Archive: June 2021
June 24, 2021
Sometimes, certain situations will end up leading single parents to have difficulty with putting personal feelings aside. That can be quite tricky when there needs to be co-parenting for the child or children. For the most part, child time sharing arrangements are the best possible solution, especially if this ends up being mandated by the court as a solution in certain situations.
That way, both parents will be able to actively play a role in the child or children’s life. It also encourages engagement with the child for both parents. That said, effort is required on all sides in order for it to work well.
When it comes to making arrangements for the child or children, the very first step is for legal paternity to be established. Advice from the Florida Department of Revenue states that this can be done through their office or through a judge-issued court order. When it’s established, then a return to court can happen so that time-sharing arrangements can be negotiated. Several issues will have to be considered, including but not limited to:
- Agreements for holidays, special occasions, and school breaks
- Division of legal decision-making authority in matters that directly affect the child or children (medical care, education, and/or religious upbringing)
- Living arrangements (child being based with one parent while the other has visitation or other arrangements)
- Participation per parent in the activities of the child (educational, recreational, social)
- Pick-up and drop-off arrangements after parent visits
- Visitation from third parties such as family members and friends
- Communication between the parents and each parent and the child(ren)
- Travel out of state and foreign travel
Ideally, arrangements will be thorough and detailed. This way, there will be no confusion regarding roles, and the likelihood of disputes will lessen.
Make It Work
There are challenges that are unique to single parents when it comes to raising their children. They’re not much different from challenges that married couples end up facing with child-rearing, however. Both parties should never forget that while a romantic relationship between two people can end because things weren’t working, that does not take away from a person’s capability as a parent.
Adjustment can be tough all around, especially in the earlier weeks or months. This also depends on the age of the child or children and their level of understanding of the situation. Some tips to make things go smoothly include, but are not limited to:
- Avoid Bad Mouthing the Ex and/or Hostility – No matter how bad things went, the child or children are not involved. The bare minimum should be politeness and being cordial. It will make co-parenting go much smoother.
- Keep a Routine – Consult with the other parent about both issues and needs of the child or children. This includes sleep schedules and dietary restrictions. Avoid plans that conflict with the other parent’s schedule or, worse, that of the child.
- Stick with the Schedule – Make sure that the parenting plan is followed as is. It’s key that every effort is made for punctuality to be achieved. When something happens, the other parent needs to know quickly.
There is nothing easy about being a single parent, but it can certainly be less stressful. A great way to do this is through child time sharing. It’s key to keep a routine, avoid bad-mouthing the other parent and/or having hostility, as well as to stick with the set schedule.
Looking to hire a child custody lawyer you can depend on? Reach out to Dorsey Law JAX today! We are top-notch attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida.
June 17, 2021
Divorce can bring about many complicated feelings from both parties. It can be even more difficult to prepare when you don’t have a clear picture of what’s expected of you in court. Getting legal advice and going through that experience can help you separate and start a new chapter in your life.
Sometimes in divorce cases between two high-net-worth individuals, the lines can quickly get blurred about how funds and assets will be divided.
Following these few key steps should be able to guide you through this aspect of the divorce case.
1. Prepare Plans
First, calm down and create a plan. It can be hard to pinpoint what your goal is if there are many emotions building up. Take a deep breath and consult with someone you trust about what you plan to achieve in the divorce case and what you hope to end up with. Divorce changes almost every aspect of your daily life, but what result do you really want?
Speaking with an experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand what will happen with your assets and what moves you will be able to realistically make. It can be really stressful in the beginning, but proper preparation and choosing the best divorce lawyer for you should equip you with great odds in court.
2. Get Financial Advice
Having a lawyer is excellent for handling the legal aspect of things, but your divorce may encompass a lot of financial expertise. It’s highly likely that you and your spouse had a financial advisor to assist you. Contact that person or hire a new advisor who will be able to help you with your finances and get monetary advice for only your benefit.
Having a financial advisor can help you identify ownership percentages and have a basis of where you currently stand in terms of money management and taxes. Plus, divorce does have an effect on your taxes; being given a rough estimate of the tax consequences can give you better control over your personal finances and direction on where you’ll be after the divorce case.
3. Take Initiative
Communication with your spouse is a must for the divorce case. Contact him or her, or let your divorce lawyer contact his or her attorney regarding a compiled list of assets, properties, and businesses that you two may share. Taking this initiative will be a well-perceived approach in the divorce case.
Plus, disclosure is a much better alternative to keeping most of that information in the dark. A lack of transparency could be deemed as an attempt to hide things and wouldn’t bode well for the court’s decision. Consult your attorney on what’s best to do to protect your high net worth status.
Money and ending a marriage can be complex for many people. Consulting and working with professionals will help you ensure that you’re not alone in preparing and going through your divorce. Being truthful and having a pragmatic approach should leave you with no regrets.
Getting a divorce in Jacksonville? The Dorsey Law Firm in Florida offers divorce lawyers who can help tackle your divorce cases. Call us today for a consultation!
June 10, 2021
No one enters a marriage with the plan of divorce. Unfortunately, not all marriages work, and some may up divorcing. Divorce proceedings can be incredibly stressful—financially, physically, and mentally. It is not easy to get divorced. In Florida, there are many considerations to be made and requirements to be met before a divorce can be legally granted to the couple.
In this article, we will delve into Florida’s divorce process and talk about the various points you should understand before heading into a divorce:
1. Marital Assets and Liabilities
The Court will require a written agreement stating what assets or liabilities are marital. Marital items will be distributed as evenly as possible to the two parties unless otherwise indicated by a written agreement. If there is no written agreement, all assets and liabilities will be treated as marital and distributed as equally as possible.
Things get a little more complicated, however, when it comes to property acquired prior to or outside the marriage. A prenuptial agreement generally provides more clarity to which parties own what after the divorce. This is to avoid treating all assets as marital.
2. The resident requirement
A divorce in Florida requires one of the spouses to have resided in the state for at least six (6) months before filing. This can be provided in various ways, such as showing a Florida driver’s license, voter registration card, or other proof of residency such as a corroborating witness or corroborating affidavit.
This resident requirement exists because it allows Florida to be given jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. If the Wife has lived in Florida for six months or more, and is a resident, but the Husband is in another state, Florida may not be able to order the Husband to pay the Wife alimony or distribute assets.
A divorce is a long and complicated process, lasting as long as a year or even more in some cases. Regardless, divorce always be done with the help of an experienced family lawyer. This will ensure that those pursuing a divorce can go through the process with appropriate representation. That being said, if you still have questions about a Florida divorce or need help with the process, do not hesitate to work with a divorce lawyer!
The Dorsey Law Firm (www.dorseylawjax.com) is a top law firm with expert law officers experienced in family law, criminal law, and more to provide clients with the services needed to navigate the legal system. If you are looking for top Jacksonville attorneys to help you through a divorce, contact us today!
June 3, 2021
As a parent living in Florida that has come to know and love it as your own home for years, you’re probably familiar with the fact also commonly referred to as a no-fault divorce state.
Compared to some other states, Florida allows residents to file for divorce without the need for additional proof of documentation, making it easy for those who desire a divorce to receive immediate help. According to the Florida Statutes, all that’s needed is proof the marriage is irretrievably broken and proof that either you or spouse has been a continuous resident of Florida for the six (6) months preceding filing for divorce. A copy of your Florida Driver’s License is proof enough of residency.
If you’ve been having trouble with your spouse, you’re likely set on going your separate ways to resume a happier life without the shackles of bad marriage weighing you down. However, the problem lies in the fact that navigating the court system itself during the filing process can be especially difficult, even if you have a skilled lawyer by your side.
Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about the complications of the divorce process affecting your long-awaited freedom because this is where the “P.E.A.C.E.” principle comes into play.
Dissecting the P.E.A.C.E. Principle
The experience of navigating the divorce process in Florida has become increasingly difficult because the end result of the process can have a long-lasting effect on both your children and your finances. However, it’s worth noting that knowing the steps of the legal process will allow you to make the right decisions moving forward to help you minimize the degree of complications you’ll run into along the way.
To ensure that you go through the divorce process error-free, here’s a quick guide to the P.E.A.C.E. principle that represents all the steps the Court exclusively follows in entering a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
P: Parenting Plan
Typically, the Florida divorce process begins when the parents involved work towards reaching an agreement on how to address parenting (if they have children in their marriage).
When the parties reach an agreement, a judge will ratify the terms of the agreement to ensure that all commitments are upheld and both parties are set to experience amenable conditions in terms of their parenting requests. If parents cannot agree to a settlement, the Court will decide based on the children’s best interests without any preference towards either parent because of the gender. There must be a Parenting Plan in all divorce judgments with children. (See: Williams v. Williams).
E: Equitable Distribution
After the Parenting Plan, the next step is an equitable distribution of the marital assets and liabilities. Marital assets and liabilities will be subject to an equitable distribution. Although the courts will start dividing both marital assets and marital debts with a 50-50 split (See: Hitchcock v. Hitchcock.) Unequal distribution may be determined based on relevant statutory factors.
Alternatively known as spousal support, alimony in Florida divorces is concerned with establishing the payment of support from one spouse to another. Alimony is primarily based on the premise of the disparity in the financial resources of two parties, the fundamental principle that guides the award of alimony is typically irrefutable unless contested with a sufficient basis. The following are different types of periodic alimony:
- Bridge the Gap
- Permanent Rehabilitative
C: Child Support
After settling the alimony, Florida courts will establish how much child support will be required by each parent. Based on the Florida Child Support Guidelines, the amount one or both parents must pay is calculated using these factors:
- The net income of each parent
- The number of children involved
- The overnight timesharing arrangement (or the agreement established during the “P” stage of the process)
- Whether either party is paying for health insurance and/or childcare for the child(ren)
E: Everything Else
Once important matters like parenting plans, equitable distribution, alimony, and child support are settled, Florida courts will assist couples in handling miscellaneous concerns about the divorce process such as health insurance, life insurance, claiming the child(ren) as a dependent on the annual income tax returns and attorney’s fees and costs.
Going through a divorce in Florida may not have any legal hindrances like processes in other states, but the logistics of the whole process can be difficult when it comes to understanding everything in full detail. Once you become well-aware of the P.E.A.C.E. principle, it will be easier to make the right decisions moving forward as you overcome the hurdles that lie ahead of you!
At Dorsey Law Firm, we have more than 35 years of experience handling family law in Jacksonville, Florida. If you’re about to file for divorce and need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process, please contact us today to see how we can help!