Sarasota Family Law Attorney

When you need advice about a divorce or family matter, don’t hesitate to call a Sarasota family law attorney for help.

Most people prefer to handle family decisions behind closed doors, but that isn’t always possible. You may need to get the courts involved. While you could try to venture through the local family court system on your own, we highly recommend you hire an experienced family law attorney in Sarasota.

To talk with Michael Fayard about your family law matter, call (941) 306-1310 or use our online form to request a free initial consultation. Michael represents individuals in and surrounding Sarasota, FL. He can help you get through this challenging time and reach a better situation for you and your family.

Michael Fayard is a Compassionate Family Lawyer

Michael Fayard is an experienced Florida attorney who has successfully tackled many kinds of cases. His breadth of experience in family, personal injury, and criminal law means he’s ready for anything. He’s also exceptionally equipped to handle complicated family situations that may involve allegations of domestic abuse, DUIs, or other criminal conduct.

When you work with Michael, you get an attorney who thoroughly prepares for all of his matters and treats them with equal importance. He gathers all the facts regarding your case, then explains your options. He is here to guide you through this process and recommend the best strategies for pursuing the outcome you want.

Most family matters come with a great deal of stress. You need more than a capable attorney. By working with Michael, you have a compassionate, understanding family law attorney who actively works to smooth the way.

When You Should Hire a Family Law Attorney

As a Sarasota, FL family lawyer, Michael handles all types of matters:

Divorce: Legally dissolving your marriage can be a complex process when you have children and own property together. Work with an attorney who can help you navigate the hard decisions, like property distribution, alimony, child custody, and child support. Michael is well-versed in Florida divorce laws and will help you win fair results.

Child Custody: As co-parents who don’t live together, you need a parenting plan. This is true whether you’re getting divorced or have never been married. Michael can help you create a child custody plan that works for your family through mediation, or he can help you pursue a certain arrangement in court.

Child Support: Child support is a separate issue from custody. Both parents are legally obligated to support their children financially. Whether you’re going through a divorce or are unmarried co-parents, Michael can help you calculate child support based on Florida’s guidelines.

Modifications: Child custody and child support often change over time. Your children’s needs and your circumstances evolve. If you need to ask for a custody or support modification, talk with Michael about how to go about negotiating these changes with your co-parent or asking a judge to modify the existing order.

Paternity: You must establish your child’s paternity before you can confirm child custody and child support. Your child’s father might acknowledge paternity, in which case, the process is simple. But if there’s any question, talk with Michael about genetic testing.

Grandparents’ Rights and Visitation: Generally, grandparents don’t have a right to visitation. But Florida allows for visitation in certain extraordinary circumstances when both parents are unavailable. It’s challenging to get visitation as a grandparent, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Talk with Michael about the law and your options.

Restraining Orders: If you’ve been harmed, harassed, or stalked by a romantic partner, family member, or stranger, talk with Michael about pursuing an injunction for protection against domestic violence and/or filing a restraining order. There are ways to protest yourself and your children.

Adoptions: One of the happiest cases to handle is an adoption. Michael is here to help you through the legal process of expanding your family, whether you’re adopting a child in Florida or out of state.

Stepparent Adoptions: It’s common for long-time stepparents to want to adopt their stepchildren. But if the children’s other parent is living, then a stepparent must either obtain the co-parent’s permission or terminate their parental rights. Talk with a Sarasota family law attorney about the stepparent adoption process.

Guardianship: When a child’s parents are deceased or incapacitated, guardianship gives another adult the power to make decisions and take care of that child. Talk with Michael about how guardianship can help children stay with a loved one even when their parents can’t care for them. Michael also can help obtain guardianship over an adult who is incapacitated or deemed incompetent.

Compassionate Representation During a Divorce

Are you prepared to go through a divorce? Hiring a Sarasota divorce attorney won’t necessarily help with the emotions of ending your marriage. But Michael can help with the practicalities. There’s a lot to figure out before and during the divorce court process. He’s here to guide you from one step to the next.

During a Florida divorce, Michael will help you and your spouse resolve numerous issues, including:

  • Categorizing marital vs. separate property
  • Valuing the marital property
  • Equitably diving the marital property
  • Diving retirement savings and investments
  • Updating beneficiaries on life insurance policies and accounts
  • Dealing with business ownership interests
  • Selling or refinancing the family home
  • Sharing or separating family pets
  • Deciding on a parenting plan that’s in the children’s best interests
  • Navigating parenting exchanges
  • Maintaining individual privacy
  • Calculating child support
  • Pursuing or fighting against spousal support

These are only a handful of decisions you’ll have to consider during a divorce. Let Michael help you deal with all of the issues that come up, whether they’re big or small.

Types of Divorce in Florida

Not all divorces are the same. Some divorces are relatively simple and quick, while others are contentious and lengthy. It depends on whether you and your spouse see eye-to-eye. Michael is here to help either way. He can guide you through an out-of-court process or vigorously pursue the best possible outcome before a judge.

Simplified Divorce

If you and your spouse have no minor children, you can pursue a simplified divorce. You two are required to reach an agreement regarding your property and finances, which you submit to the judge for approval. The divorce can be finalized quickly.

Uncontested Divorce

If you don’t qualify for a simplified divorce, you and your spouse can pursue an uncontested divorce. This means you both agree the marriage has broken down, and you agree on the myriad issues that have to be settled, like property division, alimony, and custody. During an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse resolve your issues on your own—maybe through mediation—instead of asking a judge to decide. Michael has years of experience using mediation to reach fair outcomes for his clients. Talk with him about how you and your spouse can use mediation throughout the divorce process.

Collaborative Divorce

You and your spouse might wish to go through a collaborative divorce process. During this process, you and your spouse partner with attorneys, financial professionals, and other helpful individuals to resolve your issues out of court. Collaborative divorce differs from an uncontested divorce in that each party signs a participation agreement saying they’ll keep things out of court. Couples typically end the collaborative process by signing a settlement agreement. But if the process doesn’t work, you can take the matter to court.

Contested Divorce

When you and your spouse don’t agree on one or more major issues in the divorce, you go through a contested divorce. You and your spouse will have to submit evidence to the judge, who will then decide the issues in your matter.

Military Divorce

Are you or your spouse a military service member? Going through a divorce when one or both parents is on active duty can be tough. There are often delays and complications. As a veteran himself, Michael understands. Michael served in the Army, the Air Force Reserve, and the Army National Guard. He knows how challenging family matters can be when someone is deployed or restationed far away. Let him help you navigate your unique circumstances.

Get Help from a Family Lawyer in Sarasota

Whether you’re dealing with paternity, divorce, child support modifications or another family law matter, you should have a knowledgeable lawyer by your side. Working with a Sarasota family lawyer will help you get the best possible results for you and your children. You can reach Michael Fayard at (941) 306-1310 or the online form. The initial consultation is free and comes with no obligations.