To Parents In Family Law Cases: It Is About The Children
By Orlando Divorce Attorney Eduardo J. Mejias
Practicing Exclusively Family Law Since 2005
The Highly Emotional State of Litigating Parents
The first two law firms I worked at focused on personal injury and general civil litigation. I recall more than one of my colleagues warning me about venturing into the “emotionally charged” waters of family law. Of course, I ignored these warnings and dived head-first into the family law ocean in 2005, and I have been navigating its stormy waters ever since.
While my former colleagues knew little about the nuances of family law, they correctly identified that its distinguishing trait was the highly emotional state of its litigants. Parents, in particular, let emotion cloud their judgment during family law litigation, even when they are otherwise reasonable and intelligent people.
Whether they are divorcing spouses, ex-spouses involved in a relocation case, or simply unmarried parents engaged in a paternity matter, mothers and fathers have difficulty maintaining objectivity. The overpowering emotions of bitterness and distrust cause the average family law client to overemphasize the past and overlook the future.
Focus On Which Plan Is In The Children's Best Interest
Constant critiques of their former spouses or partners is not in their own interest or in that of their children. Eventually, the bitterness that these parents display, if left unchecked, will harm them at a trial. Which is why I counsel my clients to focus their proposed parenting plan or relocation request. Florida family law considers the legal standard to be: which parenting or relocation plan is in the best interests of the children.
Family law judges interpret petty complaints as signs of the parent’s unwillingness to foster a meaningful relationship between the children and the allegedly awful opposing parent. In Florida family law, one factor in deciding the parents' time sharing of child custody and the child support payments is the willingness of each to foster a meaningful relationship between the children and the other parent.
I am not declaring that all of past misdeeds are irrelevant. Certain parental acts or omissions (such as domestic violence, true neglect or abandonment) do indeed matter. Putting those exceptions aside, in any type of family law litigation you will secure better judgments at trial when your arguments are more future-oriented and positive. When I help clients construct a locally-based parenting plan, or an out-of-state relocation schedule, I advise them to ask themselves this: “How will this plan or schedule benefit my children in the future?” The focus should never be: “How does this parenting plan reward me or punish my former spouse?” Remember, it is all about the children.
Call AAA Family Law For A Free Initial Consultation
If you are involved a situation that could lead to a family law litigation, I encourage you to call AAA Family Law at 407-260-6001, and schedule a free thirty-minute initial consultation. During the consultation I will listen to your description of the family law situation that brought you into my office. Then I will present you with an outline of a legal plan of action that is geared to achieve your objectives. Lastly I will quote you a total fixed attorney retainer fee, not an hourly rate whose total you cannot predict.
These are the ranges of attorney retainer fees for the types of family law cases mentioned on this page. The amount of the actual fee within these
rages will depend on the degree of complexity of your case.
Contested Divorce Up To Mediation: $2,000 to $3,000. (An additional retainer amount is set before a trial if there is a trial.)
Uncontested Divorce: $1,000 to $1,500.
Paternity Cases: $1,750 to $2,500. (An additional retainer amount is set before a trial if there is a trial.)
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