Florida provides five types of alimony: Temporary, Bridge-the-Gap, Rehabilitative, Durational or Permanent.
Temporary support is available to sustain a spouse during ongoing divorce proceedings.
Temporary support is available to sustain a spouse during ongoing divorce proceedings.
If a mother is married, the mother’s husband at birth is the legal father of the child.
If the mother is unmarried when the child is born, but later marries the child’s father, the husband becomes the legal father.
But if the child is like 40% of the babies born in Florida to unmarried mothers, they do not have a legal father until their father establishes paternity.
A common misconception is that if the father’s name is on the birth certificate, he has legal status as the father. Even if a father signs a child’s birth certificate, he will still need to establish paternity through an order of the court. This court order will grant him parental rights, such as time-sharing (formerly called visitation or custody).
A paternity determination can be obtained by Petition (a request filed with the court) by either the father or the mother. The mother must file for a determination of paternity in order to obtain child support from the biological father. A paternity petition must be filed by the biological father to give the father parental rights, including time-sharing (formerly called visitation or custody) with the child.
When either party contests Paternity, (claiming that the assumed father is not the biological father), the court may require the child, mother, and alleged father to submit to certain tests. The test results are admissible in evidence and will be weighed along with other evidence of the paternity of the alleged father. If the genetic testing shows a statistical probability of paternity equals or exceeds 95%, there is a presumption of paternity. Currently, genetic testing is generally more than 99% accurate.
If paternity is established in a court proceeding, the court may award retroactive child support for a period up to 24 months from the date the paternity action was filed.
Children deserve to have a legal father. Fathers have the right to experience the joys (and sometimes heartache) of being a parent. Moreover, parents have a moral and legal obligation to support their biological children.
Unmarried biological parents are recommended to move quickly to establish paternity for the sake of their children.
Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, PA has been helping South Florida’s families for over 35 years. Call us at 305-653-5555 or email us at [email protected] for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys.
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For many families, a pet is considered another member of the family (sometimes the most loved part of their family).
So it’s no surprise that custody of a pet can become contentious.
So who does get Fido?
Although you and your soon-to-be-ex may view your pet as a member of the family, Florida’s divorce laws do not. Florida courts treat pets as marital property, not family members.
And as property, your cherished pet will be part of the equitable distribution along with your furniture, coin collection, or other assets.
Your pet is considered personal property, which means pet custody, timesharing, and visitation are not concepts open for discussion. This means your pet’s future will be determined as part of the equitable distribution of assets. The court will determine if the pet is a marital or nonmarital asset, who takes care of the pet and often, the judge will award it to the parent who has physical custody of the children.
If the pet was acquired before the marriage, it is considered a non-marital asset. The person who brought it into the marriage keeps it after the divorce.
If the pet was acquired during the marriage, it is considered a marital asset and will be treated as property. One party will get custody and there are no visitation mandates under Florida law.
Instead of allowing the court to determine which spouse gets to keep the pet, you could negotiate a shared pet custody schedule. That way your pet will not be treated as property in court and both spouses can divide spending time with it. You can discuss pet custody in negotiations, mediation, and/or the collaborative divorce process.
Do you need an attorney to handle your divorce? Not necessarily. Martin L. Hoffman, Esq. shares when to go it alone and when to retain an attorney here.
What to look for in a family law attorney? Many attorneys advertise that they take an aggressive approach; some talk about collaboration.
It is the experienced attorney who knows what approach will produce the optimal outcome for their client.
Why Hoffman, Larin and Agnetti? 35 years of Family Law experience but let our clients tell you.
Divorce is hard on everyone involved. Spouses or partners often experience feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, and loneliness. Although these emotions are common and are to be expected, they may lead to mistakes that can have potentially long-lasting effects on their lives, financially and emotionally. Below are our top 10 common divorce mistakes as well as tips to avoid these pitfalls.
#1: FAILURE TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DIVORCE
During your divorce, remember that this is your divorce. Do not allow your attorney, friends, or family members to take control. These well-meaning individuals will not have to live with the decisions made, you will. Take your time, select an attorney that you are comfortable with and be honest with him/her and yourself.
#2: MAKING SIDE DEALS WITH YOUR SOON TO BE EX
Even if you and your spouse/partner continue to have an amicable relationship throughout your divorce, do not make the mistake of entering into side agreements with your soon-to-be-ex. It is imperative that everything is documented in your written settlement agreement so that your interests, and your children, will be protected. Life will change for you and your ex after the divorce and new relationships can create havoc with ‘but you promised’ if it isn’t in writing.
A client read our post “BEEN INJURED? 5 RULES ABOUT POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA” and asked ” Do these rules matter in my divorce?
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of divorce attorneys say they’ve seen an uptick in the number of recent cases where social media evidence was used.
You’re in the middle of your divorce and it’s natural to reach out to your friends and family online for comfort and sympathy. But do you know who else is scouring your social media sites (which are never really private)? Your soon-to-be-ex and their lawyers! And every post, tweet, snap, etc you post during this process can be used in a court of law.
RULE #1: Tell your friends and family…but: Tell them about your intent to divorce but PLEASE ask them not to post about your spouse or his family. Bashing your ex might feel good for the moment but all it really does is rile up emotions. And these posts, pins, tweets or snaps can be used against you. Ask your friends and family to take their comments offline.
RULE #2: Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want a judge or your grandmother to see. If it’s out there, opposing counsel will usually find it. Just don’t’ say, share or do anything your grandmother wouldn’t be exceedingly proud of.
RULE #3: Live your life as if cameras are constantly following you around and taping what you’re doing at all times. Social media provides a direct window into your private world. Only post positive, truthful thoughts and photos, or unplug completely (highly recommended). And tell your friends and family not to tag you in their posts or photos.
RULE #4: Assume everything you do online will be found. If it can be found by opposing counsel, your soon-to-be-ex, or their friends and family, and will be used against you. This also applies to phone and text records, emails, dating sites, and more. Don’t rely on privacy settings. Privacy settings are subject to change and can be difficult to manage effectively. If someone wants to see what you are posting, they will, despite the illusion of a ‘privacy wall’.
*And don’t think you can erase your posts. If the WaybackMachine can locate any webpage from years ago, it can find a nasty post or photo from last week.
RULE #5: If you’re debating whether or not it’s a good idea to share, comment or like something on social media, just don’t do it. Really, just don’t.
RULE #6: Don’t post photos of your children: Wait until you and your ex agree on the approach.
RULE #7: Don’t underestimate the power of social media evidence in the courtroom. Judges and juries are intrigued by social media evidence and they consider it just as persuasive as other evidence – sometimes more so. A post may be worth a thousand words.
Although you may enjoy your social media interactions and appreciate your friends and family commiserating on your divorce, social media silence will be your best strategy before and during your divorce.
To protect your case, do NOT:
Divorce, separation, and child custody cases are wrenching experiences but sharing might harm your case. We advise our clients to go silent on social media before and during their divorce.
In these cases, silence is truly golden.
When you are looking for a family law attorney, why HLA? We are not the largest, nor do we have the flashiest billboards. What we do have is 35 years of representing family law clients throughout South Florida which earned us the reputation as Experienced Litigators with a Reputation for Results. Call us at 305-653-5555 or email us at [email protected] for YOUR FEEE CONSULTATION. Learn why over 85% of our cases come from referrals from our clients and even other attorneys.
If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of the first questions you’ll have is whether you need a divorce lawyer. It’s not a simple question and the answer will depend on your particular situation.
As a general rule, the less that you have to rely on the courts to solve your problems, the more smoothly the divorce will go. But do you need a divorce lawyer? The following information will help you make an informed decision.
If you’re able to work together with your spouse to resolve the legal issues, you may not need a lawyer’s help. These issues include:
Working together with your spouse through the divorce process can have a lot of advantages, including:
If you and your spouse can come to terms regarding the bigger issues in your divorce, you can generally ask the court to grant you a divorce in writing. This is what is typically called an uncontested divorce.
Depending upon the state you live in, you may not even have to appear in court to have your divorce finalized, if you can show that the divorce is uncontested and you have worked everything out. However, many states do require short court hearings when minor children are involved.