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Family Law FAQ

Usually, adoption wait times can be anywhere from several months to a year or more, and the wait time can be even longer for international adoptions.In an adoption, the mother and father may sign consents at any time. Their consent is subject to a revocation period of three business days. It varies. Adopting from an agency of the State generally costs little. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, working with a private agency to adopt a healthy newborn or baby or to adopt from another country can cost $5,000 to $40,000.Judges usually consider numerous factors when determining the alimony payments. The court decides on the alimony by considering things like the marital standards of living, age and general health of each spouse. Additionally, the duration of the marriage, the sum of each partners’ assets, and the role of each spouse to the marriage, and tax penalties plays a huge role.In Florida, paternity is generally determined by marriage. A child born within a marriage is presumed to be a product of the husband and wife. In the case of unmarried couples, a paternity action must be filed to determine paternity, usually only after the child is born. There are exceptions however, if the health of the child is in danger or if the mother is considering adoption. If you believe that the other parent is abusing drugs or alcohol, you can have your attorney ask the court to order a drug test. These tests may analyze urine, blood or hair, depending on the judge’s preference and the court’s standards.
After this request, or motion, is made, there will be a hearing. At this hearing, the judge will listen to arguments from both parents, and will decide if drug testing is appropriate. Sometimes, a judge will order both parents to take a drug test while the child custody case is ongoing. This is especially common when either parent has a criminal arrest record for substance abuse issues, or when each parent accuses the other of drug or alcohol-related neglect or abuse.
In extreme cases, yes. In cases of abandonment, neglect, or abuse, parental rights can be terminated. In Florida, you have to show that there is a statutory basis for the termination – the abandonment, neglect or abuse. Then there has to be a showing that the termination is in the child’s best interests. Generally, the court looks first at one’s ability to pay and the need of the other spouse. This requires an examination of each parties lifestyle during the marriage and their incomes. Then, the Court considers other factors such as length of marriage, health of the parties, their employment history, educational levels, vocational skills, employability of the parties, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment, contribution of each party to the marriage, responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common, and other factors.
In general, a petition is filed in the circuit court where the child is located. It is important to know that in Florida, sole custody is generally thought of as sole parental responsibility – that is, who makes decisions about the child. Majority time sharing refers to the party with whom the child will primarily reside. There are complex rules related to both, and each case is different. Child custody – time sharing and parental responsibility – are modified in Florida based on an unanticipated, material and significant change in circumstance. Child support is generally calculated based on the parties income, with the party not having custody – who has minority time sharing – paying support. The actual amount is based upon statutory guidelines, which can be found here:
Sometimes. When determining where a child will primarily live the Court can consider the child’s preference as but one factor. Joint legal custody means shared parental responsibility – both parents have the ability to make decisions on behalf of the minor child. In general, parents have a responsibility to support their children. Sometimes, if you are unable to work because of disability you may not have to pay support directly. If you feel you cannot pay child support, you should consult with an attorney.

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