FAMILIES IN CONFLICT
Plan a Better Future
Dedicated to assisting family law clients achieve the best results possible for a brighter, more positive future.
Alysia WolfsKeil, P. A. will protect your rights, with effective & efficient personalized legal representation. Whether involved in an amicable or a high conflict divorce Alysia WolfsKeil, P. A. is here for you with our personalized approach we so strongly believe in. We are devoted to giving our clients the personal attention they deserve and the best possible outcome for their individual case. Alysia WolfsKeil, P. A. is a boutique Family Law Firm in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach offering flexible hours to meet your needs and free consultations. We’ve built strong long-term relationships with our clients as well as a robust network of professions that are available to us for collaboration.
Contact us to answer your legal questions and let us put together a personalized plan to protect your rights and your well-being.
WHAT WE OFFER OUR CLIENTS
HIGH CONFLICT DIVORCE
HIGH ASSET DIVORCE
ASSET PROTECTION & ESTATE PLANNING
PRE AND POST MARITAL AGREEMENTS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Alimony is awarded on a case by case basis and is determined based on several factors.
- Standard of living established during marriage
- Duration of marriage
- Current age of each person
- Physical and emotional condition of each person
- Financial resources of each party, including nonmarital and marital assets and liabilities
- Earning capacities, education level and vocational skills of both parties
- Time necessary for either person to acquire sufficient education or training to be able to find appropriate employment if necessary
- Time spent out of the job market
- All sources of income for each person
- The number and ages of any children
If the court finds that one party needs alimony and that the other is able to provide it then the court will determine which type of alimony to award.
There are five types of alimony available in Florida: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, permanent and pendente lite
For any alimony award, the payments will terminate upon death of either party or the remarriage of the person that was receiving the alimony. The award of the permanent alimony cannot leave the payor with significantly less net income than the recipient’s net income. If there is a need to adjust your alimony award, you will have to file a petition to have it changed.
Length of Marriage
The number of years you are married will determine what type of alimony the court will grant you and for how long. The length of marriage is calculated from the date your marriage was made legal to when the filing of divorce papers was approved. These lengths are all determined by the state of Florida.
- Short-term marriage is lasting less than 7 years. They are eligible for durational, bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative alimony. The court would have to make written findings of exceptional circumstances, such as the ones listed above, to be granted permanent alimony.
- Moderate-term marriage is between 7 and 17 years. These marriages are awarded the same options as a short-term marriage. Permanent alimony may be considered if there is convincing evidence of the need for it.
- Long-term marriage is considered to be longer than 17 years. All types of alimony may be available, after the court has considered all of the alimony factors.
The income that you use in your calculation factors will help determine the correct amount of alimony that you may owe or receive. In order to get an accurate estimate when calculating your income:
- Use net income instead of gross income
- Include retirement benefits, pensions, dividends and interest
- If no income is indicated, the court must find that unemployment is voluntary or find that a spouse is voluntarily earning less to avoid working or making alimony payments
- If a spouse if unemployed to seek education to enhance their job seeking efforts, the court will determine if this is in the best interest for supporting the alimony payments
If you are receiving alimony, you will need to consider your net income after your taxes so that alimony is calculated correctly to help offset a deficit in your finances.
Child Support Payments with Alimony
A high alimony payment may reduce the amount of child support needed, but it will be based on several different factors determined by the court. It is important that the start and end dates for paying alimony do not associate with any payments for the children. The IRS may consider these payments as child support instead. Either spouse can apply for child support before or after requesting alimony from the same person, as long as the court is aware of both transactions.
Generally, the requirements to file for divorce in Florida are minimal but navigating the court system can be difficult. A divorce case can have a long-lasting effect on your finances and the relationship you have with your children. It is recommended that you don’t go through the divorce process alone and hire a skilled divorce lawyer to assist. We use the PEACE acronym, to represent the significant parts of a typical divorce, although it is never a one size fits all process.
P: Parenting Plan
Ideally, the parents will reach an agreement amongst themselves on how to address child custody. If an agreement is reached, the judge will typically accept the terms of the agreement. If parents cannot agree, the judge will decide the outcome based on the best interests of the children. Florida law does not give any preference to mothers or fathers when determining child custody matters. My belief as a seasoned family law attorney is that you know your children better than anyone else, including a man or women in a black robe sitting in the court room. So working with the other parent may always have better results than a cookie cutter approach a busy judge may use.
E: Equitable Distribution
In a Florida divorce case, marital assets and liabilities are subject to equitable distribution. Generally, the court will start with the premise of dividing marital assets and debts 50/50. The law requires that a court equally distribute a marital asset unless a “legally sufficient justification for an unequal distribution is given based on the relevant statutory factors.” Obtaining an unequal distribution of a marital assets in Florida can be difficult without legal counsel.
Alimony, which is also frequently referred to as spousal support, is payment from one ex-spouse to the other. The fundamental principle guiding an award of alimony is the disparity in the financial resources of the two parties. Under Florida divorce law, there are five types of alimony a judge can order as part of a divorce. The forms of alimony are; temporary, bridge the gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony. A judge may award any combination of these types of alimony. Further, alimony payments can be made periodically or as a lump sum. This is another intricate area of family law which can be difficult without a thorough knowledge of the intricacies of both the Florida Statues and common law. Using an attorney would in your best interest to make sure you receive all you are entitled to.
C: Child Support
Florida courts will defer to the Florida Child Support Guidelines for determining child support. The Guidelines outline how much child support will be required by each parent based on their net income, the number of children involved, and the custody arrangement. In a Florida divorce case, the judge will strictly follow the Florida Child Support Guidelines. However, the court does have some discretion to deviate from the guidelines when it is appropriate to do so, an attorney will protect your interests.
E: Everything Else
Do you want your name changed? Do you need to file bankruptcy in addition to divorce? There may be parts of your family law case that you didn’t know existed. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer for a comprehensive strategy on how to handle your case best.
Divorcing a narcissist requires that you be prepared: mentally, physically, and financially!
DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT
In an abundance of caution, you should have copies (or take photographs) of all assets and important documents- everything from the details of the relationship, conversations you have had, important times and dates. This is especially important because a narcissist may make false allegations and try to confuse the issues by “Gas lighting”. Here is a brief list of document you will need:
- Bank Accounts (joint and sole)
- Documents pertaining to Real Property
- Mortgages and Lines of Credit
- Recent Pay Stubs
- Tax Returns
- Insurance paperwork
- Vehicle registrations/title
- Valuable Antiques/Art/Jewelry
- Investment Accounts
HIRE AN ATTORNEY
You must hire a divorce attorney who specials in high-conflict divorce. Be prepared for the worst case scenario, and avoid making references on social media and do not tell friends or family members until the divorce is underway. Never take your ex’s ‘word for it’ nor trust that they’ll do what’s right or fair. Set boundaries and maintain them. There may be times when they will attempt to “Love Bomb” you to get their way, a better settlement or more time with the children. Follow your attorneys’ advice they can guide you through your divorce with strategies such as mediation rather than taking your case straight to court. A lawyer may be able to negotiate a divorce settlement with your spouse so you can both avoid a messy and expensive trial. A reasonable and realistic attorney can expose the truth and quell a narcissist’s love for conflict. A lawyer can help you both make sense of your split and reach an agreement.
If you or your spouse are thinking about divorce- you’re not alone. Couples are divorcing at a staggering rate. You may be questioning the feasibility of making such a major life change during this already unprecedented time.
While divorce even in the best of times is complicated and filled with much uncertainty and emotions we have added services to make getting divorced possible. Like most business we have adapted to new technology and have added services such as electronic filings, online document signing, online payments, meetings, mediations and court hearings through Zoom.
- How do I establish Paternity? If the parents are married when the child is born, paternity is established without having to take any action. If the mother is unmarried when the child is born, but later marries the child’s father, paternity can be established when applying for the marriage license. If paternity has not been established another way, it can be established with a legal order.
- The options to establish Paternity. After the child’s birth and any time until the child reaches age 18, the mother and child’s father can establish paternity if they fill out and sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity form (Form DH-432) Both parents must fill out and sign this form in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public. This form is also available by visiting your local Florida Health Department, the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville, or one of the Florida Department of Children and Families offices.
- Without cooperation from your child’s mother. Hiring an attorney is critical to the outcome of a Paternity and a custody agreement. An attorney can order a paternity test through the court or establish paternity through a court order. The attorney will also make sure that there is a working agreement outlining both parents’ rights and responsibilities, including a parenting plan.
- Can I grow from this experience? This is not a new idea Tashiro and Fraiser (2003) found that people experience a wide variety of positive experiences navigating a romantic break up. The preverbal “silver lining”. While the end of a romantic relationship often mimics death, the rejection can be staggering however, if mindful we are able to navigate the process and grow from the discomfort. Not all marriages are candidates for Conscious Uncoupling. Some situations fraught with high conflict, mental illness, alcohol and emotional abuse, must be dealt with accordingly. You can’t divorce a narcissist without some trauma.
- Mindful People are generally happier. The distinction of Conscious Uncoupling vs. a traditional divorce is the focus on mindfulness and self-love. Historically people who are mindful tend to be more self-reliant, make more money, have more empathy and also communicate more effectively. Mindfulness is the key to any successful divorce. People who are in a growth mind experience divorce differently and tend to experience divorce with less emotional distress, as do the children. So when shopping for a divorce attorney keep in mind their temperament. Ask how many of their case settle v. go on to a trial, and ask their approach. A good mediator, therapist and forensic accountant are also helpful. At the end of the day be grateful for what the relationship offered you and look forward to the future.
- Accept that things are difficult Recognize that this year is unprecedented in a number of ways and that you may not be in the same cheerful mindset as you have been in the past with regard to work, social life, interactions with friends and family, new responsibilities and roles.
- Create Boundaries Setting your boundaries and preparing your responses before you step into situations you are not comfortable with are good ways to avoid any unexpected confrontation or inquiries. We all are limiting social interactions for health and safety. Depending on your own health and quarantine social bubble, it is a good idea to remain connected to close family members and friends.
- Avoid Intoxication It is no secret alcohol sales are through the roof due to COVID-19, and some people drink more when dealing with stress, keep in mind, indulging too much can bring up unwanted sentiments, such as sadness or anger about the divorce. DO NOT DRUNK TEXT YOUR EX.
- Remember your kids Depending on the impact of your divorce, you may feel like avoiding family and friends, your holiday gatherings and traditions altogether. For divorced parents, this is not necessarily an option. It is important to remind your children that life goes on after your divorce, including the holidays.
WHY CHOOSE US?
Exceptional academic training and decades of experience, Alysia Wolfskeil, P.A. is committed to the well-being and needs of our clients. Here’s what makes us different:
- Personal Attention On Every Case
- Flexible Appointments & Weekend Hours Available
- 24/7 Call Answering
- Extensive Trial Experience
- Fees Quoted
- Free Initial Consultation
- Paralegal Used for Routine Matters (keeps Your Costs Low!)
- Payment Plans Available
- Leverage Our Network of Highly Specialized Investigators, Mediators and Other Experts
- Fully Licensed And Insured
- Former State Prosecutor On Staff
Get in touch with Alysia Wolfskeil, P.A.
We’re looking forward to working with you as soon as possible.