Trusted Family Law Advocacy In Florida

Accomplished. Determined. Experienced.

Attorney Brian Norback helps divorcing couples and their children throughout communities in the Panhandle region.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

At Norback Law, LLC, you work with an experienced lawyer who has practiced in the Florida family courts since 2004. Below are some of the most common questions we hear, and we are glad to educate people about the basics.

Attorney Brian Norback practices in all facets of family law, and can address questions about your specific situation. Located in Crestview, we serve clients throughout the Panhandle region. If you would like a consultation, please call 850-200-6200.

How long can the adoption process generally take?

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. What is the length of time a birth parent has to change their decision during the adoption process? 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.

How much does adoption generally cost?

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.

What is the general process for filing for custody of an unborn child if the parents are not married?

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.

Can a parent’s rights be terminated?

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.

What are the general guidelines for awarding alimony?

Generally, the court looks first at one’s ability to pay and the need of the other spouse. This requires an examination of each party’s 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. (Fla. Stat. § 61.08.)

What is the general process for filing for sole custody of a child?

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.

What are the general reasons a judge could modify child custody?

Child custody – time sharing and parental responsibility – are modified in Florida based on an unanticipated, material and significant change in circumstance.

How is child support generally calculated?

Child support is generally calculated based on the party’s income, with the party not having custody – who has minority time sharing – paying support. The actual amount is based upon statutory guidelines.

Can children decide which parent they want to live with?

Sometimes. When determining where a child will primarily live the Court can consider the child’s preference as but one factor.

What is joint legal custody?

Joint legal custody means shared parental responsibility – both parents have the ability to make decisions on behalf of the minor child relating to education, health care or religious upbringing. Legal custody is different from physical custody. Parents may have joint legal custody even if one parent has primary physical custody.

What if I can’t afford child support?

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.

Contact Norback Law, LLC, For Trusted Answers And Legal Representation

Email us through our website or call 850-200-6200 to schedule an appointment to discuss your family law needs. Also see our Divorce FAQ for additional questions and answers.