Archive: February 2022

February 26, 2022

How to Live Together If You’re Separated or Getting Divorced

When going through a divorce or separation, it’s not always the most recommended living situation to remain under one roof. That said, it isn’t easy to avoid.

Of course, you must make sure that you are on good enough terms with your former spouse to be living together during the proceedings.

There are a few ways to make the situation better, and lawyers recommend sticking to a few guidelines to keep the peace and prevent any further complications that may affect the process of legal separation.

Align Your Schedules Accordingly

Think about the new schedule and make sure that you can work with your former spouse’s schedule and vice versa. This is especially important if you have children or pets to take care of.

On top of this, you want to ensure that your schedules don’t cause disputes. Whether you prefer to have similar daily itineraries or opposite “shifts” for activities, aligning in the start will help you come up with a compromise and allow the two of you to remain civil as you spend some time together.

Establish Parental Responsibilities

If you have children, always make sure to discuss who will take care of them and when. If you have joint custody, you should always talk about the schedule together before making it a regular thing.

Since you are under one roof, you will want to establish time spent together and tasks needed to care for the children. Cleaning the house, bringing kids to school, making food and feeding them, and other related activities should be considered in a way that’s fair to both parties.

Divide Chores and Tasks

Dividing chores is another essential thing to consider when sharing the same space. Housework can become a source of conflict, especially when one party feels like the others don’t participate enough.

Even if you don’t see it, the other person could feel like they’re getting the brunt of it. Be open to sharing the task to avoid this. When necessary, divide them into more manageable parts. This makes having a common space and remaining roommates a more bearable experience.

Avoid Getting Intimate with Each Other

While it’s easy to understand that it may be your former spouse you’re living with, it can be easy to get too close. This is why it would be best to avoid getting intimate with each other.

Sure, it’s best to remain civil about things. However, you risk your progress if you end up having a physical relationship. This can bring up old wounds, complicate the situation, and deal more damage than intended.

Be Mindful about Dating

It’s best to avoid introducing a new person into the situation. This can cause more issues and can further complicate the situation.

If you date other people upon mutual agreement, try to avoid bringing dates into the house. While it can be done, it is not recommended to start dating other people while you are still undergoing divorce proceedings.

Set a Budget and Allocations

Before you agree to live together, you need to make sure that you’ve settled on a budget. It’s best to draw up a plan for the money and to have a system in place for sharing that. This avoids any financial disputes.

Conclusion

The biggest thing to remember when going through this is to be mindful of the circumstances. Make sure that you are both on the same page about the divorce proceedings and the custody of your children. It will help to avoid adding new things that could lead to unnecessary disputes.

If you need the advice and services of Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, contact Dorsey Law JAX. 

February 19, 2022

Understanding All the Basics about Annulment in Florida

The state of Florida grants a dissolution to married couples who encounter irreconcilable differences. Unlike an annulment, the law does not grant a dissolution if the couple’s marriage was invalid in the first place. The thing is, for the process to qualify as an annulment, the marriage must have been created in error.

If the marriage was not created in error, then there is a need for a divorce. 

That being said, if you are considering an annulment, there are some things you will need to remember first. The state of Florida recognizes the following grounds, which we’ll go over in greater detail.

The Grounds for Annulment in Florida

No Consent for Marriage

One of the most common grounds for annulment in Florida is the failure to have consent for marriage. If either of the spouses did not consent to the union for any reason, then the marriage is void. As stated by Florida Statute 741.051(5):

“A marriage is void if the consent of either party was obtained by force, duress, or fraud, or if either party was, in fact, incapable of consenting to the marriage.”

If you can prove that one of your spouse’s reasons for not wanting to be married to you was because of your controlling ways, or that your spouse did not know what they were doing because they were drugged or drunk, then you may be able to rely on the lack of consent for marriage as a reason for annulment. 

Mental Incompatibility

Another common ground for annulment in Florida is the mental incompatibility of the couple. This ground is used if one of the spouses entered the marriage because of a mental or emotional disturbance that would have made them incapable of understanding the nature and obligations of marriage.

Mental Illness

Many people experiencing mental illness will not be mentally capable of understanding the nature and obligations of marriage. Thus, in Florida, if one of the spouses is found to have been mentally ill at the time of the wedding, then the marriage will be annulled.

Inability to Consummate the Marriage

If your spouse was incapable of consummating the marriage, then you may be able to claim that the marriage was void. However, this ground for annulment in Florida is only acceptable if the couple’s inability to consummate was due to a physical inability, not a psychological one.

That said, you will need to prove that your spouse was unfaithful, impotent, or had a permanent sexual dysfunction.

Fraud

If one of the spouses was deceived into entering the marriage by the other spouse, they might be able to annul the marriage. The fraud can be intentional or unintentional. If you can prove that your spouse went into the marriage under false pretenses and that they concealed pertinent facts about themselves, then you may have a solid case to prove fraud. 

Underage Marriage

Another common ground for annulment in Florida is the marriage between an underage individual and an individual who was of age at the time of the wedding. Since Florida recognizes that minors cannot make the decision, they have made it illegal to do. As stated by Florida Statute 741.06: 

“A marriage contracted by a person, male or female, under the age of 18 years is void unless at the time the marriage was contracted, the male or female, respectively, had attained the age of 16 years, and the male or female, respectively, had the consent of his or her parents or guardians, or in the event of the death of either parent, the consent of the surviving parent.”

Conclusion

As you can see, annulments are quite different from divorces. If you are considering an annulment, you need to make sure that there are grounds for it to be processed. You must first ask yourself if you can prove that one or more of these grounds exist in your marriage. Remember to only proceed if there is a valid reason. If the marriage was not entered into in error, you should otherwise consider getting a divorce.

If you are looking for well-trusted attorneys who will help you understand more about annulments in Florida, look no further than our experienced experts here at The Dorsey Law Firm. We are your top Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury. Call us today and let us discuss about your current situation and why you are considering an annulment. We are more than happy to help you out!

February 11, 2022

Facts about Prenup That You Need to Know Right Now

You may have given up on the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement because of what you have read or heard. Probably, you think that prenuptial agreements exist to safeguard the “richer” spouse from losing their assets in the unfortunate event of a divorce. 

However, prenups are equally effective in helping you and your spouse build trust and open lines of communication. Let us examine facts about prenups more closely in this article.

Understanding Prenup

A prenup is a legal agreement between you and your spouse before you marry. It explains exactly what happens to your assets and money if you separate.

Prenups Are Customizable 

You have the option of including as many or as few issues as you like. If matters such as inheritance and spousal support bother you, remember that only what you want it to cover can be included in your prenup.

Prenups Are Not Exclusive to the Rich

It does not matter how much money you have in the bank. Talking about how you will handle joint and solo finances in advance helps guarantee no surprises once you are married.

Preparing a prenup implies putting money and time into your marriage and finances. A prenuptial agreement will clearly outline how to distribute this fresh influx of wealth when your income grows or your financial condition changes. 

More importantly, prenups help alleviate the heartache of divorce if things do not work out. The agreement defines who pays educational loans if you have debt from school or expect to accumulate educational debt while married. 

Although discussing these topics before getting married can be awkward, it is critical to think through all situations now rather than later, when you are still in love and reasonable. If you do not come from a wealthy family, a prenup can benefit you by safeguarding your assets.

Prenups Can Be Romantic

By developing closeness and trust between spouses, a professionally drafted prenuptial agreement may solidify your partnership. Prenups encourage communication and empathy by forcing you to have crucial conversations and ensuring you manage your money the way you both want throughout and after your marriage.

The misconception that prenups entail a lack of trust or confidence in the relationship’s long-term viability is one of the most common misunderstandings. It prevents couples from planning a healthy marriage. As a result, when couples are newly engaged, they frequently postpone having important financial conversations.

It is worth noting that a prenuptial agreement is as effective in establishing transparency as ensuring your safety in the event of a breakup. When there is a quarrel after a marriage, assets are a common concern. 

A prenup covers unanticipated changes, makes key discussions easier, and guarantees to manage your funds properly before and after your marriage. 

Prenups Can Be Used to Set Spouse Roles 

A prenup can define both parties’ financial obligations and responsibilities during the marriage. There will be less disagreement about how one spouse spends their money, and each partner will have the financial freedom to spend some of their own as they see fit during the marriage.

Prenups Protect Both Parties 

By definition, modern prenuptial agreements must protect both couples. Prenups that are unjust and one-sided may not stand up in court. The agreement must be fair, signed by both parties, and indicative of each individual’s honesty to be legally enforceable.

Conclusion 

It is time to talk to your spouse now that you have learned what a prenup is and what it is not. You have a fantastic opportunity to build a marriage built on clarity, love, and trust in exploring the possibility of a prenup.

If you need a family law attorney in Jacksonville, FL, turn to Dorsey Law JAX. We take pride in having top attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury. Give us a call now!

February 3, 2022

What You Need to Know About Grandparent Custody Rights

Custody battles happen all the time. Usually, they are between two parents wanting full custody, joint custody, or at least visitation rights to their child. But grandparents can fight for custody rights as well. If you’re a grandparent seeking custody or visitation rights to your grandchild, here’s what you need to know.

Child Custody in Florida

Under Florida’s “Best Interests of the Child” statute (Florida Statute 61.13), the court looks at the child’s best interest in all decisions involving custody. Whether or not it’s a parent or a grandparent, who gets custody depends on the circumstances of every case.

Who Is Entitled to Child Custody?

The court has the following options when awarding custody:

  • The child has one parent. The court may award custody to the child’s parent.
  • The child has two parents, but one parent has died or is not involved in the child’s life. The court may award custody to the child’s parent.
  • The child has one parent and one grandparent. The court may award custody to the child’s parent or the grandparent.
  • The child has two parents and no grandparents. The court may award custody to the child’s parents.
  • The child has one parent and one grandparent, and one parent is deceased. The court may award custody to the grandparent or the parent who is alive.
  • The child has two parents, but the children are in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF). The court may award custody to the child’s parents, or a relative or non-relative.
  • The child is in the custody of DCF and has no parents, but has a grandparent. The court can award custody to the grandparent or a relative or nonrelative.

The court has other options not described above. For example, the court may award custody to a stepparent, a close relative, or a nonrelative.

When Is Grandparent Custody Granted?

Grandparent custody is relatively rare in Florida. This is because grandparents usually do not have a close relationship with the child. But a close relationship can be established, especially when a child is in need of stability. When the child’s parents are not able to provide stability, a court may award custody to a grandparent. 

What Are a Grandparent’s Rights to Their Grandchild?

In Florida, grandparents have the following rights to their grandchildren:

Visitation: A grandparent can ask the court for visitation rights to their grandchildren. The court may award visitation for any reason. In other words, the court does not have to believe the grandparent’s allegations that the parent is unfit. But if the court finds the allegations of unfitness true, the court may limit the visitation of the unfaithful parent.

Child Support: A grandparent can ask the court to order the parent to make periodic child support payments to the grandparent. 

Custody: A grandparent can ask the court to order the parent to turn over the care, custody, and control of a child to the grandparent.

Final Thoughts

In Florida, grandparent custody is not common. But it does happen in some situations. If you’re a grandparent seeking custody, you should talk to a Florida family law attorney. Misunderstandings and arguments can easily occur. You want to be sure you make your case effectively.

Enforce your grandparents’ rights with the help of Dorsey Law JAX. The Dorsey Firm has been representing clients in grandparents’ rights cases for over 35 years and is committed to providing competent and aggressive representation for our clients. Get in touch with us today!

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