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Divorce

Not So Civil Divorce

woman covering earsTechnically a divorce proceeding is a civil case. But there are instances where the parties may not act so civilly. Divorces can be emotionally charged, and when one of the parties acts out on that emotion the need for a restraining order may arise. The attorneys at the Ferraro Law Group are able to identify when circumstances warrant a formal request that your ex-spouse be prohibited from contacting you as opposed to the ordinary emotions that go along with changing your family’s status. When necessary, we aggressively protect you and your family by seeking orders that keep you safe.

A recent news report tells the story of one Judge’s granting of a temporary restraining order against a well-known politician. Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson was recently ordered to stay away from his wife of 24… Continue reading

Can I Make My Ex Pay Attorney Fees?

Man holding money largeIn most divorce cases you are tapped out emotionally, not to mention financially. The separation of your family does not come easy, and being left holding the bag for a hefty legal fee can add insult to injury. We work diligently to keep our fees reasonable, and when appropriate to request payment of those fees from your ex-spouse. This sensitive issue of divorce deserves attention, so you are prepared for the likely outcome.

Florida statutes do allow for payment of attorney fees by the opposing party. When making the request that fees be paid by the other side, the Court will take the following factors into consideration:

● The financial condition of the parties

● The ability to pay

● Testimony and evidence of experts

To make this request, the party seeking payment must include it in their case. A well-documented case as far as… Continue reading

The Impact of Social Media on Divorce

facebookFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites offer a way to keep in touch with out of state friends and family. Being able to share life experiences with the click of a button is convenient, but in some cases can cause more harm than good. For example, your postings about your case may be produced in court by the other side. Racy photos or inappropriate remarks may be all that a Judge needs to determine custody of your children should lie with your ex-spouse.

Social media’s impact on divorce can also be felt in the following areas:

● Discovery of assets

● Impact on the amount of support and/or alimony

● Visitation

● Your right to privacy

While sites like LinkedIn may prove fruitful for your career, they may also give your soon to be ex ammunition to impute income. Posting promotions… Continue reading

Military Divorce in Florida

ArmyWhen a couple files for divorce, the issues differ from case to case. Not all marriages produce children, some couples are lucky enough to have no debt to divide, and others must tackle the issue of property division. Another unique factor is that of the military serving spouse. Divorces involving one or more service members present issues only seen when Uncle Sam is part of the mix.

A few common issues that arise for military members seeking divorce include:

● Service of process on an active duty service member

● Division of military retirement plans

While the parties will still have to decide visitation, custody, support and other issues nonmilitary members face when divorcing, perhaps one of the biggest issues is making sure an active duty member is afforded the legal protections provided them under the law. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act… Continue reading

Remedies When Your Ex Violates Court Orders

justice scalesOrders of the Court are serious documents. The parties are expected to follow the terms ordered by the Judge, and when violations occur the responsible reaction is to hold the party in violation accountable for their actions. Seeking an Order of Contempt can serve as a wakeup call to a non-compliant ex-spouse that you are serious about abiding by what the Court has ordered and will not tolerate deviations. The Ferraro Law Group knows that circumstances change, and strict adherence to support and other obligations may not always be feasible. However, the law provides avenues for seeking changes to orders rather than allowing for outright ignoring the terms in place. When one party makes the choice to disregard a Court order instead of seeking to have a change made, we fight for your rights to remain in place. One of the tools at our disposal… Continue reading

Making Changes After Divorce is Final

plain handshakeA divorce decree is meant to be the final document that sets forth the details of the divorce between the parties. However, things can change and the need to modify orders requires competent legal counsel. The Ferraro Law Group is staffed with experienced family law attorneys that fight for your rights during the divorce case, and when your needs change after the case reaches conclusion.

Common reasons for seeking a modification include:

● A new job/changed financial circumstances

● Relocation

● Sudden illness or increased childcare expenses

Florida law requires a substantial change in circumstances to make a modification to terms in the divorce decree; most notably when the change requested involves payment of child support. In fact, making a change to property or debt division once the case is final is typically not done. In today’s economy, the inclination is to think of a… Continue reading

Can I Relocate With My Children?

family with kidsAfter the dust settles and the terms of a divorce become final, issues still arise that need handling. One common issue is when one of the parties remarries and needs to relocate with a new spouse. If there are children, the question about removing the children from the same location as one of the parents must be immediately answered. To get the information you need, call an attorney at the Ferraro Law Group with experience in family law cases.

Relocation of children is a legal issue, and when the need to move arises you must seek Court permission. If you have been offered a new job opportunity, have remarried and need to move with your new spouse, or have other needs that require relocation of your children, you will have to file a Petition with the Court allowing the relocation. The Petition… Continue reading

The Decision to Mediate Your Divorce

business partnersDivorce cases are made up of many complex issues, can be volatile, and take a financial as well as emotional toll on the parties. For some couples, the decision to submit their case to mediation is the right choice. The Ferraro Law Group participates in litigation of divorce matters as well as mediation. Our goal is to reach a resolution in a way that is right for you, without advocating for one forum over the other.

After having made the difficult decision to dissolve a marriage, consider the possible benefits of mediation. These benefits include:

● Lower cost

● A generally shorter time from inception to conclusion

● An informal setting, which instantly calms nerves and lowers the chances for emotional responses

● Accountability and meaningful participation for decisions made about the issues that matter to you most

If you are hesitant about… Continue reading

Your Rights Regarding Retirement Plans

retirementAt the conclusion of your divorce, if you expect to receive distributions from your ex-spouse’s retirement plan, you need more than just the divorce decree. You will also need a separate document called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). If your divorce did not include creation of a QDRO, an experienced family law attorney can help you now.

A QDRO is a document that gives a retirement plan administrator the ability to pay the funds of a pension or other qualifying retirement account as ordered by the Court in the divorce case. Our dedicated attorneys fully discuss the facts of your case and can help with QDRO’s by doing the following:

● Contacting the plan administrator for any specific language needed

● Preparing the QDRO in advance of hearings in your divorce case, so it can be presented for the… Continue reading

Changing Your Name After Divorce

divorce decreeNot so many years ago you would be hard pressed to hear the question “are you taking his name” posed to a bride entering marriage. Recently though, the decision to not share a married last name, or to hyphenate is all the buzz. When the marriage ends, for some people the issue of name change resurfaces. Many women include a request to be restored to their maiden name in their divorce action. Our representation of divorcing parties often includes this request, and we understand the desire to make a fresh start by returning to the familiarity of a family name. However, including a finding in your divorce decree that restoration to your maiden name is part of the divorce is just the first step in once again being formally recognized and known by a prior last name.

After the dust settles and a determination that… Continue reading