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Child Support Guidelines
Statutory guidelines form the basis on which child support is awarded. Florida has statutory child support guidelines which must be followed, with few exceptions, in awarding child support. The guidelines are found in Florida Statutes 61.30 and are based on a formula stated in the statute. Attorneys, mediators, and, sometimes, accountants assist in the calculation of child support.

Collaborative Divorce
A dispute resolution process in which each spouse is represented by a collaboratively trained attorney, joined by a neutral financial professional and a neutral facilitator. All professionals function as a team to assist the participants in reaching an agreement. The attorneys act in their clients' best interests while guiding them toward a resolution beneficial for themselves and their children. The clients cooperate rather than engage in adversarial, destructive and costlier litigation.

Custody and Primary Residence
These terms are not used in Florida's statutes and are longer relevant concepts. It is through timesharing that parents in Florida prioritize their children's best interests through a timesharing schedule. See Timesharing

Equitable Distribution
The applicable statute is Section 61.075, Florida Statute, providing for the identification and distribution of marital assets and liabilities by court order or agreement.

Marital Settlement Agreement
The result of a successful mediation or of a cooperative or collaborative divorce is a binding agreement signed by both participants covering all of the issues related to their divorce. This agreement is then presented to the court to become a part of a final judgment. An agreement reached involving children when may not have been a marriage is a Paternity Settlement Agreement, which can also become part of a court order.

This is popular and efficient form of dispute resolution, which is mostly confidential, and which is facilitated by an impartial mediator assisting the participants in reaching their agreement. A civil mediation attempts to resolve civil disputes such as foreclosure, probate, personal injury, real estate, and other civil court matters. A family mediation attempts to resolve all the issues involved in family disputes of divorce and paternity, including the children and financial issues.

Parenting Plan
A Parenting Plan can be reached through agreement or by court order. The applicable statute is Section 61.046(13), Florida Statues: "a document to govern the relationship between the parties relating to the decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and shall contain a timesaving schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child's education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parties, including the parties' historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration. The parenting plan shall be developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by a court or, if the parents cannot agree, established by the court."

Pro Se Mediation
The term, pro se, is derived from the Latin phrase meaning "for oneself." When applied to mediations, it means that the people involved are participating in the mediation conferences by and for themselves, without attorneys present during the mediation conferences. It is always advisable to consult with an attorney as to one's legal rights, even if that attorney is not part of the actual mediation conference.

Shared Parental Responsibility
The statute describing shared parental responsibility is Section 61.046(16), Florida Statute: "a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly." Shared parental responsibility only applies to decision making and not to where a child spends his or her time.

The schedule through which parents spend time with their children is one of the most important aspects of a family case. Section 61.046(22), Florida Statute, describes timesharing as follows: "a timetable that must be included in the parenting plan that specifies the time, including overnights and holidays, that a minor child will spend with each parent. If developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child, it must be approved by the court. If the parents cannot agree, the schedule shall be established by the court."

Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage
This is the action that results in the dissolution of the marriage of the parties by the entry of a final judgment incorporating the parties' agreement.


Please contact me for more information and to schedule a mediation or a legal consultation.

Regina F. Zelonker family law

8925 SW 148 St. Suite 200
Miami, FL 33176

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Appointments also available at:

2030 South Douglas Road
Suite 105
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Florida Supreme Court
Certified Family and Civil Mediator

Regina F. Zelonker family law
Regina F. Zelonker family law Regina F. Zelonker family law
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