Family and Marital Law


Unfortunately, a large percentage of all marriages end in divorce. A divorce is typically a highly emotional and traumatic experience for the spouses and their children. Further, spouses going through a divorce often are not aware of their legal rights and obligations. We are here to counsel our clients during their divorce and to assist them in navigating the complex dissolution of marriage process. Taking into account the multitude of issues involved in dissolution of marriage proceedings, our attorneys will explain the options specific to your case so you can decide the best and most cost-effective manner in which to proceed. 

It is also critical to have a basic understanding of the court system in the county your case will be heard.  For example, if you live in Orange County, Florida, you should be aware that the Circuit Judges have imposed a local rule requiring mediation prior to allowing a litigant the opportunity to seek an order for temporary relief (temporary alimony, maintenance, child support and attorney's fees) during the pendancy of the divorce proceeding which is provided by the Rules adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida.  While we believe this local rule requiring mediaiton prior to seeking temporary relief is unconstitutional on many levels, unfortunately it's currently the lay of the land in Orange County; thus, demonstrating the importance of choosing a law firm that understands how to work around the road blocks in order to best serve their clients.  We, at The Tate Firm, through years of experience,  know exactly how to handle the road blocks and routinely implement the necessary strategies in the best interest of our clients.  

Consider the hypothetical of a 40 year old Wife who is a stay-at-home mom with three teenage childern and married for the past 18 years living (long term marriage -17 years or greater) in Orange County, Florida ... The Husband has been the primary wage earner throughout the marriage and controls the family finances... The Husband is verbally abusive and unreasonably controlling... The Wife decides that she is finally done and wants a divorce but cannot see a path out of the relationship.... In particular the Wife is fearful that she will not be able to financially sustain during the divorce process and thereafter... What is this lady suppposed to do?

The very first move is to contact the lawyers at The Tate Firm who deal with the real and serious concerns of the impecunious spouse (spouse in need of support) on a daily basis.  Once the case is filed in the Orange County Circuit Court and process served (which can be a very quick process), the lawyers at The Tate Firm immediately focus on securing the temporary support required to maintain the current standard of living.  This requires scheduling a mediation at the soonest possible date (due to the Orange County local rule requiring mediation prior to seeking temproary relief), filing a Motion for Temporary Relief and scheduling such motion for hearing on the heels of the mediation in the event the matter is not settled.  Hopefully the matter is settled at mediation but if not, the lawyers at The Tate Firm are in the courtroom shorlty thereafter seeking all the temporary relief, including monies for attorney's fees and costs, necessary to continue with a normal lifestyle throughout the case.  If the matter proceeds to a final hearing, the lawyers will seek a parenting plan with proper timesharing (formerly known as custody), a fair division of the marital assets, permanent alimony (monthly support) based on the long term marrige, child suppport, and an award of attorney's fees and costs based on the Wife's need and Husband's ability to pay.  This trial method, known as PEACE, is effective and expected in all Courts in the State of Florida. 

P - Parental Responsibility/Timesharing (formerly known as custody)

E - Equitible Distribution which means division of "marital" assets and liabilities)

A - Alimony.  This is spousal suppport based on the Judge's discretion which analyzes the impecunious spouse's need; the pecunious spouse's ability to pay, the duration of marrige (short term marriage less than 7 years, moderate term marriage greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, long term marriage 17 years or greater) and other factors set forth in Florida Statute 61.08.  Alimony can be awarded as temporary (mentioned above) bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, permanent in nature, lump sum or any combination of these forms of alimony.   

C - Child Support.  An amount of money paid by one party to the other for support of the children.  Child support is the right of the children and is based on a formula that considers the income of the parties plus the number overnights at each parties' residence.  The number of overnights is a highly contested issue as the amount of calculated support can change drastically upon reaching a certain number.  

E - Everything else (Attorney's Fees and costs, etc.)

Obvioulsy not all cases are handled the same and the above is just a brief example of how important it is to choose a law firm that can navigate the legal system county by county - the lawyers at The Tate Firm have the experience.          

Most importantly the lawyers at The Tate Firm are particularly sensitive to the impact a separation, divorce, or paternity suit may have on the children involved. We are experienced in dealing with an array of family law issues involving children, including time-sharing, parenting plans, and parental relocation with a minor child. We have advocated for our clients in international relocation disputes, and recently helped a client win the right to relocate to the United Kingdom with her two children after a five-day trial. We also assist clients with actions to establish, enforce, modify, or terminate child support or alimony awards.

The attorneys at our firm can also counsel you with family law issues unconnected with a dissolution of marriage. We frequently represent a parent (either mother or father) in paternity actions, and are experienced in dealing with an array of paternity issues, including paternity tests, time-sharing, and child support. In addition, we can negotiate and craft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, which can help to ensure that your assets are protected in the unfortunate event of divorce. Likewise, our attorneys are available to assist with any private wealth or estate planning needs you may have before, during, or after a divorce or separation, as these changing family dynamics often necessitate the reconsideration of such needs.

If you are involved in a family or marital law matter/dispute please allow The Tate Firm to assist in the matter by giving us a call at (407) 205-6100 or filling out our contact form, we will handle your case with compassion, respect and discretion.