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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Blog

Courts are bound by property division laws when it comes to pets

The question of who will get to keep the family pet in a divorce can be complicated.  If the parties are unable to agree, the court will step in to make a decision on their behalf as part of the process.  Unfortunately, courts around the country and here in Florida are bound by the rules of property division, since pets are considered property under the law.

Even so, many judges will not be so callous as to treat the family pet as he or she would a couch or sofa.  Evidence may be accepted regarding who spends more time with the pet and is primarily responsible for its care.  However, there will not typically be any judicial determinations made regarding visitation and other issues typically decided in child custody cases since the law does not support those types of orders.

Florida parents can avoid a complex divorce by focusing on kids

The demise of a marriage happens for any number of reasons, but divorces generally either go one of two ways -- amicable or not.  A complex divorce is not always due to the assets or other issues involved.  Sometimes, it can be because of how a Florida couple interact with each other during the process.

For instance, Tea Leoni and David Duchovny are getting a divorce after a rocky few years.  The couple separated once before when Duchovny checked into a rehabilitation center, reportedly for his sex addiction.  They got back together, but then separated again in 2011.  The divorce was filed in June of this year.

Domestic violence against Florida residents comes in many forms

One of the biggest betrayals any Florida resident can face is discovering that the person they should be be able to trust the most has turned against him or her.  Some people have no idea at the beginning of a relationship that the person they love may become an abuser.  Domestic violence comes in many forms, and it can be subtle at first.

Physical abuse is what most people think of when it comes to domestic violence, but that is not the only tactic that abusers employ.  It may be difficult to believe that someone in a relationship can suffer sexual abuse, but it does happen.  The goal may be to demean the other person and prove the abuser has control and power in the relationship.

Types of alimony allowed under Florida law

Most everyone understands what alimony is, but many people may not understand that there are different types of alimony.  Judges can award different types of alimony based on the circumstances.  Some of those types are discussed below.

A short-term form of maintenance described in Florida's alimony statute is called "bridge-the-gap" alimony.  It is awarded for a maximum of two years to give the receiving party the time to ease into being single after the marriage ends.  If either party passes away or if the party receiving it remarries, the award terminates.  It can also not be extended or modified.

The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984

Many custodial parents in Florida are not receiving regular child support payments. In some cases, the noncustodial parent does not have the financial means to make court ordered payments, and it may be possible to modify the order. On the other hand, there are noncustodial parents who may be able to pay, but fail to do so. This is where the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 comes into play.

State attorney generals and district attorneys obtained the authority from the Act to collect past due child support payments. When a noncustodial parent fails to make up the back payments, the Act provides for certain enforcement efforts. It is not believed that putting a non-paying parent in jail is productive, but it is an enforcement measure of last resort.

Property division in a Florida divorce

When it comes to dividing property in a divorce, Florida is an equitable distribution state. An important thing to remember when it comes to property division is in our state is that equitable does not necessarily mean equal. Judges use several criteria to determine how assets are divided.

If there are any assets that are considered the separate property of one spouse, he or she will be awarded that property. When it comes to marital property, Florida judges may begin by looking at how long the couple was married and the family's financial situation. Whether one of the parties gave up a career to either raise children or help the other spouse complete his or her education and other contributions of each party are also examined.

Is joint custody right for your child custody case?

Now that the difficult decision to end your marriage has been made, your thoughts will undoubtedly turn to all of the issues that will need to be dealt with in the divorce. If you have children, child custody matters are most likely at the top of that list. In recent years, many Florida couples have decided to share custody of their children. However, what does joint custody really mean?

There are two types of joint custody. The first is joint legal and physical custody, and the second is joint legal custody. It might be helpful to understand the distinction between physical and legal custody first.

Obtaining orders for protection in domestic violence cases

Many people in Florida find out too late that the person they are supposed to be able to trust most in this world -- his or her spouse -- has turned on them. Domestic violence can affect every aspect of your life, and it can take some time to find the courage to do something about it. When that time comes, orders for protection can help.

Orders for protection in domestic violence cases put an abuser on notice that he or she must stay away from and stop hurting you and/or the children, if any. They do not have to stop there, however. Your spouse can be ordered to move out of the family home. In addition, you may be awarded temporary custody of your children, and your spouse may be ordered to pay child support pending further order of the court.

Basics of a Florida prenuptial agreement

With the rising popularity of prenuptial agreements around the country, many Florida residents have questions regarding these documents. Some of those questions surround what they encompass, when they are effective and whether what makes them a binding agreement. Below is a broad overview of the basics of a prenuptial agreement.

Florida's laws regarding prenuptial agreements conform to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The first thing the act requires is that any such agreement be in writing, and both parties are required to sign the agreement for it to be valid. Many people may not realize that a prenup is not effective until the couple who signed it is legally married.

Dividing property in a divorce when there is a family business

Some Florida couples run a business together during their marriages. In the event of a divorce, each party is entitled to a portion of the company's assets. This can make dividing property in a divorce challenging.

Often, it is necessary to have a third party come in and conduct a valuation of the business from the date the couple was married to a date certain. Determining the end date for such an analysis could be the first hurdle. Many times, that date is the date the couple separated. Once that date is established, several factors are used to determine how much the business has grown during the marriage.

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