Monthly Archives: December 2012

5 Reasons to Consider Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce is a non-adversarial process where people agree to negotiate in good faith and work together to achieve mutual settlement outside the courts. A family facing divorce can agree to work with a team of professionals to meet the legal, financial, and emotional needs of everyone – husband, wife, and children – rather than turn your most intimate matters over to a court to decide for you . When should you consider a collaborative divorce instead of a traditional litigated divorce?

  1. When you want control over the outcome, and you are willing to participate in finding a solution that works for the whole family – for parenting plans, child support, alimony, equitable distribution of your assets, and more;
  2. When you either need or want a continuing relationship – because of shared children, shared businesses, or other shared family issues;
  3. When resources matter, and you are concerned about how much divorce will cost, how long it will take, and how much time and energy you will use – not to mention the stress and lost opportunities while you deal with the courts;
  4. When privacy matters;
  5. When you can’t get what you need in a court.

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Can Alimony End Early or Be Reduced?

In Florida, there are two types of support decisions that may happen in a divorce – alimony and child support. For the paying spouse, alimony is often a dirty word. Alimony may be awarded when one person has a need for the support and the other party has the ability to pay.

Florida law allows for different types of alimony depending on the need. These may include:

  • Periodic permanent
  • Lump sum
  • Bridge the gap
  • Rehabilitative
  • Durational alimony

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Best Interest of the Child- What Does it Mean and Who Decides?

When a family with children faces divorce, “Best Interest of the Child” becomes an important term. Where does this come up and what does it mean? “Best Interest” is considered any time child support, time sharing, parental responsibility, or relocation are at issue.

The reality is that parents, whether married or divorced, often disagree about a lot of things when it comes to their children. But during or after a divorce, communications often break down and children get caught in the middle. If parents cannot agree on what’s best for their children a court has to decide for them. Continue reading

Can I Seek Support From My Partner Even Though We Were Never Married?

The quick and easy answer is no.  Florida does not recognize common law marriage or de facto marriage.  Both of these are terms used in some states to describe a marriage that results from a man and a woman who live together and purport themselves to society as being married.  A common law marriage, specifically, results from a couple that has cohabitated as a married couple for the statutory period.  However, common law marriage has not been recognized in Florida since 1968.  A de facto marriage has been described as a “domestic partnership outside of marriage.”  The only mention of a de facto marriage in the Florida Statutes is in 61.14(1)(b)(3) and states that Florida “does not recognize a de factor marriage.” Continue reading

What Happens When A Parent Dies Before Their Child Is Born?

What happens if a child is conceived, and then a parent dies? Can the child legally inherit from the deceased parent?

In Florida, a child posthumously born to a deceased parent may be able inherit from that parent, depending on when that child was conceived.  While this is a tragic topic, children still need to be provided for after the loss of a parent and the law does recognize that need.  There has been a gap between science and the law, but in recent years the Florida legislature as well as the Supreme Court has made an effort to address the particular nuances of government benefits and inheritance of this particular class of children. Continue reading