Various types of cases heard in family court differ from cases heard in general criminal or civil court. Our experts on family law practice in Orlando offer you the following information on family law cases and issues.
Criminal court cases involve enforcing public codes of behavior that are codified in the laws of the state in which you reside. In criminal court cases, the government will prosecute an individual for violating these laws. Criminal case punishments can include community service, fines, probation, or prison.
Civil cases are based on conflicts between institutions or people such as businesses and are typically argued over money. Civil cases include breach of contract claims, landlord-tenant matters, lawsuits for money, and issues where an individual is trying to make another individual do something, like sell a property or stop something, like stop a foreclosure.
Family cases are considered a type of civil case but typically involve issues concerning or between parents, children, and spouses. In addition, family courts handle various cases that involve domestic matters. The most common topics dealt with by family courts include:
Dissolution of marriage- When an individual wants to end their marriage, they can file a case at a family court to request a court order ending their marriage. Marriages can be terminated through annulment or divorce cases. Family courts can also grant separations where the court issues orders regarding child custody, property, and alimony, but the spouses remain married legally.
Child custody and paternity- When a man requires a declaration of parenting a child, either parent can file a case in family court asking for a determination of paternity that permanently establishes the identity of the child's father. Unmarried parents can also request the court to order legal custody, visitation schedules, physical custody, and child support.
Domestic violence protection orders- Domestic violence victims can request a family court to issue protection orders to keep the abuser away from them.
Name changes- An adult or child may have the option of legally changing their name through a family court case for a name change.
Guardianship- Guardianship is meant to determine who is responsible for the personal, medical, and financial decisions over an adult or child who cannot legally care for themselves.
Adoptions and termination of parental rights- When there are severe reasons why a parent should not have a parental relationship with their child, like abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc., a family court may choose to terminate that parent's parental rights. When another individual wants to become the legal parent, a family court may grant an adoption creating a legal parent-child relationship.
Juvenile matters- Family courts oversee any issues that include allegations of child neglect, child abuse, or where minors are accused of some illegal activity. These matters are typically handled through the district attorney juvenile division. Family courts can also approve work permits for children under 14.
Approval of underage marriage and emancipation- Individuals under 18 who wish to be emancipated or want to get married can petition a family court for permission.
Our experts on family law practice in Orlando also offer the following information about common family legal issues.
The state seals all records to protect all involved party's privacy once an adoption is finalized. Therefore, the adopted person must make arrangements through a state agency to obtain adoption records. You might be able to acquire non-identifying or identifying information about your adoption, but the information you can attain depends on state statutes. For example, some states require court proceedings or have age restrictions to get information about an adoptee's birth.
Non-identifying information includes.:
Identifying information includes:
In many states, you can have access to identifying information through a registry for mutual consent. Through these registries, all individuals involved in adoption will declare what information may be disclosed. Some states require the consent of both birth parents and adoptive parents to release records. However, states vary in their release of information. There are additional ways to get adoption records through consent when your state does not maintain a registry for mutual consent.
Private or public agencies can locate birth parents in many states. When an agency contacts the birth parents, they may find out identifying information through confidential intermediary systems. A court permits a court-certified confidential intermediary, allowing access to sealed adoption records. They may also contact the birth parents to get consent for releasing their identifying information. Affidavit systems allow birth parents to file consent or refusal to be identified and contacted officially.
Divorce certificates are issued through a state's Vital Records Office. This document shows that divorce occurred. A divorce decree is an official document from the court granting the termination of a marriage. It includes specific details of a divorce. You can get a copy of a divorce decree by contacting the clerk of the court or County
Clerk's Office for the city or county where a divorce happened. To get a copy of a divorce certificate, you must contact the state's Vital Records Office, where the divorce was finalized.
State and federal agencies to notify of a name change.
If you change your name through divorce, marriage, or court, updating your new name with the motor vehicle office, Social Security, and other government agencies is crucial.
Social security card- Notifying the Social Security Administration early will allow other agencies to learn of your name change through the SSA.
State ID card or driver's license- You can change your name through the state motor vehicle office, and you will be provided with an updated state ID or license to make changing your name with other agencies easier.
Tax returns- The name on your tax return has to match Social Security Administration records, so the IRS recommends updating your name with the SSA before filing a tax return.
US Passports- To get an updated passport, you must report your name change to the state department as soon as possible.
Veterans benefits- Notify the Department of Veterans Affairs of your name change if you receive veterans benefits or health care.
Contact us today if you need representation from a family law practice in Orlando. We are here to help!