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Expertise - Best Divorce Lawyers in Boca Raton

Boca Raton Divorce Lawyer

At the Lane Law Firm, P.A., we are dedicated to providing exceptional representation to our family law clients. We care about our clients, take the time to listen, and tenaciously advocate on behalf of our clients’ rights and the best interests of their children.

Full-Service Family Law Firm

With decades of litigation experience, we exclusively practice in the area of divorce and family law.  Our law firm has a 10.0 Avvo Rating, a 10.0 Justia Rating, and is listed in Who’s Who in American Law. Read What Our Past Clients Say About Us.  Our firm offers a full spectrum of family law services, including: Child Custody and Visitation; Alimony; High Asset/High New Worth Divorce; Division of Property and Assets; Child Relocation; Child Custody Modification; Child Custody for Unmarried Parents; and Same-Sex Divorce. 

Trusted Representation in Family Law Matters

We possess the financial acumen required to provide thoughtful guidance, and sophisticated representation in complex financial matters. Additionally, we realize that nothing is as important as preserving your relationship with your children. We have spent decades litigating complex and contentious matters in state and federal courts throughout the nation. Our firm approaches our cases in a strategic, results-oriented and cost-effective manner. We are skilled negotiators and fierce litigators.

We take our responsibility to our clients seriously. Our firm offers the highest level of professionalism, and provides our clients with sound legal advice and thoughtful guidance at a time when they need it most.

Custody and Visitation in Boca Raton, Florida

In developing a parenting plan, courts are tasked with two functions. First, courts are required to allocate parental responsibility. Second, courts are required to formulate a time-sharing schedule. Some of the primary areas of parental responsibility include the selection of the children’s healthcare providers, educational institutions, religious upbringing, travel, summer camp, and extra curricular activities. In Florida, parental responsibility will be shared by the parents, unless the court finds that it would be detrimental to the best interests of the children. When it is in the best interests of the children, courts may order that one of the parents has sole parental responsibility for decision making for the children. When courts order shared parental responsibility, they may award ultimate parental responsibility to one of the parents over certain aspects of the children’s wellbeing. Learn More

Second, the court is required to formulate a time-sharing schedule. In awarding time-sharing, the best interests of the children are the primary consideration. In determining the best interests of the children, courts are required to consider a number of factors. Some of the factors that Florida Courts are required to consider in formulating an appropriate time-sharing schedule include: (i) the parents willingness to encourage a close relationship between the children and the other parent; (ii) proof that the parents put the children’s needs before their own; (iii) mental health issues that affect the children; (iv) the moral fitness of the parents; (v) the involvement of the parents in their children’s lives, including their school and extracurricular activities; (vi) whether a consistent routine is provided for the children; (vii) whether there is evidence of domestic violence; (viii) the parenting tasks that each of the parents customarily perform for the children; (ix) whether the parents maintain an environment for the children that is free of substance abuse; and (x) whether the parents protect their children from the divorce proceedings by not discussing things that happen during the proceedings and by not disparaging the other parent in front of the children.

Under Florida law, both parents have access to all records and information about their children, including, school records and medical information. Additionally, both parents have the right to in-person communication with the children’s school and medical providers.

Courts may order that electronic communication should take place between parents and their children. In deciding whether to order electronic communication, courts must consider four factors: (i) whether electronic communication is in the children’s best interest; (ii) whether electronic communication equipment is reasonable available and affordable; (iii) the parents’ history of domestic violence or substance abuse; and (iv) any other factor that courts considers to be material. There is a rebuttable presumption in the Florida Statutes that it is in the children’s best interest for parents and their children to have reasonable telephonic communication. The court may set guidelines for electronic communication between parents and their children. Electronic communication may be used only to supplement time-sharing with children, and may not be used as a substitute for it.

As part of the final judgment of dissolution of marriage, the court will issue a parenting plan. The parenting plan will: (i) address all jurisdictional issues involving the children; (ii) delegate the responsibilities for handling the daily tasks that are involved in raising the children to each of the parents; (iii) issue a time-sharing schedule; (iv) designate responsibility for school-related matters and healthcare decisions; and (v) describe the methods that the parents may use to communicate with their children.

To speak with a Boca Raton family law attorney to discuss custody and visitation issues in Florida, contact the Lane Law Firm, P.A. at (561) 363-3400.

Alimony in Boca Raton, Florida

There are four types of alimony in Florida. They are permanent periodic alimony, durational alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, and rehabilitative alimony.

Permanent periodic alimony is intended to provide for the needs and necessities of life of the recipient spouse, as they were established by the parties during the course of the marriage. Permanent periodic alimony lasts until the payor dies, the recipient dies, the recipient enters into a supportive relationship, or there is a substantial change of circumstances. The two primary considerations in awarding permanent periodic alimony are the recipient’s need for alimony and the payor’s ability to pay. In assessing the recipient spouse’s need, the court is required to consider the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the course of the marriage. Additionally, the court is required to assess the parties’ financial resources, their earning capacities, the length of the marriage, their age, their health, their contribution to the marriage, the parties’ responsibility for raising minor children, and the tax consequences of the alimony award. Learn More

Durational alimony is intended to provide a recipient spouse with financial assistance for a set period of time. It provides a recipient spouse with economic assistance following a short-term or a moderate-term marriage, or following a long-term marriage when the recipient spouse does not have an ongoing need for financial support. In Florida, a marriage of less than seven (7) years is considered to be a short-term marriage. A marriage that has a duration of more than seven (7) years, but less than seventeen (17) years, is considered to be a moderate-term marriage. A marriage that exceeds seventeen (17) years is considered to be a long-term marriage. An award of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the parties’ marriage. Durational alimony terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient spouse or upon the death of either of the spouses. The amount of an award of durational alimony may be modified upon the occurrence of a substantial change of circumstances, however, the length of a durational alimony award may only be modified under exceptional circumstances.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is intended to provide assistance with the identifiable short-term needs that are involved in making the transition from being married to being single. It is appropriate where a recipient spouse has the skills necessary to become self-supporting, but needs financial support for a defined period of time in which to transition into the workforce. It includes payments to purchase household items, obtain a vehicle, move, pay for utilities, and make a deposit on a new living arrangement. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed two (2) years. The award is nonmodifiable. Bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient spouse, or upon the death of either of the parties.

Rehabilitative alimony is intended to enable the recipient spouse to become self-supporting through redevelopment of existing employment skills, or by receiving the training necessary to develop new skills. It is also intended to provide support during the rehabilitative period. In order to receive an award of rehabilitative alimony, the court must be provided with a specific rehabilitative plan. Rehabilitative alimony can be modified or terminated when there is a substantial change of circumstances, the recipient fails to comply with the rehabilitative plan, or the recipient completes the rehabilitation plan.

In determining a payor’s ability to pay alimony, a court looks at the payor’s net income. Net income means any form of payment that an individual receives, including, without limitation, salary, bonuses, commissions, annuities, retirement benefits, pensions, interest, dividends, trusts, payments received as an independent contractor, worker’s compensation, and royalties.

To speak with a Boca Raton divorce attorney to discuss alimony in Florida, contact the Lane Law Firm, P.A. at (561) 363-3400.

Division of Marital Assets in Boca Raton, Florida

The division of assets and liabilities in Florida is a four-step process. The first step is the clear identification of the parties’ marital and nonmarital assets and liabilities. The second step is the classification of these assets and liabilities as either marital or nonmarital. The third step is a determination of the fair market value of the parties’ assets, and an assessment of the parties’ liabilities. Finally, the court is required to enter a Final Judgment that distributes the parties’ marital and nonmarital assets and liabilities in the manner prescribed by Florida law. Learn More

Starting with the first step (identification), it is the parties’ obligation to present evidence of the existence and the value of the parties’ marital and nonmarital assets and the existence and balances due on the parties’ marital and nonmarital liabilities. Where parties fail to present evidence as to the existence and value of an asset or a liability, the court will not include it in the equitable distribution scheme. During the course of the dissolution proceedings, marital assets may be utilized for legitimate expenses (such as living expenses and attorney’s fees) and they will not be included in the equitable distribution scheme. However, when an asset is depleted or destroyed during the course of a dissolution proceeding as a result of intentional misconduct, the depleted asset will be assigned to the party that engaged in the misconduct.

The second step in the division of assets and liabilities in Florida is the classification of these assets and liabilities as being either marital or nonmarital. The cut-off date to determine whether an asset or a liability is classified as marital or nonmarital is the earliest of the date on which the parties enter into a separation agreement, a date that is expressly agreed to in a valid separation agreement, or the date on which a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed. Marital assets and liabilities are: (i) those assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the course of the marriage; (ii) the enhancement in value of nonmarital assets with marital funds or marital effort; (iii) the paydown of the mortgage on nonmarital property with marital funds; (iv) interspousal gifts; and (v) property held as tenants by the entireties. Nonmarital assets and liabilities are: (i) assets acquired and liabilities incurred prior to the marriage; (ii) assets acquired by noninterspousal gift; (iii) income from nonmarital assets; (iv) assets and liabilities excluded by prenuptial agreement; and (v) liabilities incurred through unauthorize signature or forgery of the other spouses’ name.

The third step in the division of assets and liabilities in Florida is the determination of the fair market value of the parties’ assets. The fair market value of an asset is the amount of money that a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept, if neither side is under compulsion and both parties have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. It is not the replacement cost of the property, and it is not the price that a particular buyer would pay for the property. The date to determine the value of assets and the amount of liabilities is the date that the judge determines is just and fair under the circumstances.

The fourth step in the division of assets and liabilities in Florida is the issuance of the Final Judgment. The Final Judgment must be supported by factual findings that are based on competent substantial evidence. There must be specific written findings that clearly identify the parties’ marital and nonmarital assets and liabilities; it must classify the parties’ assets and liabilities as being marital or nonmarital; value and distribute these assets; and designate which of the parties’ shall be responsible for the parties liabilities.

Child Relocation in Boca Raton, Florida

In Florida, relocation is a change in the location of the residence of a parent from his or her place of residence at the time of the filing of a pending action to establish or modify time-sharing, or subsequent to the issuance of an order that establishes or modifies time-sharing. The relocation must be at least fifty (50) miles from the original location, and it must be for at least sixty (60) consecutive days. Relocation does not include absences to obtain health care for a child, for education, or to take a vacation. Learn More

A parent who desires to relocate must file a Petition to Relocate. The Petition must be sworn to under penalties of perjury and contain: (i) a description of the location of the new residence; (ii) the telephone number of the new residence; (iii) the date of the intended move; (iv) a detailed statement of the reasons for the relocation; (v) if there is a written job offer, the job offer must be attached to the Petition to Relocate; (vi) a proposed time-sharing schedule; (vii) a proposal for the transportation arrangements necessary to enable time-sharing with the children to take place; and (viii) a statement that is printed in large font and in capital letters that notifies the recipient of the Petition that he or she must file a written response to the Petition within twenty (20) days after service of the Petition.

If a parent relocates the children without complying with the requirements of the Florida Relocation Statute, the following consequences can occur: (i) the parent can be held in contempt of court; (ii) a proceeding can be held to compel the return of the children; (iii) the noncompliance may be taken into account by the court in awarding time-sharing and/or the proposed relocation; (iv) the noncompliance can be taken into account by the court in awarding parental responsibility; and (v) the court can assess expenses and attorney’s fees against the noncompliant party.

Call Us Today

At the Lane Law Firm, P.A., we are trusted counselors who provide sound legal advice and superior client service. We understand the profound importance of the matters with which we are entrusted. Our law firm is here to help you move toward a better future. Retain an experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer and family law attorney who is dedicated to professional excellence. To arrange for an initial consultation, call our office at (561) 363-3400 or contact us online.

Client Reviews
"I had an excellent experience with Mr. Lane. I went through a very difficult divorce and he was excellent. He was always available and always treated me like I was his most important client. I would and do recommend him to anyone who needs a lawyer specializing in divorce." Dr. Mark F.
"Matt Lane truly cares about his clients. He brings his extensive knowledge, years of experience, and meticulous attention to detail to every case. He fights for his clients in a strategic, thoughtful, and cost-effective manner. By the end of my case, we were not just attorney and client, we became and remain friends." Jim B.
"I hired Matthew Lane for a relocation (out of state) and time-sharing case. Mr. Lane went above and beyond my expectations. He knew exactly what needed to be done. Mr. Lane is extremely intelligent and I cannot imagine having someone else represent me… He is truly one of the best and works extremely hard. I am very happy I have Mr. Lane as my attorney." Alisa H.