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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Blog

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.

Understanding the family finances may simplify a complex divorce

In many Florida marriages, one party may primarily handle the finances. This can be convenient while times are good, but not understanding the family finances could result in a complex divorce. Even if one spouse has not actively participated in the family's finances, it is possible to get up to speed in order to ensure that both spouses are going into divorce negotiations with a complete picture.

The first thing to do is compile a list of the couple's assets and liabilities. This includes assets and debts that are considered both marital and separate. Not all separate property has to be acquired prior to the marriage in order to be considered the sole property of one party. Certain assets acquired during the marriage, such as an inheritance, can be ruled separate property so long as it is kept in an account in the heir's name only.

Prenups can foster open communication before marriage

Newly engaged couples across the country and here in Florida often sit and dream of what their life together will be like. They discuss things like where they will live and how many children they will have. However, some couples fail to talk about the reality of marriage and its potential pitfalls. Prenups can help couples have an honest dialogue about the things they may not want to talk about, but often need to consider.

Some people may wonder why they should talk about divorce before they are even married. Prenups are sometimes seen as something that interrupt the bliss of being in love and bring up topics that are difficult to talk about. The truth is that if a couple finds it hard to talk about the assets and liabilities that each party brings to the marriage now, it may only get more difficult during the marriage.

High asset divorce settlement too much for Terrance Howard

Many Florida television and movie fans may know that Terrance Howard is an actor who starred in the "Best Man" movies and is currently working on two television shows before production begins on another movie. It may not be as well-known that Howard has two ex-wives. Currently, Howard is back in court over his high asset divorce settlement with wife number two.

It seems Howard owes his second ex-wife somewhere in the neighborhood of $325,000, according to their settlement. However, Howard says he is unable to pay her because he pays a substantial sum each month to his first wife. He claims that, after that payment, he has only $6,000 a month on which to live.

How family pets factor into asset division in a Florida divorce

For years, Florida courts have dealt with child custody battles. Now, a trend seems to be growing wherein couples with pets are asking judges to decide who gets to keep the family pet. Unfortunately, the law considers a pet to be property, which puts it under the rules for asset division and not custody.

However, that does not stop many couples from spending time and money arguing in court. One out-of-state woman claims that her estranged husband is only taking her to court over the family dog in order to prolong the divorce process. Her soon-to-be ex-husband, however, says he just wants the court to recognize that the dog belongs to him as well as his wife.

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