Karen Lungarelli, Esquire
Divorce and Family Law Attorney
Marriages, divorces and children’s issues are can often affect ones immigration status or citizenship process. I am honored to have Attorney Karen Lungarelli as this Month’s Spotlight interview to give us some insight on Florida Divorce and Family Law.
Q: Karen, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. First off, please tell our readers what types of cases you handle in your practice.
A: Thank you, Elina, for having me as your Spotlight Interview for this month. It is my pleasure to speak to you and provide your readers with some information regarding Florida Divorce and Family Law.
My firm is Lungarelli Law and we focus exclusively on Divorce and Family Law Cases. The majority of our practice focuses on assisting individuals through the divorce process. We work with clients ranging from middle income to high net worth individuals with multiple businesses, assets, income, investments, etc. In high net worth cases we must determine the of value of the marital estate, ownership of the individual assets, properties, and businesses and, ultimately, the division thereof. We handle divorces at any stage in the litigation process from preparation, to litigation and post judgment modifications and enforcement actions. We also prepare and review prenuptial and postnuptial agreements; we prepare and litigate establishment of paternity and child support matter; adoptions; and name changes. Because we practice exclusively in the area of Florida divorce and family law, we put in the time and effort to educate ourselves by staying informed about any upcoming and new changes in the law both statutory and case law that could affect our clients. We take pride in being able to provide our clients with the best and most current advice possible.
Q: Tell us a little about your background.
A: I was born and raised in New Hampshire and moved down to Miami to attend law school at the University of Miami. I graduated from UM in 2010, passed the Bar exam the same year, and immediately started working in Divorce and Family Law. After working at some of the biggest family law firms in South Florida I decided to open my own firm in 2015. I have been recognized and honored as a Florida Super Lawyer three years in a row and was appointed in 2017 to the Florida Bar Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee.
Q: What prompted you to become an attorney?
A: Following undergrad I obtained a Master’s Degree in public policy and began working in that field. During that time, I worked closely with many lawyers and became inspired to go to law school.
Q: Why did you choose to go into divorce and family law?
A: The summer after my second year in law school I split my time between clerking at the family courthouse in Miami Dade and clerking started clerking with a family law firm in South Miami. I loved it! I made the decision to start working at a divorce and family law firm because I wanted to help people going through tough times and figured that because every family is different the cases are probably all different as well. I was happy to find that I was right, no two cases are alike making every day different and each case a new challenge which I enjoy. I also found that I was great at explaining to clients the big picture of what their lives would be like after divorce, which helped many clients decide what was important to them during the process. This allows them to make informed decisions about their future moving forward.
Q: Do you encounter clients whose immigration/citizenship status has some significance to a particular case?
A: Living in Miami we have a large community of immigrants who marry American citizens and apply for citizenship as a result of their marriage. If the parties decide to divorce prior to finalizing the immigration process, there are certain consequences that may arise for both parties. In those cases, we always like to consult with either the client’s immigration attorney or with your office to understand if there should be any specific language in divorce agreements or final judgments that would assist in avoiding those possible consequences.
Q: Are there any challenges associated with immigrants who were married in other countries and are seeking divorces here in Florida?
A: As long as the petitioning party is a resident of Florida for more than 6 months they can file for divorce in this state. The only challenge – and it’s only a challenge if you do not have the requisite experience, arises when the parties seeking a divorce have previously entered into a separation agreement or prenuptial agreement in a foreign country and would like to have that agreement enforced here in Florida. In those cases, we must have the agreement translated by a court certified translator and often will need to secure counsel in the country of origin to testify as to the validity of the agreement. We have successfully argued that these foreign separation and prenuptial agreements should be held valid here in Florida, saving our clients a lot of their time by not having to litigate issues that they resolved by prior agreement.
Q: What do you like best about your work?
A: Family law is a little bit of everything: litigation, research, writing, mediation, finance, and so on. This area of law really touches on everything I enjoy about being an attorney. At the end of the day I enjoy this job a lot and I enjoy helping people through one of the most challenging times of their life.
Q: How can our subscribers reach you for a consultation?
A: They can call my office at 305.998.3828, and my staff will be more than happy to schedule the consultation. They can also visit my website at www.lungarellilaw.com for more information.
Thank you, Karen, for sharing your knowledge with our subscribers. This is Elina signing off until next month’s spotlight interview. Have a great month!