Divorce & Family Law
Attorneys Sean L. Collin and Nabeel Basit Aggressively Represent Clients in All Family Law Matters
Plantation divorce attorneys Sean L. Collin and Nabeel Basit aggressively protect their clients' best interests in all family law matters, including high net worth divorce. Both Mr. Collin and Mr. Basit are former Assistant State Attorneys with the Broward County State Attorney's Office and have extensive motion practice and trial experience. This experience allows us to aggressively pursue all legal avenues to your case, no matter how complicated the issues. We won't back down from a fight.
Unlike most family law attorneys, in addition to his Juris Doctorate degree, Sean L. Collin obtained a Master's Degrees in Business Administration. This additional training affords Sean L. Collin the ability to more effectively counsel his high net worth clients in cases involving forensic accountants, business evaluations, or complex financial entities.
Experience + Aggressiveness + Dedication = Results
Mr. Collin and Mr. Basit are both fathers to young children. As a result, our family law attorneys understand how important it is for the Court to award as much time-sharing as possible to our clients. Nothing is more important then the memories you make with your children. We will not get bullied around.
We also realize family law cases are stressful and this is likely your first interaction with the judicial system. You can trust our family law attorneys to listen to your concerns, stay in contact with you in a consistent and timely manner, and "hold your hand" every step of the way. We will treat your case like it was our own - we will not let you down.
Whether it is divorce, time sharing or alimony modification, paternity dispute, same-sex marriage or pre-nuptial agreement, we can help. Our family law attorneys have handled thousands of cases. Call Sean L. Collin or Nabeel Basit today for a free consultation. Tell us you story - we can help.
Contact The Divorce Lawyer & Family Law office location nearest you to schedule a free consultation
Family Law Representation
- Divorce & Dissolution of Marriage
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Child Support
- Child Custody & Time Sharing
The Florida divorce attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. have extensive experience in all divorce and family law related matters. Our family law attorneys have handled over 400 divorce matters, representing all types of individuals from professional athletes to high net worth executives.
Divorce Can't Happen To Me
Statistics provide that 50% of all marriages end in divorce and every divorce is unique. As a result, divorce is rarely easy or without emotional and financial stress. In addition, this is usually a person's first contact with the Court system.
Therefore, you need an experienced, aggressive and result-driven divorce lawyer who can "think out of the box" and advocate for your best interests and needs.
When you are seeking to retain a divorce attorney, it is important that you choose someone who has the ability and knowledge to resolve issues as effectively as possible. You need a divorce lawyer that will work with the opposing attorney to get negotiations completed so the issues of child support, child custody/time-sharing, alimony, and equitable distribution can be resolved in a timely manner.
Our divorce attorneys understand that keeping your fees as low as possible is a priority - we will not argue frivolous motions. That being said, with our extensive trial experience, we can be very aggressive - when warranted.
The bottom line: at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. our goal is to achieve an equitable result (as quickly and effortlessly as possible and by any means necessary) so you can begin your new life without the stress and turmoil usually prevalent during a divorce.
Florida Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys Sean L. Collin and Nabeel Basit advise and counsel individuals considering entering into a prenuptial agreement.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) is nothing more than a contract entered into between the parties prior to marriage addressing what happens in the event of a divorce.
A prenuptial agreement addresses the division or property and spousal support, oftentimes based on the length of the marriage. In many cases, a prenuptial agreement includes terms for forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery. Any issues related to children that may be born during the marriage (i.e. child support and time sharing) cannot be resolved by a prenuptial agreement.Like in all contracts, the party seeking the enforcement of the prenuptial agreement has the burden of establishing a “meeting of the minds” (i.e. “offer/acceptance/consideration”). As a result, to have a valid “pre nup” the parties must not engage in coercion or fraud and make frank and honest financial disclosures regarding their assets, liabilities, and income.
A Court should not invalidate a prenuptial agreement (no matter how “one-sided”) provided the prenuptial agreement was properly prepared, free of coercion or duress, timely executed, and with full financial disclosure.
Who Typically Requests a Prenuptial Agreement?Theoretically, anyone can request a prenuptial agreement. That being said, prenuptial agreements are commonly prepared at the request of individuals with: (1) very high salaries (such as athletes, surgeons and actors); (2) professionals who own a business or practice (such as lawyers or doctors); (3) individuals with children from a previous marriage; (4) individuals with wealthy parents who want to ensure that their assets pass on to their children and not the children’s spouses; (5) individuals who have amassed great wealth prior to the marriage either (often by inheritance, previous divorce, or retirement account); and/or (6) if one spouse is heavily in debt.
Should the future husband and future wife each have their OWN lawyer?
YES. Prenuptial agreements can be complicated. As a result, it is tremendously important for both the future husband and the future wife to have their own advocate to explain what, in fact, they are agreeing to and to protect their interests. It is a mistake to rely on the advice and recommendation of your “adversaries” lawyer. Like a contract, a party cannot come back at a later time and claim nativity for entering into a “prenup” without fully understanding its terms. “Buyer’s remorse” is not a defense to the validity of a “prenup”.
A prenuptial agreement should always be prepared by an experienced family law attorney to avoid any inconsistencies which could lead to future litigation. The prenuptial agreement attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin have experience representing both the future husband and future wife in these matters – regardless of who is the “wealthier” party.
Are Prenuptial Agreements Ever Contested?YES. Our family law attorneys are frequently contacted by individuals wanting to contest the terms of their prenuptial agreement. In some cases, the parties could be disagreeing over tens of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars. Primarily, the contesting party claims duress, coercion or fraud or (in cases where the prenuptial agreement was not prepared by a lawyer) inconsistent or vague terms.
Duress is defined as “threats, violence, constraints, or other action brought to bear on someone to do something against their will or better judgment”. Coercion is defined as “the practice of persuading someone to do something by force or threat”.
Would duress and/or coercion invalid a prenuptial agreement?
In Florida, although a trial court will not enforce a prenuptial agreement obtained by duress or coercion, a trial court should not invalidate a prenuptial agreement if the contesting party merely shows that he/she was emotionally upset or faced with a difficult decision about whether to sign.
Stated another way, it is unlikely a trial court will invalidate a prenuptial agreement for duress or coercion if the future husband/wife told his future wife/husband that no wedding will occur in the absence of a prenuptial agreement provided the future husband/wife does not use force or threat. There is nothing improper about one party taking a position that they will not marry the other party without a prenuptial agreement provided no other exception applies.
It should be noted that a “prenup” should be prepared and provided to the other party before the marriage to allow the non-requesting party sufficient time to review and understand the terms. If a “prenup” is prepared and executed in “close” proximity to the wedding it could be a basis to invalidate the “prenup”. It is extremely important to have the “prenup” executed with as a much time as possible in advance of the wedding to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
A trial court would likely invalidate a prenuptial agreement if the evidence shows that the purported victim of coercion was mentally incompetent or was not capable of understanding the situation or exercising good judgment, however.
As a result, and unlike the previous example, a family law judge may be inclined to invalidate a prenuptial agreement if the claims were that the future husband threatened to cancel the wedding if his future wife refused to sign a 50 page prenuptial agreement (prepared by his team of lawyers) just minutes before she is set to walk down the aisle. In this example, the future husband never advised his future wife that he would be seeking a prenuptial agreement and sprung it on her last minute without a chance for her to retain a family law attorney or review his financial disclosure. In this case, the future wife may not have been capable of exercising good judgment considering the circumstances and severity of the actions.
Another example of where a family law judge may invalidate a prenuptial agreement is where the future husband (wife) threatened to publish a picture of the wife (husband) committing adultery if she (he) refused to sign the prenuptial agreement.
Would Fraud Invalid a Prenuptial Agreement?Yes … however …
Fraudulent inducement is commonly pleading, particularly concerning financial disclosure. Fraudulent inducement could invalidate a prenuptial agreement if (1) the representations were false when made; (2) the defrauding party knew, or should have known of the falsity of such representation; (3) that it was intended that the alleged representation would induce the other party to rely thereon; and (4) that the defrauding party suffered injury in justifiable reliance on such alleged misrepresentation. In other words, the fraud must be material and justifiably relied upon to establish fraud. Claiming that that one party valued a beach house at $17,000,000.00 where the beach house was actually appraised at $16,950,000.00 would not be considered material to invalidate the prenuptial agreement. Not disclosing the beach house could be considered material to invalidate the prenuptial agreement, however.
Of note, prenuptial agreements entered into in violation of public policy are void. For example, a Court will likely reject a provision of a prenuptial agreement that waives all child support or awards sole time-sharing to one parent in the event that it is not in the best interest of the children. In Florida, a Judge will not uphold a provision of a prenuptial agreement that waives temporary attorney’s fees and alimony as temporary alimony and attorney’s fees cannot be waived.
Prenuptial agreement attorney Sean Collin has experience preparing and reviewing prenuptial agreements for both future husbands and future wives. Oftentimes, the requesting party (the party with significantly higher assets) will agree to pay the attorneys fee for their future spouse.
Florida family law attorneys Sean L. Collin and Nabeel Basit advise and counsel individuals facing alimony issues throughout Florida.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated. Alimony is determined based on a party's ability to pay and the other party's needs. The type of alimony that one party may receive is based on several factors, including but not limited to, the length of the marriage, standard of living, financial resources, health, and employment of a spouse.
Different types of alimony are permanent alimony, durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, bridge the gap alimony, temporary alimony and lump sum alimony.
Our Florida family law attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals in divorce and alimony-related matters. Whether you are the spouse who may be ordered to pay alimony or the spouse that may receive alimony, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible results for you.Does it matter how long I have been married?
The length of a party's marriage can substantially increase one party's likelihood of receiving and/or paying alimony. A marriage of 1 to 7 years in duration is considered a short term marriage and there is no presumption in favor of permanent alimony. A marriage of 7 to 17 years in duration is considered a gray area marriage and there is no presumption in favor or against permanent alimony.
A marriage of 17 years or more in duration is considered a long term marriage and there is a presumption that one party is entitled to permanent alimony. If you have been the "financial breadwinner" for the family during the marriage you could be ordered to pay significant sums of money to your former spouse as a result. Therefore, you need an experienced and aggressive divorce lawyer from Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. to advocate on your behalf.
A divorce could be the most important financial decision that you make in your life and it is important that you hire a divorce attorney with the ability and knowledge to navigate you through these proceedings. Whether you are the party who may receive alimony or the party that may be required to pay alimony to your spouse, it is important that you are represented effectively and aggressively.
Attorney Sean L. Collin, the head of the divorce and family law department of Lyons, Snyder, & Collin, P.A., has extensive experience representing individuals in all child support related matters, including but not limited to, enforcement, modifications, and contempt. Mr. Collin has represented individuals in over 300 divorce related matters and his expertise can help you through this emotional time.
Child support is a mathematical formula which is governed by Fla. Stat. 61.30. Fla. Stat. 61.30 considers several factors, including but not limited to, both parties incomes, amount of time spent with the children, the cost of health insurance and day care for the child(ren).
Even though the escalated costs of child support may try to be avoided, child support can not be waived because it belongs to the child. Therefore, it is both parties' obligation to support the children after a divorce.
There are several factors which may increase or decrease the amount of child support that a party may receive. The divorce lawyers at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. are knowledgeable regarding all of these tactics and are able to effectively advocate on your behalf in order to obtain the best possible result for you and your children.
Florida family law and divorce attorneys Sean L. Collin and Nabeel Basit have extensive experience representing individuals in child custody related matters. Mr. Collin and Mr. Snyder have represented individuals in over 300 divorce related matters from professional athletes to high net worth executives.
The most expensive and difficult divorces are the ones that involve child custody/time-sharing. The divorce lawyers at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. utilize all the tools at their disposal to achieve the best possible results for their clients because the time that you spend with your child is "priceless".
Know The Law
In 2008, the laws were amended regarding the residential placement of minor children in divorce and paternity cases. Courts now must look to establish (or modify) parental responsibility through the adoption of a "parenting plan." Florida Statute, Section 61.13(3) spells out the factors to be considered by the court:
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required
- The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child
- The moral fitness of the parents
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The home, school, and community record of the child
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference
- The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child's friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime
- The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child
- Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought.
If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child
- Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect
- The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child's school and extracurricular activities
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse
- The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child
- The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child's developmental needs
- Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule
The family law and divorce lawyers at Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. are knowledgeable regarding all of these factors in determining child custody/time-sharing and are able to effectively advocate on your behalf in order to obtain the best possible result for you and your children.
Florida paternity attorneys Sean L. Collin chairs the family law division of Lyons, Snyder & Collin. Mr. Collin has extensive experience in all family law related matters, including paternity actions and divorce.
Establishing Your Rights
A paternity action is brought to establish a parent-child relationship. In Florida, a mother or father can file a paternity action. In most cases, the mother of the child initiates a paternity action because the biological father is not voluntarily paying child support.
However, fathers can also file paternity actions when the mother is not allowing the father any time-sharing with the child or is dictating when and where the father may see the child depending on the mother’s mood or how much child support the father has paid.
Paternity of a child can be established through a birth certificate. If the biological father signs the birth certificate he has sixty (60) days to remove his name. If the biological father does not attempt to remove his name from the birth certificate, then the Courts will assume that he is the biological father.
It is very important that if a party believes that they may not be the father of a child to have a DNA test prior to signing a birth certificate, otherwise the father will be required to file a petition to disestablish paternity which can be a costly and time-consuming process. Contact the Plantation paternity attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin if you believe you are not the biological father but you signed a child’s birth certificate.
Knowing Your Obligations
Establishing paternity is important for asserting a number of legal rights and obligations in regard to children. Each of a child's parents has a responsibility to support the child and a right to maintain a strong parent-child relationship. Moreover, the children have a right to a relationship with both of their parents. Neither parent of the child has more rights than the other parent.
The State of Florida encourages both parties to foster a loving relationship between the child and the parent. The parties will most likely have shared parental responsibility regarding the child in order to make joint decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare. Only in extreme cases will a party be awarded sole parental responsibility. Paternity establishes many rights that carry with it a legal relationship with certain financial obligations and benefits. Whether medical coverage, access to benefits, or inheritance rights are at issue, establishing paternity provides the following benefits for children:
- Inheritance of certain assets
- Legal rights involving probate and the settlement of the father's estate
- Coverage under father's health insurance plan
- Access to father's medical records for health purposes
- Eligibility to receive the father's Social Security disability or death benefits
- Dependency claims for tax purposes when applying for student financial aid