Comprehensive Jacksonville Family Law Practice
Elizabeth R. Ondriezek, P.A. is a full-service family law firm in Jacksonville serving clients throughout Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns counties. The practice focuses primarily on divorce, adoption and juvenile dependency law, but also includes advice and representation in a host of other family law matters, including domestic violence, military divorce, paternity, family law mediation, name changes and relocations.
Divorce, Adoption and Juvenile Law in Jacksonville
Click on a link below if your matter involves divorce, adoption, or juvenile law, or read on to learn how we may be of help in other legal matters.
Injunctions for Protection
Florida law allows for the entry of Injunctions for Protection in four different situations, namely:
1) Domestic Violence
2) Repeat Violence
3) Dating Violence
4) Sexual Violence
Victims of the above referenced violence can go to court and obtain a protective injunction (sometimes called a “restraining order”) to keep the other person from threatening or abusing him/her. The person filing is called the “Petitioner.” The person responding is called the “Respondent.”
An injunction for protection can do more than order a person to stay away from you. This court order can grant the victim exclusive use and possession of the home, forcing the other person to move out. Parenting plans and timesharing arrangements, and orders for child support can also be established or modified by a protective injunction. Allegations of domestic violence can have a significant impact on divorce proceedings. It is not uncommon for domestic violence to be a factor leading up to a divorce, or to arise once one party has begun talking about divorce or initiated dissolution proceedings.
Even though the protective injunction can be put in place immediately, a hearing must be held within a couple of weeks to determine whether the order should be canceled or made permanent until modified or canceled by the court. The person subject to the order has the right to attend this hearing and be represented by legal counsel. It is important for both parties to be well-represented to ensure a fair hearing which results in a safe environment for all adults and children in the situation.
The court can likewise grant similar legal rights to the Petitioner in Dating, Repeat Violence, and Sexual Violence injunctions. Some of these restrictions can affect the Respondent’s current and future work opportunities. It is very important for both Petitioners and Respondents to hire counsel to represent them in these matters. Ms. Ondriezek and her associates have many years of experience providing zealous representation on both sides of these issues.
Other Jacksonville Family Law Matters
Military Divorce – With sizable Army, Marine and Navy bases in the area, Jacksonville is home to one of the largest military presences in the country. When a divorce involves a military member, special rules apply, including regarding the division of military retirement and benefits, and additional time to respond to legal proceedings for service members on active duty. If your family law matter involves a military service member, make sure you retain an attorney familiar with Florida family law and the special rules for members of the military. Ms. Ondriezek has been assisting military members for over fourteen years.
Paternity – Unless parental rights have been terminated, a child’s biological father has a legal responsibility to financially support his children and may also have the legal right to be involved in parenting plans and timesharing. Paternity matters may therefore arise independently or in the context of a dissolution of marriage. Ms. Ondriezek and her team can help establish or challenge paternity in court or through one of the other processes allowed by law for determining parentage. It is extremely important to have counsel in these cases because child support will be legally set by the court and will remain at that level unless a judge later changes it.
Family Law Mediation – Most, if not all, family law matters are referred to mediation. Mediation is a process wherein the parties appear with counsel (usually) and meet with a certified court mediator. The parties are paying both their attorney and the mediator an hourly rate, so thorough preparation well in advance of mediation is essential. Additionally, most cases tend to settle at mediation, which saves the parties time, agony, and the expense of a trial. Ms. Ondriezek has mediated hundreds of cases as attorney for a party. She is also a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator herself. This training and experience is helpful when preparing her own cases for the highest chance of settling.
Name Change – It is not uncommon for a former spouse to revert to using a previous name, but unless this is done through an official process, legal problems can quickly arise. The attorneys at Elizabeth R. Ondriezek, P.A. help clients obtain a name change during the divorce or at a later date. They can also help accomplish a name change for a child if desired, which may require a court hearing if contested by the child’s father.
Relocation – If a parent needs to move 50 miles or more away from his/her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing time-sharing, the parenting plan and timesharing can be disrupted. A relocation generally requires going to court for a modification of the court order, which requires proving changed circumstances that justify the modification and a solution that is in the child’s best interests. Whether seeking or opposing a modification, legal assistance in this process is strongly encouraged.
Experienced Jacksonville Family Law Attorney
Elizabeth Ondriezek is a court certified mediator and experienced litigator who can help resolve your family law matter in or out of court, as most appropriate. For compassionate advice and aggressive representation in Jacksonville and its surrounding areas, contact Elizabeth R. Ondriezek, P.A.