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BATES - BUCHANAN & SAVITSKY LAW GROUP, P.A.

Dawn Marie Bates-Buchanan, Esq, Susannah C. Savitsky, Esq.

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THIS FIRM DOES NOT LITIGATE FAMILY LAW MATTERS

 

Residency Requirements:  You must be a resident of the State of Florida for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of any legal action in Florida that involves the distribution of assets or any determination about children.

Our Firm Charges between $350.00  and $400.00 per hour for these cases

 

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

In Florida to dissolve your marriage to someone one of the parties has to have lived in the State of Florida for at lease six months immediately prior to the filing of the Petition and the State of Florida must have jurisdiction over the parties, which means that the parties, either got married in Florida or last lived in Florida as Husband and Wife. Jurisdiction can also be by consent of the parties. The Court in dissolving the marriage will determine things like a parenting plan if there are minor children, the equitable distribution of the parties assets and liabilities that were obtained or incurred during the marriage, the obligation of either parent to pay child support or spousal support, have life insurance, pay health insurance and any other issues that the would effect the parties marriage. These issues can be agreed upon my the parties either prior to the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or after at mediation. The Dissolution of Marriage can and often is a complicated and timely legal matter.
                                                                                                                                                          

 

 

Our Firm does not litigate these matters, but helps the parties participate in a team based negotiation to help the parties settle the case without having a stranger, a Judge, made decisions for them.

 

Collaborative divorceis not your typical court-based, high-stress divorce. In fact, it is meant to resolve your divorce in a peaceful & respectful team-based approach:

  • (Time) Restructure relationships faster with less stress
  • (Money) Preserve finances for both parents and children
  • (Emotion) Reduce emotional tolls on family
  • (Results) Customize “win-win” results for both spouses
  • (Relationships) Preserve family relationships beyond divorce
  • (No Court Hearings) Keeping your matters private.

 

1) It starts with a pledge not to go to court

Spouses and attorneys agree they will not take any contested issue to court. The RETAINER that each attorney signed says they cannot litigate the matter and if negotiations break down, they must withdraw.

 

Why is this important?

  • Both of you can speak freely without worrying that what you say may be used against you in court.
  • This approach creates a “safe” environment in which the team can help both of you negotiate.
  • Because the commitment not to go to court is a formal agreement rather than just a promise, it builds more trust in the collaborative process, which helps both of you get the results you want.

2) It requires Full Disclosure

Everyone agrees to openly share and exchange all information needed, and commits to responding truthfully to questions and requests for paperwork and to clarify misunderstandings or errors in information provided

Why is this important?

  • Agreeing to provide the information is much less costly than either requesting or demanding formal discovery via your expensive lawyer, especially when you both already have it.
  • Your team’s financial professional helps guide both of you through the process, ultimately reducing the time and expense of gathering the financial information for you both.

3) It provides Customized results

The written document that describes the final divorce is called the settlement agreement.  Unlike a judge who is restricted by legal guidelines, in your collaborative divorce:

  • The Team works as a unit to help you both make decisions based on your specific values and needs;
  • The process allows for creativity to generate more satisfying solutions for your family; and
  • The agreement can incorporate the common goals of both of you for your family now and for issues that may arise in the future (such as education, health issues, moving homes, etc.) including things that often the Court cannot and or will not address, like college.
  • The results in collaborative divorce are PRIVATE.
  • Sensitive family issues, personal information, and financial documents may be kept out of the public file and thereby the public record.

 

 

COLLABORATIVE LAW CAN BE USED IN PATERNITY CASES AS WELL TEMPORARY CUSTODY CASES BY EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS.

 

Paternity
Paternity (The establishment of the Birth Father as the Legal Father)

In Florida if a child is born to a Mother out of Wedlock (in that she is not married to the Birth Father), then to establish the Birth Father as the Legal Father and obligate him to support, or award him parenting time with the child, an action for Paternity must be filed. This can be filed by either parent and can be done by consent of the parents. This is also a time that a Father previously identified or listed on the Birth Certificate can deny paternity and ask to have a DNA test completed (often at his expense) to determine if he is the Father or not.

Under Florida Statute 744.301

The mother of a childbornoutofwedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless a court of competent jurisdiction enters an order stating otherwise and is in control of the Settle and consummate a settlement of any claim or cause of action accruing to any of their minor children for damages to the person or property of any of said minor children;

 

Temporary Custody by Extended Family Member

Under Florida Statute 751 either with consent of the parents to live with an extended family member or where a child is abused, abandoned or neglected and actually living with that extended family members, that family member can obtain temporary custody of the child, or children. This is a difficult case to handle without the help of an attorney and if you have further questions about this you should contact our firm for an appointment.