when family becomes toxic

Severing Ties With Family Members

With increasing attention to mental health, many people realize that a family member is the person who most triggers them. If you have a family member who abuses, harasses, or otherwise treats you in a manner that negatively impacts your physical or mental health, severing ties with them is the healthiest option. Sometimes changing your phone number is enough, other times you need to take a more drastic and formal step. Although you do not have to hire a local attorney, you may want to work with one to advise you. Most family law firms help with this sort of legal petition.

Terminating a Familial Relationship Formally

There are many steps you can take to terminate a relationship with a family member. By doing so formally, you have recourse in the event they continue to harass or abuse you. One step you can take is to file for a restraining order in your county either on your own or with the help of a local attorney. When the judge grants you the order of protection, a law enforcement officer serves the family member with notice of the no contact order. If your family member violates it either directly or through a third party, you can get law enforcement involved. Penalties for violation are steep and can include both jail time and fines.

Formal Termination Benefits Your Estate in the Event of Your Death

If you decide to formally terminate a relationship, it may protect your estate and children in the event of your death. The way intestate succession laws read, if you die without a will and have not formally terminated a relationship, your parents, siblings, or even children could inherit from your estate. If you do have a will and do not name them and have not formally acted to terminate the relationship, they could have grounds to contest your will or file for custody of your children. Any good local attorney would recommend having a will and/or trust dated after the termination of the relationship. They may specifically reference the termination so it is clear to a judge why the will should not be contested and that the person was excluded intentionally.

As a Local Attorney, We Can Help

We understand Florida laws as they relate to terminating familial relationships. Because Wagstaff & Pitelis also specializes in estate planning, we can help you create a will or trust that protects your assets and children from those you wish to terminate a relationship. Call us today to schedule your consultation at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form.