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Miami Divorce Law Blog

Marijuana use reduces risk of domestic violence, rates still high

Past research into couples' relationships has shown that substance abuse issues often increase the risk of domestic violence in the home. However, fresh-off-the-presses research shows that marijuana bucks this trend; couples who light up tend to actually experience lower rates of domestic violence. The study, which used mail-in surveys over a nine-year span, determined that marijuana use was a determining factor in lowering rates of intimate partner violence.

Experts say they are still not entirely sure why marijuana users returned lower rates of domestic violence. Fewer incidents of IPV, including hitting, choking, slapping and beating occurred each year among couples who used marijuana. That protective effect was multiplied for those couples who both tended to frequently use marijuana.

How can I order a Florida divorce certificate?

For individuals who were divorced in the state of Florida, there may be a future need to seek documentation of said divorce. Most individuals do receive copies of documents such as judgments, which prove the divorce, but documents can be lost and destroyed. One way to get documentation of a divorce that might be needed when dealing with creditors or future legal matters is to order a copy of a divorce certificate from the Florida Department of Health.

The Florida Department of Health receives a Report of Dissolution of Marriage from the Clerks of Court within 60 days of a divorce. According to the department, it has records regarding divorce dating as far back as June 6, 1927. The longevity of the department's records also makes it a good resource for families who need divorce records due to estate or probate matters.

Property division in Florida can be complex

Does the "what's mine is yours" mindset mean marital property is divided equally among spouses during divorce? Outside of courts, individuals can make agreements to divide property mostly as they see fit as long as they can come to a legally binding agreement. If the couple cannot agree and the property division issue goes before a Florida court, the court attempts to ensure that the division is "equitable."

There are considerations written into Florida law that allow courts to make a decision for equitable but not necessarily equal distribution of marital assets. Courts will consider the financial circumstances of the marriage and both parties, including whether either individual gave up career or education opportunities in support of the marriage or whether one individual contributed to the advancement of the others education or career.

Settings for child support negotiations depend on parents' needs

Child support negotiations are not always easy, but they are necessary to protect the best interests of the child by providing adequate financial resources. Florida parents have a variety of legal options when it comes to deciding their own child support plans. Parents can use out-of-court dispute resolution processes, or they can use informal negotiation to reach a conclusion. If the parents are unable to reach a decision through these alternative methods, a court order may be required.

Alternative dispute resolution is one of the most popular ways of settling a child support dispute. Parents can use ADR processes such as collaborative law and mediation to reach an agreement about child support payments. The parents in these cases have an active role in the resolution of child support disputes. This is in sharp contrast to a courtroom proceeding, in which parents' child support responsibilities are dictated to them by a judge. Mediation and collaborative law are the preferred methods for making these decisions; the more structured arbitration option is rarely pursued.

Child custody issues don't have to keep you from moving

In the land of the free, divorced parents or others who are living under custody arrangements may not feel free to roam. The truth is, parents in Florida who share child custody arrangements can't just decide to relocate themselves and the child without agreement of the other party or court permission. In fact, under the law, you can't move more than 50 miles away from your current residence with a minor child without a written agreement or approval from a judge.

For many parents, the statutes might seem like common sense measures that are unlikely to cause a problem. Why, some parents might say, would I want to move my minor child away from her support system and school district? But as soon as a new job opportunity or the appeal of a new city comes calling, parents begin to understand. For anyone in this situation, it's important to know your rights.

What can you include in a premarital agreement?

Many Florida residents are aware that prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous anymore. In fact, business owners and those with significant family holdings may also benefit from premarital agreements. However, there are some restrictions on the types of provisions that can be included in a premarital agreement. Today, we explore the elements of a legally binding prenuptial agreement.

A premarital agreement is often used to differentiate between individual and marital property. For example, an inheritance from a beloved relative -- or a sentimental piece of jewelry -- could be set aside as "individual property." This is also relevant for business owners, who can protect their operation by eliminating it from the potential marital property pool.

'Love & Hip Hop Atlanta' stars argue over premarital agreement

Florida couple approaching marriage dates or decisions may have discussed whether or not they want a prenup. Many people see premarital agreements as something that rich people need, but such agreements can be useful for any marriage. The agreements can protect interests, including financial, business or personal, for anyone, but it is a good idea for the couple to agree on the prenup prior to signing the document.

The stars of one reality television show are currently planning their wedding, but a trailer from an upcoming show hints that there are troubles in the premarital waters. According to the trailer, the couple has some disagreement over whether they'll have a premarital agreement.

Divorce occurs because of financial abuse, too

We often talk about Florida men and women who suffer from domestic abuse in physical and emotional terms; perhaps they were struck by their partner or abused through harsh, hateful comments. Did you know that there is another type of spousal abuse, however? It is called financial abuse, and it plays a major role in many Florida divorce proceedings. Here are a few indicators of financial abuse, along with methods for circumventing the situation to build a better life.

Financial abuse generally allows the abuser additional power and control over a spouse by pinching pennies and removing access to financial resources. In some cases, spouses who are suffering from financial abuse are forced to pursue career options that they do not want, including part-time work, which limits their ability to become financially independent. Further, some spouses force a detailed accounting of every single penny spent by their spouse, making the victim feel as though he or she is begging for basic necessities such as food and gas.

Man fails to pay thoussands in child support, turns himself in

When it comes to divorce, some of the most difficult resolutions often center around children or money. Decisions about child support combine both considerations, so it's not surprising that it can be a difficult topic to discuss and come to an agreement on. That's one reason why the legal system has so many fail safes and processes associated with support and support agreements.

No matter what happens with a child support case, one of the worst things a person can do is simply fail to make child support payments. The legal system allows for the fact that someone may agree to pay a certain amount of support and then see circumstances change. Individuals who can no longer make support payments -- or feel that agreed-upon or ordered payments are no longer valid -- can seek assistance through child support modification requests and other legal means.

Domestic violence victims can seek help through civil courts

Domestic violence statutes are difficult to navigate, not only for the potential victim, but sometimes also for the person accused of perpetrating the violence. Understanding the provisions in a Florida restraining order or other protective arrangement can be a challenge. However, for those who have been victimized by a domestic offender, these protection orders can provide an important legal barrier -- not to mention a document that carries weight in family court.

First, it is important to know what qualifies as domestic violence. Assault, battery, kidnapping, stalking and sexual assault all fall under the purview of this law. Domestic violence is generally committed against a spouse, but the victim may also be an unmarried partner, ex-spouse or other relative by blood or marriage. Domestic violence also applies to individuals who currently or have previously cohabited together.

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