1. Every Family Law Courtroom is different. It is important to know how things work in your particular Courtroom. For example, some counties tend to be more formal than others. Also, each county has its own local rules.
The appointment of a guardian ad litem should be considered if you are in the midst of a custody or family law matter, whether it is within a divorce, modification or paternity case, and there are allegations of drug use, neglect, unsafe living conditions, alcohol use or generally bad parenting. Guardian Ad Litems (GALS) are professional who job it is to investigate the facts and circumstances of a case and to report to the Court on what they perceive would be in the best interest of the child. The recommendation of the GAL is not binding upon the Court, but most judges weigh very heavily a GAL's opinion.
I have had several clients attempting to change the names of their children. It is usually the mother calling, trying to change the child's last name from the father's last name to the mother's last name. There are some issues in this area of family law that should be kept in mind.
Mediation is required in most family law cases which involve children in Florida, including divorces. It is a process where the parties come together with the help of their attorneys (if they have attorneys) and a neutral 3rd person called a mediator. the purpose is to attempt to work out an agreement as to all or some of the issues. In most family cases mediation will come about 1/2 way through a case. As an attorney, I prefer to mediate earlier in cases, because, if parties are inclined to settle, settling early can decrease total attorney's fees, animosity between the parties and chaos in the family. It also provides valuable information on the case for both sides.
Most parenting plans have provisions which allow either parent to temporarily modify timesharing provisions, provided that both parents are in agreement. This allows for the parents to coordinate their schedules. The parents and court anticipates that certain events occur in life that are minor in nature and does not require court intervention. The question then remains what type of actions require a contempt motion.
When people contact me about the possibility of getting divorced often times they have been residing in such a difficult situation for so long that they see divorce as a ray of light. Many people almost idealize the idea of divorce and look forward to being out of the relationship. Others have decided they want a divorce but haven't spent much time thinking about what that really means.
To begin with, the difference between disqualification and recusal is that with a disqualification a litigant or party is requesting that the Judge be replaced due to the perception of the Party of bias. A recusal is when a Judge on their own decides they cannot be impartial and voluntarily resigns from the case.
Every party to a family law case must comply with production of Mandatory Disclosure. This is pursuant to Florida Rule of Family Procedure 12.285. A party has 45 days from the date they were served or from the date they served the other side to produce certain documents.