child custody case

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce or child custody case is the development of a Parenting Plan that governs both parents’ relationship with their child and with each other, and how they will share time with their child.  Florida law is gender neutral, meaning there is no preference for or against the father or mother of the child, or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule in a child custody case. Thus, if you need assistance with a child custody case you should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for counsel. Many child custody attorneys in Tampa will offer a free consultation for these types of matters.

Best Interests of Child in Child Custody Case

In creating a Parenting Plan, it is important to know that Florida favors frequent and continuing contact between both parents and their child after they separate or divorce.  This includes encouraging parents to share the rights, responsibilities and joys of child custody.  In creating a Parenting Plan, the court’s primary concern is the “best interest of the child.”  The court will determine the best interests of the child by evaluating all of the following factors affecting the child and the circumstances of the family:

Factors a Judge Will Consider in a Florida child custody case

The factors considered by judges in a Florida child custody case are located at Florida Statutes section 61.13(2)(c)2 and include the following:

  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor a time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to their own needs or desires for child custody
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory home environment, and whether it is the child’s best interest to remain in that environment.
  • The moral fitness of the parents. When considering a parent’s moral fitness, the court will focus on whether the parent’s conduct has had or is reasonably likely to have a direct adverse impact on the child.  The mere possibility of an adverse impact is not enough., see child custody case McKinnon v. Staats.
  • The mental and physical health of the parents.
  • The home, school, and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court believes the child is reasonably able to express a preference. A child’s preference, however, cannot be the sole factor for the court to determine a parenting plan.  See Florida child custody case, Garvey v. Garvey.
  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to be informed of the child’s circumstances, including the child’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.
  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to communicate with the other parent and keep them informed of issues and activities regarding the child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues regarding child custody.
  • Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
  • The particular parenting tasks and division of parental responsibilities customarily performed by each parent before and during the court case, including the extent to which persons other than the parents have exercised parental responsibilities.
  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to protect the child from the ongoing court case, including not discussing the case with the child, not sharing information related to the case with the child, and not saying bad things about the other parent to the child.
  • Any other factor that is relevant to the child custody case and best interests of the child.

Child Custody Law Firm

Your Tampa child custody attorney should discuss each of these factors with you in detail so that he or she can present the court with evidence regarding those factors that may apply to your case.  If you would like more information, please contact us to schedule a consultation with a child custody lawyer in Tampa. The Tampa child custody attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. know what judges consider when determining the best interest of the child and use their knowledge of the law and litigation skills to aggressively represent our clients. To speak with a Tampa child custody lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763, we are available 24/7 to answer your calls.

rehabilitative alimony in Florida

When determining if rehabilitative alimony in Florida divorce cases, is appropriate a judge will apply the “need and ability to pay” test.  See Guiterrez v. Guiterrez. First, the party seeking rehabilitative alimony will have to establish there is a need for rehabilitative alimony. See Florida Statute 61.08. Under Florida divorce law, “need” does not mean basic living expenses such as, rent, food, and clothing. Instead, the term “need” refers to the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. See Griffin v. Griffin. The standard of living is based primarily on expenditures, not income. However, if a couple lives beyond their financial means, only the expenditures that could have been funded from the income will be included in the standard of living estimation.

Types of Alimony in Florida

Florida family law allows for many different types of alimony, which can vary in duration, amount, and purpose. Rehabilitative alimony in Florida divorce cases is just one type of alimony that may be available. Florida courts have a lot of discretion in awarding alimony and if so, how much. The divorce law firm in Tampa you retain can make a significant impact on the type and amount of alimony that is awarded. Therefore, it is important that you have a trusted Tampa divorce lawyer that is experienced in Florida alimony litigation at your side.

Rehabilitative Alimony in Florida

Rehabilitative alimony in Florida is financial support intended to provide a former spouse with the opportunity to establish the capacity for self-support, proportionate to the standard of living during the marriage. See Florida Statute 61.08. The length of the marriage will play a factor in whether or not rehabilitative alimony is appropriate, but it is not dispositive. Instead, the focus should be on the impact the marriage had on the earning potential of the spouse seeking alimony. For instance, if the party seeking alimony after a 5 year marriage abandoned their career to take care of the couple’s children rehabilitative alimony may be appropriate.

The length of the marriage will play a factor in rehabilitative alimony cases but it is not the most significant factor, instead the impact on the spouse’s career will likely be the driving force. Conversely, if a party is seeking rehabilitative alimony after a 10 year marriage but cannot provide evidence that the marriage hindered their earning capacity rehabilitative alimony should not be awarded.

Rehabilitative alimony in Florida should only be awarded to spouses who truly need it, if there was no decline in earning potential due to the marriage it should not be awarded in the divorce. See Ritter v. Kiezkowski. Further, if the spouse cannot show that the rehabilitative alimony will permit economic self-sufficiency it should not be granted. The party seeking rehabilitative alimony must provide a definite, detailed rehabilitation plan. See Cogen v. Cogen. Further, the plan must be feasible and not tentative.

Rehabilitative Alimony Law Firm

A skilled rehabilitative alimony in Florida law firm can make a big impact in a divorce litigation. If you are contemplating filing for divorce or your spouse has already filed for divorce, call us today to speak with a Tamp divorce attorney at our firm. The divorce attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against alimony. With years of experience in family law litigation, we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and stand firm for what is fair. If you would like to speak with a Tampa divorce lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free consultation.

high asset divorce in Florida

Divorce can be a stressful and frightening time, it is the end of a marriage. There is a lot at stake in the outcome. This is especially true for a high asset divorce in Florida. There are unique challenges to a divorce when the parties involved have a substantial amount of assets and/ or high salary. In cases such as these, it is important to hire an attorney who knows the law and can understand the complex financial investments you may have. Additionally, you will want an attorney who has a good reputation with expert witnesses that can be used in your case, such as forensic accountants, auditors, appraisers, social investigators, and guardian ad litems. If you need assistance with a divorce matter contact us to speak with a high asset divorce attorney in Tampa.

Equitable Distribution for High Asset Divorce in Florida

Under Florida divorce law, when a couple gets a divorce the law will require an “equitable distribution” of the martial assets and liabilities. See Florida divorce law 61.075. The court will divide the marital assets and liabilities 50/50 between the couple unless there are factors that would make an equal split inequitable.

The first step in reviewing a case to determine the distribution of assets is to classify each asset and debt as either marital or separate property. Only marital property/ debt is subject to equitable distribution by a judge; separate property will remain the property of the spouse who owns it. Normally, this is a straightforward process; however, it can be very complex in a high asset divorce in Florida. Therefore, it is crucial to hire a divorce  attorney in Tampa who is well versed in how a high asset divorce in Florida works and can aggressively represent your interests.

Alimony in a High Asset Divorce in Florida

Alimony, which is also frequently referred to as maintenance or spousal support is payment from one ex-spouse to the other. The fundamental principal guiding an award of alimony is to alleviate the disparity in financial resources of the two parties. However, disparity in financial resources alone is not enough to justify an award for alimony. See Segall v. Segall. Instead, Florida family law courts look at one spouse’s ability to pay alimony vs the other spouse’s need for alimony. See Canakaris v. Canakaris. There is no standard formula to calculate alimony for a high asset divorce in Florida. The high asset divorce attorney you hire can make a big difference on whether or not alimony is awarded.

Child Custody in a High Asset Divorce in Florida

In a divorce case where the couple shares minor children the law will require the parents to submit a parenting plan for court approval. The parenting plan outlines how the parents will share the  responsibilities and decision-making authority for the children. The parenting plan, at a minimum, must describe how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child. It will also specify the time children will spend with each parent, designate who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, and other activities. It will also include the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.

If the two parents are unable to agree on the terms of the parenting plan the judge will step in and decide the terms for them. In cases such as these, it is vital to hire an attorney that can aggressively represent your interests. It is very difficult to change a parenting plan after it has been issued by a judge. You want to make sure you are happy with the parenting plan, as you may not be able to modify it in the future.

High Asset Divorce Law Firm in Tampa

A skilled divorce lawyer can make a big difference in a high asset divorce case. If you are contemplating filing for divorce or are already engaged in litigation call us to today to speak with a high asset divorce lawyer in Tampa. We have a lot of experience with complex financial investments and have a good rapport with many forensic accountants, auditors, appraisers, social investigators, and guardian ad litems. If you would like to speak with a divorce lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763. We are available to answer your call 24/7.

alimony garnishment

Unfortunately, without a way to enforce it, judgements can sometimes feel like they are nothing more than a piece of paper (which, essentially, they are).  However, Florida alimony law does provide for a variety of ways to enforce judgements, including garnishment (which is a fancy way of saying the Court directs money (usually employment wages) to go directly to a third party rather than their original recipient (in this case, from the ex-spouse ordered to pay alimony to the ex-spouse who is entitled to it).  According to Florida Alimony Law §61.12, garnishment can be utilized to enforce marital support obligations including both alimony and child support. The process of obtaining the alimony garnishment can be complex; however, a divorce attorney in Tampa can help. If you are not receiving the alimony you are owed, contact a divorce lawyer in your area for assistance.

Florida Alimony Garnishments

A lot of myths circulate about garnishments for alimony orders.  Many people hear that only child support payments can be garnished from wages, but that is not the case.  While it is true that a different amount of disposable income can be garnished for child support and that income withholding orders are automatically a part of child support orders since 1988, that does not mean that garnishment cannot be a valuable tool for alimony payment enforcement as well. And it is not only wages:  for example, in Florida alimony garnishment case, City of Miami v. Spurrier, the court ruled that pensions could also be garnished for support, even when a statute was drafted in an attempt to prohibit such garnishments.  Further, spendthrift trusts, which are specifically designed to protect the trustee’s assets from creditors, can be garnished to satisfy alimony payments.  See Florida alimony garnishment case,  Gilbert v. Gilbert.

Exceptions to Florida Alimony Garnishment

Many people who are not experienced divorce lawyers may think that there is a “loophole” which allows anyone to get out of a garnishment order. It is true that there is a “Head of Household” defense to garnishment under Florida Statute §222.11, and about twenty years ago it was used to ensure that if a previous spouse who was ordered to pay alimony had dependents, the garnishment could be prevented.  However, the exception was revised to provide for alimony (as well as child-support and other dissolution-related judgments) regardless of head-of-household status some time ago.

Tampa Divorce Law Firm

Don’t rely on what happened when your friend, brother or sister attempted to enforce a provision for alimony.  Talk to an experienced divorce attorney in Tampa to help you determine what will work best in your individual circumstance. The divorce attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against a Florida alimony garnishment. Our divorce lawyers in Tampa know what factors are important to Florida family law judges and aggressively fight for our client’s rights. If you would like to speak with a divorce lawyer in Tampa call us today at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free consultation.

Learn more about Florida Rehabilitative AlimonyThe amount and duration of a Florida rehabilitative alimony award is determined on a case by case basis. Under Florida divorce law, the judge will first determine if one spouse has a need for rehabilitative alimony and if the other spouse is able to pay the alimony. If both of those factors are present the a Florida family law judge will then the court consider the factors in outlined Florida Statute 61.08. It is important to note, the alimony law also states that all other relevant factors can be considered when determining the amount and duration of the alimony award; therefore, the list provided is not the end of the story. If you need assistance with either receiving or preventing alimony contact a divorce lawyer for assistance. A divorce attorney in Tampa should be able to provide advice specific to your case and help develop a game plan to accomplish your goals.

What exactly is Florida Rehabilitative Alimony?

Florida Rehabilitative alimony is one of the many types of alimony that can be awarded in a divorce. Rehabilitative alimony is intended to provide financial support to a spouse until they are able to support themselves after a divorce.  Rehabilitative alimony must have a specific plan in place that will allow the party receiving the alimony to be able to support themselves on their own once the plan has been successfully completed. See Florida alimony case Hill v. Hooten. Often, rehabilitative alimony plans will provide for the party to attend college or vocational training to increase the chances of employment and/ or higher earning potential. A Florida family law judge must approve of the plan before the award of alimony can be granted.

The rehabilitative alimony plan can be based on the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or the acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials. The end goal for the rehabilitative plan should be an increase in knowledge or skills, so that the party can sustain themselves and their children if necessary.

Modifying Florida Rehabilitative Alimony

In any award of alimony, the court may grant periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both. Florida rehabilitative alimony may be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances, upon noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or once the rehabilitative plan is completed. What is considered a “substantial change in circumstances” is determined based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case. For an example of a qualifying substantial change in circumstances see Antepenko v. Antepenko.

It is important to remember, that alimony and child support are different. Child support payments are to provide financial support for the necessities of the children. On the other hand, alimony is intended to provide the receiving spouse with the financial means to maintain the standard of living that he or she was accustomed to during the marriage.

Tampa Divorce and Alimony Law Firm

If you are contemplating filing for divorce or your spouse has already filed for divorce, call us today to speak with a Tampa divorce attorney at our firm. Our divorce lawyers in Tampa are skilled litigators with experience in all types of divorce and alimony matters. Our years of experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s specific needs. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to speak with a divorce lawyer or to schedule a free initial consultation with a divorce attorney in Tampa.