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What Happens When A Parent Violates the Child Custody Order

Posted on: September 26, 2018 by in Family Law
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Parent Violates the Child Custody Order

Everyone knows that there’s nothing easy about family separations. Divorce is difficult on its own, but when children are involved, it can become much more painful. Suddenly, you have boundaries where they didn’t exist before. Schedules are different, communication can be inconsistent, and it can be difficult to understand what you can and cannot lawfully do as a parent with shared custody. When a parent violates the child custody order, it can bring on more confusion and conflict. That’s why it’s so important to understand every detail of a child custody order and follow it appropriately. Below we discuss the purpose of custody orders, what constitutes a violation, and what to do if a violation occurs.

 

Purpose of a Child Custody Order

 

When a couple goes through a divorce and parents separate, they need a structured plan for visitation and communication with the children. In some cases, a divorcing couple can come to an agreement on these details. Typically through mediation, they can create their own shared calendar and set their own terms on child custody. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. When tensions are high and a couple can’t agree on the terms of custody, the courts will have to decide for them. This is a very unnatural feeling for most parents who are used to seeing their children every day.

The purpose of a child custody order is to make sure that both parents understand who the child should be with on any given day. Since it’s enforced by law, the schedule is protected and everyone involved is responsible for following the order. When a parent violates the child custody order, it’s considered breaking the law.

 

Determining Who Gets Custody

 

Traditionally, the courts were more likely to give physical custody to the mother. This is due to historical and conventional ideas of mothers being more influential on development. However, modern courts don’t automatically assume these roles anymore. There are a lot of variables that go into determining who gets custody of a child, but overall, the common mantra is always in the best interest of the child. Some of the elements that judges will consider before making custody arrangements are:

 

  • What the child wants
  • The age of the child
  • The relationship between the child and both parents
  • The parent’s ability to take care of the child and provide
  • The child’s relationship to their school and community
  • The willingness of the parent

 

If a parent is upset about the terms of the child custody arrangement, they’re more likely to violate them. When a parent violates the child custody order, it can lead to much bigger problems for the family as a whole.

 

What Is Considered a Violation?

 

Basically, anything that falls outside of the details in your child custody order can result in a violation. Many times, these are simple accidents. If a parent picks up a child from school on the wrong day, that could be a violation. Normally, these situations can easily be resolved with your ex-spouse and the family attorney. In other circumstances, the violations can be much more severe. For instance, if one parent refuses to give the child back to the other parent, or if one parent takes the child out of state, the consequences can be much more severe. It’s important to understand all of the terms of the order and always consult with your attorney if changes need to be made.

When a Parent Violates the Child Custody Order

 

There are a number of different consequences that a parent can face for violating a child custody order. This can vary by state, but overall parents have to understand that a child custody order is enforceable by law and it can be very serious if these orders are violated. If a parent violates the child custody order, here are some of the possible results:

 

  • the violating parent is immediately at risk of losing the rights that have already been set in place by the courts.
  • The violating parent could do jail time, since he or she could be considered in contempt of court.
  • Violating parent could have to appear in court to explain why the violation happened.
  • The non-violating parent has the rights to call law enforcement and/or petition the court for enforcement of the order.

 

If you or your ex-spouse has violated the child custody order, it’s important to contact a family law attorney as soon as possible. Experts in family law understand how difficult this time is for you and your family. They can offer support and guidance to get you and your family back on track. Before more conflicts arise from violations of child custody orders, contact your family law attorney to help you settle any disputes.

 

What Determines the Length of Alimony Payments?

Posted on: September 15, 2018 by in Divorce
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Length of Alimony Payments

What Determines the Length of Alimony Payments?

Going through a divorce can be very stressful. There are a number of life-altering circumstances that can add to this stress. Your job, living situation, family, or mutual relationships can all be affected in some way. Of course, changes in your finances could be one of the biggest forms of anxiety. That’s why it’s important to know where you stand when it comes to alimony. But, what is alimony exactly? And what determines the length of alimony payments? Below we examine the answers to these questions as well as other valuable information about alimony.

What is Alimony?

Alimony is a court-ordered payment a spouse gives to a former spouse in the case of divorce or legal separation. Alimony is also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance. The purpose of alimony is to provide financial support for the spouse with little or no income. Generally, the amount of alimony paid is assessed by the divorcing couple’s standard of living. The amount paid should permit a lifestyle similar to what the couple had prior to the divorce. However, there are a lot of other variables that go into determining the amount of the alimony payments and the length of alimony payments. Below is a breakdown of how alimony payments are classified in the state of Florida.

Length of Alimony Payments in Florida

Florida has five different classifications of alimony that will determine the length of alimony payments. These five types of alimony are: temporary, durational, rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, and permanent. As you can tell from their titles, these various forms of alimony all define the actual length of alimony payments. Of course, each case is unique and the duration and amount of payments might already be agreed upon by the couple. Normally, a judge will determine if alimony should be granted as well as the length of the alimony payment.

Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony is also referred to as “pendente lite”, which translates to “during litigation.” This means that one spouse is required to pay alimony only for the duration of the divorce process. The main purpose of temporary alimony is for the lower wage earner to be able to support themselves, but only during the divorce. When the divorce becomes finalized, the alimony payments stop.

Durational Alimony

If all other forms of alimony are deemed insufficient by the court, then durational alimony may be granted. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide financial security for the spouse making little to no money. However, the length of alimony payments depends on the length of the marriage. For instance, if you’re married for fifteen years, you can only receive payments for fifteen years. If you’re granted durational alimony, you can’t receive payments for any longer than that.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is when an individual is awarded payments while he or she carries out a plan to be financially independent. The length of alimony payments will depend on the actual timeline of this plan. These payments may go to training programs or tuition for college. The recipient will need to devise an actual strategy for becoming financially secure and will have to present this to the courts. This plan will have to have a set timeline and need to be a realistic goal for financial independence.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

This form of alimony is considered the most short-term form of payment. The purpose of bridge-the-gap alimony is to cover the transitional period after a divorce. For instance, the length of alimony payments could cover moving to a new home or finding a new job in a different location. The maximum amount of time for these types of payments is two years. The purpose of this form of payment is to only supplement the lower income earner for a short amount of time.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is when a judge grants one spouse unending payments. There are a few different cases when permanent alimony may be granted. If the individual suffers from a disability, alimony payments will be permanent. If the judge sees any reason why this person can’t financial care for themselves, this form of alimony will most likely be rewarded.

Ask the Legal Experts

Regardless if you’re receiving alimony or paying alimony, it’s important for these rulings to be fair. If you feel as though the amount you’ve been rewarded is significantly less than your standard of living, it’s recommended to speak to an attorney. You should also contact an attorney if you believe you’re paying alimony in an unjust circumstance. An alimony lawyer in Florida can help you determine if you’ve been granted too little, or if you’re required to pay too much for too long. If you think a judge has unfairly put you in a position with regards to alimony, contact help today.

Filing For Divorce Pro Se: 5 Things You Should Know

Posted on: September 8, 2018 by in Divorce
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filing for divorce pro se

Filing for divorce can be a complicated process. It can become even more complicated with confusing legalese or unfamiliar Latin terms such as “pro se”. It’s not only important to know what filing for divorce pro se means, but you must also understand the pros and cons of taking this approach. Pro se translates to “for oneself”. This means that you plan on filing for divorce without the assistance or representation of an attorney. You’ll be filing for a divorce yourself as well as representing yourself throughout the divorce proceedings. In theory, this can sound like a rather simple process. However, handling a divorce from beginning to end without the help of an attorney can be much more complex than you think. There are both advantages and disadvantages to filing for divorce pro se. Here are five things you need to know about this process.

 

  1. Save Money

It’s no surprise that saving money is the first thing that comes to mind when people consider filing for a divorce pro se. A do-it-yourself divorce ranges from $500-$1,500 depending on the documents you need and how you file. There’s a lot of different elements that determine the cost of a divorce. It can depend on the intricacies of the case, if the couple is coming to an agreement, or the number of assets they share. With the help of a lawyer, complex divorce cases that go to trial can cost anywhere from $20,000-$200,000. Your first instinct may be to attempt a divorce process alone to avoid losing that much cash. However, sometimes the disadvantages of going at a divorce alone will greatly outweigh how much you can save.

 

  1. Potentially Ease Tensions

Even though attorneys are there to assist people through the toughest times of their lives, people often become nervous when they get involved. If both parties are in agreement on the terms of the divorce, filing for divorce pro se can make sense. Involving a lawyer could potentially create tension. There’s no reason to make the process more stressful than it needs to be. However, when tensions are already high and both parties are having a difficult time communicating, filing for divorce pro se is not recommended.

 

  1. Time Consuming

There’s a reason why attorneys are paid well to practice law and file for a divorce on your behalf. It’s because a divorce can be very confusing and it takes a lot of time to complete the required documents. Unfortunately, a divorce is not as easy as filling out a form online and then just waiting for it to end. It’s incredibly time consuming and very difficult. Filing for divorce pro se is an exhausting process that will take up much of your time for weeks to possibly months.

 

  1. Inexperience Leads to Complications

If you don’t have a legal background, filing for divorce pro se can be a very complex procedure. Filing the documents wrong or not meeting court-ordered deadlines can create more problems for you  in the future. Attorneys understand how to present the information and defend their clients in the appropriate way. Poor self-representation will not only be a problem for you, but it can also become a hardship on the courts. Overall, it’s not a good idea to represent yourself if you have no experience in litigation.

 

  1. Emotionally Taxing

It’s obvious that a divorce in and of itself is an emotionally taxing process. For most people, it’s difficult to keep up with their normal tasks. If children are involved, it can be even more overwhelming. Being on time for work, showing up to soccer games, or being present for important meetings can be stressful during times of divorce. This is one of the reasons why people pay attorneys to handle divorces for them. Normally, a divorce means moving, reassessing assets and finances, or even deciphering custody terms. Transitions like this can be traumatic for many couples and families. Filing for divorce pro se adds an immense amount of pressure onto an already existing dilemma. It’s important to keep this in mind if you’re considering representing yourself.

If You’re Considering Filing For Divorce Pro Se

There are many factors that go into a decision to represent yourself during a divorce. There are clear advantages and disadvantages. Saving money is important and avoiding tensions by involving lawyers can make sense in some cases. However, not everyone has the luxury of an easy separation. There are a lot more complexities to a divorce than most people can imagine. Lack of experience or emotionally taxing obligations can take its toll on you and your family. If you’re considering filing for a divorce pro se, it’s recommended to speak with a divorce attorney first to know if it’s the right path for you.

 

5 Tips on Keeping Up With Your Mental Health During Divorce

Posted on: August 16, 2018 by in Uncategorized
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Mental Health During Divorce

While going through a divorce, you will experience a wide range of emotions. You might feel excited about this change in your life. You might feel proud of your ability to cope. On other days, it might feel like your entire world is crashing down. That’s why it’s important to remember to keep up with your mental health during this time. The roller coaster of emotions can be taxing. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make sure you’re remaining both mentally and physically healthy. Below are five tools you can use to get yourself through this difficult phase.

 

Don’t Isolate Yourself

It’s completely natural to want to be alone during this time. You don’t want to have to put on a brave face and socialize when you feel down. It is important to take time for yourself during a divorce so you can process the situation and have some self-reflection. However, spending too much time alone can start to snowball into a world of isolation. You can feel completely consumed by your sadness and start to avoid people all together. You have to make sure you have a good balance of quality time with friends and family and time alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out to those closest to you for comfort and support.

 

Keep Up Your Mental Health During Divorce by Exercising and Eating Healthy

When fighting through the negative emotions brought on by divorce, your body might start to crave comfort food and lots of sleep. This is also very natural. It’s completely okay to have a few days like this. Allow your body to rest and treat yourself to a cheeseburger. Having said that, it’s crucial to remember that your mind and body are connected. Eating all the wrong foods and sleeping all day are indeed signs of depression. When your body feels heavy and tired, your mood will most likely match that feeling. Be sure to have a healthy routine that involves exercise, nutritious foods, and the right amount of sleep.

 

Don’t Compare Yourself to Your Ex

This tip is probably one of the most difficult pieces of advice to follow. It’s instinctual for us to compare ourselves to others. During a divorce, this act can be even more severe. Many people will feel the need to ask about how their ex is doing or if they’re seeing other people. If you’re still feeling emotionally wounded from your separation, this will have no positive outcome for you. It doesn’t matter how well or unwell your ex is. It’s essential for you to focus on you. When you start to compare yourself to your ex-spouse, you’re inclined to falsify your own state of mind. Your healing process will not be authentic if you’re in a competition. Try to set clear boundaries with your ex and your mutual friends so everyone can have space to recover.

 

Try Something New

Reinventing yourself can be one of the greatest parts of this phase of your life. When you go through a divorce, you can start to feel like a piece of you is missing. Filling that missing piece with something fun, interesting, or exciting can have amazing effects on your mental health. This is the time of your life to do that one thing that you’ve always said you wanted to do. Try out a new yoga studio, learn a new language, take flying lessons. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, it just has to be new and enjoyable. Some divorcees will even treat themselves to a weekly pampering, like a day at the spa or regular dinners at their favorite restaurant. The point is to routinely do something great for yourself. This is the time of your life when it’s pertinent to focus on yourself without feeling guilty.

 

Look Towards the Future

This is one of the most critical pieces of advice to follow. The entire point of a divorce is to change your current path and look towards the future. When you’re having a terrible day, always remember that this will pass. You will eventually come out on the other side. There’s something better waiting for you. It’s also helpful to make plans. Having something to look forward to in the future is a great way to stay positive and focused. Birthdays, holidays, and celebrations should be marked on your calendar. Have a dinner party planned with friends. Make plans to travel somewhere exciting. Visit that special place in the world that you’ve never been to before. Traveling is one of the most positive actions you can take at this time. When you see how big the world is, your problems can start to feel smaller and less significant. Regardless of your plan, it’s important to remember that things will get better as time goes on.

 

What To Do If You Are Experiencing Domestic Violence

Posted on: August 5, 2018 by in Domestic Violence
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Experiencing Domestic Violence

Some people have a hard time defining what domestic violence is. Many believe that domestic violence is purely physical. They believe that if no one has ever laid a hand on them, it’s not something they can define as domestic violence. The truth is domestic violence comes in many different forms besides physical abuse. It’s important to understand what domestic violence is so you can determine if you are experiencing domestic violence. The United States Office on Violence Against Women (otherwise known as the O.V.W.) has recently released an official definition of domestic violence. They define domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.” The keywords here are “power and control”. This means that you could be experiencing domestic violence under many different forms of abuse.

 

Defining Domestic Violence

Here are the different forms of abuse that all fall under the category of domestic violence:

 

  • Physical Abuse: This is the most common form of domestic abuse. Hitting, slapping, biting, punching, or kicking are all classified as physical abuse. If someone is keeping you from medical attention, this is also considered physical abuse.
  • Emotional Abuse: This is when the individual seeking power uses criticism to hurt the other person. They’ll usually attack the victim’s self-esteem or self-worth. Name calling, put-downs, and verbal attacks are all considered emotional abuse. The point is to make the victim feel worthless.
  • Psychological Abuse: Psychological abuse is much like emotional abuse, but it can easily go undetected. Usually, the abuser will use fear or intimidation to control a victim. They will often threaten to hurt the victim or themselves. They might use isolation as a tool to control the victim as well. Keeping them from friends, family, work or school could be a sign of psychological abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse: Coercing a partner to have sex or perform sexual acts unwillingly is classified as sexual abuse. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or not. Marital status doesn’t determine if an abuser can force themselves upon a victim. Often, abusers will force sex upon their victims after physical abuse.
  • Economical Abuse: This form of abuse is carried out through financial means. This is when the abuser is trying to exert power by controlling all of the victim’s funds. They’ll often threaten to take food and shelter away or deny them the right to employment.

 

As you can see, domestic violence is much more than just physical abuse. The main concern for the abuser is to gain power and control over their partners or spouses. They can use a number of different forms of abuse to attain this power. If you think you’re experiencing domestic violence, remember to be aware of these various acts that all fall under the umbrella of domestic violence.

 

What To Do When Experiencing Domestic Violence

A common phrase that many victims of domestic violence hear is, “just leave”. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. Those who have experienced domestic violence understand that there are many variables that could be holding you back. However, if your life is being threatened, you need to contact help immediately and devise an exit strategy. Hotlines like 800-799-SAFE can be a helpful resource for victims. It’s also important to have a trustworthy family attorney involved so you can be aware of your rights. If you are experiencing domestic violence, you need to be ready when you have the opportunity to leave.

Here are some tips to remember when making a plan to exit an abusive relationship:

  • Have a set location. Determine a safe place that you can go to that your abuser is unaware of or won’t suspect. Contact a friend or family member that can help you identify where you should go. Consider contacting shelters, police stations, or fire stations to help you find your safe place.
  • Have money set aside. Ask a friend or family member if you can borrow money. Be sure that the abuser doesn’t know where it is or who is helping you.
  • Have a bag packed with essentials and leave it with a friend or family member. Try not to leave an escape bag in the house. Be sure to have a set of clothes, important documents, and/or medication if necessary.
  • Have a code word with friends or family so they know when you’re in a moment of danger.
  • When researching help and setting a plan, never use a computer or laptop that the abuser also has access to. Use computers at local libraries or community centers so they’re not aware of your browsing history.
  • Be sure to memorize phone numbers of crisis hotlines and close friends and family so you can contact them from any phone.

5 Tips on Establishing Visitation Rights in Florida

Posted on: July 26, 2018 by in Family Law
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Visitation rights in florida

A legal separation or divorce can be incredibly taxing on both individuals. There are waves of aggressive emotions, unexpected stressful situations, and sometimes even financial hardship. All of these factors become even more overwhelming when there are children involved. No matter their ages, children should be considered first when it comes to making decisions for the family. Of course, it can be hard to prioritize or make arrangements when you’re unfamiliar with the rules and regulations set by the state in cases of divorce or visitation rights. These guidelines can be confusing and the process can become frustrating when you’re dealing with the emotional burden of a separation at the same time. However, the more you know about these procedures, the easier it can be for you to form a plan. Below are five important pieces of advice that can help guide you through the process of establishing visitation rights in the state of Florida.

State of Florida Terminology

First and foremost, it’s important to take note that the state of Florida does not use the terms “custody” or “visitation” anymore. Judges, lawyers, and mediators now refer to it as “time-sharing” and “co-parenting”. It’s always helpful to use your state’s proper terminology when creating official documents, appearing in a courtroom, or negotiating with lawyers or mediators. This helps the courts to know that you’ve done your homework and you’re on top of the current guidelines and procedures.

Awareness of Your Words with Your Children

Sometimes parents have a hard time with this new terminology, or with the language, they use during a divorce. This may seem like silly semantics. Or, you may feel that the words you use to describe these visitations don’t matter. However, the language you use, especially during a divorce, can carry more weight than you think. When children hear words like “custody battle” from family members they can start to associate conflict with these terms, even if it doesn’t exist. There’s a good chance they’ve heard these terms used on TV or in films and they can draw their own conclusions about the situation. It’s very important to be aware of the way you speak with your ex, about your ex, or about parental rights in front of your children. Using more neutral and nonpartisan language can help set a comforting tone during this stressful time in their lives. Plus, any harsh words exchanged can possibly be used against you in later proceedings.

Choose a Negotiating Style

Every single decision that the courts make will be based on your child’s best interest. With that in mind, the state of Florida allows you to design your own visitation schedule that works for everyone in the family. However, more often than not, this is easier said than done. There are dozens of different scenarios of divorce that can dictate how your visitation rights will be divided. If you and your ex can negotiate and formulate this type of schedule together, then you’re ahead of the game. This is always the best case scenario when it comes to time-sharing. Unfortunately, when parents can’t compromise or negotiate on time-sharing, the courts will have to decide for them. This can leave a bitter taste in a mother’s or father’s mouth when it comes to a third party deciding how and when they will see their own children. It’s always better if you can place conflict aside and do your very best to communicate clearly, coordinate peacefully, and compromise when necessary. If you and your ex are not yet on speaking terms and you need time to be able to cooperate, your best bet is to contact a lawyer or mediator who can negotiate on your behalf.

Formulating a Parental Agreement

As stated above, Florida law allows parents to create their own time-sharing schedule with their children’s best interest in mind. If you and your ex have the ability to peacefully sit down and devise a co-parenting plan, there are a lot of different variables to consider before you put this down on paper and officially present it to the courts. You need to consider the age and developmental stage of your child. You need to discuss who will handle their doctor’s appointments, extracurricular activities, summer vacation plans, holiday schedules, and any extension of rights to other family members.

Revisions of Parental Agreements

It may seem almost impossible to spend one afternoon devising a co-parenting schedule that will stick over time, and that’s because it is. Life happens! What may appear to be in your child’s best interest one day, might seem inadequate the next. Your children will grow and develop in different ways. They may change schools. One parent might move to another city. There are endless variables that can affect the parental agreement. These changes are completely normal and acceptable in the courts. However, sometimes officially implementing these adjustments on paper can be confusing. It’s always best to get support from your lawyer if you need to modify a parental agreement.

Biological Dads Now Have More Rights To Their Children

Posted on: July 18, 2018 by in Family Law
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Biological Dads

Pretty much everyone assumes that in child custody matters, the mom gets the full custody of the children while the dad is left with nothing. Biological dads are often given the short straw when a relationship breaks apart, and the pieces have to be picked up. Many dads can feel helpless when it comes to going to court because of this historical trend in granting moms more rights. However, things are changing in the world. The way that people look at gender and gender roles are evolving. The way that people are looking at marriage is also changing. These changes can have a huge impact on the laws, including family law and the rights of biological dads.

What Is the Antiquated Law That Put a Child’s Legitimacy Before a Biological Father’s Rights?

A child’s legitimacy is based on the child’s parents being married. In the past, a child that was born to parents that weren’t married was stigmatized. These children received a label of being illegitimate. The way that marriage is looked at in this country has changed. More people are opting to not get married before having a child. Others are married to someone else, and end up having a child with someone else. Relationships are not very black and white.

The problem with keeping this antiquated scenario is that there are many situations where the baby is born to a mother that’s married to a man that’s not the biological father. In the eyes of the court in the past, the child is considered the legitimate child of the wife and the husband, even if the husband is not the biological dad. In the case that was decided, the mother was married but told the biological father that her marriage was for legal purposes. The biological father was very involved, and even attended the birth of the child, but had to fight for his parental rights. This antiquated law needs to change.

What Are the Cases That Brought This Scenario to the Supreme Court?

The case that brought this scenario to the Supreme Court is a perfect example of how relationships are different and have evolved into many gray areas. The biological father entered into a relationship with the mother. He was not aware that she was married to another man in the beginning. Once he found out, she explained that her marriage was for the purpose of immigration. The couple was together for three years, and they had a baby together.

This biological father remained very involved. As mentioned, he was at the hospital when the baby girl was born. The birth certificate has the name of the man rather than the woman’s husband. He paid child support for his daughter. He was involved with taking her on errands, such as going to the doctor or dropping her off at daycare.

The problem came when he wanted to legally declared the father by the courts so that he could earn visitation. The judge stated that because of these antiquated laws her husband should be considered the legal father. This ruling stopped the biological dad from being able to be with his daughter.

Thanks to the history between the man and his daughter, the appeals court reversed this ruling. The Supreme Court agreed with the appeals court and allowed that decision to stand.

How Does This Benefit Biological Dads and Families?

The key benefit that this case offers to biological dads is that it has set a new precedent. It gives biological fathers the opportunity to use this case’s decision to help them in their decision. Ultimately, the benefit is that it may allow biological fathers that are in a tricky situation because of not being considered the father due to a husband being involved to have more of a chance to be involved with their child. Fathers that are involved in their children’s lives make a difference.

How Can A Lawyer Help?

An experienced lawyer that’s familiar with helping biological dads gaining custody and establishing their rights can help. A legal professional that’s familiar with how changes have been made based on these Supreme Court cases can help in restoring rights that had been taken away. Fighting for your rights is important, but not always easy. It can be hard to handle dealing with the questions of legitimacy versus biology.

Seeking professional help is one of the best ways to protect your rights as the biological father. Biological dads are just as important to the upbringing of a child as the mother, and as time goes by, society is changing their views on gender roles. This change in society has resulted in changes in how family law is delivered. Contact our law firm to learn more about how these cases may offer some insights into your particular situation. Our professional staff is experienced with handling family law custody cases and can speak with you about your case. Do what’s best for you and your child by allowing the law to work for you.

 

 

How Do Florida Courts Determine Child Support

Posted on: July 5, 2018 by in Family Law
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child support

There are few things that can complicate a relationship more than money and children. On their own, these issues can be hard to handle after a relationship is over. However, putting them together it can be even worse. It can be confusing when it comes to trying to figure out why one parent ends up paying a set amount of money while another parent in a similar situation ends up paying a completely different amount. There are actually a few factors that the court uses when it comes to determining the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent will pay out to the parent with custody.  

What Do Families Need to Know About Child Support?

Child support is going to differ based on the family. A person may hear that someone they know was ordered to pay a particular amount of money for child support. This fact may make them think that they have to pay the same amount. They may think that it’s low enough that they don’t have to worry. Or they may worry that they won’t be able to afford it. The truth is that you can’t base what your child support order will be on other people’s experience. In some cases, a parent with four children could end up paying less than another parent with two children.

How Are Amounts Determined?

Child support amounts are determined on two main factors. The first is the number of children. The second is how much money is made by the parents. In Florida, the courts use a model known as the income shares model. This model has the theory that the parents will continue to spend the same amount of money on the children that they did before they separated. The courts will estimate the amount each partner would spend on the children if the couple were still together. This amount is divided between the two parents using their income. This calculation determines the obligation of each parent.

What Happens If You Quit Your Job or Reduce Your Hours?

The Florida courts are familiar with some parents that will deliberately try to impact the amount of income they have coming in to influence the amount of child support. Some parents will deliberately quit their job or ask their employer to reduce the number of hours that they work. The courts are legally able to assume that the individual has the same income when it comes to child support even if they have made these changes. This measure acts as a deterrent. However, this action can only be taken if the reduction in hours or job loss was voluntary and beyond their control.

Can Child Support Be Modified in Florida?

The courts in Florida can modify child support payments, but only in cases when there has been a significant change in the amount of money they make. This may be from a loss of income, such as losing a job or making a career change. However, this can also be from circumstances where income is higher than before, such as a raise or promotion. In addition, if there are changes in parenting that go against the parenting plan, such as not having as many overnight visits with the child can result in modifications.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support?

The first thing that happens if you don’t make your payment is that you’ll receive a late notice. After this late notice, other actions may occur. These actions may include withholding your income to cover the payments. They may also suspend your driver’s license and any business licenses that are in your name. In addition, the state may take any refunds you receive from the federal government for your taxes, any worker’s compensation payments, and any lottery winnings from the state lottery. If you apply for a passport, it could be denied. Finally, it can show on your credit report and negatively impact your credit score.

Getting Professional Assistance

Most parents, even if they aren’t happy with the other parent, want what is best for their kids. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll agree on the amount of child support the court orders. It can be beneficial for all parties to have a professional to help in going through this process. A lot of time and attention to detail can be needed when handling child support orders, and disputes can often come up in these cases. An experienced attorney can be beneficial to have on your side.

Are you dealing with a family law situation and have a concern about child support? It can often be a tricky situation that’s not easy to handle. Contact Lewert Law today to discuss your case. As a parent, taking this step to receive help is one of the best ways you can protect yourself and your child.  

A New Way To Pay For Divorce

Posted on: May 18, 2018 by in Divorce
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Boca Raton divorce attorney

There’s a new type of lender on the financial scene. Instead of mortgages, car loans, or payday loans, these lenders finance divorces. They claim to help with everything from living expenses to attorney’s fees to the costs associated with “expert” witnesses. In return – you guessed it – the lender then grabs a slice right off the top of your divorce settlement or court award. Borrowing money that your ex-spouse has to repay has a certain appeal for some, but taking out a divorce loan probably isn’t a good idea – or even necessary – for most people involved in divorce proceedings. Before you take a divorce loan in south Florida – and before you take any other action regarding a divorce – arrange to speak first with an experienced Boca Raton divorce attorney.

Divorce financing may be a great option for a very few, when substantial assets are at stake and the testimony of financial experts may be required. But if your divorce is uncontested, or if you haven’t compiled substantial property and assets, you probably don’t even need to consider a divorce loan. You certainly want to talk to your attorney first. In most cases, you should be able to find another way to finance your divorce and cover your expenses while it’s pending.

It’s true that complex divorces can be expensive. But if you can settle most of your differences out of court, and if you and your spouse aren’t on some magazine’s list of billionaires, it’s very likely that you and your attorney can find a way to cover your divorce without involving a divorce lender. If you must take a divorce loan, make sure that the company you work with fully discloses the terms of the loan and that you thoroughly understand what you are signing. For help with a divorce or any family law matter in the south Florida area, contact an experienced Boca Raton divorce attorney for legal advice and representation as quickly as possible.

Military Divorce While Overseas

Posted on: October 30, 2017 by in Divorce
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Military Divorce While Overseas

Divorce is never a straightforward process. However, a military divorce while overseas can be a particularly difficult process. If you need a divorce while you are overseas, you might have many questions. Read on to find out everything that you should know about the process.

How does military divorce while overseas work?

There are a few common questions that people have about overseas military divorces. First and foremost, they ask if the local laws apply. You might worry about needing to adhere to local divorce laws. In some countries, this could be a major disadvantage for you or your partner.

Fortunately, a military divorce while overseas ignores the local divorce laws. Instead, it relies on US divorce laws. While you might be living in a foreign country, you still follow US divorce law. If you want a valid divorce, you need one that your home state recognizes. If you get a divorce that adheres to local standards, it won’t apply back in the US. You could have a divorce in one country and a legal marriage in the US.

However, your legal home could be in a foreign country. In this rare case, you would need to adhere to the local divorce laws. These laws vary from country to country. In some situations, you may have several legal homes. If you do, then you can choose where you file for a divorce.

How can you get a divorce?

Another common question relates to the process of getting a military divorce overseas. It is not enough to go to the legal assistance office for a divorce. Instead, you need to go to court. In most situations, you need a private attorney. The only exception is during uncontested divorces. If you and your partner can agree on everything, then you might not need a private attorney.

It’s worth noting that the legal assistance office can still help you. If you go to them, then they may be able to advise you on the divorce procedures. Additionally, they may be able to prepare and witness the signing of a separation agreement. If you want an uncontested divorce, the office can explain the process for that.

For a contested divorce, you need the help of a lawyer. He can help you through the filing process. In some situations, you may need to hire a lawyer from your home state. If you have several “homes,” you need to choose one from the place where your legal home resides. You need to be able to qualify for in-state college tuition at the residence. While you may consider your military home your home, you need to make sure it meets the legal definition of your legal home.

Can you get a cheap or quick divorce?

Some overseas couples decide that it might be easier to get a divorce in a place like Mexico or the Dominican Republic. Although divorce in these places is cheaper than the US alternative, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s likely that your home state will not recognize the divorce.

Making the Decision

Unlike civilians, military personnel often have the flexibility to choose where they file for divorce. If you have multiple homes that qualify as your legal home, then you have the luxury of choosing. Every state in the US has different divorce laws. Likewise, every country has unique laws. Before you file, you need to decide which is the best option for filing. And you need to be certain that you file in the state or country that applies to your marriage.

If you have a hard time finding out where your legal home or homes may be, there are a few tricks. First, look at where you are registered to vote. Then, you should consider where you pay your state taxes. Make a list of the states in which you have baking accounts, drivers licenses, and car titles. If you pay real estate taxes on property in certain states, that can also count towards your legal home.

Once you know where you can file for divorce, you need to consider the perks of each state. In some states, there are no-fault divorces. When you file for your divorce, you don’t need to prove that the other party was at fault in any way. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, this could be a good thing.

Getting the Help You Need

Filing for military divorce while overseas is complicated. If you make one wrong move, you could get a divorce statement that means nothing. It’s important that you get your divorce right the first time. Additionally, it’s important that you complete the process in the easiest possible way.

If you’re a service member, the legal aid office can be very useful. They can advise you on the procedure. However, you may need more extensive help. If you have concerns about your divorce, you should contact a lawyer. With his help, you may be able to get the ideal outcome from your divorce.

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Kelley Ms. Lewert never lost sight of the practical realities of my divorce. Although she listened compassionately so that she understood what she needed to, she did not let me lose sight of my goals and what was acheivable within the system even when things got emotional. She protected my financial interests and my personal interests. Thanks to Ms. Lewert, I no longer have to deal with a difficult ex-. She didn't always tell me what I wanted to hear, but because of that, my case did not drag out longer than it should have. I never felt that she put her own interests ahead of mine. Her judgment was reasonable and her advice sound. She and her staff were good at dealing with difficult and unreasonable people in a professional and ethical way. Thanks to Ms. Lewert, I never got drawn into senseless battles, recovered as quickly as possible from my divorce and was able to move on and enjoy a better life. I have recommended her repeatedly to others who need an excellent family lawyer.

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