Florida law perceives and treats children as equals — that is, children are deserving and entitled to protection and dignity. For all issues regarding children in the state of Florida, rely on experienced family law lawyers at the Law Offices of Silverman, Mack & Associates.
Child Advocates & Attorneys for Child Legal Matters
Florida child law is an extensive field that addresses the varying needs, rights and privileges of students, as well as the responsibilities and rights of parents. For all child-related issues, such as adoption, child abuse, child custody, child relocation, child support and general court procedures, it is best to rely on the experience and guidance of a family law attorney.
Adoption Attorneys & Advocates
Adoption is a sensitive process for biological parents, children and those looking to adopt. There are a myriad of factors that are considered during adoption evaluation procedures. Some of these may include an in-depth analysis of the adoptive parents’ physical and emotional well-being, financial and living conditions, as well as long-term employment and educational opportunities. Even if an adoption agency approves the adoption, there are often lengthy delays and extraneous procedures which parents wishing to adopt a child may experience.
At the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates, our family lawyers understand the ins and outs of the adoption system in Florida. If you are a parent who is planning to allow other people to raise your child, we can help you evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of the situation. This will allow you to make the most appropriate decision for your both yourself and your child. Not only will we help you reach a decision, but we will assist with locating and securing a responsible and loving parent for your child.
Further, if you are a parent wishing to adopt, our family law attorneys can help you navigate Florida’s intense adoption system so that you are fully knowledgeable of your rights and the adoption process as a whole. With legal representation, you can trust that your process will go much more smoothly.
Family Law: Child Abuse Cases
What constitutes child abuse?
Child abuse may occur in the form of neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or general exploitation of youth.
- Neglect refers to the failure of a parent or caretaker to foster an environment for proper physical, mental and developmental growth of children. Unsafe housing, insufficient medical attention, and/or inadequate food and shelter are examples of neglect.
- Physical abuse is any act that causes bodily harm to a child. This may be seen through kicking, hitting, shaking, pulling, pushing or burning the body parts of a child.
- Emotional abuse can be seen through deliberate acts that demean or degrade a child, such as negative name calling, shouting/yelling, or the usage of vulgar language.
- Sexual abuse involves sexual conduct between children and adults. This may be seen through forced lewd/lascivious behavior, portrayal of children in videos, games or magazines, and inappropriate touching.
When a child is abused or neglected, he or she can be harmed in numerous ways. Studies demonstrate that abuse contributes to poor self-esteem and general sense of worth. If you worry, suspect, or know that your child has been abused, it is best that you contact an experienced family lawyer in Gainesville. You will need evidence of abuse, expert testimonial support (from teachers, child psychologists, social workers, etc.), and assistance with gaining information from child victims. Experienced child advocates and child abuse attorneys at the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates will undergo thorough investigation to support your case, aggressively tackle your child’s predator and/or abuser, and be sensitive and empathetic to both you and your child.
Child Custody Lawyers
Child custody allows divorced, unmarried and/or otherwise separated couples to co-parent. While there are many different types of child custody, typical time sharing arrangements appoint one of the parents as the custodial parent, thereby making that person primarily responsibility over the child’s health care, education and living arrangements. For assistance with gaining child custody, a family lawyer can help you understand how to properly file documentation and present yourself in a family court of law.
Unmarried parents have to be careful when making both household and employment decisions, as such sudden changes may impact the well-being and development of the child. When a custodial parent determines that he/she must relocate with a child, compelling evidence and documentation must be presented to a court of law to support the claim that the relocation is:
- absolutely necessary, and
- will not harm the child.
Family courts seek to uphold the well-being of the child and they recognize that the healthy presence and interaction of a child with both of his/her parents contributes to a positive upbringing. Therefore, a family attorney may be vital to parents seeking to relocate with children for guidance and assistance with proving the necessity of a relocation.
Child Support Attorneys
Child support is a court-mandated program that requires a parent to make monthly payments to the co-parent for the purposes of providing for the child. Many factors such as the income, debts, assets, and real property of both parents are considered when determining child support eligibility.
Because there is much stigma associated with child support, it is advisable that parents wishing to gain monetary assistance from the co-parent discuss the issues with each other first. Afterwards, a family lawyer may assist with filing a request for child support and providing proof of need.
Children Testifying & Child’s Preference
Testifying within a court of law can be intimidating and frightening for children. Young children often do not fully comprehend the events that may have led up to their need to testify or how their stories will impact their families. Some children feel compelled to lie or avoid answering questions because they fear that if they say the “wrong thing,” someone may be harmed or become angry with them.
When faced with situations in which a child is present in court, it is best to hire a family law attorney to:
- Assure your child that testifying and telling the truth will not cause him/her any harm;
- Help your child understand that bad behaviors must be corrected through the legal system; and
- Train your child to present his/her story in a clear and confident manner during trial.
Further, it is important to avoid diminishing the desires of the child during court proceedings. During a divorce, for example, a child may prefer to live with the parent that is not established as the custodial parent. Such consideration of a child’s preferences hold special significance as it may prevent a child from experiencing guilt, depression, anger or uneasiness.
Emergency Motions Regarding Children
When unforeseen circumstances or tragic episodes occur, sudden or emergency changes in a child’s living arrangements may become necessary. If you must file an emergency motion for child relocation or child custody, you should contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. There are often rigid deadlines and constraints involved in gaining emergency motions, and legal representation may help your process run smoothly and quickly.
Family Law Attorneys for Children’s Issues
At the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates, you can expect empathetic yet aggressive representation for all of your needs regarding the rights and dignity of children. Our family law attorneys in Gainesville, FL, believe that the safety and well-being of your child holds the highest priority.
Contact our family law firm today.