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Divorce can be a complicated process, involving other family law matters that have to be addressed within the divorce. These matters include:

  • Child Custody and Timesharing
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Property Division

There are two types of divorces that impact the cost and duration of your divorce:

  • Uncontested - Uncontested divorces are much less expensive than contested divorces. If you and your spouse agree on every single issue, our firm can prepare all of the proper pleadings and attend the hearing necessary to get you divorced. The total cost is a flat fee, including the filing fees paid to the Clerk of Courts. This is a non-refundable retainer, so make sure that you and your spouse are in complete agreement before you pay for an uncontested divorce.
  • Contested - If the parties cannot agree upon every single issue, then the divorce is contested. There are typically four components that make up the "cost" of a contested divorce, including: negotiation, whether there is a trial, mediation and duration.

Our firm understands that sometimes marriages have to end. We are not here to pass judgment.

Rather, we are here to help you get through this often painful process and move on with your life.

Contact an attorney at the law office of Lisa A. Baird. P.A. to learn more about your options and how we may be able to help you.

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The subject of paternity arises in many ways. Many times a couple has a child out of wedlock and ultimately breaks up, leaving the issue of visitation, custody and child support in dispute. In other instances, a man has been ordered to pay child support based on an administrative order, but has never established his legal rights to custody, visitation, and/or shared parental responsibility.

At the law office of Lisa A. Baird. P.A. we strive to help paternity clients understand their rights and options within the bounds of the law. We are dedicated to helping the parents of the child understand their separate responsibilities to the child or children involved. Each parent has a duty to support their children, and each parent has the right to be an active participant in the lives of their children.

With the emergence of new technology, it is easier than ever to determine paternity. If an individual obtains reliable evidence that he is not the biological father of a minor child, then our office can take the appropriate steps to file the proper motion to attempt to set aside a determination of paternity.

Once the child's parentage has been established, the related custody, visitation and/or child support matters can be properly addressed. Contact an attorney at the law office of Lisa A. Baird. P.A. to learn more about your options, and how he or she may be able to help you.

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One issue within the area of post decree modifications is relocation. A standing custody order must be examined and modified if a parent is seeking to move out of state with a child. We provide representation to clients seeking modification of a custody order due to relocation as well as clients attempting to prevent relocation.

Before a new law was enacted in 2006, a primary custodian would often just pack up and move without prior notice to the non-custodial parent. If the Final Judgment did not specifically restrict such movement, the non-custodial parent faced an uphill battle to force the return if the parties' minor child to the court's jurisdiction. The timeframe for a hearing would often work to the relocating parties' advantage, giving him or her time to settle the child in the new location. Recognizing the inequality created by inconsistent treatment of eases by family law judges, the Florida Legislature has provided a precise process governing the relocation of children.

If the non-relocating parent consents to the relocation, the parties must execute a written agreement that reflects the consent to the relocation; defines the visitation rights for the non-relocating parent and any other persons who are entitled to visitation; and describes, if necessary, any transportation arrangements related to the visitation.

If the non-relocating parent does not consent to the relocation, the relocating parent must serve upon the other parent, and every other person entitled to visitation, a Notice of Intent to Relocate with a Child. The Notice must provide very specific information, and failure to comply with the strict requirements will render the Notice legally insufficient!

The non-relocating parent has 30 days to object to the proposed move, and if he or she fails to file a written objection, the court can enter an order allowing the relocation without a hearing. However, if the non-relocating parent files a timely objection to the proposed move, then the court will schedule a hearing on the matter. Keep in mind that the objection must also follow precise statutory requirements. At a contested hearing on whether the court will allow the relocation of a minor child, the judge will consider a number of statutory factors, and the moving party carries the burden of proving that the move is in the child's best interest.

If a primary residential parent moves without complying with the statutory requirements of F.S. § 61.13001, that party could be held in contempt of court and could be ordered to immediately return the child(ren) to the jurisdiction. Furthermore, it can be a consideration in denying the relocation or, even worse, changing primary custody.

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Child Support

The following child support and alimony laws changed on 7/1/10. Call us to find out how these changes affect your case.

Regardless of the context through which child support matters arise, our firm can assist you in dealing with the issues as efficiently and effectively as possible. We provide assistance to married and unmarried individuals that are seeking to ascertain the proper amount of child support for their children.

Child support is statutorily required and generally cannot be waived. If a party wishes to establish child support that is not within the five percent range of the statutory guidelines, the party must file a motion to deviate from the guidelines. Child support typically should start upon separation, even before a petition is filed. If child support is not being paid, the court has the authority to establish an arrearage and require part of the arrearage paid with each court-ordered child support payment.

The intent behind creating the statutory guidelines is to establish statewide uniformity when it comes to the payment of child support. Therefore, all divorced parents similarly situated pay similar support. It is impermissible for a judge to deviate from these established guidelines without specific findings of fact to support the deviation. If a parent is found to be unemployed or under-employed, the court can actually impute or "assign" that parent a higher net income than he or she is actually earning.

Whichever parent is carrying the child(ren)'s health insurance, that parent will receive contribution from the other parent at the same percentage as child support. If the primary residential custodian has daycare expense, the secondary residential custodian must contribute to that expense. That amount becomes part of the court ordered child support figure. When daycare stops, the father would have the right to seek a modification of child support.

As you can see, child support is calculated by entering certain types of numbers, such as the income of each parent and expenses, into a formula. This formula then calculates the amount of support that is warranted according to the accuracy of the numbers that were entered. Our firm will take the time to explain this process, the related procedures, and the other child support guidelines that must be followed.

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Child Custody and Timesharing

Whether you are married with children and are seeking a divorce, or if you have never been married and have children, child custody is a sensitive issue that often causes a great deal of stress and anxiety. Our staff at the law office of Lisa A. Baird P.A. strives to help ease the confusion and emotions that often surround custody matters. We take the time to explain our clients' options and the approach that may be used in seeking a resolution to the matter.

Generally speaking, there are two different kinds of custody: Primary Residential Custody (aka the custodial parent) and Secondary Residential Custody (aka the non-custodial parent). In some cases, judges will permit Rotating Custody, which is basically a 50/50 split of custodial duties.

Our firm views each ease individually and without judgment. By taking a fresh look at each ease, we are able to assess the potential for achieving a favorable resolution to the matter. There are many factors that affect the way in which child custody is awarded, but the most important factor is the best interests of the children. We encourage our clients to keep this factor in mind while pursuing the establishment of a custody, parenting time or visitation agreement.


Once a child custody and/or visitation order is established, it is not always permanent. For example, if there is a substantial change in circumstances, or if there is a disputed aspect of the judgment, a modification to the order can be sought. Our firm confidently handles modifications to child custody, visitation, parenting time, and any other agreements that may have been established.

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The following Child support and alimony laws changed on 7/1/10. Call us to find out how these changes affect your case.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is available in cases where one spouse needs support and the other spouse has the ability to pay it. Overall, this issue is probably the most contested issue in divorce cases. Generally, the court can award alimony in a lump sum or periodic payments. The shortest periodic payment is "bridge-the-gap alimony" which is awarded to assist the spouse in transitioning from married life to single life. If that spouse can show the court a reasonable plan for becoming self-sufficient, usually by completing additional education, the court can award rehabilitative alimony for a period of several years.

Sometimes, the court will award permanent periodic alimony, which will last until the receiving spouse remarries (under recent case law, "cohabitation" may be enough to trigger termination) or either spouse dies. Typically, permanent periodic alimony is awarded in a long-term marriage. There is usually a wide disparity of income between the parties, and the receiving spouse is "beyond" rehabilitation.

The amount of support awarded is dependent upon the "lifestyle established during the marriage." We are dedicated to helping clients understand their rights and/or obligations to receiving and/or paying alimony. We recognize that many individuals remarry and/or cohabitate after a divorce is finalized. We are familiar with these situations, and can also help with modifications and/or enforcement of any alimony agreements that are entered by the court.

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Family Law

At the law office of Lisa A. Baird, P.A. we are devoted to helping you understand your rights and options in family law matters. Any family law case can be stressful to everyone involved. We strive to ease any unnecessary anxiety that is placed on you by progressing through your case as capably as possible.

We start out each family law case by assessing your situation and goals for the outcome of the case. After collecting as much information as possible, we begin to structure the case, filing all of the required court papers regarding the case. Our firm stands by clients throughout the entire case and after the ease if there are any post-judgment issues that must be resolved.

There are many different types of eases that fall within the scope of family law, including:

  • Divorce
  • Paternity
  • Post Judgment Modification
  • Relocation
  • Domestic Violence Injunctions

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Property Distribution

The presumption is that all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are split equally. If one party desires an unequal split of marital assets and/or debts, it is that party's burden of proving the fairness of the unequal split.

Premarital Assets & Debts

If an asset was acquired by a party prior to the date of marriage, the court generally has no jurisdiction to even consider a distribution, and therefore, the asset remains with that party. A premarital asset can become a gift to the marriage if that asset is commingled with marital property. One example is where one spouse puts the other on the deed to the marital home.

Marital Home Equity

Home equity is generally split 50/50 like everything else. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on the home's value, they should be creative and agree on a neutral party's appraisal. In some instances, one party keeps the home and "buys out" the other party. This can be done by getting a second mortgage or trading equal value in another asset like a retirement account. In other instances, the home is sold.


Automobiles are really like any other asset (e.g. boats, jet skis, investment property) in that the equity in the cars will be split equally. As a practical matter, the husband has his car and the wife has hers. If there is more equity in one car than another, the parties trade equity in other property to achieve equal distribution.


Retirement accounts are assets subject to equitable distribution. Typically, each party is entitled to half of the net growth during the marriage of all retirement accounts. In order to achieve equitable distribution, the court can enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, which allows the transfer of funds from one retirement account to another without a tax penalty. If possible, the parties often trade equity in a retirement account with other assets like home equity to simplify matters.

Marital Debts

Like the assets, marital debts are presumed to be divided equally. The parties simply take the difference between the balance of all debts on the date of separation and date of marriage. A party seeking unequal division must prove how that would be fair. Speaking of debts, if one spouse can prove that the other spouse expended marital assets or incurred debt in the furtherance of an affair, the injured spouse will be awarded half the value of the wasted asset and will not be liable for the debt incurred.

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Domestic Violence Injunctions

Domestic violence charges are serious and can have a dramatic impact on your life and that of any children involved. We at the law office of Lisa A. Baird, P.A. recognize the seriousness of domestic violence and the ramifications of abuse.

We are dedicated to helping clients understand their options for seeking an answer to the domestic violence problems they may be encountering. We vehemently stand up for our clients in court when they are requesting restraining orders and injunctions against their abuser.

You do not have the face these issues alone. We pride ourselves on providing clients with compassionate but professional representation. Our firm is also committed to standing by clients throughout the entirety of their case and afterward if necessary.

Notwithstanding, many individuals attempt to use domestic violence allegations to gain leverage in family law proceedings, such as divorce and child custody disputes. We strive to ascertain the truth in the matter and proceed in a way that takes into consideration your best interest and goals for the case. We never condone violence, but we also are aware that there are instances where men and women are accused unjustly of domestic violence.

If you have been accused of domestic violence and need qualified representation or need assistance in obtaining a domestic violence injunction, let us help stand up for your rights.

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Post Judgment Modifications

Even after a decision is rendered in a family law case, you have options for seeking the modification of the order that was established. At the law office of Lisa A. Baird, P.A. we understand that circumstances change after the final judgment. We are sensitive to the concerns that the anticipation of these changes may not have been adequately incorporated into the standing orders.

Modifications are possible in many cases. We are committed to thoroughly examining all aspects of your case to determine if post judgment modifications are warranted in your specific situation.

Through our modification assistance, we try and help people understand the agreements that they have entered into. When questions arise, we strive to explain the situation and determine if seeking a modification to the order is possible. Contact an attorney at the law office of Lisa A. Baird, P.A. to learn more about your options, and how we may be able to help you.

Modifications can be sought regarding a variety of types of prior judgments, including:

  • Child Custody and Timesharing
  • Child Support
  • Alimony

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