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

Cheating is not the top cause of divorce. Surprised?

We have all seen that movie where we cannot wait to see the cheating spouse to get caught. The Hollywood portrayal of divorce often showcases infidelity as one of the leading explanations as to why marriages come to an end.

While reasons can vary from couple to couple, communication breakdown is the most common cause of divorce. (Not to say it is the worst.)

However, communication is a widely prevalent theme in most of the other reasons that lead a marriage to end. Here are four motives that commonly occur when a marriage is destined for divorce.

Covering your kids' healthcare costs

As you prepare for your divorce in Davie, your thoughts will inevitably turn to the continued care and support of your kids. Many in your same situation have come to us here at The Minaya Law Offices, PLLC asking who is responsible for their children's medical expenses. The answer to that question depends on the unique circumstances of your case. 

Many view child support as a "zero sum game," meaning that between you and your ex-spouse, only one of you is perceived to be disadvantaged by it. Yet it is important to remember that court can require both parents to pay child support in amounts equal to the portion of the household income they contributed to while married. The same principle of shared responsibility applies with healthcare costs. Per the Florida Senate, both you and your spouse may be required to carry health insurance for your children if such coverage is available to both of you at a reasonable cost. The state defines "reasonable cost" as not exceeding 5 percent of your gross income. Availability may be determined on your ability to get group plan coverage through your employer or coverage through a plan available through the health insurance marketplace. 

What is bridge-the-gap alimony?

If you have gone through a divorce in Florida, chances are that the matter of alimony has come up throughout the process. Alimony, a way of providing financial support to a former spouse, can be awarded in various forms based on the length of the marriage and need, and can be either long-term or short-term based on the circumstances. According to the Florida State Legislature, bridge-the-gap alimony is a short-term financial support plan that assists one of the parties while transitioning from being married to being single.

The idea behind bridge-the-gap alimony is that the continued financial support can help you meet needs that are short-term in order to get you back on your feet, while still maintaining a standard of living comparible to that which you had while you were married.

The dangers of becoming a Disneyland dad

Parenting following a divorce in Davie can be challenging, particularly for those whose custody has been limited by their divorce decrees. Most who are in this situation look for ways that they can maximize the time they have with their kids. Some allow this ambition to prompt them to fill their parenting time with activities and adventures, forsaking any rules and structure. In their minds, this essentially "buys" their children's continuing affection while painting the custodial parent as being mean and demanding. Yet these "Disneyland dads" often find that such a strategy does not lend itself to effective long-term parenting. 

While the short-term jubilation that kids feel when with their Disneyland dad is often viewed as respect and appreciation, many family relations experts point to case studies that show that it may produce the exact opposite feelings. Information shared by The Good Men Project shows that despite what many may think, kids expect the following from their parents: 

  • Education in developing the skills to cope with life's challenges along with its joys
  • Counsel when difficult situations do arise 
  • Consistency in dealing with parenting matters

Supporting equal rights for all marriages

While it is unfortunate that same-sex couples still occasionaly fight against discrimination in our South Florida communities, these attitudes are changing at a national level. While this might not help our clients in their daily struggles, federal law has empowered our attorneys at The Minaya Law Offices, PLLC to help with many of the legal hardships and challenges facing same-sex partners and their families.

In short, if you are a partner in a same-sex marriage in Florida, you have access to the same legal avenues and formal protections that you would if you were in an opposite-sex union. The United States Supreme Court made a decision in 2015 that ensures your marriage is recognized anywhere in the USA. Findlaw has a summary of the topic: Feel free to read it here to learn more about the same-sex marriage in our state.

Collecting alimony through a garnishment

For many of those who have been through a divorce in Davie, the money received from alimony may be their primary means of support. Alimony itself is not meant to be a lifelong source of income for those who are entitled to it, but rather a means to help them compensate for their lost marital income until they can secure gainful employment. Yet for the 400,000 people that Forbes Magazine reports as receiving alimony in the U.S. as of 2014, any missed payments can quickly put them in dire financial straits. 

Thus, the law has created enforcement methods that can compel those who have alimony arrears to pay them. One of the most often utilized is a wage garnishment (where garnished funds are automatically withdrawn from one's paycheck). Section 61.12(2) of Florida's statutes says that the court can indeed issue a writ of garnishment requiring the repayment of unpaid alimony. This law authorizes the court to either garnish wages periodically, or on continuous basis for as long as it sees fit. Salary and wages are not the only income sources that can be garnished; the court can order that funds be withdrawn or withheld from pension funds as well as spendthrift trusts. 

Modifying a child support obligation

A thought may exist in the minds of many in Davie that child support is a method through which an embittered divorcee can get back at his or her ex-spouse. Child support is not meant to be punitive; rather, it is to ensure that the children that a divorced couple shares have sufficient resources to meet their needs. Yet such resources can only be provided when they are available to the one obliged to pay them. If and when a parent obligated to pay his or her child support sees his or her circumstances change, he or she can petition to have the agreement modified. 

The question then becomes what constitutes a change? Rather than being left up to subjective opinion, the law has defined when a change is sufficient to justify a child support modification. According to Section 61.30(1)(b) of the Florida state statutes, the difference between one's existing monthly obligation and that which one's finances following a life or employment change would dictate must be greater than either $50 or 15 percent (whichever is greater) in order for the court to consider a modification. It should be noted that this does not only apply to cases where one's monthly income is reduced. An increase in pay or other financial windfall could also justify an increase in his or her child support obligation. 

Same-sex divorce in Florida

When a federal judge overturned Florida’s ban on same-sex marriages in 2015, it also opened the door for couples wishing to be apart. Many couples had married in other states, and as divorce statistics don’t discriminate, there were couples here in Florida waiting to divorce.

But what does same-sex divorce entail? Is it different than a heterosexual divorce?

The familiar struggle of alienated grandparents

Depending on the family situation, the role of grandparent can take on many different meanings. For some, it can mean taking full custody of grandchildren, while for others the main pursuit is simply spending more quality time together. Although grandparent rights have long existed in Florida, some grandparents in the state nevertheless struggle to see their own family members.

Last August, an article in Florida's 10 News highlighted the growing concern over the uncertainty of grandparent rights in the state. Some express frustration at Florida's strict laws, which only offer recommendations for change every 20 years. In response to the limitations of grandparent rights, the Alienated Grandparents Anonymous group formed to fight back rights to see grandchildren. A large number of Floridans were at the unfortunate end of a family dispute, only to find that their own children had moved states away without notice. Yet many are optimistic that 2018 may become a turning point in this law that leaves countless grandparents heartbroken: after making requests to change the state's constitution, they eagerly await the chance to vote on the changes in the upcoming election.

Maintaining that special grandparent/grandchild bond

Whether they live near you in Florida, in the same house or across the nation, the bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren are special. If you are a grandparent, you already know this and you probably anticipated your first grandchild as much as you did your own first child.

Unfortunately, the bonds between parents and children get strained at times, and you may feel unwelcome or have been told you are not welcome to visit the parents, your grandchildren or both. At the Minaya Law Offices, we understand the emotional turmoil of broken family relationships. We have helped many clients through trying circumstances such as these.

FindLaw Network


"Very impressed with Ms. Minaya. She found a practical and creative solution to my complicated legal problem. She took the time to understand my situation and put together a solution that was effective and efficient, avoiding expensive court proceedings. I would recommend to my friends without hesitation. Reasonable fees and excellent work."
J. V. Client


Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Review Us