Coral Gables Divorce Lawyers - Richard A. Schurr, P.A.Legal Guidance and Advocacy for Family Law and Business Matters in South Florida
Richard A. Schurr, P.A. is a law firm that focuses on family and business law. Our Coral Gables divorce lawyers are experienced in handling both simple and complex cases. We use an individualized and client-centered approach in which the client’s unique circumstances are taken into account and the client’s wishes are paramount. Our attorneys excel in both high-conflict situations in which you need an aggressive attorney and more amicable cases in which a sensitive touch is appropriate. Our offices are located in the heart of Coral Gables, but we handle cases in counties throughout Florida, including, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe, and Collier Counties, as well as other counties.
If you are considering filing for a divorce , you should contact a skilled divorce attorney at our Coral Gables office as soon as possible. Florida is purely a no-fault divorce state, meaning that the court will not assign fault to either party for a divorce. To file for divorce in Florida, one of the parties only needs to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” or that one of the parties is suffering from mental incapacity. Almost everyone uses the “irretrievably broken” option, which is essentially a “no fault” divorce. After one person (party) files for a divorce, the other party has the option to agree with the divorce, or to contest it. Commonly, both parties eventually agree, and the divorce proceeding commences. Rarely, if the other party contests the divorce, the court may order counseling, postpone the proceedings for up to three months, or do anything that the court thinks is in the best interest of the minor children (if there are any minor children). Counseling and postponement will give the parties a chance to reconcile, but if that is not possible, the divorce proceeding will continue. The attorneys at Richard A. Schurr, P.A. can assist you with navigating through the divorce process, including preparing the necessary documents, assisting you with the required financial disclosure, and explaining the legalese.Divorce for Business Owners
Divorces in which one, or both parties, own a business (either together or separately) can be especially complex. The most important aspect that needs to be determined is whether the business is a marital asset, or if there is a marital component to the business. If so, the next step is to determine how much the business is actually worth. Business valuations can be complicated and have many moving parts, including determining which valuation approach is proper for the business. Typically, a business valuation expert and/or forensic accountant is hired to conduct the valuation. There are many planning techniques available to the business owner that can impact the valuation of the business. If you are the business owners spouse, you should be aware of options and strategies which can result in a more favorable valuation. If you are not the business owner spouse, you must ensure that you have considered strategies and options that can result in a valuation more favorable to you, and you should consider retaining your own business valuation expert. Different accounting and reporting strategies can impact value, as well as increasing, or decreasing of expenses. In these situations, an aggressive law firm that handles both family law and business law can be especially helpful. Coral Gables divorce lawyer Richard A. Schurr and his team are well versed in guiding their clients through the business valuation process, and hiring the necessary professionals, if any, to conduct the proper business valuation and to testify in court as to their findings. We also have a great deal of experience in challenging business valuations where appropriate. Mr. Schurr has a degree in business with a concentration in finance, a Master’s degree in taxation, a background in forensic accounting, and is a Certified Financial Planner. His background and experience qualifies him to address any concerns regarding marital business interests.Setting Aside a Marital Settlement Agreement
If you have entered into a marital settlement agreement which was the result of fraud, duress, coercion, lack of disclosure, overreaching or certain other factors, you may be entitled to set aside the agreement. Florida law permits courts to set aside such agreements where any of these factors can be established. The result of setting aside such an agreement can permit you a second chance at either relitigating, or renegotiating your case. However, the standards for setting aside a marital settlement agreement are different depending on the circumstances of each case. For example, depending on whether the parties were able to conduct discovery, whether a final judgment has been entered, and whether a year has passed since the entry of the final judgment can all impact your rights. Contact our office to discuss your rights with regard to setting aside a marital settlement agreement.Enforcement of Marital Settlement Agreements
Properly executed marital settlement agreements are enforceable in Florida pursuant to Florida statutes, as well as the terms of the agreements. Martial settlement agreements are considered contracts under Florida law. Enforcing a non-child support, or non-alimony obligation in a marital settlement agreement is much different than enforcing child support, or alimony obligations. The court has the power to jail a non-paying party with regard to support obligations through its contempt power upon the filing of a motion by the party entitled to receive the support and demonstrating a willful failure to company, as well as the present ability to comply. For non-support obligations a judge has a few tools at his or her disposal to order compliance like granting a motion to compel or a motion to enforce, ordering payment of attorneys’ fees, ordering the execution of a document, sanctions, fines, and certain other tools. Unlike enforcing a support obligation, the judge cannot find the non-complying party in contempt and cannot order jail unless there is an agreement that provides for enforcement by contempt. Therefore, it is important to understand how different parts of the marital settlement agreement can be enforced, as well as which party may be liable for the other party’s attorneys’ fees and court costs. Understanding these issues prior to entering into a marital settlement agreement is also very important.High Net Worth Divorce
No matter how valuable parties’ assets are, or how many assets a family owns, in Florida, the court uses an “equitable” distribution scheme to divide the parties’ assets in a divorce proceeding. “Equitably dividing” parties’ assets means that the court will divide the assets of the couple in a way that it believes is fair, which includes analyzing several statutory factors. Some of the factors courts must consider are the contribution to the marriage by each spouse, the duration of the marriage, whether either party dissipated any assets (waste, infidelity, etc.), the future needs of the parties, their age, their health, the educational background, and any other factor to do equity between the parties. Often times, this means an equal split of the assets acquired during the marriage, but not always. Equitable does not mean equal. In a high net worth divorce, the difference between “equal” and “equitable” can be huge. The first step in the property division process is to determine which property is “marital” and which is “non-marital.” Most property (including money and other assets) acquired during the marriage will be considered marital property unless one spouse inherited or received the property as a gift from a third party and kept the property separate, or had certain assets prior to the marriage. Courts will also generally uphold written prenuptial, or postnuptial agreements between spouses that define certain property as non-marital. The determination of what is marital and what is non-marital can be significant. A high net worth divorce can be much more complicated than a regular divorce, and thus it is even more important that one of our skilled Coral Gables divorce attorneys are retained to help you make sure that assets are distributed appropriately. Our principal, Richard A. Schurr, has a background in forensic accounting, financial planning, income taxes, and business law, which is essential if you find yourself in the midst of a worth divorce.
Under Florida law, both parents are required to support their child(ren) financially. In Florida, the amount of child support is affected by the number of children, child-care and health care costs, and the income of the parents . In addition, Florida considers the amount of nights that the child(ren) spend with each parent in determining the payments. Unless the parties equally share expenses, earn the same income, and exercise the same number of overnights with their child(ren), some amount of child support is exchanged between the parties. This could be hundreds, or thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars per month. Our Miami Metro based attorneys can assist you with calculating child support, and advising you with regard to the various factors that are utilized to determine child support. Further, if you are owed past due child support from the other parent, our skilled divorce lawyers in the Coral Gables area can assist you with pursuing the money that you need in order to properly care for your child and their needs.Time-Sharing and Parental Responsibility
In Florida, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as career based limitations, relocation of a party, certain risk factors, special needs, absence of a party, physical, mental, or emotional abuse, substance abuse, or neglect, parties typically enjoy equal time-sharing with their child(ren). Time-sharing and child custody arrangements must be approved by the court and must be based on the best interest of the children. In the event that the parents cannot agree on a time-sharing schedule, the court will determine what arrangement is appropriate – in doing so, the court will take into consideration what schedule is in the “best interests of the child(ren).” In addition to determining what time-sharing schedule will be in place, whether the parties will have shared decision making over all aspects of the child(ren)’s life, including education, health care, mental health, extracurricular activities, and religion decisions must be determined. This is called “parental responsibility.” Typically, the court will determine who will make decisions for the children, especially where the parents not agree. The court can award sole decision making as to some or all issues to one parent, or ultimate decision making to one parent. Ultimate decision making requires the parents to consult with each other, but only one parent has the final say. This can occur if the parents are unable to co-parent. Since the “best interests of the child” evaluation is a somewhat nebulous standard, the time-sharing determination can be heavily influenced by the way that the parents present their arguments to the court. Our experienced Coral Gables divorce attorneys can present your case in the most favorable and persuasive light to the court to assist you in achieving your desired time-sharing and decision making. This may include involving guardians ad litem, psychologists, a social investigator, or other professionals where appropriate.Post-Divorce Modification of Alimony, Modification of Time-Sharing, and Modification of Child Support
After the divorce process is finalized, circumstances will often change, and either, or both parties will desire to make changes to their time-sharing, child support, or alimony agreements made during the divorce. The first hurdle is proving to the judge that there is a reason to make a change; in Florida, this is known as showing that an unanticipated, material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred warranting a modification. A former spouse cannot ask for changes just because they did not like the outcome of the divorce, or want a second bite of the apple. If the desired modification deals with child(ren)’s issues, the party seeking a modification must prove to the court why the change is in the best interests of the child(ren); alternatively, if you are opposed to the modification, you must either convince the court that the other party has not shown that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, or persuade the court that the modification will not be in the best interests of the child(ren).Family Law Appeals
Often times, a party will disagree with the outcome of a family law case, or divorce. On some occasions, judges can be wrong, and the legal system is designed to offer relief under these circumstances through the appellate courts. If the judge has issued a decision, and you believe it is incorrect, you may be able to appeal the judge’s decision and have the decision changed, or the facts reconsidered. The attorneys at Richard A. Schurr, P.A. are well-versed in appellate family law, and can assist with you first determining whether you have grounds to file an appeal, and next what the best course of action is to seek reversal of the trial court’s decision. Due to the strict appellate deadlines, you must act quickly if you plan to seek relief from the appellate court. It is important to contact an attorney immediately upon the rendering of an incorrect decision by a trial court judge; otherwise, you may waive your rights to an appeal.Paternity
Fathers of children have both rights and responsibilities when it comes to their child(ren). If a woman is married when she gives birth, Florida law presumes that her spouse is the father of the child (even if he is not). When the mother is unmarried, paternity can be established by both the mother and the purported father by the father signing a “voluntary acknowledgement of paternity.” If there is no acknowledgement, and the woman is unmarried, paternity must be determined by the court. This involves the mother, the purported father, or a representative of the child presenting evidence to the judge as to the biological father of the child. If paternity is established by agreement or through litigation, the father will be responsible for contributing child support, and he can also seek equal time-sharing and decision making power. If you are a father who wants to be involved in his child’s life, and you are not married to the child’s mother, our Coral Gables attorneys can assist you with establishing paternity and obtaining your legal rights to exercise time-sharing with your child(ren) and participate in the decision making when it comes to making decisions concerning your child’s education, health, and religion. Conversely, if you are a mother of a child without a legal father, our skilled attorneys can assist you with establishing paternity and commence a proceeding to receive child support and expense reimbursement with regard to the child’s needs. You may also be entitled to attorneys’ fees.Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
Many of the headaches of a divorce can be alleviated by proper planning, including pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Generally, both pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements explain how property should be divided in the event of a divorce and govern important issues such as marital and non-marital property and spousal support / alimony. However, these agreements cannot govern child issues such as time-sharing or child support. The difference between pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements is when they are signed. There is a prevalent myth that only people with significant income and assets require these agreements. That is simply not true. The reality is that even people with modest assets and income can greatly benefit from these agreements. One reason is that in the event of a divorce, the process can be more amicable, quicker, and affordable. In preparing or representing a party where a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement exists, it is advisable for each party to be represented by a qualified attorney. Our attorneys are familiar with writing such pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, enforcing pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, seeking to set aside pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and navigating the divorce process with an enforceable pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreement.Business Matters and Disputes and Income Tax Issues
Businesses are governed by many interacting sets of complex laws and regulations, as well as operating agreements and shareholder agreements. If you are thinking about starting a business, are about to enter into a business deal , are selling a business, or your business is involved in litigation or potential litigation, or you have any other legal concerns related to a business such as a Non-Competition Agreement, a Termination Agreement, a Non-Disclosure Agreement, or Non-Solicitation Agreement, it is highly recommended that you use the services of a skilled business attorney. Whether you have a small business or a large corporation or partnership, making a misstep may cost you significant money and time. For example, most businesses enter into contracts all the time, including legally binding oral contracts. In Florida, oral contracts are generally enforceable, unless the contract is for real estate, or cannot be completed within a year by the terms of the contract. Whether you are building, expanding, or going about the daily operations of a business, a knowledgeable business attorney can help you make sure that you understand the legal consequences of your choices and represent you in a business dispute , if any arise. We can also assist you with IRS audits, or other tax related matters, including payroll tax issues. Mr. Schurr has extensive experience with the IRS and holds a Master’s of Law Degree in Taxation.Seek Guidance from a Knowledgeable Divorce Attorney in Coral Gables
The attorneys at Richard A. Schurr, P.A. are knowledgeable about both family law and business law and can help you with either or both concerns. We will consider the specifics of your situation and your priorities when strategizing the approach to take, whether that includes litigation, negotiation, or another option. Our firm assists clients throughout South Florida, including in Miami, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Deerfield Beach, Doral, Homestead, North Miami, Miami Gardens, Aventura, Boca Raton, North Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Sunrise, Key Largo, Miami Lakes, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Davie, Hialeah, South Miami, Pinecrest, Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Miami Springs, West Boca Raton, Bal Harbor, Surfside, Kendall, Miami Shores, Fisher Island, West Miami, North Bay Village, Golden Beach, Pembroke Pines, Lauderhill, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Margate, Wilton Manners, Lauderdale Lakes, Miramar, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Tamarac, Golden Gate, West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee, Naples, Immokalee, Marco Island, Key West, Marathon, Summerland Key, Orlando, Windermere, and Ocoee. Contact us today at (305) 204-4924, or using the online contact form on this website. Se Habla Espanol.