Located in the heart of Palm Beach, The Law Offices of Heather S. Karmeris, PLLC has provided reliable legal counsel in a wide variety of family law matters. Our team understands how challenging it is to be involved in a dispute regarding a divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, or related issue. Whether you are simply seeking more information about your legal options or you are currently involved in a legal battle, we are ready to help you find an appropriate solution for your situation that will achieve your goals. Heather Martin-Schwartz can help you seek an amicable resolution in your case. However, she is also ready to fiercely advocate for your rights in the courtroom if litigation becomes necessary. She represents people throughout Palm Beach and Martin Counties.Family Law
While family law is usually associated with divorce or child custody proceedings, it involves other matters as well. For example, a family law attorney can help you draft, review, and revise a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement to protect your assets. Family law also governs situations in which you or another party wants to modify a pre-existing divorce decree, child support agreement, or alimony agreement. To achieve a fair outcome in your matter, it is important to retain a family lawyer in the West Palm Beach area who has substantial experience handling the full range of potential issues that could arise.Divorce
Each state has specific requirements and rules that the parties must make sure to follow when seeking a divorce. Florida recognizes two grounds for dissolving a marriage. The first ground involves situations in which the marriage is deemed irretrievably broken, and the second ground involves situations in which one of the parties is judged incapacitated for the prior three years. There are two different types of divorce proceedings that you can pursue, with the more common proceeding involving a full court procedure. Florida also offers a simplified dissolution proceeding for couples that meet certain criteria, such as neither spouse requesting alimony and both spouses agreeing that the marriage cannot be saved. A divorce proceeding can quickly get complicated and daunting. Even if your spouse and you agree on most of the terms, serious legal issues that affect your future well-being can arise.
Florida law provides a system by which fathers of children who are not married to the child’s mother can establish parental rights. The state acknowledges that both parents have a right to have a relationship with their child, but establishing parental rights can be a difficult process. If you are the biological father of a child and wish to establish your legal rights, you can file certain forms with the court to have your paternal rights recognized. This will usually involve a paternity test. A DNA test is a relatively inexpensive and efficient way to determine whether there is a biological link between the child and the alleged father, but the biological mother may wish to avoid having the test conducted. This is why it is critical to consult with a knowledgeable family lawyer in West Palm Beach before proceeding to ensure that you bring the strongest claim possible.Child Custody (Timesharing)
Child custody issues, which are now known as timesharing in Florida, are some of the most contested matters in family law. Whether the issue arises in the context of a divorce or when unmarried partners are establishing their rights, our West Palm Beach family lawyer is ready to guide you through the legal process. The default arrangement under Florida law provides both parents with equal parenting responsibility. If the parties are unable to agree on certain issues, the court will intervene and decide for the parties, based on the best interests of the child. The court can consider a wide variety of issues regarding the best interests of the child, including which parent is more likely to provide the appropriate daily care for a child’s physical, psychological, and emotional needs as well as which parent is better able to maintain a loving, supportive, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child.Child Support
Child support is a court-ordered requirement that one parent must provide income to the other parent to help care for a shared child. Typically, a court will award child support to a parent who has primary custody of a child and who also makes less money or who has less financial earning capacity than the paying parent. Florida takes a very clear stance on child support, typically requiring child support payments when minor children are involved. The amount of child support that a parent will be required to pay is determined by specific statutory laws as well as other factors, such as the number of overnight visits that the children have with each parent. Other considerations include medical bills, daycare expenses, and taxes.Alimony
Another concern that a West Palm Beach family attorney can help you resolve is the issue of alimony. This is a process in which a spouse who has greater financial resources and earning capacity provides a payment to his or her former spouse until that former spouse is able to reach a certain financial status. There are many different types of alimony payments, such as bridge the gap alimony, which is meant to provide minor and temporary financial assistance while the receiving spouse gets on his or her feet. It can also be paid on a monthly basis or as a lump sum payment. The court can consider many factors in determining whether alimony is appropriate, such as the educational background of each spouse as well as their job history and training.Animal Law
Conflicts over the ownership and custody of shared animals sometimes arise during a divorce. Florida residents often have companion animals or other animals that matter a great deal to them. Under Florida law, pets are considered property, so it can be difficult to establish your right to have custody of a pet or to establish visitation rights. The custody and ownership of a pet can be negotiated and settled as part of the overarching divorce proceeding, however. If the spouses are able to reach an agreement about a pet-sharing arrangement or sole custody of a pet, the court likely will honor that agreement. We also can assist you with animal law issues outside the context of a divorce. We can help you protect your rights against discriminatory housing policies affecting your pets, which usually ends in the condo association paying your legal fees.Contact a Knowledgeable Family Attorney in West Palm Beach
At The Law Offices of Heather S. Karmeris, PLLC, we understand what you are going through during this stressful time. Whether you are seeking a divorce, attempting to gain custody of your children, establishing paternity, or asserting your right to alimony, we can provide you with the patient and compassionate legal counsel that you deserve. At our firm, we offer each client personal attention, and we keep our caseload small so that we can meet their needs. We represent people in communities such as Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and West Palm Beach, as well as elsewhere in Palm Beach and Martin Counties. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (561) 510-6043 or contact us online.