Probate & Guardianship
Family law matters are stressful. They require sensitive attention with capable, forceful advocacy that is tailored to the circumstances. Hertz • Sager provides diligent and zealous legal representation in a range of family law matters, including divorce, child custody, relocation, paternity, child support, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, alimony and property distribution. We also handle Estates, Guardianships, and Trust matters. Hertz • Sager has over 30 years of experience in litigation and mediation of all areas of family law. Christy L. Hertz is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator, which allows her to help resolve disputes as either the advocate or the mediator. Thus, Hertz • Sager will work with clients in both amicable and adversarial settings.
Family law matters can become high conflict, and spouses going through a divorce often have disagreements on many issues. Divorces can be contested greatly when the spouses are in disagreement and cannot come to an agreement without litigation. We always prepare for whatever conflict may arise, albeit through the court or otherwise. We work hard to try to resolve all issues without litigation. Mediation is generally less acrimonious than a court proceeding. It is possible for the spouses to negotiate a marital settlement agreement with the assistance of a divorce and mediation attorney in the Miami area without litigation. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, a final hearing or trial before a judge will be necessary.Divorce
Florida is a no-fault state in which you need not obtain consent from your spouse to get a divorce. You can get a divorce provided only that the marriage is irretrievably broken no other reason is necessary. If one of the spouses was legally incompetent for more than three consecutive years before the divorce petition then the court will dissolve the marriage. The petition for divorce must be filed with the circuit court in the county in which the spouses last lived as a married couple.Child Custody
Many parents cannot agree on one or more aspects of their child’s life after a divorce, such as where the child lives or where the child goes to school. There is no presumption in favor of a parent of a particular gender. Sometimes it is possible for an experienced Miami divorce and mediation attorney to help the parents negotiate a parenting plan, which is an agreement that outlines each parent’s parenting responsibilities and time with the child. When the parents cannot agree, the court will make a decision in the best interests of the child. There are 13 factors to be considered when determining a child’s best interests.Child Support
Both parents owe an obligation to financially support their child. Usually, the parent who has the child or children for the majority of the time gets child support from the other parent. Child support is meant to pay for shelter, electricity, water, food, and other needs of a child. Sometimes a parent’s circumstances substantially change after a final judgment on child support is entered. It may be necessary to obtain a modification of child support from the court by showing a substantial change in circumstances that is involuntary, material, significant, and permanent.Alimony
There are several different types of alimony that may be awarded in connection with a divorce: Temporary lasting only through the divorce, Permanent to allow support for the remainder of your life, Rehabilitative, to allow one of the spouses to become trained or educated such that he or she is self-sufficient, Durational meaning that it gives economic assistance for a certain period of time, and Bridge the Gap between marriage and being single. A divorce and mediation lawyer can advise South Florida residents on the type of alimony (if any) that may be appropriate in their case. The court considers factors set forth in Florida Statutes section 61.08(2), and these factors include how the age of the parties are, length of the marriage, and each spouse’s earning capacity, life-style, among other factors.Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are contracts that two people create prior to their marriage. Often, people enter into prenuptial agreements in order to protect their home or income earned during the marriage in case of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements are contracts that spouses devise in order to make a specific arrangement for their property, and support children after they are married. Sometimes couples enter into these agreements in order to change the terms of a prenuptial agreement, while in other cases, conditions change within the marriage so that one or both spouses feel that such an agreement is needed.Domestic Violence Injunctions
We represent people seeking domestic violence injunctions as victims of violence, as well as people wrongfully accused of domestic violence. In Florida, there is domestic violence when a perpetrator commits certain crimes against a family or household member. These crimes include assault, kidnapping, battery, stalking, sexual assault, false imprisonment, or an aggravated form of one of the foregoing crimes, among other crimes. If you are a victim of one of these forms of violence by a household or family member, you should seek an injunction to protect your safety. However, there are situations in which someone is falsely accused of perpetrating violence, or in which the accusations are exaggerated. Our Miami divorce and mediation lawyers can help defend against an injunction so that you are not affected adversely by a restraining order in connection with your work or access to your child.Estates and Trusts
We handle both administration and litigation of estates. Probate is the process of identifying assets that belong to an estate and using them to pay off outstanding debts. Once debts are paid, the remaining assets are distributed to identified beneficiaries. When someone dies without a will, that person dies “intestate,” and their assets are distributed according to Florida law. There are situations in which there is a will, but it is suspicious based on how it was created or executed, or whom it disinherited. In that case, it may be appropriate to bring a will contest. Estate litigation can also arise in connection with the validity or administration of a trust. We have successfully litigated trust cases through South Florida, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Collier counties.Guardianships
Guardianships give one individual lawful authority to make financial and personal decisions on behalf of and for another individual. Guardianships may be put in place when a minor no longer has parents, or when an elderly or infirm person is unable to care for their own needs. When a guardianship is put in place for a person, that person is known as a ward. His or her guardian will be given certain rights, and the ward will not be authorized to make those decisions for himself or herself. The guardian is supposed to make decisions based on the ward’s best interests, and their performance in making decisions is subject to judicial review. Our firm handles both the administration of guardianships and litigation related to them.Mediation
Mediation and litigation are both used when parties cannot come to an agreement on their own, but they are significantly different processes. Litigation is a matter of public record, whereas mediation is confidential. Mediation may be court ordered or is voluntary, and its scheduling is based on the mediator’s and the parties’ private arrangements. Mediation is not bound by the same laws and rules that govern litigation, so the agreements that come out of mediation can be more creative than what the court decides. The purpose of mediation is to devise an arrangement with which both sides can live. The mediator, who facilitates mediation, is not a judge but is there to help negotiate a mutually satisfactory solution.Consult an Experienced Divorce and Mediation Attorney in Miami
Hertz • Sager prides itself on treating clients’ problems with compassion and care. If you are concerned about a family law matter in South Florida, you should consult our sensitive attorneys for advice and advocacy. We represent people throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Collier Counties. Call us at 305.444.3323 or use our online contact form.
Miami Divorce and Mediation Lawyer | Coral Gables Family Law Attorney | Hertz Sager
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