Meet Allison Budnik
Allison is excited to use her experience to help families in the community. Family law cases often involve significant life changes. With the proper legal guidance, you will be able to make informed decisions and move forward with your life journey. Allison values the personal relationships she makes with her clients and takes pride in her ability to offer professional and reliable service for a variety of cases including divorce, paternity, adoption, guardian, and other marital law issues.
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Family Law Attorney in Winter Garden
What do I need to know about alimony?
- There is no statutory calculation for alimony. Alimony is based off the actual need of one party and the ability to pay by the other party. Without both elements, there will be no alimony. Need and ability to pay are not defined by certain numbers. According to Florida Statute 61.08, if the court finds that a party has a need for alimony and the other party has the ability to pay, then in determining the proper type of alimony, the court shall consider:
- The standard of living during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each spouse;
- The financial resources of each spouse including the nonmarital and marital assets and liabilities distributed to each;
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational levels, and employability of the parties;
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career building of the other;
- The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common;
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award;
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by the party; and,
- Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
If alimony is awarded, the duration of alimony is decided in accordance with the length of the marriage. A short-term marriage is from 0-7 years, a moderate-term marriage is more than 7 years but less than 17 years, and a long-term marriage is a marriage 17 years or more. The length of marriage is measured from the marriage date until the date of filing an action for dissolution of marriage. The duration of alimony can vary from a fraction of the total amount of years of the marriage to permanent alimony.
How long does it take to finalize my divorce?
Divorce cases are unique. The general process for a divorce case is as follows:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed;
- Petition and other necessary pleadings are sent to a process server to be formally served on other party, usually takes a week or two;
- The other party has 20 days from the date of service to file an Answer to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage;
- From that same date of service, both parties shall exchange financial disclosures (Financial Affidavits, bank statements, credit card statements, retirement information, pay stubs, tax information, etc.) within 45 days;
- After the financial exchange, we may spend time trying to settle the matter if settlement seems feasible;
- If we cannot settle, we are required to attend a formal Mediation to attempt to settle;
- If we do not settle at Mediation then your case may proceed to trial where a judge will decide on the outstanding issues.
- Please note, cases may settle at any time during the divorce proceedings.
Many cases that settle are completed in about 6-9 months. Cases that go to trial generally take 1-2 years to complete. After the initial formal proceedings and deadlines, the amount of time needed to finalize a divorce case is completely dependent on the actions of the parties, including whether the parties are able to settle their matters. For those in the Winter Garden area, our firm can absolutely assist.
Can I get full custody of my child?
Custody is not a term used in Florida anymore, however the traditional concepts of “custody” are now better described by two-prongs: timesharing and parental responsibility. The first prong timesharing, is the amount of overnight time spent with each parent. Florida Statute 61.13 provides there is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific timesharing schedule. This means the judge will likely start at a 50/50 schedule. To obtain more time, a parent must prove that it is in the child’s best interest. Some important factors to consider when creating a timesharing schedule include the distance between the parents’ residences, the parents’ job schedules, each parent’s ability to care for the child, and other factors unique to each family unit. Timesharing schedules include school year scheduling as well as holiday and summer schedules.
The second prong of Florida “custody” is parental responsibility, which refers to the rights of the parents. Parental responsibility is almost always divided equally unless there are specific and extreme circumstances which make it appropriate for one parent to have sole parental responsibility. Shared parental responsibility means the parents shall confer prior to making major decisions for the child. Additionally, it gives each parent the right to be involved in such decisions like academic, medical, and other areas regarding the child’s welfare.