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Broward County Family Law Blog

What you need to know about pro-se mediation

When you and your spouse have decided that you want to part ways, it’s an emotionally overwhelming time. When there are children involved, it feels like even more lives are being torn apart. While you may want to go your separate ways, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are looking for a battle. It’s especially important to you, for the sake of your children, that you and your soon-to-be ex can at least present a united front and remain civil. But isn’t divorce acrimonious by nature?

It doesn’t have to be. There are ways to move on with your life in a manner that fosters communication and cooperation. Perhaps more imporantly, your children will see that although life is changing, their parents can still get along and work together productively. Pro-se mediation is one of those options. Essentially, it gives you the opportunity to forego hiring opposing lawyers by working with a neutral mediator. Your mediatior can help you find amicable resolutions. But what are some other benefits of pro-se mediation?

10 things about Family Law, Court and Judges for clients:

1. Every Family Law Courtroom is different. It is important to know how things work in your particular Courtroom. For example, some counties tend to be more formal than others. Also, each county has its own local rules.

Hooker v. Hooker and Prenuptial Agreements in Florida

Prenuptial Agreements in Florida recently changed when the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the decision of a lower court that has attorneys baffled and scrambling to modify their standard pre-nuptial agreement language. In the case of Hooker v Hooker, the parties were married and prior to marrying they drafted and executed a pre-nup. Neither party says that the prenup was invalid for any reason - it was a good and proper pre-nup. It said that each would retain their own premarital property as non-marital assets including appreciation on those properties. There existed 2 properties purchased by the Husband. After a 23 year marriage while divorcing the Wife argued that both properties were marital because the Husband had intended them to be gift made to her as his Wife during the marriage. One of them the couple lived in together as a family in FL and it was deeded in Trust for the Husband. The other was titled in Husband's name alone and the family used it as a summer home in NY. The Husband paid for this home out of his separate money and upkeep of the property as well. The court found that despite titles and despite the pre-nup the family treated the properties as marital and therefore they were marital. The argument also included allegations that husband displayed the intent to gift the properties to the Wife druing the marriage.

Will you have to pay alimony when you get divorced?

Will I owe alimony? This is a question on the mind of many people who are considering making the decision to move forward with a divorce. Today, I had a call from a man who has been married for 20 years in a very unhappy marriage. Can he afford a divorce? That was his question. My answer was, the decision to get divorced or not, is not really a financial question.

Step Parent Adoptions in Florida

Our firm handles many step-parent adoptions each year. There are a surprising number of circumstances which make a Step-Parent Adoption the right decision for your family. Most of the time a step parent adoption occurs between the Step-Father of the child and the child, but not always, we do handle step-mother adoptions too. When a step-parent has played a significant role in a child's life and the other parent has had limited or no involvement then a step-parent adoption may be the right choice for you. Depending upon the legal relationship the other parent has with the child, they may need to be significantly involved in the process or not involved at all. Having the other parent's consent is helpful and will certainly make for an easier, quicker and cheaper process. One reason a parent my chose to consent to the Adoption is child support, if their involvement with the child is limited already allowing a step-parent to adopt the child will terminate their child support obligation. There are other reasons as well, mostly centered around the well-being of the child. While consent makes things easier, it is not required in many circumstances. If the other parent has been largely absent from the child's life then it is possible to terminate their rights and have a step parent adopt through a Court Order without the parent's consent. Consulting with an experienced attorney is critical in evaluating your adoption options. We are happy chat for free on a free phone consultation.

Name Changes in Florida

Whether you are looking to change your own name or your child's name, unless you are getting married or divorced, you are going to need to file Petition for a Name Change in Florida. While the forms are not overly difficult to find or to fill out, there are several of them and it is imperative that they be completed correctly. The complete process of changing your name from drafting the forms, to filing them, to background checks, setting hearings and drafting Final Judgement and getting certified copies can be more complicated than it appears. We are frequently hired by those who attempted a DIY name change to step in an assist in completing the process.

Child Support after a reduction in income or unemployment

If you lose your job in Florida and there is a child support order in place ordering you to pay child support, you MUST file for a modification of child support. If you do not file for a modification you will likely be held in contempt of Court for failure to pay and you will still owe the FULL amount due even if you were unemployed or earning less during that time. Child support is largely based on the income of the 2 parents, see our previous article for more information. So, by way of example, let's say you, as the Father are paying $800 / month in child support and that figure was Ordered by a Court at a time that you were earning $4000 / month. In November you lose your job - involuntarily, for now fault of your own.

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6950 Cypress Rd.
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Plantation, FL 33317

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