Messer & Messer Law Offices

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January 2019 Archives

Protect your rights to parenting time with your child

Of all the precious things you may lose throughout your lifetime, some are recoverable, and some are truly gone forever. Unfortunately, lost time with your child is not something you can get back once you lose it. For parents who share custody, parenting time is certainly precious and deserves protection.

Amazon CEO announces divorce

The divorce announcement of Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, and wife, MacKenzie Bezos, was made via Twitter on Wednesday, Jan. 2. And, it likely shocked many Florida residents as the couple are considered to be the richest in the world, with Jeff Bezos having an estimated worth of over $137 billion. MacKenzie Bezos was one of the first employees at Amazon. However, she and her husband met prior to the Amazon start-up at a hedge fund and technology development firm by the name of D.E. Shaw, where Jeff was her boss.

Mental health issues and child custody

In the state of Florida, spouses may only divorce on one of two grounds: either the marriage is irretrievably broken, or one spouse is mentally incapacitated. In the case of mental incapacitation, a spouse must have been deemed such for a period of at least three years. To be mentally incapacitated means that a person lacks the ability to make independent legal decisions. For this reason, a court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent and protect his or her best interests in a divorce.

Do step-parents have child custody rights after divorce?

More often than not, a step-parent and step-child relationship is completely severed when spouses decide to get a divorce. However, there are cases where the families have lived blended for a number of years, and the step-parent has played a significant role in a child's upbringing. In these situations, there can exist a close bond between the two, resulting in great emotional distress to a child when the parties split. So who gets to decide whether that relationship will continue?

Common mistakes in a high asset divorce

As stressful as the Florida divorce process is in general, a high-asset divorce can multiply the tension and stress substantially. When it comes to dividing assets such as businesses, high-value real estate, priceless artwork and offshore bank accounts, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether full-disclosure is at play.

Unique considerations in a late-in-life divorce

Most Florida couples do not expect to find themselves unfortunately wading through a divorce after 50 years of marriage. However, it is becoming more common, and presents its own set of unique challenges. Late-in-life divorce is also sometimes referred to as a "silver divorce" or "gray divorce." Often, these are the result of infidelity, regrets or financial issues that have taken place over a number of years.