About Us

ABOUT US

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:

Revolutionary Billing

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.

  • We do not charge for routine out-of-pocket expenses, which will save you money over the life of your case.
  • We do not charge for mileage to get to court.
  • We do not charge for long distance calls and faxes.
  • We do not charge for postage, research subscription fees, or courier fees.
  • We are too busy working on your case to figure out ways to nickel-and-dime you. Our clients find our fees to be reasonable and fair.

Are you afraid to call your attorney because you do not want to get billed a minimum of $100 per phone call?

Technology

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.

Accessibility

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.

 

 

About Us

ABOUT US

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:

Revolutionary Billing

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.

  • We do not charge for routine out-of-pocket expenses, which will save you money over the life of your case.
  • We do not charge for mileage to get to court.
  • We do not charge for long distance calls and faxes.
  • We do not charge for postage, research subscription fees, or courier fees.
  • We are too busy working on your case to figure out ways to nickel-and-dime you. Our clients find our fees to be reasonable and fair.

Are you afraid to call your attorney because you do not want to get billed a minimum of $100 per phone call?

Technology

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.

Accessibility

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.

 

 

Practice Areas

Martin- Schwartz is an established boutique law firm with a focus on family law. We undergo continuing education throughout the year to ensure that we are dedicated to strong advocacy and a deeper understanding in the area of divorce, custody, family law and father’s rights.

As family law matters become increasingly complex, we cross-function with a team of accountants, therapist, private investigators and other experts to advocate the best outcome possible for our clients.  We understand the judges regarding divorce and custody matters and we use it to help our clients achieve their goals.

You deserve personal attention during this difficult time, we intentionally keep our caseload low to meet your needs. We are not a high-volume firm. Our added value and flat fees are revolutionary. Read more about our fees here.

DIVORCE

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.

FATHER’S RIGHTS

Father’s Rights to Visitation In Florida

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.

Florida Visitation Laws Are Now Time Sharing Laws.

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.

Children’s Needs Change

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.

Common Visitation Problems
Bitter Parental Relationships

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.

Visitation Rights Interference

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

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).

Third Party Solutions

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. 

ALIMONY

Paying & Receiving Alimony After Divorce in Florida

Martin-Schwartz family law represents individuals who are seeking alimony or spousal support pursuant to divorce, as well as those who are contesting it.

Florida Alimony Laws

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 Alimony – Rehabilitative support may be for a limited period of time to assist in redeveloping skills and financial independence. Parties requesting rehabilitative alimony must have a plan for their rehabilitation, such as the cost of going to school to improve skills and marketability.
  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – Bridge-the-gap support allows a party to make the transition from married to single life, which may include the need to obtain a vehicle and/or money to find a new home.
  • Permanent Alimony – Permanent support continues until the receiving spouse’s remarriage or the death of either party.
  • Durational Alimony – Durational support is ordered for a certain period of time.

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.

How Florida Courts Determine the Appropriate Type of Alimony Award

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:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The parties prior standard of living
  • The age and physical and emotional condition of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s financial resources and income-producing capacity of the assets they receive
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment
  • The services rendered in homemaking, child rearing and education, and career building of the other spouse

Martin-Schwartz Family Law serves clients in Florida and Texas. 

MEDIATION

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.

Benefits of Mediation

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:

  • It is generally less expensive than litigation.
  • It often produces faster settlements than litigation.
  • Parties are often more satisfied with solutions that have been mutually agreed upon than with determinations made by a court.
  • Parties who have reached their own agreement are also more likely to comply with its terms.
  • It is confidential, which means parties may be more willing to discuss sensitive issues.
  • Mediation lessens resentments, clears the air, and reconciles opposing views, enabling parties to better interact with each other—if necessary—after divorce.

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.

Endorsements

Heather is a hardworking, knowledgable attorney! She will fight for her clients in and out of the courtroom and will ensure the best possible result. You will not go wrong having Heather as an attorney for your legal matter.

Orlando Sheppard

Orlando Sheppard

I have had the privilege of working along side Ms. Martin and I can truly say that she is the epitome of professional. She can handle the everyday pressures the profession puts on us. I am very proud to have Ms. Martin as a member of my team. Due to Ms. Martin's behavior and character, I am optimistic for the future of our profession.

Alejandro De Varona

Alejandro De Varona

Heather is driven and a very hard worker. She is very knowledgeable on the law and fights hard for her clients.

Pakiza Sajid

Pakiza Sajid

Heather is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and personable. I would highly recommend this attorney.

Anamaria Taitt

Anamaria Taitt

Heather is a strong advocate for her clients' rights. She is willing to put in the hard work necessary to produce results for the people she represents.

Shaun McCleave

Shaun McCleave

Estimate Your Fees

Attorney Profile

HEATHER

MARTIN-SCHWARTZ

Owner and Managing Attorney

Born in Laguna Beach, California raised in Dallas, Texas and a resident of Jupiter, Florida, Attorney Martin-Schwartz has always had a passion for helping others with her positive outlook and diligent work ethic. She graduated with her bachelors of science in hospitality management from the University of Central Florida. Upon her acceptance of the prestigious dean’s merit scholarship, attorney Martin-Schwartz remained in central Florida and received her juris doctorate from Florida A&M University College of Law.

Attorney Martin-Schwartz had the distinguished honor of clerking for the Honorable Judge Diana Tennis, United States Judge, for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court. She was a Texas Student Trial Attorney at Harris County Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas, where she represented the State of Texas in child protection actions. As a Florida Supreme Court Certified County Mediator, she mediated at the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida facilitating conflict resolution in litigation. Attorney Martin-Schwartz was a research associate for the published book, “What Can Animal Law Learn from Environmental Law? (Environmental Law Institute)” by Randall Abate. Actively, Ms. Martin-Schwartz fulfilled the title as President of the Animal Legal Defense Fund student chapter by fundraising for local animal shelters. As a student of the Housing Clinic, she was active in assisting homeowners avoid foreclosures, prevent loan scams and obtain loan modifications.

Attorney Martin-Schwartz is a member of the University of Central Florida and Florida A&M University alumni chapters as well as the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Section and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her two cats.

Ms. Martin-Schwartz is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida, United States District Court Southern District of Florida and the State of Texas.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • Florida, 2015
  • Southern District of Florida, 2016
  • Texas, 2016
 Education
  • JD, Florida A& M University College of Law, 2015
  • BS, University of Central Florida, Hospitality Management, 2011, Dean’s List
 Professional & Bar Association Memberships
  • The Florida Bar Membership
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Association for Women Lawyers
 Legal specialties and certifications
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified County Mediator, 2013

PRACTICE AREAS

Termination of Alimony When Ex Resides With New S.O.

When does your alimony terminate?

Trial court erred by terminating alimony retroactively to the date when Appellant began residing with her significant other, as opposed to the date when he filed the petition.

NEW!  in an opinion filed on December 31, 2015, trial court erred in retroactively applying modification of alimony based on finding wife was in a supportive relationship to date wife began residing with third party rather than date petition to terminate alimony was filed.

Full Opinion Here:

https://casetext.com/case/pollack-v-pollack-36