Close Menu
Orlando Family Lawyer
Schedule a Confidential Consultation Today! Big Family Issues? Call Smallwood 407-574-6155

Recent Blog Posts

Petition for divorce

What Is A Petition For Divorce And What Does My Attorney Need To Include In It?

By Sean Smallwood |

The first and most important foundational step in any dissolution of marriage is to map out and prepare the petition for dissolution of marriage. The petition for divorce is the main legal document that someone uses to file for divorce. The petition will contain all of the items which that person is seeking in… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Financial Affidavits in divorce-min

The All-Important Divorce Financial Affidavit

By Sean Smallwood |

Anytime two people are going through a divorce in Orlando Florida one of the first documents that their Orlando divorce lawyer will ask them to complete will be a financial affidavit. A financial affidavit is the most basic and necessary piece of financial discovery that is exchanged in a divorce case and is mandatory… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Father standing apart from family

5 Ways to Look at Father’s Rights in Florida

By Sean Smallwood |

Families come in many different shapes and sizes; recent news stories and personal essays on news sites highlight this.  As Father’s Day approaches, it is obvious to fathers throughout Florida, as well as to their children, that most relationships between fathers and children do not conform to the idealized image that greeting card companies… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
paternity lawyer sean smallwood

Parker v. Parker, Paternity Fraud, and the Meaning of Fatherhood in Florida

By Sean Smallwood |

Finding out after years of marriage that your wife cheated and that you are not the biological father of your children is a father’s nightmare.  Finding out that, despite all of the above, you are still obligated to pay child support for the children you did not beget is something Kafka would have likely… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
alimony lawyer

Lump Sum Alimony Can Help Reduce Conflict During a Divorce

By Sean Smallwood |

Unless you are trying to negotiate the terms of your divorce, it probably has never mattered to you that Florida has a whopping six types of alimony.  If your divorce lawyer tells you that you will probably have to pay some type of alimony to your ex before or after your divorce is finalized,… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Parenting Plans in family law and child custody

What is a Parenting Plan and Why do Family Lawyers Use Them?

By Sean Smallwood |

Whenever an Orlando family law attorney is engaged in litigation that involves child custody issues, he or she will spend a great deal of time contemplating what terms are to be negotiated and placed into a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a written instruction manual that addresses nearly every aspect of the parenting… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
divide a business in divorce

Dividing a Marital Business in a Divorce

By Sean Smallwood |

It is fairly common knowledge among divorce attorneys in Orlando Florida that any asset that is accumulated during a marriage is subject to equitable distribution if and when the parties decide to seek a divorce. What is not as easily understood is how to treat a business that was opened by one of the… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
family law parental responsibility

What is Shared Parental Responsibility in Family Law?

By Sean Smallwood |

In Florida when a family law attorney is assisting his client in developing a parenting plan that will govern the time-sharing over the children involved in the case one of the main items that will need to be addressed as that of parental responsibility. Parental responsibility is a portion of Florida family law that… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
division of debt in divorce

What if I Cannot Afford to Pay Half of The Marital Debt After the Divorce?

By Sean Smallwood |

In every divorce, there is a complex framework of legal issues that must be addressed. One of the most common of these issues that divorce attorneys in Orlando, FL deal with is the division of assets and debts that accumulated during the divorce. In most cases, any asset or debt that accumulates during the… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
divorce mediation divorce

The Benefits of Using Divorce Mediation

By Sean Smallwood |

In the state of Florida, any time a divorce action has any issues that are contested the case must go to a mandatory settlement conference known as mediation. The mediation is an official court appointment where the lawyers and their clients sit down with the assistance of a Florida Supreme Court certified divorce mediator… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
family lawyer

Florida Parenting Plans Help Unmarried Parents Stop Drama Before it Starts

By Sean Smallwood |

The only thing worse than arguing with your spouse about when and where to spend time with your children or about decisions your spouse makes about the children’s behavior or expenditures is having these same arguments with your former spouse.  People who have children together, even if they are no longer married to each… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
divorce mediation -min

Florida Family Mediation Enables Couples to Control the Outcome of Their Divorce

By Sean Smallwood |

The divorce cases in the tabloids go to trial, but that does not mean that yours will.  Likewise, the simple, painless divorce in which you and your spouse simply file forms, sign a court-issued divorce decree, and find yourselves single again is not an option for everyone.  What do you do if your divorce… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
dealing with the house in divorce

Why You May Not Want to Keep The House In Your Divorce

By Sean Smallwood |

In dissolution of marriage cases in Orlando Florida, one of the core legal issues that need to be addressed by the divorce attorneys is that of dividing the assets that were accumulated during the years of the marriage. The most common asset that needs to be divided in divorce cases is the marital home…. Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
GAL use in family law

What Is A Guardian Ad Litem and Why Would I Need One for My Family Law Case?

By Sean Smallwood |

When a family law case involves child custody issues it is not uncommon for the case to consist of a great deal of “he said, she said”. This can make it very hard for Orlando, FL family lawyers and the Courts to determine whose version of the events is true especially when both mom… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
debts in divorce

Does Florida Law Consider Debts Marital Property?

By Sean Smallwood |

As the cost of postsecondary education increases, and as more employers expect or require new employees to have a bachelor’s degree or another kind of education beyond high school, more Americans than ever before carrying student loan debt.  In fact, it is not hard to find predictions that the “student loan bubble” could be… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
family law and foster care in Florida

Myths and Facts About Foster Care in Florida Family Law

By Sean Smallwood |

Do children in foster care live in luxurious mansions where they ride ponies in the backyard of their foster parents’ house or lounge atop an inflatable alligator raft in the swimming pool?  Do they live in group homes where the person with whom they share a room is close in age and their relationship… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
asset division in divorce lawyer Sean Smallwood

Equitable Distribution in Divorce: Florida Family Courts Aim to Play Fair, Even When Estranged Spouses Do Not

By Sean Smallwood |

With very few exceptions, everyone loses financially in a divorce.  Women who enrich themselves by marrying and divorcing rich men in succession are largely a fiction that exists only in tall tales exchanged at poker night gatherings.  Almost all your divorced friends were poorer after their divorce than before, as they have probably told… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
alimony lawyer

Can the Court Require Your Ex to Pay Alimony If You Were Never Legally Married?

By Sean Smallwood |

Couples who are in committed relationships but are not legally married to each other often respond to nosy questions from relatives about whether they plan to marry by saying that marriage is only a piece of paper.  In many ways, they are right.  It is possible for couples to form lifelong relationships with each… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
child support

When Your Ex Refuses to Pay Child Support: Dos and Don’ts

By Sean Smallwood |

Despite the good intentions behind Florida’s child support laws, it can seem like a no-win situation when parents who can’t get along as a couple still have to make financial decisions about child support.  Being required to pay for the raising of children during times when they are not with you makes many child… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
addiction to porn is a leading cause of divorce

Divorce and Porn Addiction

By Sean Smallwood |

There Is a New Epidemic That Is Lurking Behind the Scenes and Has Become a Root Cause to at Least Half of the Divorces Reported in the United States The issue of porn addiction and its effects on the current divorce rates is an extremely serious issue that everyone needs to be aware of…. Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
family lawyers create parenting plans

Frequently Asked Questions About Parenting Plans in Florida

By Sean Smallwood |

A lot of people who have recently gotten divorced put on a smile and talk about what a relief it is to be rid of an unwanted spouse.  A recently divorced man’s friends may congratulate him on finally being free of the old ball and chain, while a recently divorced woman may excitedly tell… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
paternity lawyer sean smallwood

Beyond DNA Tests: Establishing Paternity in Florida

By Sean Smallwood |

Paternity Establishment For Unmarried Parents You might imagine that the stories Florida family lawyers hear about paternity cases resemble those paternity test-themed episodes that were so popular on daytime television talk shows in the 90s when DNA paternity testing first became widespread.  However, there is much more to paternity law than what you see… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
alimony lawyer

Adventures in Alimony: Tales from Florida Case Law

By Sean Smallwood |

In the old days, alimony was a popular subject for aspiring stand-up comedians at local comedy clubs.  More recently, it has become a topic for vitriolic blog posts in the less benign corners of the Internet.  Then and now, alimony remains misunderstood.  What really happens in the courtroom where a judge decides that you… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
prenuptial agreement and pets

Prenuptial Agreements: Myths and Facts

By Sean Smallwood |

Magazines about weddings often contain articles about potentially contentious issues that couples should discuss early in their marriage, or even before taking their marriage vows.  Almost everyone, from magazine editors in the wedding industry to your long-married elderly aunt can agree that you can avoid many conflicts if you and your spouse can agree… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
alimony lawyer

What is permanent alimony and when is it appropriate?

By Sean Smallwood |

In the state of Florida when two people are getting divorced and they have been married for longer than 14 years there is a presumption in favor of permanent alimony. Whenever a claim for permanent alimony is sought by a spouse and their divorce attorney the level of conflict in the case usually escalates… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
discovery done by divorce attorneys

Financial Discovery in Divorce Litigation

By Sean Smallwood |

In every divorce case that moves through the court system, the parties to the divorce must submit certain minimum mandatory financial discovery documentation either to the court or to the opposing party or their divorce attorney. The purpose of this exchange of discovery is to ensure that everybody is being honest about their income,… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Orlando divorce and family law attorney Sean Smallwood settles a case

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

By Sean Smallwood |

We have all heard the stories of the divorce that lasted for multiple years, costs thousands and thousands of dollars, and destroyed the lives of the parties in the case. But, is that the story of every divorce? The answer is no, in fact, many divorces are accomplished every day in a peaceful and… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
divorce lawyer sending client to counseling

Can I reconcile before my divorce is final

By Sean Smallwood |

I don’t know about other divorce attorneys conduct business inside their offices, however, I can tell you that the vast majority of people who come and sit down with me for a divorce consultation are going to be asked if they have attempted marriage counseling and if they would be willing to attempt it… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
alimony lawyer

The Six Types of Alimony in Florida

By Sean Smallwood |

In the early days of Facebook, users could choose the “it’s complicated” relationship status when they were in the process of a breakup or had separated from their partner but their lives were still somehow entwined.  “Complicated” definitely describes the transition from being a married couple to being a single person, especially when it… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
nope to kavanaugh

The Allegations in the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings and How Divorce Attorneys See Them Every Day On the Job

By Sean Smallwood |

The Similarities Between the Kavanaugh Confirmation Process and What Divorce Attorneys and Judges Do is Striking Recently, all the news channels and headlines in the United States have been filled with status updates and debates about the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. As I listened to… Read More »

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn