Minaya Law Office, PLLC
With an office in Davie, we serve clients in Plantation, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

South Florida Family Law Blog

Can your ex’s wages be garnished to collect child support?

The end of your marriage may not necessarily signal the end of your association with your spouse, particularly if the two of you have children together in Davie. You likely will continue to have to work together to raise and support your kids, with both of you contributing a good deal of your resources to their care. Oftentimes, negative feelings that exist between ex-spouses can prompt one to try and get back at the other by not fulfilling his or her parental obligations (including missing child support payments). The question is what recourse is available to you if your ex follows this same pattern.

The state of Florida allows for child support arrears to be recovered through a number of different methods. One of the most common of these is a wage garnishment. The guidelines regulating garnishments for missed child support payments can be found in Section 61.12 of Florida’s Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. They clearly state that the court can order that one’s wages for service be garnished for the payment of any expenses associated with the dissolution of his or her marriage, regardless of whether he or she is currently residing in the state or not.

The financial protections of a prenuptial agreement

Marriage is just the beginning of a close relationship. Couples can recognize deep emotional ties long before marrying, but saying "I do" brings new legal and financial considerations into the relationship. According to Business Insider, Millennials have more than $1 trillion in debt, much of it in the form of student loans. Do you want to be held responsible for your spouse's tuition debt?

Spouses can protect themselves from another's financial burden well before a marriage begins. A prenup agreement, signed before the wedding, can clarify spousal responsibilities to debt. How does this process work?

Is divorce complicated in same-sex situations?

While gay marriage was legalized in all states in 2015, marriage laws are different from divorce laws. You can probably rightly assume that same-sex divorces will be handled the same way as other divorces in Florida, but that does not mean there are not special circumstances that could arise. It is those things that make gay divorce a little confusing.

According to Time, the biggest hurdle that could be faced in same-sex divorce cases is the relationship time line. With a heterosexual relationship, once the couple decided to make a commitment, they could get married. In homosexual relationships, that choice was not an option until mid-2015. If you were in a same-sex relationship, the best you could do was live together and act as a married couple or create a domestic partnership.

Few grandparents’ rights in Florida

Many across the country associate Florida with their grandparents, as many move to the Sunshine State in retirement, but as far as visitation rights go, grandparents do not have legal standing here. As the Sun Sentinel reports, while some states do offer visitation rights to grandparents, Florida courts consistently have found on the part of parents that forcing visitation with grandparents is a violation of privacy.

The exception to this rule is a law passed in 2015, which allows grandparents the rights to visitation with grandchildren if both parents have died, have gone missing or are in “a persistent vegetative state.” If one parent has a felony and the other is in one of the aforementioned states, grandparents are also then able to have visitation rights. Because grandparents have no legal rights in Florida, when a problem arises, like addiction, that causes the grandparent to watch over the grandchild they are sometimes forced to prove their own son or daughter unfit to be a parent in order to adopt the grandchild.

Invalidating a prenuptial agreement in Florida

Couples in Davie that are preparing to wed likely have their thoughts preoccupied with planning their weddings, and then their subsequent lives together. There is likely no place given in those plans for the potential for divorce. Yet for those who bring significant assets into their marriages, having a prenuptial agreement in place may be something to consider in the event that their relationships do end. Indeed, more and more couples appear to making this decision together, with the Wall Street Journal sharing that the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports a 63 percent increase in such agreements in recent years.

Of course, simply having a prenup in place does not mean that one’s assets are automatically protected. During marriage, it is common for the assets that each brings in to the union to become intermingled. Examples of this may be:

  •          A recently married couple pooling their assets to buy a home or start a business.  
  •          One spouse using his or her savings to help put the other through college.
  •          A couple using a property that one brought into the marriage as the family homestead.

Florida child support basics

Dissolving your marriage in Florida can be difficult, but one of the most stressful factors may be determining child support. Parents may be able to better prepare for the court’s decision if they understand the basics of the state’s child support laws. We at The Minaya Law Offices not only fight for your rights, but also strive to help you understand what those rights are.


Can you make co-parenting a peaceful and positive experience?

If you and your spouse are getting a divorce and have had children together, chances are you have already begun thinking about a custody arrangement. As is the case for many Florida couples, the thought of co-parenting your children with your estranged spouse may seem impossible or daunting at the least. However, with the right approach, you can reach an agreement that is in the best interest of everyone involved.

According to an article published in Psychology Today, you and your spouse can create a peaceful arrangement when you approach things the right way. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Manage your anger: Divorce can undoubtedly bring stress, anxiety and anger into the lives of you and your spouse. However, it is critical that you learn to manage your anger and channel it in healthy ways. Doing so will not only reduce conflict, but it is an excellent way to maintain a stress-free environment for your children.
  • Be mindful: Remember that your spouse is doing his or her best to deal with new circumstances just like you. While it can be tempting to jump to conclusions and make assumptions, practicing mindfulness can help you to remain calm and see things from an objective point of view.
  • Avoid judging: While you may not condone or agree with your spouse’s behavior, lifestyle or handling of certain situations, it is imperative that you avoid judging. Remember that you may not see the big picture and know everything that your spouse is going through.

Florida maintains lifetime alimony

Florida is one of only a few states in the country that has laws on the books for what many call “lifetime alimony,” or spousal support payments after a divorce that have no end date. As the Sun Sentinel reports, the state legislature has tried to amend this law four times in the past four years, and 2017 is no different.

The laws were put into place to protect the spouse (historically most often the wife) who left the workforce to care for children. This reduced earning potential and retirement savings, and those opposed to changes in the law still are concerned for the survival of stay-at-home parents in this situation after a divorce.

Parents: are you prepared for summer custody changes?

Summer is right around the corner. That means that in a matter of weeks, kids across Florida will be out of school and looking for ways to spend their summer vacation.

Whether this realization instills a feeling of excitement or stress in you as a parent, it can serve as a good opportunity to make sure you have your ducks in a row if you share custody of your kids. Below are a few things you can do now to ensure your summer is not ruined by confusion and custody battles.

Have you disclosed all your digital assets?

Dividing your marital assets can be one of the most contentious and complicated steps in a divorce. Between the economic details of property division and the emotional challenges of splitting one estate into two, there are plenty of opportunities for disputes.

One common type of dispute stems from failure to disclose marital assets. As part of the division of property process, each person needs to make a list of all shared and separate assets and liabilities. Eligible assets are then calculated and distributed in accordance equitable division laws. If you fail to disclose any property, you could be in serious trouble. 

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