Largo Family Law Attorney
A generation ago, most children grew up in “traditional” households that consisted of a married mother and father, neither of whom had been married before, and their pure biological children. Today, most American children grow up in “nontraditional” homes, most commonly with a step-parent and/or step-siblings. Other examples include households headed by a single parent, cohabitating parents, adopted parents, and grandparents.
The individuals in these blended families don’t always mesh together seamlessly, like The Brady Bunch. Additional emotional difficulties, as well as additional financial challenges, are quite common. These additional hurdles usually require additional legal action.
A flexible Largo family law attorney at Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff provides a wide range of legal services to blended families. These cost-effective services offer long-term solutions to everyday problems. While we adjust our approach in certain cases, our underlying philosophy doesn’t change. We approach every case with the same dedication and expertise. We are not satisfied with anything less than the best result under the circumstances, because you deserve no less.
Contrary to popular myth, signing the birth certificate doesn’t create a legal parent-child relationship. Only a legal paternity action does that. This legal bond means:
- Set Parenting Time Schedule: Whether they admit it or not, children usually need boundaries and predictability. Without a set parenting time schedule, the custodial parent may unilaterally cut off visitation for any reason s/he sees fit. In fact, the custodial parent can even put the child up for adoption without notifying the other biological parent.
- Stepping Stone: Full custody may not be on a nonresidential parent’s radar at the time a paternity petition is filed. However, things change. And, in most cases, only a legal parent may become a custodial parent.
- Firm Child Support: A fixed child support payment schedule is only the beginning. Legal child support orders usually include payment portal setup. So, there’s no question about the amount of child support paid or received.
Additionally, paternity has some intangible and indirect benefits. For example, if the child gets sick, the treating physician has access to all family history medical records, instead of half these records.
Step-parent, agency, and private adoptions are all options for families in Pinellas County and nearby jurisdictions.
Streamlined step-parent adoptions usually don’t require social studies. A step-parent simply assumes the legal and financial mantle of a biological parent. As a possible fallback, a name change petition is almost as good as a step-parent adoption.
The adoption agency does much of the work in an agency adoption. That could be a bad thing, as many adopting parents often feel like they’re lost in the shuffle. A Largo family law attorney ensures that adopting parents have a strong voice in the process.
State rules regarding private adoptions are extremely strict. For example, the law sharply limits the money and medical care reimbursement an adopting family can give a biological mother. If someone tries to undo an adoption later, the process is gut-wrenching, to say the least.
Many states have extremely limited grandparent visitation rights. But Florida grants broad rights in this area.
Florida grandparents are generally entitled to visitation if the grandparents have been denied visitation and such contact is in the best interests of the children. In plain English, the grandparents must be more than babysitters. Usually, grandparents are entitled to one weekend a month in these situations.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Pinellas County Attorney
Family law matters usually involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced Largo family law attorney, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. Convenient payment plans are available.