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Deborah A. Cook

Deborah A. Cook

My Story

Commit your time and energy to the people who will remember that you made a difference.

My life-long passion is families.  As a Marriage and Family counselor, I have provided help to families in conflict for over thirty years.  After spending a ten-year period raising three children and caring for my way too young dying parents, I decided to go to law school after all the children were in college. I transferred my talents helping families to the exclusive practice of Family Law Matters.

I love helping people become self-assured and take control of their life. I am an excellent listener and straight forward communicator- maybe too straight forward at times. I cannot tell you only what you want to hear.  I must hear what you want and guide you through the statutes and laws of the state of Florida. I work hard for my clients in an effort to restore balance and happiness in their lives.

In matters of Divorce

Although I love the organization it takes to take a case to trial, it is my preferred practice to help my clients resolve issues before relying on the court to decide their family’s fate.  As a skilled legal counselor and licensed mediator , I understand and appreciate the power it provides my client to determine his/her own future. 

By nature, I am a collaborative person.  I like the people in family practice, many are my peers and my friends. If your divorce matters are complex, I rely on mental health and financial experts. Life is not about what you know; it is about finding the right answers. I am trained and experienced in the practice of Collaborative Law.   This is a healthy and constructive way to end an old life and begin a new one.  The fact that collaborative practice is based upon transparency and confidentiality, all clients are beneficiaries of complete closure and disclosure.

Neither you or I are able to control the temperament of the other party and there are times when there is no way to agree without the help of the court. If a trial is our only option, I am prepared, organized and gifted to tell your story to the judge.

In matters of Paternity

Your rights as a parent are guided by Florida statutes.  If your child was born outside of a legal marriage a father does not have the same rights as a married man. It is important for the welfare of your child that you establish paternity rights.  The only way to do this is through the court.  Paying child support does not make you a dad. A court order establishing paternity provides you with the rights to have custodial care, called timeshare, and joint decision making with the child’s mother. Every child needs two parents. It is in the best interests of the child that your rights as a parent are established

In matters of Guardianship

There are times that grandparents or extended family members, and sometimes close family friends, need to establish custodial rights. Every child should have a right to a stable and loving home. Prior to becoming a lawyer, I have worked with troubled youth and adoption. Although having “a right” to a stable family is not a reality for all children.  It often takes a village to raise a child and guardianship is sometimes what you need to be sure you are legally part of the village.

I have always been an active member of the Central Florida community. I grew up here. I have perfected the art of being a professional volunteer and provided countless hours to organizations such as the Orange County Public Schools, Episcopal Counseling Center, College Park Neighborhood Association, Boy Scouts of America and Citrus Counsel for Girl Scouting. Currently, I focus the majority of my time practicing law because it is as much a hobby as it is a job to me. I am a member of Orange County Bar Association, Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Family Law Committee, Family Inn of Court and the Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida.  It is important to me that law practitioners are fair and honest.  I also serve on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee. I participate in many leadership roles in these organizations.

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