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Miami Divorce Law Blog

How do Florida courts protect spouses from domestic violence?

Being a victim of violence is never pleasant, but it is even worse when the abuser is also your spouse. Many victims of domestic violence often fear retribution for reporting attacks against them or their children. Fortunately, the state of Florida considers domestic violence a serious issue and provides powerful legal protections that are intended to separate victims from their abusers.

An injunction for protection against domestic violence is essentially a court order that restrains one spouse from having contact with their victims. If you are currently being victimized, Florida statutes can grant you temporary custody of your children, child support and can even force your abuser to leave your marital residence. Persons named in the injunction can actually be arrested by police on the spot if they fail to comply with the order.

High-asset property division appeal related to business value

Property division is often one of the most stressful and contentious parts of a divorce. Even when Florida couples are striving for a civil split, protecting individual interests becomes a bigger desire -- often even a survival mechanism. Survival may not be at the heart of a property division battle in a billion-dollar case making national news, but questions about the value of the husband's business are.

According to reports, the couple shared a marital estate worth over $18 billion, but following an order that dissolved the marriage, the husband paid the wife $975 million as her share of the assets. The wife reportedly refused the check at first, because she felt she was entitled to a larger balance of the marital estate.

Experienced help with your Florida military divorce

Nothing is ever easy when a couple decides to end their marriage. However, some hardships brought about by divorce are felt more keenly by those serving in the military. For example, a military divorce may take longer than average if one spouse is on active duty or serving in a permanent overseas station. Additionally, the nature of the military means that many divorced spouses who share children together may also face difficulties related to out-of-state relocation.

The good news is that our law firm is knowledgeable about the procedural processes and other factors that may affect your military divorce. For example, The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act is a federal statute that addresses issues related to child support, spousal support and military retirement pay and pension. One of the key provisions of this statute is that the USFSPA allows states like Florida the ability to consider the retirement pay of the military member as property rather than income.

What 5 ways are used to establish paternity in Florida?

Child custody or support cases could involve the need for establishing paternity, and there are many other reasons you might want to prove someone is the father of your child or children. The state of Florida provides a number of ways for establishing legal paternity, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Most people think of genetic testing when they think of proving paternity, and that is an option in the state of Florida. Genetic testing involves comparing cells from the father and the child to determine if there is a DNA match. The state can conduct such tests and will mail results to the mother and alleged father. Once DNA test results confirm paternity, legal paternity can be established via an Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing.

Domestic violence allgations plague Zimmerman

Since his acquittal for murder, George Zimmerman has been plagued by allegations and criminal charges. The man has faced several charges of domestic violence over the past few years, and reports are that he was arrested on Jan. 9 regarding domestic violence suspicions.

Reportedly, an incident occurred that allegedly involved Zimmerman throwing a wine bottle at a woman identified as his girlfriend. Zimmerman's attorney said that the incident occurred a few days before the arrest, and that he did not believe the couple had been together since that incident.

Florida’s premarital agreement law and blended families

In past generations, it was common for married couples to remain together for their entire lives. Today, many people experience divorce and remarriage to other people all the time. In fact, a report conducted by the Pew Research Center found that four out of 10 American adults have at least one step-relative. A step-relative is someone who is defined as either a stepparent, stepchild or a step sibling. The latter is also commonly referred to as a half-brother or half-sister.

While it is true that many of these step-relative relationships function normally, the Pew research also shows that people often demonstrate more loyalty and allegiance towards their biological relatives than they do for their step-relatives.

Understanding how marital estates are divided in Florida divorces

Decisions regarding the division of property and assets are often some of the most hotly contested issues during Florida divorces. Determining which spouse should receive certain items can be especially tricky when there are high assets at stake. A family-owned business, an extensive stock portfolio or perhaps a vacation home are some examples of items that can form battle lines between divorcing spouses. This is particularly true for couples who are married without first creating a prenuptial agreement.

Under current Florida law, family courts are required to equitably divide a couple's marital estate between both spouses. The important thing to know is that an equitable division is not the same thing as an equal split down the middle. In other words, a court has the discretion to divvy up marital property based on the concept of fairness to both spouses.

Who should consider a premarital agreement?

In reality, any couple can enter into a premarital agreement and one or both sides may benefit from the contract. While a major reason many Florida couples enter into such agreements is financial, you could also use a premarital agreement to outline expectations such as care for children of previous marriages or where the couple will settle in retirement years.

Bankrate provides a number of situations and conditions that might make prenuptial agreements especially helpful to one or more people in a marriage. Individuals who enter a marriage already owning assets such as retirement funds, stocks or real estate can use prenuptial agreements to protect ownership of those assets. The same is true for business owners or those expecting an inheritance.

Divorce rates in Florida: 1990 to 2009

Florida residents have likely heard anecdotal information about the rate of divorce throughout the country. Most people say that divorce rates are rising, but statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau that compare divorce rates from 1990 and 2009 seem to indicate otherwise.

According to the numbers, divorce rates for the country in 1990 were 4.7 per 1,000 people; in 2009, that rate was 3.4 per 1,000. Divorce rates in Florida saw a similar drop over the 20 year period. The rate in 1990 was 6.3 per 1,000; in 2009, it was 4.2 per 1,000.

Dealing with changing parental roles after your Florida divorce

For most couples with children, a divorce only signals the end of the marriage, not the end of their parental responsibilities. All Florida divorces involving children will consider factors between the parents based on the children's best interests. This includes child custody arrangements, alimony and child support payments.

Generally speaking, Florida has recognized that the involvement of both parents in the lives of their children are important to the children's development. To that end, Florida family law courts sometimes take extraordinary steps to see that both parents share in some form of joint custody of their children.

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