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Saint Lucie County Legal Issues Blog

Can I move with my child if I have custody?

It is no surprise to readers of this Florida family law blog that people in the United States move with frequency. While it is true that some people will stay in the same community for their entire lives, others may move across the country for better jobs, relationships and other personal reasons. Relocation is not unusual, but it can introduce challenges into the lives of families that must work around custody orders and agreements.

Consider, for example, a mother who has shared physical custody of her child. She wishes to leave Florida for another state due to a change in her job, and she desires to take the child with her. Without express consent of the child's father, who also presumably has custody of the child, the mother may not simply pack up and move with the child to her desired location.

Who is responsible for debts during a divorce?

During a marriage, much of what is acquired is considered the joint property of the spouses. Throughout Florida, married couples acquire artwork, residences, cars, jewelry, business assets and a host of other tangible and intangible items that collectively make up their combined wealth. In some cases, couples may also acquire a different kind of financial obligation that they must manage: debt.

Debt accrued during a marriage can be individual or joint. It all depends upon how it was taken on. For example, a debt that is accrued on a credit card shared by both partners to a marriage will generally be considered a debt owned by both of the partners. This is true even if one of the partners did more spending on the credit device than the other.

How child support will factor into a tax obligation

Every year in mid-April, Florida residents scramble to submit their state and federal tax returns before the due date. While some may happily await sizable refunds, others may have to come up with significant money to pay off their taxes due. For those who pay and receive child support, the question of how to factor in that money may be an uncertainty in their preparations.

The short answer to this question is that child support is considered neither income to the parent who receives it on behalf of their child nor a write-off for the parent who pays it. A parent who pays child support must include the total that they paid as income on their tax returns, and the parent who received it does not have to account for it on their documentation.

How does joint legal custody work?

One of the greatest blessings that a Florida resident can experience in life is becoming a parent. Bringing a new life into the world and adopting children are transformative experiences.

However, when the relationship between the parents end, there can be many questions that arise regarding the care and support oftheir children. While most readers of this family law blog may be familiar with the concept of physical custody, not all readers may know what it means to have legal custody of a child. Put simply, legal custody of a child gives a parent the right to be involved in decision-making about how a child is raised.

Popular actors end 8-year marriage in separation

Even celebrities with the most apparently charmed existences can hit rough patches in their personal lives.

As a case in point, actors Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who met on the set of a movie and eventually married, recently announced that they have chosen to separate. The celebrities are parents to a 4-year-old daughter and are bringing to an end an 8-year-long union.

Is my inheritance considered marital property?

It is the hope of many Floridians that they will be able to leave an inheritance for their children and other loved ones. An inheritance can be a bequest of property from a deceased party's estate to another. Often in the case the case of married couples, inheritances are granted to one of the parties to the relationship. Even so, how an inheritance is structured and how it is used once it has been distributed can have significant bearing on whether it will be considered separate or marital property during a divorce.

If a person receives an inheritance prior to their marriage and maintains the property separately throughout their relationship, then it will likely retain the character of separate property at the time of divorce. If it is mixed or comingled with marital assets, though, it may be considered marital property.

It's never too early to start estate planning

Like many people, you probably think that estate planning is something you should do later in life or after you have started a family. However, even if you are in your early twenties, it is not too soon to start planning for the future. Young adults with only a few thousand dollars in their savings accounts can still benefit from having proper estate plans in order to make things much easier for their parents or other loved ones if they should die or become incapacitated.

Estate planning is not only for the wealthy or the elderly. It is a very valuable tool for people of any age and any stage of life. Here are two things to think about when starting the estate planning process.

Child's special needs should be factored into support award

Parents want their children to live fulfilling, successful lives. All across Florida, moms and dad work hard to make sure that their kids are doing their best in school, having fun in extracurricular activities, and receiving necessary medical care to protect their health.

When a child's parents divorce and work out custody and support matters, they often strive to achieve the same quality of life for their child that the child experienced before the parents' parting.

Do parents have to pay for their children's college costs?

Florida parents are generally obligated to provide financial support for their children up until the point the children reach adulthood or achieve a life event such as marriage or military enlistment that demonstrates their independence. Before then, parents are tasked with providing their kids with shelter, food, clothing and many other necessities to ensure that their needs are met.

However, not all parents choose to continue to support their kids once the kids become adults. For example, parents may decide to provide their children with financial backing until such time as they graduate from high school and turn eighteen years of age. After that point, parents may elect to allow their kids to find their own way in life.

Courts can intervene when parents are split on religion for kids

Many Florida families count themselves as members of different religions. While some may regularly attend services to celebrate their faiths, others may explore religious teachings on their own. Some families recognize two religious backgrounds when the parents of the families are each of different faiths.

Religion is one of those topics that individuals feel passionately about, whether they are in favor of one particular faith or choose not to subscribe to any church or house of worship. And individuals in this country have the right to follow whatever religious inclinations that they prefer. However, parents have the authority to expose their kids to different religious backgrounds as they see fit, and this can become an issue during and after a divorce when the parents do not agree on if or how their kids should be raised in a religion.