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Student Loan Debt & Divorce – A Tough Pill to Swallow

In any divorce, dividing the marital assets and liabilities is often a surprisingly difficult task for the parties. Valuing assets and recalling whether assets or liabilities were incurred during the course of the marriage takes its toll on any divorcing couple. Student loan debt is often one of the more contentious topics when it comes to equitable distribution. Although one party may have benefited from the debt by obtaining a degree or taking courses, the benefit is not to be considered by the court when calculating equitable distribution. As a general proposition, student loan debt incurred during the marriage is...

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How Does a Court Determine Child Custody or Timesharing

Many people believe that because they have spent more time with a child or have been the primary caretaker of a child that they will be granted more timesharing. This is not the case under Florida law. Florida statute section 61.13(2)(c) requires parenting plans and time-sharing plans be determined in accordance with the “best interests of the child.” Fla. Stat. § 61.13(2)(c) (2014). Under Florida Statute section 61.13(3), the best interests of the child or children are determined by evaluating twenty factors. See Fla. Stat §61.13(3) (2014). These 20 factors are outlined below for your reference. The law is clear...

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Abuse of Emergency Motions: Abusing the System to Protect from Abuse

family lawyer

Although our offices are located in Orlando and Tampa, I take cases all over the state of Florida. In the last few days, I have appeared in Hillsborough and Sarasota Counties and will most likely appear in several other courts next week. Seasoned attorneys recognize that courts rarely grant emergency relief. However, attorneys repeatedly file emergency motions only to be denied the relief that they are requesting. What constitutes an emergency to the client and what constitutes an emergency to the court are too very different things. Filing a frivolous emergency motion comes with great risk both to the attorney...

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Divorcing When Your Child Has ADHD

Over the past few weeks, I have seen a repeated theme in several timesharing (commonly known as custody) hearings. Parents with children diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are routinely arguing over whether the child should be administered medication. The parent in favor of medication attempts to disparage the other parent by stating that the parent routinely fails to provide the medication to the child. Failing to administer medication to a child is a basis to deem an individual unfit to care for a minor child. The parent against the medication states that they are not failing to...

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Paying Child Support Through The State Is Good For The Payor & Payee

When a family law case concludes and a child support obligation is ordered an income deduction is almost always entered at the same time. Once that income deduction order goes into effect, one person's wages are garnished, that support payment is sent up to Tallahassee, and the State Disbursement Unit processes the payment and sends it down to the recipient. This process is cumbersome and many people do not like it. Most child support payors are offended and embarrassed to learn that their wages will be garnished. Then insult is added to injury when they are required to pay fees to...

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Prohibition On Gay Adoption Is Declared Unconstitutional In Florida

On September 22, 2010 the Third District Court of Appeals found that the law prohibiting homosexual adoption was unconstitutional. While this ruling only controls in a portion of the state of Florida (including Miami), its effects have been extended across the state by Governor Christ. Florida was the only state in the entire country that maintained this type of ban on gay marriage. Other states, like Arkansas and Utah, have also banned gay adoption,...

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