De Canio handles all types of divorces. His negotiation and litigation skills allow him to efficiently and effectively represent clients in contested and uncontested divorces, in complex divorces involving substantial assets, and in highly contested custody issues.
CHILD CUSTODY, CHILD VISITATION & CHILD SUPPORT
As one of the most dedicated and professional Orlando divorce attorneys, Mr. De Canio vigorously defends parents’ rights to see their children. Parents must make arrangements for where their children will live, who will make important parenting decisions and who will cover various expenses. Florida law promotes the doctrine of “shared parental responsibility,” which means courts presume that both parents will maintain an equal role in all aspects of a child’s life unless the best interests of the child demand otherwise.
A legal parent has a right to visitation as long as it is in the best interests of the child. If the parents were not married at the time the child was born, there may be paternity issues that call into question the putative father’s right to visitation.
I particularly do not like it when a parent is unlawfully withholding contact with their children, as I have experienced how detrimental it can be to the well-being of the child. Therefore, we take such behavior very seriously and vehemently defend our client’s rights to see their children. For example, Attorney’s fees and costs may be awarded from a parent who refused to allow the children to take a previously agreed to out-of-state trip with the other parent.
De Canio vigorously defends parents’ rights to see their children. A legal parent has a right to visitation as long as it is in the best interests of the child. If the parents were not married at the time the child was born, there may be paternity issues that call into question the putative father’s right to visitation.
SPOUSAL SUPPORT / ALIMONY
Spousal support is the financial support of one former spouse by the other and can become a financially crippling event unless very careful planning is done. In fact, agreeing to pay any form of modifiable alimony will almost guarantee future litigation and costs. The availability of spousal support depends on various factors, such as the length of the marriage and the age, skills and earning capacity of each spouse. There are now six different types of alimony in Florida — permanent, temporary, bridge the gap, rehabilitative, lump sum and durational, enacted July 1, 2010. There are many variables and rules to consider when determining the appropriateness of alimony. Therefore, Mr. De Canio urges you to contact him so that he may carefully review your situation and advise you on the types of alimony appropriate in your particular case BEFORE you even discuss this with your spouse.
Florida is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that courts begin with the premise that any asset or liability that comes in during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution. A court’s first take on this is that distribution to each spouse should be equal unless there is a specific reason for unequal distribution. I can help you protect your assets and come away from divorce with all that you are rightfully entitled to.
A court can compel a mother, her child or children, and the alleged father to submit a blood or DNA sample to establish paternity. Once paternity is established, the court may order the father to provide child support, and the father may also gain visitation and custody rights in accordance with the best interests of the child. If a child is born out-of-wedlock, the Father has no custodial or visitation rights until a judgment in circuit court through a paternity action gives him these. If the Department of Revenue orders child support alone, this will not give him any rights beyond the legal requirement to pay child support; they are two separate actions entirely. I can help you with both by combining child support and visitation issues into a single Paternity action. Children should not go without support nor be wrongfully denied time with their parents.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & PROTECTIVE INJUNCTIONS
If a client has suffered domestic violence, Mr. De Canio requests emergency protective orders and temporary restraining orders. If you have had a domestic violence injunction placed upon you, you need to retain counsel immediately as these injunctions can cost you your job if your job involves a security clearance or the use of a firearm. The Domestic Violence Court can even deny you any contact with your children, remove you from your home and force you to attend batterer’s intervention courses. To obtain a domestic violence injunction against your spouse or significant other, you must show that there has been an act of Domestic Violence committed by them against you. Verbal disagreements do not usually meet this standard.
APPEALS & MODIFICATIONS
Appeals and modifications to an existing order may be sought when an order does not reflect a family’s current circumstances. For example, if one parent plans to relocate, a custody order modification may be necessary. In the case of Lilly v. Lilly, 113 So. 3d 155 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013) Mr. De Canio’s mentor was the trial attorney in what ended up being called the most significant case involving Rehabilitative alimony in the State. The case involved an unfair judgment getting reversed which ended up getting the client tens of thousands of dollars refunded to him in overpayments.
As the managing attorney of an Orlando and Kissimee divorce law firm, Mr. De Canio has experience helping clients create effective prenuptial agreements that protect assets in the event of a divorce or dissolution. Under recently enacted Florida law, you could actually lose substantial interest in your real property upon divorce even if you had the property before you got married. It appears that a prenuptial agreement may be the only way to protect such assets. Prenuptial Agreements are perhaps the most complex of all Marital and Family law documents and should never, ever, be attempted by anyone other than an experienced marital and family law attorney who also regularly drafts them. In fact, I have never personally seen any prenuptial agreement that was drafted by a non-lawyer that would be upheld as valid in court.
If you have substantial assets and are contemplating marriage to a partner who does not, a prenuptial agreement can help you protect these and assets you may acquire in the future. Prenuptial agreements should be executed at least 30 days prior to your wedding. Having a prenuptial agreement is similar to having car insurance. You certainly never plan on crashing your car, nor would you plan on getting a divorce at the time you get married. However, just in case the unthinkable happens, it is certainly beneficial to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Given the complexities and cost of a highly litigated divorce action, having a prenuptial agreement can not only save you both a tremendous amount of stress but also a lot of money if your marriage ends up in a Divorce court.
De Canio knows when to file the proper documentation during the divorce proceeding, so that the client can make a fresh start once the divorce is finalized. If you have the opportunity to effectuate a name change during a divorce and do not, you may have to start an entirely new court proceeding to do so later at additional costs.
CHILD SUPPORT ESTABLISHMENT & ENFORCEMENT
De Canio helps ensure children receive the support they need and deserve from both parents. When a parent repeatedly fails to meet child support obligations, this negatively hurts your child as well as you. Mr. De Canio handles the contempt case with utmost urgency when necessary.
While Florida law does not require legal separations, it does allow individuals to enter into separation agreements when they live apart that can address who pays the bills, who pays child support, visitation with the children and other issues. A separation agreement is a legal contract that governs the rights and obligations of the parties while they are separated. It is virtually the same as a Marital Settlement Agreement but without the end result always being a divorce.
MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS
Marital settlement agreements (MSAs) may accompany a no fault divorce and are intended to help parties allocate their property and finances. Mr. De Canio helps clients formalize their property distribution agreements, and he works to make sure that his clients’ assets are protected during the divorce process and in the years to come. If an MSA fails to put in times certain for the performance of an act or a payment of monies, your rights to collect these could forever be unenforceable. MSA’s are legally binding contracts and should never be attempted to be drafted by a non-lawyer. In a family law matter, they will affect (and sometimes have serious adverse affects on) your children, your property, your liabilities and income for years to come. If you and your spouse have an understanding as how to resolve all of these differences, you will find that it is more cost-effective to allow me to draft your MSA, making sure it is done quickly and correctly, than trying to haphazardly do it yourself or trying to use a non-lawyer to do it for you.