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South Florida Family Law Blog

What factors are considered when determining child custody

Divorce can be a complicated process, especially when there are children involved. Although you want to make choices that are in the best interest of your children, it can be difficult to determine which parent should receive custody. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, children often fair better when they have consistent access to both parents. Yet, the judge presiding over the case may look at certain factors before making the final decision as to where the children will be best off.

First, the judge may take into consideration which parent was the primary caregiver to the child. The parent who spends the most time taking care of the child and supports them through their educational, medical and recreational ventures is often the parent who receives physical custody of the child. The judge may also look at whether one parent will help to foster a good relationship with the other parent, as this makes it easier on the children involved.

Relocating with children after a Florida divorce

After getting divorced, people may want to relocate within the state of Florida or move out of the state for any other number of reasons. For parents, however, there may be more to it than just making the decision to move and packing up. If they plan to take their children with them, they may require permission.

According to the Florida Supreme Court, approval is necessary in cases when people plan to move their children’s primary residences 50 miles or more from their locations at the time of the last child custody order. This is the case provided the relocation is for a period of 60 consecutive days or more and is not for the purposes of vacation or the child’s education or health care. People may obtain permission to relocate with children by reaching agreements with the noncustodial parents or by petitioning the court.

Why you need a forensic accountant on your divorce team

Divorce is never easy, and it’s especially difficult if you have a spouse who is hiding money and assets from you. If your spouse is especially wily, this may include a large sum of money and been going on for several years.

Even in amicable divorces, splitting assets and debts can include vested or unvested stock options, deferred compensation plans, businesses or professional practices, trusts, accounts and properties in different states or even countries.

‘Birdnesting’ may help your children transition after divorce

Divorce is often difficult for every family member, especially the kids. Divorce inherently brings numerous changes to a child’s life, but there are some ways parents can help ease their children into those changes. One way you and your ex can do this is by implementing a parenting situation called “birdnesting.”

Birdnesting allows children to stay full-time in the marital home, instead of switching from one parent’s house to the other parent’s house. Although the children maintain a consistent residence, birdnesting still allows them to maintain frequent contact with both parents. To make this work, the parents take turns caring for the children in the marital home according to their custody schedule.

What are the tax implications of alimony?

A typical part of many divorces in Florida is an order of alimony. Alimony is spousal support payments that one spouse pays to the other after the marriage to help him or her afford living expenses. The details of alimony vary on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, it is important to understand how to handle your alimony in regards to taxes.

According to the IRS, whether you receive or pay alimony will affect what happens with it on your taxes. If you receive alimony, you must report it as income. If you pay alimony, then you can deduct it as an expense.

Splitting marital property in a divorce

In Florida, and in many other states in the country, marital property is split in a fair and equitable fashion. Whether a judge presiding over the case determines who is entitled to what in the divorce settlement or the couple negotiates the terms of the divorce through mediation, dividing marital property can be daunting. Both parties are responsible for disclosing all marital property they have in their possession. However, this includes more than the family home, vehicles, furniture and belongings.

There are items that may get passed over but should be included as marital property in the divorce settlement. Some of these items include the following:

  •          Expensive art, antique, car and coin collections
  •          Memberships to exclusive golf or country clubs
  •          Lottery ticket winnings and income tax refunds
  •          Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and royalties

Making co-parenting work for Florida families

When they are married, Florida couples typically share the responsibility of providing for and raising their children. If they are divorced, living in separate households may not be the only roadblock to them continuing to share this responsibility. However, the state of Florida holds that, with few exceptions, children should have frequent and continued contact with both of their parents after a divorce. To this end, state law specifies that the court may order shared parenting, or co-parenting.

Psychology Today points out that stressors abound for divorced couples who are navigating the challenge of continuing to parent together. By focusing solely on their children and their needs, however, shared parenting may be a positive experience for everyone involved.

Establishing paternity as an unwed dad

Florida dads play an important role throughout their child’s life. For unwed fathers who wish to have a relationship with their child, but have split with the mother, it is challenging. At The Minaya Law Offices, PLLC, we have experience representing clients who want visitation rights or joint custody of their child.

According to Verywell Family, establishing paternity is a priority. When a child is born to a committed couple, but outside of marriage, paternity is not legally presumed. As a result, the father has no rights regarding custody, visitation or in making decisions about the child’s welfare. Ensuring your name is on the birth certificate is the most straight forward way to prove you are the dad. If your ex contests your claim, you may petition the court and take a paternity test.

How can I tell whether my partner is cheating?

Even the suspicion of infidelity can be enough to ruin a marriage. That’s why spouses want to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible, both for their well-being as well as that of their families. While the situation is not always cut and dry, Psychology Today recommends looking out for the following signs if you’re concerned your partner is being unfaithful.

Increased hostility

Understanding when a child support obligation ends

Your divorce in Davie certainly does not end yours or your ex-spouse's obligations to continue to pay for the support of your children (no matter the circumstances of your custody arrangement). The expectation is, of course, that eventually your children will grow up and eventually be able to support themselves through their own gainful employment. The point at which that happens, however, may differ from case to case. Because of this, many often come to us here at The Minaya Law Offices, PLLC asking how long parents are expected to pay child support. 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, both and your spouse are continued to abide by the terms of your child support agreement until your children reach 18 years of age. Florida law does allow for special circumstances, however, if your child turns 18 yet is still not in a position to support themselves. In such a case as long as your child is not yet 19 and still in the process of working towards completing their high school education, your child support obligation can be extended until their nineteenth birthday. 

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