Author: Adam Cowhey

Temporary Custody of Minor Children by an Extended Family Member

There are times when an extended family member will want temporary custody or concurrent custody of a child who is not their own. To do so, the family member will need to file a petition with the court. The filing fee for this is about $400. Temporary Custody Temporary custody refers to the parents of the child permitting an extended family member to temporarily become the child’s “parent.” This will allow that individual to live with a child who is not his or her own and includes making decisions regarding the child’s medical, educational and recreational needs and wants. It also allows the...

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How Does Divorce Affect Your Tax Filing Status?

Your marital status on the final day of the year determines how you may file. Married couples generally file jointly but if you are divorced as of December 31, you can file either as single or as head of household, so long as you qualify. Being separated or subject to a child support order does not affect your status although you can claim head of household if you are not divorced. Separated or Married Generally, you can be considered “unmarried” if you are legally separated as of December 31. Because Florida has no legal separation status, you are considered married even though you can have...

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Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida

Domestic violence is an ongoing problem in many communities. Many women seek refuge in shelters and/or apply to the court for a protective order or injunction against the abuser, who is the respondent in a petition for an injunction. Not all victims of domestic violence are women and the perpetrators can be male or female. Further, domestic violence does not always occur in the context of a marital relationship. An injunction is a court order that prohibits a spouse, family member, household member, or even an unknown stalker from engaging in offensive conduct or from any contact at all against...

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Equitable Distribution and the Marital Home in a Florida Divorce

When a married couple divorces the most contentious issue other than parenting time for the children is usually the division of property, which is required in a dissolution. Property is either personal or real. Personal property, including intangible property, includes motor vehicles, furniture and appliances, jewelry, gun and stamp collections, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, bank accounts and other assets. Real property is of course real estate and includes the marital home. In any divorce, property is categorized as marital or non-marital. Generally, non-marital...

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Does a Child’s Preference Affect Custody?

The basic standard in all custody determinations is “what is in the best interests of the child.” It is a broad phrase that takes into account a number of factors the court will examine in ordering time-sharing and visitation rights. The term “custody” is out of favor with Florida legislators and courts, which prefer to use the phrase “time-sharing” or “parenting time”.   One of the factors in determining time-sharing is the preference of the child in spending the principal amount of time with one parent over the other. Florida is a state where the child’s preference is considered, but it is...

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Types of Alimony and Considerations in Calculating Payments

A dissolution can mean a drastic change in the parties’ social situation and financial status. Family friends may take sides, and routines regarding vacations and holidays will change as will the time spent with children. If the household depended on two incomes, that can prompt the sale of the marital home in some cases and a move to a smaller home or rental unit. For a party who has fewer financial resources than the other spouse or who may not be working, the breakup can be frightening. To alleviate and remedy an unfair financial situation, alimony in a divorce case may be awarded. Many of...

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Child Custody and Relocation Laws in Florida

Within many divorce proceedings involving minor children, the parents—and other parties entitled to parenting time (or visitation) with the children — will have agreed amongst themselves to a parenting plan as to which parent will have primary physical custody, and who will have visitation rights. With a routine firmly in place, the children typically acclimate to the arrangement as do the parents, and nonparents with access, who become accustomed to the regular time-sharing schedule, the holiday schedules and transportation issues. However, circumstances do arise when parents wish to relocate....

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Penalties for Not Paying Child Support or Alimony in Florida

Every parent has an obligation to financially support their children. Short of your agreement to pay the amount determined by the Florida guidelines, a court may order one parent to make monthly payments to the other parent. Regarding alimony, or spousal support, one party who is the higher wage earner may, under certain circumstances, be ordered to make monthly payments to the other party following a separation, during a divorce or after divorce proceedings unless the parties can agree otherwise. The payments are to help the recipient party gain marketable skills or at least to maintain the...

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What Documents Do You Need for Your Florida Divorce?

A divorce can be complicated since it is not unlike a business dissolution. Assets need to be accounted for and valued, and classified as premarital or marital. Debts are assessed, and other matters must be addressed before property and funds are distributed. If child support or alimony is agreed upon or ordered, the amount needs to be established and for how long it is to be paid. You will need a great number of documents to show evidence of marital and non-marital assets along with you and your spouse’s income and net worth. If divorce is imminent or has been discussed, promptly begin accumulating...

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Factors that Increase the Risk of Divorce

Divorce in America has become more prevalent over the years. While most people assume the divorce rate is 50%, other observers put it closer to 40%, though most feel that the rate will increase to at least 50% in the near future. This is still below the overall leader, Sweden, where the rate is reported at an astounding 64%! The problem with placing a percentage on divorce rates is how it is determined. Some experts feel that the 40% rate is misleading since not all states report divorce statistics. Others use a refined approach, or the number of divorces per 1,000 married women. Using this...

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