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Struggling To Find Answers To Your Florida Family Law Questions?

We, the team at the Law Office of Ada M. Barreto, P.A., know that nothing is more stressful or disconcerting than a family law issue. Because our families are central to all that we do, these issues can affect every aspect of our lives. We are here to help. Get the guidance and answers you need to move forward. Call 305-709-5725 to speak with a member of our Miami team.

We get a lot of questions regarding Florida family law. Here are the most common questions and their answers.

Does the mother always get favored in custody agreements?

Currently, not usually. Back at the turn of the century, courts relied on the “tender years doctrine.” This doctrine promoted the idea that very young children needed the tenderness only a mother could provide. The tender years doctrine was in response to what was happening to women and children in divorces before. Previously, in the 18th century, children typically stayed with the father as he was able to earn an income, own land and provide for them since women did not have good-paying jobs, equal rights or ownership of property. Now we know that children do better when both parents are active in their lives. Now it is the best interest of the child or children that is the top priority. In some cases, this may mean more parenting time for the father.

Who can adopt a child in Florida?

In our state, any adult who is shown to have a good moral character and who can financially provide for a child in a safe and nurturing environment is eligible to adopt. In 2021, eligibility is not predicated on marital status or sexual orientation. This means single adults, stepparents, relatives, renters, those with physical disabilities or those who identify as LGBT cannot be prohibited from adopting. There are reasons a person or married couple may be prohibited from adopting. Certain felony and drug-related charges and records or convictions for domestic violence and child abuse may make a person ineligible to adopt.

Who needs to establish paternity, and why?

Either parent may want to establish paternity in order to gain certain rights and privileges. In cases where a couple is married, the “putative” or assumed legal father is the husband. If a couple is not married or a child is born right after marriage, then establishing paternity is highly recommended. The reasons for this are many. Besides engendering a greater child-parent bond and having the right to make important decisions on the child’s behalf, the reasons for establishing paternity can include:

  • Establishing visitation rights
  • Providing or obtaining insurance
  • Obtaining child support from the other parent
  • Knowing the child’s potential inherited health issues

It is advisable to work with an established Florida family law attorney if you want or need to establish paternity.

What is contempt?

When someone intentionally refuses to follow an order that was written by a judge, they are in contempt of court. If your divorced decree includes an order for one parent to pay child support or spousal support and the payer does not pay, they are in contempt. If you have a formal parenting plan and you or your former spouse does not follow the agreement, you or your former spouse is in contempt. There are serious consequences to ignoring a court order. Besides fines and garnished wages, the person in contempt can be arrested or have their parenting time significantly altered.

If You Have More Questions, We Have Answers

We know that divorce and family law issues are sensitive. You want clear answers now. We can help. Call 305-709-5725 or email us to arrange a consultation to get answers and understand your rights, obligations and options. Ada M. Barreto and her team serve clients in the entire Miami area and have served since 1995.