Whether you are planning to get a divorce or are making plans for the future of your aging loved ones, an attorney can help you collaborate, mediate or litigate to resolve the issues. Since 2011, at Lisa Bell, PA, I’ve helped many clients resolve their family law matters with the compassion needed to find solutions that work for them.
A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can bring partners closer, knowing that they will be protected in case something goes wrong. These agreements can cover any matter that is not against public policy or criminal law and can be ruled invalid if not properly created. They have the same scope and enforceability but postnuptial agreements require a full disclosure of assets from both parties. I use these tools to help southwest Florida couples feel more financially secure in their marriages.
Mediation is an alternative to a formal court proceeding and involves a neutral third party, usually a family lawyer with special training, working with both parties to reach an amicable agreement in private. The parties may have their own lawyers but are not required to. The discussions are confidential, except for any evidence pertaining to child abuse or potential criminal conduct. If the parties are unhappy with the mediation, the case can always move on to the courts. I have more than 10 years of experience as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and as an advocate for parties in mediation.
As a no-fault divorce state, the grounds for a Florida divorce are one partner’s mental incapacity for three years or the marriage being irretrievably broken. Parties can agree to terms outside of court about distribution of property and reasonable distribution of parental duties, with the court resolving only contentious issues. The custodial parent may receive alimony and one of these types of child support:
At Lisa Bell, PA, I prioritize what’s important to you with a personalized solution that looks to the future.
When loved ones lose the capacity to care for themselves, Florida law allows for guardians to be appointed. If you are dealing with this circumstance, I can explain the process. A three-person panel must evaluate your loved one to establish incapacity unless a voluntary guardianship has already been set up with that person’s consent. Florida allows for limited guardianships when people are able to take care of themselves in part and plenary guardianships in which all responsibility falls on the guardian.
If you have a child with a developmental disability who is not incapacitated, Florida offers an option called a guardian advocate. If your child has a severe intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome or Phelan-McDermid syndrome, guardian advocacy can help protect your child. I can help you determine if your child meets Florida’s requirements for this process.