Family Law & Domestic Violence
If you have been referred to our website because JALA is unable to accept your Family Law case, please click here for Family Law issue self-help information.
JALA provides representation in family law and domestic violence cases in several areas to promote the integrity, safety, and economic stability of the family.
The areas we handle are listed below. Please note that as much as we would like to help every client who applies for our services, we cannot accept every case due to limited resources. Case acceptance will depend on the circumstances of each case, whether all eligibility criteria are met, and staff availability. On the other hand, if you do not see your legal problem listed, it does not mean we will not consider your case. We are always interested in learning about new and different issues affecting our community. To find out how to apply for our services, click here.
If we are not able to assist you, click here to see other resources in the community you may
find useful. You may also find more information about some of these topics under our
We represent parents who are served with contested adoption cases concerning their children in special circumstances.
We also represent relatives, step-parents, and others who wish to file uncontested adoption cases.
Unfortunately, we do not usually have the resources to represent non-custodial parents in defending against paying child support or contempt, or in decreasing or terminating child support. Exceptions may be made for persons with disabilities or persons living with HIV, or persons with defenses other than the lack of ability to pay child support.
Unfortunately, we also do not have the resources to represent custodial parents in starting, collecting or increasing child support, unless it is part of another case that qualifies for
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We represent parents who are caring for their children and are served with contested custody cases concerning the children, including divorce, paternity, modification, relative custody, or guardianship.
We represent parents whose children were recently taken by the other parent, or a relative, or another person, and require a family law case to restore custody.
We represent relatives who have physical custody of children and need legal custody to get services or benefits for the children, such as school enrollment, health care, housing, or other benefits.
Unfortunately, we rarely have the resources to represent parents or others in filing custody modification cases.
We represent spouses who are served with divorce cases involving contested custody or other difficult issues, such as dividing pensions or jurisdictional disputes over where the cases should be decided. Special consideration is given to persons with disabilities, senior citizens, domestic violence survivors, and persons living with HIV.
We represent spouses in filing divorce cases in limited situations, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or other situations having a negative affect on a child. Special consideration is also given to persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and persons living with HIV. Other extenuating circumstances will also be considered.
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Domestic Violence & Other Abuse
Injunctions for Protection
We represent domestic violence and other abuse survivors in filing for injunctions for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and related matters. We currently receive special funding which allows us to represent clients in these cases regardless of whether the clients meet our income eligibility criteria.
Immigration Petitions for Abused Spouses & Trafficking Victims
We assist abused spouses in petitioning for immigration status without the help of their abusers under the violence against women act. We also assist trafficking victims in petitioning for immigration status.
We represent family members and other non-parents caring for children in becoming legal guardians when needed to benefit the children and when the parents will not object.
When resources permit, we represent family members in becoming guardians of their adult loved ones who have developmental disabilities.
We represent family members in becoming guardians of their senior family members when needed to benefit the senior and when other family members will not object.
When resources permit, we represent adults in changing their names or the names of their children.
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We represent unmarried parents who are served with paternity cases involving contested custody issues. Special consideration is given to persons with disabilities, domestic violence survivors and persons living with HIV.
We represent unmarried parents in filing paternity cases in limited situations, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or other situations having a negative affect on a child. Special consideration is also given to persons with disabilities and persons living with HIV. Other extenuating circumstances will also be considered.
Termination of Parental Rights & Dependency
Unfortunately, we do not handle cases involving the state of Florida Department of Children and Families filing dependency cases for the removal of children from their parents temporarily, nor cases involving the department filing to terminate parental rights permanently. A parent in either situation who cannot afford an attorney has the right to a free court-appointed attorney, and may request a court-appointed attorney during their court hearings.
Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to represent custodial parents in defending against cases to start, enforce, or modify visitation. Exception may be made for cases involving requests for equal time, or requests from non-parents.
We do not have the resources to represent custodial parents in filing to limit, restrict, or stop visitation, unless it is to prevent child abuse or is part of another case that qualifies for our services.
We also do not have the resources to represent non-custodial parents in starting, enforcing, or modifying visitation, unless it is part of another case that qualifies for our services.
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