Areas of Practice
The Hinds Law Office practices in a range of legal services including Family Law, Probate, and Criminal Defense. The legal services we provide are detailed on the right hand side of this page.
We provide a wide range of family law legal services as detailed below.
Dissolution of Marriage
When spouses no longer wish to be married one may file a petition for dissolution of marriage or in other words a petition for a divorce. A divorce can resolve issues such as alimony, custody, child support, and division of assets and liabilities.
A no-contest divorce is available if parties agree as to the issues regarding divorce such as who shall retain items bought during the marriage. An agreement is filed with the court and it takes about 30 days to get a signed judgment of divorce.
A contested divorce should be considered if parties cannot resolve their differences or it is in your interest to contest issues such as child custody, child support, or alimony.
Child custody orders from a court should be sought by parents of the child whether or not the parents were ever married. These orders give the parents instructions on who has authority to decide issues about the child such as medical care and where the child will attend school as well as who the child shall live with.
A court may order a non-custodial parent to pay child support to the parent having custody until the child reaches nineteen or the child becomes self-sufficient. In Alabama there is a set of guidelines for determining child support where the income of the parties, health insurance costs for the child, and pre-existing child support and alimony obligations are used to set child support. However, a court may deviate from the guidelines and consider other factors.
One of the most common adoptions in Florida is a Stepparent adoption. A spouse is allowed to adopt the biological child of the other spouse. There must be consent from both biological parents. If one biological parent is unable to be found the adopting party must show the court they have attempted to find the parent. An adoption will terminate the parental rights of one biological parent and legally establish the stepparent as the new parent.
There are some special considerations before going through a stepparent adoption. After a stepparent adopts a child then if the couple divorces the stepparent now has all the same rights and obligations of any other parent. This means the stepparent can be liable for child support and will have time-sharing (custody) rights regarding the child.
One way to enforce an order of the court can be to file a petition for contempt. The petition will ask the court to find the other party in contempt for failing to follow one or more of the judge’s orders. If the judge finds his order has not been followed then he has the power to confine the contemptuous party or in the case of past due child support the judge may find the party liable for support arrearages.
The court has authority to order alimony. Alimony may be granted on a showing of need by one party together with the ability to pay by the other. Some facts that may be considered by the court in setting alimony include the party’s ability to pay, future financial prospects, the ages of the parties, health of the parties, conduct of the parties, and the length of the marriage.