Domestic violence is not limited to any particular neighborhood. People of all income levels, educational backgrounds, ages, races or creeds may find themselves involved in domestic abuse. Whether the victim is female or male, abuse has to stop before the consequences are irreversible. Wagstaff Law Office assists victims of family violence through the legal process in addition to providing clients with information about additional resources such as support groups, shelters, and programs to help. We will also work with those accused of committing an act of violence to either disprove it or to help them get the assistance they need to make changes so the violence is not repeated.
Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s estate—assets and liabilities—are examined, gathered and the assets dispensed to the appropriate parties while making sure that bills are paid in an orderly fashion.
Some families establish their assets so that probate may not be needed. Nevertheless, at the time of death, all the paperwork should be reviewed and an orderly plan for handling assets and liabilities should be mapped out.
After your divorce is finalized, you may find you have to enforce or revisit the terms of the Final Judgment or the Marital Settlement Agreement. Circumstances can change in an unanticipated fashion so that some aspects of your original divorce agreement may be outdated. This is particularly true if a parent wants undergoes a significant and unanticipated change in income or wants to relocate. In these cases, Wagstaff Law Office, P.A. can see that your rights and interests remain protected through modification issues whether it be child support, parenting plans including time sharing, alimony or relocation.
A client may want to petition the court for a name change because of life’s circumstances. In the Petition for a Name Change you have to provide extensive background information along with the reason for the name change. You must also provide fingerprints. Once a judge approves your name change, you must submit certified copies of the court order to Social Security, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Changing a child’s name usually requires both parents’ consent. During divorce proceedings a woman can restore her former name if she wants.
Also known as Antenuptial Agreements, these agreements are most often used to establish the rights of the intended spouses with regard to assets and liabilities of each before the marriage so that if the marriage ends in death or divorce, the parties know the financial outcome. Generally, prenuptial agreements are an excellent idea if:
One or both of you owns a business
This is not your first marriage and either or both parties have children from a previous marriage
One or both marital partners have significant assets
Either partner expects a sizeable inheritance
While no couple enters a marriage expecting it to be terminated, it is wise to clarify financial expectations in writing under these circumstances.
Grandparents and other extended family members are often willing to step in to provide a stable, loving environment for their grandchildren when the circumstances make it important for the children involved. Unfortunately under Florida law grandparent or other extended family members have limited rights in favor of biological parents, even if that means the biological parent forbids the families’ involvement in these youngster’s lives. Wagstaff Law office works to make sure a child’s best interests are the primary focus of a family. We sit down with grandparents or other relatives to explore the available alternatives from negotiating a stronger relationship with the children in their family to court action where appropriate. After all the goal is to make sure that all generations of a family are loved and cared for.
Mary Lou Wagstaff is on the list of attorneys willing to serve as a Family Law Division Guardian ad Litem. She talks to children who are in the thick of a family dispute to learn their opinions and be the children’s voice in court. Much of her legal experience has focused on standing up for children’s rights and ensuring that they are shielded from the emotional ups and downs of family court legal proceedings. She also endeavors to facilitate a healthy environment which fosters the child’s growth and development and to ensure the child’s best interests are considered when family decisions are made.
Additionally, both Mary Lou and Jaime have experience with Dependency Cases that involve the Office of the Guardian ad Litem and work to ensure that while children’s rights are protected, their clients’ voices are also heard.