Fort Lauderdale Family & Divorce Attorney
Expertise in Florida Family Law, Divorce, Custody, Child Support, Alimony & More
Whether you are facing divorce, fighting for child custody, relocating, or adopting a stepchild, making legal decisions that will impact the future of your family is always difficult. You can make it much easier on yourself by having a competent and compassionate attorney by your side to help you achieve your goals. At Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we work hard to obtain favorable results for our clients as efficiently and economically as possible. Contact our experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys today.
Our Services for Individuals & Families in Fort Lauderdale & Boca Raton
As a legal practice devoted exclusively to family law, our Fort Lauderdale family law office is qualified to handle a broad range of domestic relations issues.
Please see our family law overview and divorce overview for more information about our professional services. Beyond just an advertisement, we want our website to be a true resource for current and potential clients, which means we cover topics here that you will not find on many other attorneys’ websites, such as specific information on the divorce process in Florida, filing a petition for dissolution of marriage, new divorce laws, and advice on choosing a Fort Lauderdale family law attorney.
Sound Advice & Compassionate Support
If you are going through a divorce or you are involved in a dispute with a former spouse or partner, you understandably have a lot more on your mind than your legal rights and interests, especially if your children are affected by the situation. Unfortunately, however, many lawyers (even those who call themselves family lawyers), only address your legal concerns.
This is not how we approach client representation at Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. While knowledge of Florida divorce laws is of utmost importance, we also believe it is our job to act as your counselor. We have found that clients who are able to effectively manage their emotions are more likely to make sound legal decisions. Contact our Fort Lauderdale family law and divorce attorneys today.
Choosing A Florida Family Law & Divorce Attorney
At Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A., we understand that choosing the right lawyer to handle your divorce can be stressful and overwhelming. We suggest considering the following three factors to select the family law attorney who is best for you and your case: (1) credentials, (2) approach, and (3) working relationship.
First of all, it is important to hire a lawyer who has demonstrated expertise in the area of family law, including divorce, custody, alimony and property division issues. Look for an attorney who focuses on family law, rather than a general practitioner. The lawyer should have at least five to 10 years of experience, and he or she should be a member of one or more professional associations that require a high degree of competency in order to become a member. He or she should also be recognized by his or her peers as an authority on family law.
Sandra Bonfiglio has been licensed to practice law in Florida for over a decade, and has devoted her legal career to family law. She established her own firm to focus on family law in 2001. She is an active member of the Family Law Sections of the Florida State Bar Association and the Broward County Bar Association. She has also taught as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, and served as supervising attorney for the school’s family and civil law clinic.
It is important to consider how the lawyer will approach your case and you as a client. During your first interview, ask yourself: “Will this attorney be aggressive or laid-back?” “Will he or she prioritize the issues that I think are the most important?” “Will he or she work to be cost-effective when handling my case?” Also find out if the lawyer’s approach is client friendly. For example, does he or she emphasize returning phone calls promptly and keeping clients informed? You should also ask about fees, including what is the retainer and hourly rate, and find out if other lawyers will be working on your case.
When it comes to family law matters, a close working relationship between you and your lawyer is essential. You should have frequent contact with your attorney as your case progresses, including telephone calls, emails and office meetings. You should feel comfortable confiding in your lawyer, trusting that anything you tell him or her is privileged and cannot be repeated. Your lawyer must understand your needs and goals, as well as how you want your case to be handled.
Florida Family Law & Divorce FAQs
If you are facing divorce or have another legal concern involving your family, you likely have many questions during this difficult time. Here, we address some common concerns people have when they come to our office. Contact our Florida family law & divorce attorneys for more information.
What rights do grandparents have in Florida?
While Florida has a law that provides for grandparents’ rights, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled in multiple decisions that the law violates a parent’s right to decide which associations are in the best interests of his or her children. This means that in most cases grandparents must show that a child’s natural parents are unfit to pursue visitation rights. For more information, please see our grandparents’ rights page.
Is there legal separation in Florida?
Florida law does not allow spouses to file for a formal legal separation; however, there are ways to achieve a similar result by using other legal documents, such as separation agreements, a Petition for Support Disconnected with Dissolution of Marriage, and postnuptial agreements. See our legal separation page for more information.
How do I file for divorce in Florida with children?
If divorcing spouses have dependent or minor children together, or the wife is pregnant, they must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to start the divorce process. Other documents, including a UCCJEA Affidavit, a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, and a Parenting Plan, must also be filed and approved before the divorce can be finalized.
How can I get temporary custody of a child in Florida?
After a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, a court will hold a temporary hearing and issue an order that controls legal aspects of the parties’ relationship until the divorce is finalized. If custody is contested, the order will establish a temporary custody solution. A court may also address temporary custody in other legal proceedings, such as child support enforcement, domestic violence protection, and contempt for violations of a court order.
How do I file for joint custody in Florida?
Florida law favors joint custody, or shared parental responsibility, in divorce and other types of family law proceedings. If you are going through a divorce, your joint custody arrangement will be formalized in a parenting plan. If you are not married, you may establish joint custody and time-sharing by filing a Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief.
How can I get full custody of my child in Florida?
While Florida courts favor shared parental responsibility in custody matters, it is possible to get full custody if it is in the best interests of the child. Some of the factors a court may look at in granting full custody include whether a parent was abusive to the child, whether he or she abuses drugs or alcohol, and whether there is a history of domestic violence in front of the child. For more information, see our page explaining full custody.
How can I get visitation rights in Florida?
Visitation is now referred to as time-sharing in Florida. To establish a time-sharing arrangement, the parents must work out logistical issues, such as how transportation will be handled, possible parent relocation, and the dividing up of holidays, and outline their arrangements in a parenting plan. If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will make one for them.
How can I modify child support in Florida?
You may qualify for a support order review and modification if your current child support order will not end within six months from when the Florida Department of Revenue receives your request; your support order has not been changed or reviewed in the last three years; or, you can show a significant change in your life, such as an increase or decrease in income or a change in your child’s needs. For more information, see our child support modification page.
How can I enforce child support in Florida?
In Florida, enforcing a child support order means getting a parent to do what a child support order says. Some of the ways the state can help you enforce a child support order includes suspending a Florida driver’s license, taking IRS tax refunds, taking payments from paychecks, and placing liens on property. For more about collecting unpaid child support, please see our child support enforcement page.
How long does divorce take in Florida?
Florida law only requires a judge to wait 20 days from the time a divorce petition is filed to grant a divorce, and even this waiting period may be waived. This means that the length of time it takes to get divorced in Florida depends largely on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. Please see our divorce process page for more information.
How can I learn more?
To learn how we can help in your specific situation, please contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to schedule a one-on-one meeting. We serve clients in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and throughout Broward County in southeast Florida.
Contact Us for Strong, Sympathetic Fort Lauderdale Family Law & Divorce Representation
By providing sympathetic counsel, aggressive representation and practical advice, we aim to give clients peace of mind and real solutions. If you live in Fort Lauderdale or Boca Raton, and you have any type of family law concern, contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to schedule a consultation at our offices. There is no obligation and your first 15 minutes are free, let our Fort Lauderdale family attorneys help.
What rights do grandparents have in Florida?
While Florida has a law that provides for grandparents' rights, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled in multiple decisions that the law violates a parent's right to decide which associations are in the best interests of his or her children.