Family Law


 

Mother smiling with children

Divorce

Whether you have been served divorce papers or have decided to take action and file divorce papers yourself, Amber Patwell can represent you.  Going through a divorce can be a very stressful experience; inadequate legal representation, or worse yet, no representation at all can aggravate an already trying time.  Amber Patwell understands that clients need a resolution as efficiently as possible and want to ensure their rights are protected and to feel that they get a fair disposition.

Clients have a lot of questions, for example:  How will my property and debts be divided?  Where will my children live? What about child support?  Alimony?  Will I have to pay child support or alimony, or am I entitled to receive either one?  Let Amber Patwell help guide you through the process and alleviate your concerns by explaining the law and developing a legal strategy for you.   

Amber Patwell has represented over 500 clients in family law actions and has the knowledge and experience to guide you through equitable distribution, parenting plans, child support, alimony and any unique issues that you are experiencing.  Amber Patwell has handled collaborative divorce cases, uncontested divorce cases, high conflict divorce cases and everything in between.  Call our office today and set up a consultation so we can help assist with your divorce.

Father smiling with children

Paternity

Paternity actions are those in which parties have a child but are not married. These cases are extremely important to file as soon as possible, especially for the Father of the child or children.  Many years ago, these cases may have been rarer than divorces, but now they are quite common.  Unfortunately, the law has not caught up with social norms, and as archaic as it may be, Florida law says that children born out of wedlock live with the mother until a court order stating differently is entered.  Paternity must be adjudicated by the court.  This is necessary for Fathers that want to have legal timeshare with their children and for Mothers who want to have child support obligations ordered.

You may have been served with a paternity action, or you may be contemplating initiating one.  Either way, no parent should go without a court approved parenting plan that provides for parental responsibility, timeshare and child support.  Amber Patwell has handled hundreds of paternity actions and will zealously advocate for you and your child.  Call today to set up a consultation so we can assist you with your paternity case.


Contempt, Modification and other Post Judgment Issues

Unfortunately, even after a final judgment is made in a divorce or paternity action, there might still be a necessity for court intervention. Sometimes one party doesn’t adhere to the Court order, or one party gets accused of not adhering to the Court order.  Willful refusal to obey a court order subjects the person who disobeys the court order to a contempt action. If you need assistance with bringing about a contempt action or defending yourself in one, Amber Patwell can assist you.  Other times, a substantial change in circumstance occurs, and a final judgement needs to be amended.  The law deems a substantial change in circumstance to be material, unforeseeable and permanent.  This can relate to child support or alimony being increased or decreased or timeshare plans or parental responsibility being changed. 

Amber Patwell can assist you in filing a petition for modification of a final judgment or defending one, if you have been served with a Petition for Modification but believe that the legal standard has not been met and the final judgment should remain the same.  Finally, matters arise after the judgment was entered that require guardian ad litem, parenting coordinator or other form of court intervention or assistance.  Amber Patwell is here to listen to your concerns and determine the legal relief available to you for all your post judgment matters. 

Domestic Violence Injunctions (DVI)

A petition for DVI can be filed when one party is a victim of domestic violence or reasonably fears they will imminently become a victim of domestic violence.  The Courts take domestic violence allegations very seriously because they relate to the safety of citizens and often children, our most vulnerable citizens.  If a Court grants a request for a domestic violence injunction, there are legal repercussions for violation, including being arrested and charged with a crime. 

On the other side of the spectrum, unfortunately there are people who lie or exaggerate a situation and say they are victims of domestic violence to get others in trouble, to use the court system to obtain leverage in a family matter, for revenge or another self-serving purpose.  If a domestic violence injunction is ordered against an individual, then there are serious repercussions from firearms being seized, to employment issues, to the risk of being arrested and charged with a crime. 

Regardless of your situation, whether you are a victim of domestic violence or you have been accused of being a perpetrator of domestic violence, it is of utmost importance that you have fully competent representation at your court hearing. Amber Patwell is here to help fight for you.  Contact Amber Patwell Law today so she can discuss how to help you.


Gay couple smiling with child between them

Adoptions

There are many families that are living together and acting as an immediate family without the legal documentation that reflects this.  There are many practical reasons why the child or children you are raising should be adopted, including health insurance, tax deductions and testamentary issues. 

Amber Patwell has helped many clients with step-parent, grandparent, same sex parent and other relative adoptions.  Amber Patwell Law can help unify your family with a legal bond that expresses the bond of love that your family already has! 

Young mother smiling with young child

Dependency

When the government steps in and takes or tries to take your children from you, it’s a frustrating and helpless feeling.  In a typical family law matter, both parents are adversaries against each other.  A typical family law matter can be a stressful situation. However, it is unparalleled to a dependency matter, where there are many 3rd parties involved, and, in the overwhelming majority of these cases, children aren’t living with either parent. 

Amber Patwell routinely handles dependency matters. She will help you get reunited with your children and ensure that you are being treated fairly by the system.  Call Amber Patwell today so she can help you with your dependency case.