About Martin-Schwartz Family Law
Martin-Schwartz Family Law is one of the most unique, dynamic and revolutionary family law firms in the state of Florida. These are just a few of the things that make us different from other law firms:
Our flat fee structure will be clearly set out in our retainer agreement. If you ask most attorneys the inevitable question “How much is this going to cost me?”, the answer will be some variation of “I don’t know.” We got really tired of saying “I don’t know.” After over a decade practicing family law, who should know better how much a case should cost – the client or us?
Our value billing allows the client to actually be able to budget for the case.
Are you afraid to call your attorney because you do not want to get billed a minimum of $100 per phone call?
Is your attorney still mailing you forms to fill out? Have you missed a court date because the mail was late or misdirected? At Martin-Schwartz Family Law, we use cutting-edge technology to handle our cases and communicate with our clients.
Family law matters can be especially time-sensitive; therefore, all documents and correspondence received are scanned and uploaded to the secure client server the same day for their review.
All pleadings are sent to the client for review prior to filing. We have converted all court-required forms to electronic format, so the client can type their answers and e-mail back to our office.
This automated process allows for quick handling of cases, and reduces the clients’ overall costs. Our office is committed to paperless efficiency, and to providing our clients with the timeliest updated feedback available through e-mail and e-communications.
24/7 Access to File — Now Available
Did you lose that important court document that we sent you? Did your computer crash and all of your documents disappeared? Is it the weekend, and you need to remember what your parenting time is immediately? Martin-Schwartz Family Law s has launched Clio®, a revolutionary server that allows clients access to their file 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from wherever there is an internet connection. Your life moves at the speed of light. Shouldn’t your law firm?
Each of our clients has their own server, which is instantly updated with a pdf of a document the instant our office receives it. We can do this because all of our staffmembers have state-of-art computers, scanners and printers all at their desks. (Ask the other firms if you will get your own server, or if they will just email you documents at will or – worse – mail them to you.)
Experience and Training
Ms. Martin-Schwartz is a licensed lawyer in every county in Florida and Texas, in State, Superior and Federal courts. She focused her practice on family law in an effort to effect a change towards cooperative, cost-effective resolution of family law disputes. Our firm has a commitment to practice only family law matters, thereby allowing our staff to be on the cutting-edge of new case law, judge changes and procedures that affect your case. We do not rest on our laurels, but constantly strive to seek out the most recent changes in law and procedure that will assist our clients.
All phone calls received will be returned within 24 hours. If the attorney cannot return the call personally, you will receive a call or communication from a staff member who will explain the delay and assist you in any way they can.
Ms. Martin-Schwartz is always available to her clients for consultations about their case upon request; however, most clients do not need to exercise this option. Our office will update you at least once per week on the status of your case, and will contact you promptly if a development occurs. In addition, the server is constantly updated with received filings, correspondence and pleadings.
We are not a high-volume firm. We intentionally keep our caseload low so we can give you the personal attention you deserve.
Most people never expect to divorce, and they certainly do not make specific plans for it. Emotional turmoil, combined with a lack of knowledge about the process, can lead to poor decisions that adversely affect your life and your finances for years to come. If you are facing a divorce, face it with a family law attorney who will work to protect your rights and help you move forward with your life. At Martin-Schwartz Family Law, we are experienced divorce attorneys dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and helping them make a successful transition to their future.
Deep Experience in Divorce and Marital Property Division
Our knowledgeable attorneys have practiced exclusively in divorce and family law. Our in-depth background working in the family courts gives us a clear understanding of how the local judges in each county are likely interpret the law in situations involving:
We handle complex-asset divorces involving high profile clients. We also have experience in the special considerations of military divorce. Beyond this, Martin-Schwartz Family Law is represents clients throughout the Palm Beach area and beyond in advocacy in divorce and custody.
Finding the Right Solution for You
We always work to obtain the outcome that is best for you and your children. We will sit down with you and discuss your situation, your goals and where you want to be in the future. We will then work to achieve those goals using the most appropriate legal strategy, whether that is negation, mediation or collaborative law. If you and your spouse have few assets to fight over or agree on all aspects of property, custody and support, we can also explore uncontested divorce.
Sometimes going to court is the best strategy or the only recourse. We are aggressive trial attorneys who will protect your interests and those of your children in contested divorce proceedings.
Martin-Schwartz Family Law serves clients in Florida and Texas.
Florida laws to protect children are established and working. But the laws for a father’s rights are not as well established and as a result, Florida fathers must fight for their rights. A father’s rights in Florida are not automatically provided. Affirmative action by the father must be initiated if he is to protect his rights under the current Florida law.
This is a BIG WIN for Father’s/Men’s Rights in Florida. Visitation (timesharing) is the schedule of time that the parents spend with his/her child(ren). It is important that you know your rights. The amount of timesharing that you receive with the children will affect your child support payments as well. As a parent you are divorcing your spouse usually because you do not get along, but you are not divorcing your children. It is extremely important that you talk to a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss a timesharing schedule that works for you and your family.
It is a lot easier to change a current Order for visitation (time sharing) with your child(ren) then to change a prior custody (time sharing scheduel or parenting plan) determination. You and your ex-spouse can agree on a change of the visitation schedule but you must get the agreement (parenting plan) approved by the court before it will be enforceable.
As children get older, their needs change. Parents change jobs and their ability to adhere to the visitation (time sharing) schedule changes. Oftentimes the visitation (time sharing) determination becomes impossible to follow, this can be do to changes in the schedule that are beyond your control. Children need consistency and most times these changes can be addressed amicably. Other times some parents demand that the court Ordered visitation be strictly adhered to. These issues need to be addressed immediately.
You must speak to a family law attorney as soon as possible so that your rights can be protected. When an attorney gets involved sometimes a simple letter to the custodial parent explaining the changes that have occurred and suggesting a new schedule of visitation can make all the difference.
Additionally, some parents are still bitter after the divorce. This bitterness toward the non-custodial parent affects their ability to properly parent. Oftentimes this causes problems with the non-custodial parent’s timesharing with his/her child(ren). It is the custodial parent’s responsibility according to Florida law to encourage and foster an ongoing relationship with the non-custodial parent. If the custodial parent is incapable of performing that responsibility the non-custodial parent might have to resort to the court for help, either for enforcement of the visitation that is Ordered, as well as sanctions (penalties) against that parent. The court can change the custody (Time Sharing) of the child(ren) for interference with a parent’s visitation (time sharing) rights.
Interference with visitation (time sharing) rights is an ongoing problem for our courts. The court can give the parent make-up visitation (time sharing) for the time that they missed, fine the non-conforming parent, Order community service, as well as Order a change in the parenting plan.
Parental alienation occurs when a parent intentionally does not honor the other parent’s visitation rights. Oftentimes the child(ren) are taught to become unjustly obsessed with negative qualities of the other parent. Both the parent and the child share antagonistic views of the other parent. The child sometimes will tell the parent that he/she does not want to visit with the parent. This is usually done by the child at the insistence of the other parent. Oftentimes visitation (time sharing) becomes chronically interfered with. The one sabotages the relationship between the other parent and the child. The parent must take action through the court. Contacting a family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss the problems is imperative. The parent should keep a diary of all the denied visitations (time sharing) as well as the denied telephone calls, holiday visits that were denied, denial of the parents ability to partake in the medical, educational and welfare of the child(ren).
In these cases the visitation (time sharing) schedule must be spelled out as specifically as possible. The use of third persons for pick-up and drop-offs so that they can document any problems that occur. A neutral location for the pick-ups and drop-offs can be put in place to eliminate the custodial parent making false allegations as to what occurred during the pick-up and drop-off. The order can direct that a law enforcement officer can monitor the pick-up and drop-off and if the custodial parent does not follow the Order the officer can arrest that parent. Have school personnel provide the non-custodial parent with information regarding the child(ren)’s educational records. These are some of the things that the court can Order to help enforce prior Orders and to help with future visitations (time sharing) with your child(ren).
Martin-Schwartz family law serves clients in Florida and Texas.
Martin-Schwartz family law represents individuals who are seeking alimony or spousal support pursuant to divorce, as well as those who are contesting it.
Once a court decides equitable distribution, it may consider an alimony award for either the husband or the wife. There are four types of alimony awards in Florida:
Rehabilitative, permanent and durational alimony generally are paid periodically (monthly or semi-monthly), while bridge-the-gap support can be paid in a lump sum at one time, or may be paid over a very short period of time.
When awarding alimony, courts consider the following factors along with any other factors necessary to create a fair spousal support arrangement between the divorcing spouses:
Martin-Schwartz Family Law serves clients in Florida and Texas.
We often help clients resolve divorce cases through mediation—a positive and sensible alternative to litigation for many people. Our attorneys can represent clients in mediation proceedings, or serve as third-party neutrals for parties who already have legal representation.
A Licensed Florida Mediator Can Facilitate Amicable Solutions in Divorce Cases
Mediation is a process by which an impartial third party, known as a “neutral” or simply a “mediator,” facilitates an agreement between divorcing spouses during their dissolution proceeding. In Florida, all divorce cases require the parties to attend at least one mediation session. Prior to the session, the parties and their attorneys should meet several times, and prepare almost like a trial. This is because many important issues, such as child custody, child support, alimony and property distribution, may be discussed and negotiated during the meeting.
The selection of a skilled mediator is very important to the success of the process. Heather Martin-Schwartz, managing partner at Martin-Schwartz is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and has extensive experience helping parties resolve disputes through pre-trial mediation. Her experience also gives her special insight into matters of child custody, parenting plans and time sharing.
Family law mediation is a moderated process to amicably resolve family disputes. There are many benefits associated with using alternative dispute resolution to settle divorce and other family law matters, including:
To enjoy the full benefits of mediation, it is essential to consult and retain an experienced family law attorney. Fair and equitable settlements cannot be reached if parties do not understand their legal rights or the strengths and weaknesses of their cases. Furthermore, a judge must ultimately approve the terms of a divorce settlement, and is much more likely to approve a settlement if both parties were represented by counsel and presumably aware of their legal rights.
Martin-Schwartz Family Law serves clients in Florida and Texas.