Often times parents, typically those unrepresented in custody proceedings, will agree on a timesharing schedule with a belief that they can come back later to change it when time or budget permits. However, modifying a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage or Paternity can be more difficult than you think.
To modify an existing custody order, a parent would have to prove that there has been an unanticipated change in circumstances, and that modifying the existing order would be in the best interest of the minor children. If the parent can overcome the burden of proving that a change in circumstances exists, the judge will then reconsider the factors set forth in Florida Statutes to determine timesharing with the minor children moving forward. Those… Continue reading
The legal process is complex and sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly. While it is true that as soon as the case is filed the process is put in motion, it is equally as true that in most instances the parties need immediate relief. Waiting for a final order is not feasible when you need child support, or need to know who gets the kids for the holidays. To remedy this problem, you must play an active role in your case and seek temporary orders that set forth the rights and responsibilities of the parties while the case is pending.
The Family Dissolution Act governs the procedure for a divorce case in Florida. Some things you will want to seek a temporary ruling on include:
- Child support: it is vital you have a temporary order put in place determining the amount… Continue reading
Everyone wants to feel loved and secure. This is even more true when you are a child. Throw in the fact the parents are divorcing and most kids need reassurance they are loved by both parents and that their lives will be as normal as possible. It is important to stand up for the rights of your children, but in order to maintain a healthy environment, it should be done properly. The ultimate result should be one that provides a loving home life for children of divorce, and provides a sense of security.
Mental health experts agree when the parents are able to make decisions regarding their children without conflict, everyone wins. Here are 3 tips on how you can fight for your child, but not fight with your ex:
1. Agree to disagree, but only with each other. When… Continue reading
When a couple gets married, one of the major decisions they make together is when to start a family. For some couples this means one of the parents stops working to stay home with the kids. When those couples divorce, it is important for the stay at home parent to understand the consequences of having decided to forego a career.
When a divorce is sought, the Court will make a division of the marital assets as well as make other important financial rulings. If you have stayed at home instead of pursuing a professional life, you should be concerned about your economic future. Some common concerns:
- Your skills set may be outdated, making it difficult to find employment.
- Your children may still be at a young age, and require a stay at home parent. This can make it hard to find a job.
- Returning… Continue reading
The nature of divorce has historically been contentious. But in recent times, with the introduction of alternative methods such as collaborative divorce and mediation, an increasing number of divorce cases are considered “friendly”. In these types of cases it is tempting to proceed without the assistance of an attorney, but doing so can result in final orders that don’t fit your needs.
There are several reasons you should still use an attorney, even if you are mediating your case or consider your split amicable:
- An attorney will know if the terms you and your soon to be ex are legally binding.
- When you use an attorney to review the agreements made in mediation, or during conversations with your ex, you will learn if the requests made are valid.
- A legal eye can identify any missing items, or things you may have overlooked.
If you make… Continue reading
One of the marks of a successful outcome in a divorce case is that the kids’ lives remain stable and consistent. The Courts and attorneys work hard to reach results that are in the best interests of the children and develop a parenting plan that works for the family. This includes allowing your kids to continue participation in regular activities. While scheduling concerns arise less frequently in the summer months, when school is in session it is more likely you will experience a scheduling conflict with your ex-spouse.
To make sure you are able to maintain the visitation and custody schedule put in place in the Court throughout the year, experts suggest the following:
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. The best scenario is one where the parents remain friendly after the divorce and are able to talk to each other calmly. If this is not your situation,… Continue reading
When you are served with divorce papers there are certain things you have to do, and other things that are voluntary. For example, you must file an Answer to the divorce petition, and you will be required to make mandatory financial disclosures to your ex. But, other actions are optional and require the competent counsel of a skilled family law attorney.
The Family Dissolution Act governs how a divorce case progresses. Some of the things to consider when answering a divorce petition include:
- The decision to include a counter petition with your answer.
- The counter petition includes your position on important issues contained in the divorce petition.
- It is not mandatory you file a counter petition with your answer, but doing so makes for a more expedient and efficient administration of your case.
The thing to remember about counter petitions is that they… Continue reading
When you are married, most decisions are made jointly. Which house to buy, where to vacation, and how to invest your money are high on the list of things couples decide together. But, after the marriage ends, those decisions are now yours and yours alone. If you have children, you will want to update your will and other estate planning documents to reflect your new single status.
The way your estate is distributed after your passing is governed by probate law. Some of the things you will want to take a second look at after a divorce include:
- Designation of beneficiaries: be sure and update your beneficiaries on life insurance policies and investment accounts after your divorce. Failure to make these changes could mean your ex-spouse still reaps the benefits of these policies.
- Your will and/or trust: any bequests made to… Continue reading
When the decision to end a marriage is made, the parties must go to Court to obtain a decree of divorce. The decree sets forth the terms of the divorce and specifically spells out decisions on important issues. Who gets the house, or a car are parts of a divorce decree; and where the children will live is also included in the decree. Division of assets and liabilities, and payment of child support are the financial aspects you can expect to see in your final divorce papers. The decree is like a blueprint for how the parties live post-divorce, as far as issues such as the children and property are concerned. But, getting there is a huge task.
Up until recently the law on child custody in Florida made determinations as to who is the primary caregiver, the secondary caregiver, and who has custody. This meant that for the non-custodial parent, issues of visitation also had to be decided. The result of this system was that parents were constantly in Court fighting over who got Thanksgiving and who got Christmas, and which house the children would call “home”. In an effort to find a way to siphon through the cases and reach solutions without the need for Court intervention at every turn, the Florida legislature recently changed the law.
The concept of time-sharing is now the law in Florida. Time-sharing requires the Court to consider many factors when formulating a plan, some of which include:
- The relationship between the parent and child, and the ability of the parent to develop a relationship.… Continue reading