Paternity is the legal process which establishes a relationship between a father and child. When a child is born, the connection between the mother and the child is obvious. By contrast, a father, if not married to the mother, must take action to create a legal relationship with a child. A father can undertake this process by filing a petition to establish paternity.
Marriage is a unique relationship. A marriage is the only contract which requires the permission of the government to establish (a marriage license) and the permission of the government to dissolve (a court order). In Florida the divorce process is initiated through the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The petition will reference important information about the marriage including matters regarding minor children, isreal estate, and assets and debts that may need to be divided.
Legal matters regarding children are among the most important and challenging issues addressed in the legal process. Whether through divorce, paternity, or other collateral and related actions, such as domestic violence injunctions and/or dependency cases, the Court has specific responsibilities related to welfare of children.
A Last Will and Testament or a "Will" is perhaps the best known and most familiar document used for estate planning. In its simplest form, a Will advises survivors and other interested parties regarding the wishes of a person who has passed away. After death, this person is known as the "decedent." The contents of a Will vary based on the the family structure, assets, debts, and other matters related to the individual who has signed the Will.
Guardianship is a legal relationship between two people. The "Guardian" is a person who has the responsibility to take care of the needs of another person, called the "Ward". The guardianship relationship is established by court order and occurs after a petition for appointment of guardian has been filed with the clerk of court. Guardianship is an ongoing relationship between the Guardian, the Ward and the Court, which may span years based on the needs of the Ward.
"Probate" is the legal process used to address the financial affairs of a person who has passed away. The action is started through a Petition for Administration, which is filed by an interested party. Usually this is a spouse or child of the decedent (the person who has pa, but other parties, such as creditors, who believe that they are owed money, may initiate a probate action. In almost all instances, a probate action will require the involvement of an attorney.
Mr. Nelson has both prosecuted domestic violence cases, has defended individuals accused of domestic violence, and has been involved in representing clients who are both seeking and responding to injunctions and restraining orders. Although Mr. Nelson has extensive experience in the criminal law arena, he has chosen to focus more of his time on family law issues, which include divorce, paternity, child support, alimony, child custody and related matters. This emphasis on representing family members has increasingly led to Mr. Nelson to assist clients with guardianship and probate matters and help clients plan by drafting or modifying estate planning documents, including wills, living wills, health care surrogates and powers of attorney. This drafting has sometimes been a result of divorce actions, paternity designations and other life changing events, but may also has stemmed from the desire of clients to make an estate plan that will provide for the needs of the client and the cl
Mr. Nelson’s areas of practice involve matters of state law. However, it is not uncommon for issues arising in other states, or even other countries, to impact matters pending in Florida. Child custody cases may be filed in more than one state simultaneously, which will present questions regarding which state court should make decisions about children. Issues regarding property in another state may impact probate or guardianship matters that have been filed in Florida.
On occasion, our firm has addressed matters regarding children who have been removed from the United States, or have been removed from a foreign jurisdiction and brought to the United States. Legal issues regarding interstate, multistate or international matters are often complex. If you have a question regarding jurisdiction, please contact our firm.
In legal actions, sometimes the rights of vulnerable parties, such as incapacitated adults or minor children must be considered. In other situations, there may be conflicts of interest that arise that require a neutral, disinterested party to appear in litigation. Mr. Nelson has been appointed by the Court to protect the rights of vulnerable persons, unknown parties and to serve as a neutral party in litigation.
These responsibilities have included serving as a court monitor for incapacitated parties, as an administrator ad litem in probate actions, as counsel for incapacitated parties in guardianship matters, and as attorney ad litem and/or guardian ad litem for civil litigation cases. Often, the presence of a party to advocate on behalf of vulnerable individuals, or to investigate the conduct of individuals or entities can serve to provide an avenue for ethical resolution of legal matters.
When two parties get married, there are several legal assumptions that are made. Typically, property acquired during the marriage will be marital in nature, and subject to division if the parties divorce. Similarly, one spouse may be presumed to serve in certain roles at the time of death of the other spouse, based on the marital relationship.
Florida law provides individuals wide latitude in entering into contracts that may modify these legal presumptions. For example, parties who marry later in life, may have existing estate plans that would be altered or modified by the marriage. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are a tool that can be used by the parties to address, by contract, issues regarding the legal rights created when parties marry. The Will Nelson Law Firm has assisted clients in undertaking this type of planning in order to protect the interests of clients as they relate to the change in the legal status of each party through marriage.
Will Nelson Law Firm welcomes all individuals. OUR FIRM does not discriminate based on race, social class, age, gender, or sexuality. All clients receive care and respect when working with this firm.