Archive: May 2021

May 27, 2021

Our Guide to Supporting Your Child’s Relationship With Their Other Parent

The dissolution of a marriage is never easy, but it’s even more difficult when you have children together. The other person will always be in your life as your co-parent, which means that you relationship with each other must evolve accordingly to continue supporting your child. Instead of being romantic partners or spouses, you are now partners in raising your children to the best of your abilities. Part of this task is to make sure your children enjoy a healthy relationship with each parent.

Suppose the end of your romantic relationship was heated and bitter. In that case, you may be wondering if it’s worth investing in your children’s future relationship with your former spouse and ensuring they get the support they need. Due to the nature of your relationship with your former spouse, you may believe that person does not deserve to spend time with your children or that person cannot care for your children as well as you can. Here’s what you need to know:

Why You Should Involve The Other Parent in Your Child’s Life

Every child deserves to have two loving parents who can give them the care they need to thrive and grow into themselves. Strong parent-child relationships are essential to your children’s health, as they’ll learn what healthy, secure attachments look like, teaching them how to form them with other people in their lives. They will also learn how to regulate their emotions properly, manage stress, and grow to be self-sufficient and independent.

Florida especially understands the importance of keeping both parents in children’s lives as much as possible, which is why it is important to support your children’s relationship with their other parent. It is in the child’s best interest, which the court considers when determining time-sharing and parental responsibility. The court will also account for each parent’s willingness to support these ties when establishing a parenting plan.

How to Support A Relationship Between Your Child and Co-Parent

According to the Florida Statutes, each parent must demonstrate a capacity to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the parent and child. Each parent must also honor the time-sharing schedule and be agreeable to reasonable changes when they are necessary. 

It’s important to note that facilitating a good relationship between your children and the other parent doesn’t mean that you’ll give the other parent free rein over your children, allowing them unlimited time and parenting without limits. It means that you must be willing to follow the time-sharing schedule dictated by the court to allow equal time for your children to develop a strong relationship with each parent. 

However, while respecting the schedule is crucial, you must also be flexible when the situation arises. For example, when the other parent suddenly needs to attend to a work emergency on the night they were supposed to spend with the children, it would be reasonable to agree to swap nights. On the other hand, if you believe that the other parent is taking advantage of your agreeableness, you will need to document these instances and bring them with you to court.

If you believe that your children are in genuine danger when they are with their other parent, such as being exposed to alcohol or drug abuse, it’s essential to notify the court of this. While children must still have the opportunity to get to be with their other parent, they must be exposed to a harmful environment or neglect.

Conclusion

Facilitating a close, healthy parent-child relationship is crucial to your children’s developmental growth and success as a mature adult. By following our guide, you will ensure that your children can get to know their other parent in healthy circumstances and understand that you and your partner still love them even though you are no longer together.

The Dorsey Law Firm of Jacksonville is home to lawyers with an extensive background in family law, criminal law, and serious personal injury. We take pride in aggressively representing our clients in all family law matters, whether emergencies, injunctions against domestic violence, or the dissolution of a marriage. Contact us today to speak with an attorney!

May 19, 2021

DUI Traffic Stops in Florida: What You Need to Know

Driving under the influence or DUI is a severe offense against public safety in the state of Florida and all other parts of America. It can result in tragic accidents, which is why you should never drive when you’ve had one too many drinks. 

However, some people insist on breaking the law, thinking that they can get away with it. Others may have had just a few drinks, thinking that it wasn’t enough to consider themselves too drunk to drive. With all the gray areas and extenuating circumstances, charging someone with a DUI isn’t something that officers can do out of nowhere just because the driver missed a stoplight after having had a glass of wine before driving. 

To help you navigate this somewhat complex area of the law, here is what you need to know about DUI charges in Florida:

On What Grounds Are Police Officers Allowed to Stop You?

Police officers obviously won’t be able to tell if a driver is intoxicated unless they talk to them personally, but they usually are only able to do that once they stop a driver that has violated traffic laws. Going above the speed limit, switching lanes too often, and missing traffic lights are all valid reasons to pull a car over. 

What Are Your Rights at a DUI Stop?

If the police officer is suspicious that you, the driver, are intoxicated, they can ask if you are. However, you are not obliged to answer as anything you say can and will be held against you under a court of law. 

Police officers can ask you to step out of the vehicle—and you should comply. They cannot use force to pull you out, but they do have the right to charge you for not cooperating. 

Once you step out of the vehicle, they will use a breathalyzer to see if you are intoxicated. This provides a B.A.C. reading. The legal limit is under 0.08 in Florida. Anywhere over that is grounds for a DUI. However, being somewhere between 0.05 to 0.08 is a bit of a grey area. 

Some people are too drunk to drive at 0.05 level, while others can still function normally at this blood alcohol level. If you are charged with a DUI but are under the legal limit, you can contest it.  

If you aren’t found guilty of a DUI charge, you may still pay the ticket for the traffic violation. Anyone can make an honest mistake on the road, especially at night. Dealing with that charge won’t necessarily affect your public record.

Conclusion

Driving under the influence is a serious charge against someone and should not be taken lightly. Being found guilty of it can affect your public record permanently and can even take away some opportunities. 

Some people stopped by police might have driven under the influence, but charging people with a DUI or any crime must come with incontrovertible evidence, which is why you have the right to contest the charge against you.

If you find yourself in a predicament regarding the charges against you, get the best Jacksonville trial lawyer on your side to help you. The Dorsey Law Firm has been practicing criminal law for 35 years, helping hundreds of clients get the justice they deserve. Call us today.

May 6, 2021

Can a Trust Fund Protect My Assets During a Divorce?

Divorce can be hard. The separation of two intricately connected lives can be messy and painful. This is especially true for your finances. Not only is there the cost of the divorce; there’s also the split of your assets. 

Your financial stability may be affected by your divorce, both now and for the foreseeable future. If you have a trust, you may be wondering whether that will protect your assets from your divorce. The answer is a little complicated.

State Divorce Laws and Trusts

Depending on your state, trusts may or may not be able to help you. For example, Florida doesn’t necessarily split between two spouses 50/50. The courts will instead do what they think is fair to both spouses. Should your trust fund be classified as marital property, it will be part of your financial split. 

However, the fund itself won’t necessarily be split in half. Occasionally, a trust fund will be awarded to just one spouse. This is usually done to balance out property awarded to another spouse. For example, if one spouse gets awarded the family car and other property, the other spouse may be awarded the trust fund to keep things balanced.

Trusts and Divorce

Simply put, to find out what happens to your trust,  you have to know what kind of trust it is. There are also other factors like when the trust was created, which spouse contributed the funds, and how the funds within the trust fund were used. These factors can change how the trust is dealt with during a divorce.

The two most common types of trust are irrevocable trust and revocable trust.

 

Revocable Trust

 

In short, a revocable trust is one that can be amended or canceled. Instead of wills, people usually use revocable trusts as you can use them to mitigate or even avoid altogether the lengthy probate process.

If one spouse (the settlor of the trust) should decide to execute a revocable trust fund, it becomes null and void when the marriage dissolves. What this means is that should there be any provisions in the trust that affect or are directly for the settlor’s former spouse, these are voided. 

Furthermore, the law (in Florida) treats the settlor’s spouse as if they died on the date of the annulment or entry of the judgment for dissolution of marriage or divorce. So as long as you only used separate funds to fund the trust, the settlor retains control of the trust fund. These cannot be transferred to your former spouse. 

If you have used marital funds, then the fund will be considered marital property. This may cause the courts to order that the trust be dissolved, and the funds be divided.

 

Irrevocable Trusts

 

If you’re in Florida, then an irrevocable trust cannot be considered marital property. This is true even if you made your spouse the beneficiary. Unlike revocable trusts, there isn’t any law that voids provisions for a former spouse. This means that they will continue to benefit from it even after a divorce.

Conclusion

Divorce is truly a difficult thing and a trying part of life. Make it easier by hiring an experienced attorney. They will be able to truly help you manage your trust fund or any other financial holding as you navigate your divorce.

Are you in need of a trustworthy divorce attorney? Contact Dorsey Law JAX today! We represent clients for divorce, family law, criminal defense, and more.

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