Hollywood, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Attorney Michael Lechtman has handled legal cases for residents of Hollywood for more than 40 years. He has concentrated his practice mainly on family law for the residents of Hollywood, but his very first jury trial was for a Hollywood resident in the Broward County Courthouse over a real estate contract in 1975. Since that time attorney Michael Lechtman has handled hundreds of divorce and family law cases for Broward and Hollywood residents.

The statistics now show that approximately 60% of all marriages end in divorce. That means that 6 out of 10 married people in Hollywood are someday going to get divorced. When that happens many issues will arise, including equitable division of real and personal property, parental responsibility, child custody, alimony, child support, visitation and timesharing, and attorneys fees. Most people think that attorneys fees would not be a major issue in their divorce case. However, the primary breadwinner may end up paying all or part of the attorneys fees for your soon-to-be divorced spouse. Therefore attorneys fees can become a major issue in attempting to settle or trying a case.

There is also another interesting statistic concerning divorces and children, and that involves the legitimacy of children born in an intact marriage. It is difficult to believe, but at times the number of children born in an intact marriage who are not from the husband in the marriage, is as high as 30%. This means that 3 out of 10 children born to an intact marriage may be from a different father. Michael Lechtman has handled such an interesting case for a Hollywood resident. Of course, for confidentiality purposes actual names cannot be used. Also, the actual profession of the parties would need to be altered to tell the story. But let's say the father, John, is a structural engineer and he is required to work out of town for long periods of time. John is married to Dorothy, and they have a six-year-old daughter, Judy, when John notices that Dorothy's behavior is changing and her emotional attitude towards him is not what it used to be.

John goes to a party and at the party a mutual friend whispers to him, "You should know that your daughter is not really your child. I know that the father is not you and that's all that I'm going to say about."

Naturally, John is in shock. What is he going to do about this situation? A divorce between John and Dorothy is inevitable for many reasons, and he comes to me as a client and presents this dilemma about his child. Most people, including attorneys, would not know that the law in Florida favors maintaining the legitimacy of a child born to an intact marriage. This means that the law presumes that the husband in an intact marriage is the legal father of the child, even though he is not the biological father. In a divorce proceeding, a court may not even allow scientific DNA testing in order to determine the paternity of such child because of the public policy favoring legitimacy of a child. Only a lawyer with the experience of Michael Lechtman in handling such unique issues can bring about a "favorable" result. The term "favorable" is used because there can be no good result in a situation like this: either the father continues to love and provide for the child as his own, even though he is not the biological father, or he has to make a horrific decision to expose the fraud and sever all ties with the child.

In the case at hand that stemmed from John Dorothy, who were residents of Hollywood, Florida, John made the decision to petition the court to allow scientific testing, and after much legal wrangling and solid arguments put forth by Michael Lechtman, the court allowed it. The scientific DNA testing showed that John was not the father of Judy. It was devastating news to John, and to the little girl, but from John's point of view he had to sever all ties with his daughter after the divorce was granted. It was very difficult for him at firstt, and for the child, but eventually everybody came to grips with the situation and were happy.

Anybody could find themselves in the same position as John. After a decision is made that a client wants to know the truth of his of his parentage, you will need a lawyer who is experienced in this phase of family law and who is handled an actual case under these facts. Not many lawyers have handled such a case. If you find yourself in a unique position of having such an esoteric issue in your divorce case, you will need attorney Michael Lechtman to help you resolve. His office is located close to you in North Miami Beach, near the Dade Broward line. Call Mr. Lechtman at 305-652-9500 today to help you resolve what may be the worst conflict of your life.

Attorney Michael Lechtman's goal in representing residents of Hollywood and South Broward is to conclude their case in the fastest time possible, with the least amount of expense. Mr. Lechtman will tell you how to do this and he will guide you through the process to a conclusion of your family law case that is just and equitable, with the hopes of saving you enough of your assets and money so that you can move onto your new life, and get your life back to normal.

The case scenario described above is also applicable to a situation where a man has signed a child's birth certificate, or the man has signed an affidavit at knowledge and paternity before scientific DNA testing is held. In order to get at the truth of the matter in these circumstances, a disestablishment of paternity petition must be filed. It is handled a bit differently than the scenario described above, but if you find yourself in that position, you will do well to call Michael Lechtman at 305-652-9500 to resolve the problem.

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