September 9, 2022

How to Make Long-Distance Child Custody Work in Florida

Parents living more than 50 miles apart are considered to be sharing long-distance custody in Florida. It makes no difference whether the distance is within the state or if one parent lives out of state. Floridians must use the Long-Distance Parenting Plan to manage long-distance child custody. 

Read on as we discuss more long-distance parenting plans and what you need to consider. 

What Is a Long-Distance Parenting Plan? 

A long-distance parenting plan is a detailed agreement between the parents outlining how they will continue co-parenting their children even though they live in different cities or states. Here, both parents agree on a schedule for when the child will be with each parent. 

This is important because it provides stability and certainty for the child, who would otherwise have to adjust to a constantly changing schedule. This allows the child to maintain relationships with both parents.

Finally, a long-distance parenting plan can help reduce conflict between the parents. If the parents can agree on a schedule, they are less likely to argue about custody arrangements. This can provide some peace of mind for both parents and the child. 

What Are the Things to Consider in a Long-Distance Parenting Plan? 

1. Communication

As a long-distance parent, you must be proactive about communication. You can’t just rely on chance encounters or spontaneous phone calls. It is vital to set up a regular communication schedule. This will help ensure that both parents can stay up-to-date on what is going on in the child’s life. You should also decide which method of communication you will use. 

It is also important to decide what information you will share. Will you share school grades? Medical information? Daily activities? You need to be sure that both parents are comfortable with the level of communication that will take place. 

2. Decision Making 

Decision-making can be difficult when you are a long-distance parent. You may not be there for every little decision your child makes, but you can still have a say in the big decisions. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you are involved in the decision-making process.

A parenting plan will give you and the other parent an outline of what decisions need to be completed and who will be responsible for making them. If possible, try to agree on major decisions before they need to be made. This way, there will be no surprises, and everyone will know what is expected of them. 

3. Scheduling and Holidays 

Scheduling and holidays can be tough to navigate when you have a long-distance custody parenting plan. Here are some tips to make the process a little easier: 

  • Talk to your co-parent about your holiday plans well in advance. This will give you time to plan and ensure you’re on the same page.
  • Be flexible with your schedule. You may not be able to celebrate every holiday together, but try to be flexible and work with your co-parent to devise a plan that works for both of you.

Conclusion 

Long-distance child custody in Florida can be challenging to manage, but it is possible with proper planning and communication. If you are a parent facing this situation, contact an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the process and protect your rights.

If you need a good family lawyer, contact Dorsey Law JAX. Top Jacksonville Attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury are available. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

September 2, 2022

What You Need to Know about Property Division in a Divorce

All assets and liabilities are divided between the parties in a divorce. This process can be complex, especially when there is a lot of support or a business to divide. It’s essential to clearly understand all the assets and debts that must be divided in a divorce.

The Process of Equitable Distribution in Florida

The Florida StatutesTitle VI, Chapter 61, governs the equitable distribution process in the State of Florida. During a divorce, equitable distribution refers to the division of assets and liabilities between spouses.

The Court presumes that all assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage are marital assets and liabilities subject to equitable distribution. This includes all income and earnings, regardless of how they are titled.

But there are some exceptions to this general rule. Inheritances, gifts, and property acquired before marriage are typically considered separate property and are not subject to equitable distribution. Additionally, any increases in the value of the respective property are not subject to equitable distribution, with a few exceptions.

Equitable distribution begins with each spouse disclosing all assets and liabilities to the other. After all assets and liabilities have been revealed, the court will determine which assets are marital and which are separate. The Court will then assign a value to all marital property.

Factors That Courts Consider When Dividing Property

State courts divide property according to the laws of the state in which the divorce is filed. However, there are some general factors that courts consider when dividing property.

The first factor courts consider is whether the property is marital or separate. Any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of who purchased it or who is on the title, is considered marital property. Separate property consists of all assets acquired before or after marriage.

Another factor courts consider there is the value of the property. This includes both the sentimental value and the monetary value. Courts may evaluate replacement cost, fair market value, unique meaning, and usefulness when valuing a property.

Finally, courts must also consider the needs of each spouse when dividing property. This includes things like employment, health, education, and child-rearing. Courts will try to divide property to leave each spouse with the resources they need to maintain their standard of living after the divorce.

How to Protect Your Assets in a Florida Divorce

Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning a spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong to get a divorce. Florida law does, however, require that the couple live apart for at least six months before a divorce can be granted.

Understanding how state laws protect your assets during a divorce in Florida is crucial. Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally between the parties. When dividing assets, the court will consider several factors, such as each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, financial needs, and child custody arrangements.

If protecting your assets concerns you, you must speak with an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer can help you understand the state’s laws and protect your interests during the divorce process.

Conclusion

Understanding the basics of property division in Florida divorce cases is essential. This includes knowing what is considered marital property and what is not, as well as how the courts divide property between spouses.

Contact an experienced family law attorney today if you are seeking a divorce in Florida and are concerned about the processes and payments. Dorsey Law Firm aims to achieve the best possible outcome. Our goal is to provide expert representation while keeping our clients informed of the status of their cases at all times. Contact us today!

August 29, 2022

Separation Anxiety: The Basics of Marital Property

In Florida, marital property is any asset acquired by either partner during the marriage. It includes both assets and debts. Generally, marital property is divided equally between the spouses in a divorce. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

In a divorce, the judge will look at all marital property and divide it equally between the two parties. However, there are some things that the court cannot divide, such as non-marital property.

In a high asset separation, spouses must determine what property is marital and what is separate. Florida law guides how to divide assets, but the court has the final say. According to the 61.075 statutes, the following are considered marital property.

Property Acquired during the Marriage

Assets acquired after the wedding day are considered marital property, regardless of who purchased them or whose name is on the title. It includes things like houses, cars, and investment income. 

If an asset was bought during the marriage, it is most likely considered marital property. However, sometimes an investment is bought with money acquired before marriage, which is regarded as a separate asset.

Asset Appreciation and Enhancement

Suppose an asset that one spouse owned before the marriage increases in value during the marriage. The difference in value may be considered marital property. This appreciation can happen if the asset is improved with marital funds or through the efforts of either spouse.

If one spouse purchases a house before marriage, that spouse’s name appears on the mortgage and title of the house. The house is considered separate property belonging only to the purchasing spouse. If both spouses make improvements to the home during the marriage, the house’s increased value (the “enhancement”) would be considered marital property.

Spousal Gift

When one spouse gives a gift to the other, it is still considered a part of the marital property because the courts want to ensure an equal distribution of assets between both spouses. It can be seen as unfair to the spouse who received the gift, but it is done to ensure fairness overall.

The law prevents one spouse from receiving a significant asset, like a car, while the other spouse is left with nothing. The law still sees it as marital property if the vehicle is purchased with joint money or put in the wife’s name. The wife may be able to keep the car, but only if some other asset offsets the vehicle’s value.

Retirement Benefits

When a married couple saves for retirement, they usually do so, intending to continue to live together in retirement. However, if the couple gets divorced, any retirement savings are considered part of the marital property and will be divided between the two spouses. It is to ensure that both spouses have some retirement savings, even if only one of them contributed to the account.

Retirement benefits, rights, and funds that have not yet accrued value during the marriage are non-marital property. These items include 401(k) contributions that have not yet been vested or pensions that have not yet begun to pay out.

Conclusion

Marital property in Florida is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. It includes both real property (e.g., homes, land) and personal property (e.g., vehicles, furniture, jewelry). Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will divide marital property fairly and honestly, taking into account several factors such as each spouse’s contribution to the marriage and each spouse’s need for the property.

If you are in the process of separating, you might have questions about your assets. If so, kindly contact Dorsey Law JAX. We will help you through these difficult circumstances and ensure your rights are protected, so book a consultation now!

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