows that the other has the ability to contribute then an award of some attorney’s fees is a realistic expectation in the case.
What If I Do Not Want To Fight And Only Want An Orlando Attorney To File An Uncontested Divorce For Me?
Many cases are resolved peacefully early in the process and without the need for costly litigation. Others will settle after the discovery process at a mediation conference. When either of these happens it means that the remainder of the case proceeds on an uncontested basis.
Uncontested cases still need to go in front of a judge for a final determination of the dissolution of the marriage, but, only one of the parties needs to attend any hearings of this type only last a few moments.
Your Orlando Florida divorce attorney will explain to you that the case can only move forward as an “uncontested” case only when the parties to the case are in complete agreement on all issues.
Any disagreement on any issue would require litigation of your case which is why having a good strategy and an ability to negotiate is crucial to your case.
Call A Family Law And Divorce Attorney Who Has Your Best Interests In Mind
Whether you have a divorce or other family law issue sometimes there is no other choice for parents other than to involve the divorce courts.
Orlando family law attorney Sean Smallwood is familiar with a wide array of legal issues and strategic maneuvers that need to be addressed in your family law case in order to maximize the odds that you will obtain the best possible result while spending as little in attorney fees as possible.
Parents who are going to court need to remember that regardless of any emotional hurts they may have toward the other party the courts will be looking to make sure that everyone’s conduct during the case is going to benefit the best interests of the children involved in the case.
We are Lawyers With Knowledge of Family and Divorce Law in Orlando, FL
Family law is often used as a catch-all phrase to describe legal issues that may arise from divorce, child custody, child support, paternity establishment, child relocation, adoption, and other similar case types.
Matrimonial attorneys in Orlando deal with cases that are different from other areas of law due to the very high degree of emotions that are involved in these types of cases.
As the name suggests, family law cases all stem from issues that arise between family members whether they are married couples, children, or grandparents.
What Sort of Strategy Will a Lawyer for Divorce Use in My Case?
Nearly every case that is filed with the courts will go to a mandatory settlement conference called “mediation” before it can be set for a contested family law trial.
It is very important for divorce attorneys to take full advantage of the beginning phase of the case in order to strategically work the case in a way that will provide the other party with as much incentive as possible to come to mediation with an open mind to settle the case in a reasonable way that is in the best interests of the children involved in the case.
We believe that in nearly every family law case it is best if the parents can settle the case amicably at the divorce mediation. This is because a contested family law trial can cost the parties more in legal fees, cause stress to children, destroy any chance the parents may have to get along later for the good of the children, and more.
For this reason, a contested trial should only be a last resort and family law attorneys should always be focused on how they can use their experience to get great negotiated settlements for their clients.
What Sort Of Fee Should I Expect To Pay For a Divorce and Family Lawyer in Orlando?
One of the most common questions that we receive from prospective clients contacting our Orlando divorce law firm is “what will my divorce cost me?”
The truth is that the fee associated with representation for your case depends entirely on the facts of the case as they are at the tie and are subject to change if things get worse. This means that a simple divorce with no children or property will cost much less than a highly contested divorce involving children, alimony, and property division where the parties are not getting along at all.
Regardless of the facts of your case, we will do our very best to craft a strategic approach to your family law and divorce case that is aimed at giving you the best result while stretching your dollars as far as possible.