Frequently Asked Questions
Answers from a Trusted South Florida Family Law Firm
Q? WHAT IS A PARENTING PLAN?
A. parenting plan is an agreement between parents outlining time sharing with their children. It takes into account arrangements such as who has the children on which days; who makes major decisions about the children’s education, health, etc.; and what to do if any party’s situation significantly changes. Parents who agree on a parenting plan rather than let the court decide are more likely to comply with custody arrangements.
Sitting down with the spouse you are divorcing to work out a parenting plan may seem like the last thing you want to do, but this approach holds many advantages. You are the people who know your children best: their needs, their schedules and their preferences. By working together to create a parenting plan that satisfies the needs of your new family structure, you will avoid the possibility of a court’s less nuanced solution.
A court can only know what you tell it about your family’s particularities, but you and your spouse are already exceptionally familiar with the territory. Attorney Pazos can help you create a plan that is right for you and your family.
Q? WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE LAW?
A.Collaborative law is a type of divorce resolution that is gaining popularity throughout the US. Through the collaborative law process, both parties to the divorce retain separate, specifically trained lawyers whose only job is to help them settle the case. All participants agree to work together respectfully, honestly, and in good faith to try and find solutions that benefit the legitimate needs of both parties. This can be very valuable to couples that wish to make the divorce process as painless as possible for each other and their children and want to avoid court litigation.
Attorney Pazos practices Collaborative law in specific cases. However, in all cases she uses fairness and cooperation and negotiates settlements that stand the test of time. It is so important to address issues in a reasonable, business-like manner, knowing the upside, the downside and the law to make the best decisions.
Q? I DON’T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY FOR MY CHILDREN’S LIVES TO BE THE SAME. WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MAINTAIN STABILITY DURING THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS?
A. Florida divorce courts can order temporary child support, so that your kids receive the care they need while you wait for your divorce to become finalized. Your attorneys can help you figure out how to position your needs for temporary-support and divorce hearings.
Q? HOW MUCH DOES AN ATTORNEY COST?
A. Family Law Attorneys normally charge by the hour unless your matter is an uncontested divorce. Attorneys may charge flat fees for uncontested divorces. In divorce cases, the court may order one side to pay the other party’s attorney fees, or some portion of them, based on their ability to pay. In any case, the attorney may be able to give you an estimate of the time or total cost based on your issues. The more complicated and hotly contested a case is, the more time it will take, which increases the cost.
For that reason, you want to make sure to choose a firm like Pazos Law Group that will help you to try to settle issues that you are able to settle and avoid unnecessary battles and litigation that will increase your legal fees and your headaches.
Q? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEGAL AND PHYSICAL CUSTODY?
A. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and who has responsibilities associated with daily childcare. Legal custody is the decision-making responsibilities associated with the education, healthcare and religious upbringing of a child.
Q? WHEN PARENTS FIGHT OVER CUSTODY, HOW DOES THE COURT DECIDE?
A. The standard is the best interests of the child. In Florida we now have shared parental responsibility. No longer is there a primary care taker. If there has been abuse, certain standards can be ordered such as limited and supervised timesharing.