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Saint Lucie County Legal Issues Blog

Protect your parental rights during custody disputes

Not long ago, this Florida family law blog discussed the critical importance of a parent maintaining legal custody over their child. Legal custody is the form of custody that allows a parent to have an active voice in the important decision-making processes that occur and impact how their children are raised. A parent who lacks legal custody of their child may be unable to prevent their child from being subjected to medical, educational or religious decisions that as a parent they do not believe serve their child's interests.

Legal custody is only one form of child custody that Florida courts, assign, however. Physical custody is the form of custody that grants to a parent the legal right to maintain a household for their child. A parent who does not have physical custody of their child may have visitation with their child but generally will not have their child living with them.

Legal custody makes a parent's voice count

Each day Florida parents work hard to ensure that their children's needs are met. They pay their bills so that their kids have roofs over their heads and lights that turn on when they flip their switches. They earn money so that they can put food on their tables and clothes on their children's backs. They save and plan so that they can provide their children with opportunities for entertainment and involvement through extracurricular activities.

A lot of parenting revolves around physically providing for kids and physically caring for their needs. When parents do not maintain their relationships with their kids' other parent, then these matters are often managed through the creation of parenting plans on physical custody. However, there are other parental duties that parents must continue even after the relationships with their exes end.

Can the state suspend my license if I don't pay child support?

When a Florida court orders a parent to pay financial support for the benefit of their child, that order creates a legally enforceable obligation on the part of the parent. If that parent does not meet the terms set forth in the child support agreement or order, they can be subject to certain enforcement procedures that are intended to compel them to make payments. One of those enforcement procedures is the suspension of the parent's driver's license.

A parent may first receive a notice from the Florida Department of Revenue that asks the parent to meet with a representative to work out a repayment plan. With that notice, the parent may receive written notice that their driver's license and vehicle registration may be suspended if nonpayment continues.

Psychologist notes traits that suggest likelihood of divorce

If you have not experienced divorce for yourself, then you likely know someone who has gone through the process to legally end their relationship with their spouse. Couples throughout Florida decide to break up for a number of reasons, and those reasons can range across a vast spectrum of topics.

However, an American psychology professor has examined literature on divorce causes and has come up with some common traits that suggest a couple may be headed for divorce.

Sports concussions can cause lasting injuries

There has been an increased media focus on sports-related concussions, making many people reconsider their views on youth sports. If you are the parent of children who play contact sports at the junior high or high school level, you may have some concerns about their risks for suffering concussions.

Concussion rates are alarming

Enforcement is an important part of having child support paid

The Florida Department of Revenue plays a big role in ensuring that child support obligations are fulfilled pursuant to their specific terms. If a paying parent fails to comply with the terms of their support obligation, they may be subjected to an array of enforcement methods by the state agency. This post will discuss only a few of the methods the Florida Department of Revenue may employ to see that children receive the financial assistance they need from their noncustodial parents.

The failure to pay one's child support obligation may first be met with a straightforward late payment notice. The notice is intended to provide the parent with notice of their delinquency. In some cases, a parent may be able to quickly remedy the problem and avoid further enforcement techniques.

Is my spouse entitled to half of my property if we divorce?

It is a common misconception that when two people end a marriage, the property that they own will always be evenly divided and distributed to the individuals following their divorce. While in some states, the concept of community property and equal ownership are the law, this is not the case in Florida. Rather than making an exact split down the middle of a couple's shared property, a Florida court will examine a number of factors before determining how the parties' property should be handled.

First, property must be classified as either marital or separate. While marital property is property that both partners own together, separate property is owned exclusively by one of the marital partners. Separate property owned during a marriage remains the separate property of the owner after their marriage has ended.

What types of alimony are available in Florida?

Not every high asset marriage ends with the parties emerging with equal shares in their apparently vast wealth. Depending upon the presence of prenuptial agreements, the manner in which assets were held or used during the marriage and other factors a Florida resident who lived a wealthy married life may find that their financial power diminishes significantly after their relationship is over.

When one party to a marriage may be financially disadvantaged after their divorce is finalized, it is possible for a Florida court to grant that individual alimony. Alimony is the payment of money from one former partner to the other for the benefit of supporting the recipient. Under Florida law, alimony may take on many forms, and this post will touch briefly on several of those arrangements.

Designer, producer head for high asset divorce

She is a designer for an international fashion house. He is the producer of some of modern history's greatest films. Floridians may know the names Georgina Chapman and Harvey Weinstein for their professional accomplishments, but now the pair is in the news because Chapman has decided to end their nearly decade-long marriage.

The Chapman-Weinstein divorce comes on the heels of numerous accusations against Weinstein for sexually harassing and assaulting women over the last several decades. The pair shares two children and Weinstein is the parent to three adult children from a prior marriage. Both Chapman and Weinstein have amassed considerable wealth through their careers and as they begin dividing their lives several factors will influence how their lives will unfold in the wake of their split.

Incarceration may not end child support obligation

When a parent does not have physical custody of their child, they are usually ordered to pay support for the benefit of the youth. In Florida, child support may be used for everyday expenses to maintain a child's livelihood as well as for extracurricular expenses, vacations and other enjoyments. A parent who must pay child support has options for having their child support obligation modified, though incarceration is generally not an acceptable basis on which to have a child support order changed.

A parent who is ordered to pay child support but who is in prison will not usually pay child support while they are incarcerated. The payments that they are responsible for will accrue, and the parent may have to make those payments once they are free.