FAMILY LAW

Attorney Ana M. Lopez understands that this can be one of the most difficult times of your life. Because family law issues are so delicate, Attorney Ana M. Lopez  believes that you deserve the utmost care and service from the attorney that you choose.

Attorney Ana M. Lopez is committed to providing you with kind and compassionate legal service. She will always aggressively stand up for your rights and those of your family throughout every step of your case. Your family’s best interests are always her fundamental concern.

Call or email today if you need help with any of the following:

ALIMONY/SPOUSAL SUPPORT
Florida law allows for an ex-spouse to continue to be supported by the other spouse after the marriage has been dissolved. Commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support, or maintenance, either spouse can be required to financially support the other, depending upon the financial circumstances surrounding the divorce. Call or email today to begin the process of helping you fight for your alimony rights.

BUSINESS VALUATION
Property division is part of every divorce. In some cases it is more complicated than in others. If you own part or all of a business, your spouse may have a right to part of its value upon divorce. The current economic recession has drastically affected the value of businesses. For your case, I may utilize experts such as accountants and business brokers to determine the value of a business. Call or email me today to begin protecting your rights.

CHILD SUPPORT
The amount owed in child support in Florida is determined by the child support guidelines set by the Florida Statutes. The statutes provide for a formula to calculate the amount of support regardless of whether a child is born to a married couple or to two people who have not taken that formal step. Too much is at stake not to have a written agreement for child support. Either parent, whether married or not when their child was born, run the risk of losing their drivers’ license should they fail to pay court-ordered child support. Call or email me today to find out how you can protect your rights.

CHILD TIMESHARING/PARENTING PLAN/CUSTODY/VISITATION
As of October 1, 2008, a revised statute requires that a parenting plan be in place for all cases involving minor children. The parenting plan must state in detail how each of the parents will share the responsibilities of raising the child. Florida vehemently follows the “Best Interest of the Child” standard and I have always been dedicated to upholding stability in a child’s life. Call or email me today to begin helping you and your children make the transition as smoothly as possible from one household to two.

COLLABORATIVE LAW
Collaborative divorce is the methodology for people who may not get along as husband and wife, but they do want to resolve their differences outside of the court system. Both parties have their own collaboratively trained lawyer, and along with a mental health professional and a financial advisor, the divorcing couple settles their differences as amicably as possible. Having been trained in the collaborative process and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, I am ready to help you, so call or email today.

CONTEMPT MATTERS
If one party is not in compliance with a court order, then that party is in “contempt of court.” Legally, contempt of court is generally defined as behavior that is in violation of a court order; even if the behavior was an accident or unintentional, it can still be labeled as contempt of court. In cases where you are held in contempt, regardless of reason, it is in your best interests to speak with an attorney to protect your rights. Call or email today.

DIVORCE/DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
Ending a marriage is always a difficult and upsetting process and it can have a tremendous effect on your future. It can determine where you live, how much money you earn and how often you will see any children or even pets. What sets me apart is the level of preparation that I put into each case. When handling your case, I will work closely with you to learn your goals and gain information about your family’s finances, assets and debts. Whether you decide to resolve your case through collaborative law, mediation, or litigation, you can rest assured that I have the ability to help you secure the best possible results in your case. Call or email today.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic violence occurs when a party is either harmed or placed in fear of bodily harm at the hands of someone with whom that party is intimate. More simply put, domestic violence is any violent crime committed between loved ones. Whether you need help obtaining a restraining order, vacating a restraining order or handling any related issues, such as child support or time-sharing, Call or email today to discuss what steps we should take first to ensure your safety and secondly, determine how fight for your rights.

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION/DIVISION OF MARITAL ASSETS AND DEBT/ PROPERTY DIVISION
Property division (also known as equitable distribution or the division of marital assets) can be an extremely contentious part of the entire divorce process. There are several aspects that are considered when property division is undertaken. Some of these factors include the duration of the marriage, contribution of both spouses to the marriage (including homemaker and childrearing contributions), contribution of one spouse to the other’s career or education, the depletion of marital assets after filing for divorce, and of course, the courts will always take into consideration the best interests of any minor children involved. Call or email today

INTERNATIONAL RELOCATION
Relationships and marriages between people from different countries are becoming increasingly common in today’s society. However, after a break up or dissolution of marriage, a parent may wish to relocate to another country with the child. The other parent may rightfully object. The objecting parent may have concerns over the increased difficulty in exercising visitation rights and the objecting parent can have legitimate fears that the new country will not honor any previously established timesharing agreement. A custody determination from a U.S. court may carry no weight in another country. If you are considering international relocation or if you are objecting to your former spouse’s international relocation, call or email today to discuss protecting your rights.

MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
A marital settlement agreement, different than a pre-nuptial agreement, generally can resolve all issues of the parties’ marriage. Entering into a marital settlement agreement replaces the necessity of having a judge decide issues if the marriage ends, and often leaves the parties more satisfied. I can help you create a marital settlement that serves your best interest and deals with a variety of divorce issues, including equitable distribution, alimony or spousal support, children’s issues and all other issues that may arise in a divorce. Call or email today.

MEDIATION
Mediation is an informal process whereby a neutral and independent mediator who is very familiar with family law assists the parties in negotiating a settlement agreement. The purpose is for both sides to reach an agreement that they can be happy with without incurring the additional costs of litigation. Mediation is the choice for individuals who are looking to settle at least a percentage of their issues out of court. Call or email today for assistance in beginning the process of effectively preparing for your mediation.

MILITARY FAMILY LAW
Divorces in the military require a completely different knowledge of laws than a civilian divorce. If you or your spouse lives or has been stationed in Florida, then you may be able to file for a military divorce in Florida. Military divorce law also allows for the divorce proceedings to be postponed for the duration of the period that the active service member is on duty. This is a right that is afforded to military personnel. Further, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) is a Federal law that allows for one spouse to receive a percentage of the serving spouse’s military pension. Of course, there are several factors that are taken into consideration before this occurs. Call or email today to discuss your options for a military divorce.

NAME CHANGE
The process of obtaining a name change can be done whether you want to restore your maiden name or if you want to change your name for a different unrelated reason. If you are divorcing and wish to change your name, it is important that you do so at the time of your divorce. It is much simpler and will not cost you any additional funds to change your name as part of your final divorce judgment.

PATERNITY
If you believe that you are not the father of the child, or if you are trying to prove someone is the father of your child, Florida law allows you to challenge or establish child support through a paternity action. Regardless of whether it’s accomplished with a genetic test, a court order by a Florida judge, or a combination of both, when paternity is established, it can affect your parental rights and obligations to your child, impacting child support, visitation, or timesharing. Call or email today to discuss and ensure that your rights are being protected.

POST-DIVORCE MODIFICATION
A final judgment decree isn’t always final. Sometimes, life changes can necessitate modification of the final judgment. For instance, there can be a change of income, a desire to go back to school, loss of job or any other similar major life change. If you or your former spouse is seeking modification of child custody, child support or alimony, call Attorney Ana M. Lopez today to help you and see that your needs are met.

RELOCATION/PARENTAL KIDNAPPING/RIGHTS OF
OUT-OF-STATE PARENTS

The Florida Statutes dictate that if a parent with primary residential custody of a child wants to move further than 50 miles from their current residence, that parent must either obtain a court order or a written agreement. If you decide to move without obtaining the proper agreement, you could be held in contempt of court or risk losing your custody status. If either parent is considering moving the primary residence of the child, it is very important to consult with an attorney to ensure that the proper channels are being followed. Call or email today.

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