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Boca Raton Divorce Law Blog

Child custody considerations in the state of Florida

Divorcing, as well as unmarried parents, in the state of Florida typically establish child custody agreements, which stipulate who will have primary care and control of their children. While parents are generally encouraged to reach such agreements amongst themselves, there are state laws in place that give family law courts the authority to decide custody arrangements if they cannot. In order to make such decisions, there are a number of factors that judges are legally required to take into consideration.

Under Florida’s state statutes, judges are generally guided to establish time-sharing agreements, versus traditional sole or joint child custody awards. Typically, these types of agreements will specify one parent as having physical custody. The other parent, then, often has significant visitation with the child. Through time-sharing arrangements, both parents may have the opportunity to build and maintain a relationship with their child.

Halle Berry seeks child support reduction of more than 75 percent

As most readers in Palm Beach are likely aware, family law judges in Florida often order parents to pay child support awards. Depending on the parents’ circumstances, the amount of such awards can be significant. In these cases, as in cases when only the minimum child support amount is ordered, those payments are meant for the care of the child. There are situations, however, when the other parent may rely on those payments to bolster their income, rather than to provide for their child.

According to reports, actress, Halle Berry has taken legal action to try and have the amount of her monthly child support payments reduced. This, it was reported, is because she believes the father of her six-year-old daughter is living off her payments rather than working to make his own living. News sources reported that Berry’s former beau uses the support for his own financial needs, including fitness expenses, clothing, health insurance, car expenses, electronics and furniture, as well as for his daughter’s needs, which were listed separately.

How is alimony determined in the state of Florida?

When Florida couples divorce, it is common for one spouse, or the other, to request alimony. Unless the two sides reach an agreement on their own, or they have a prenuptial agreement, then it is generally up to the court to decide whether to order any type of spousal maintenance, as well as the amount of such awards. At Peter A. Rose, P.L., we regularly hear from people who are considering divorce, or who have already begun the process, and are unsure what they may be entitled to. In this post, we will discuss how alimony is determined in the state of Florida.

After making the determination of whether either spouse actually needs the alimony or spousal maintenance, and determining whether either spouse has the ability to pay such support, a judge will decide what type of alimony is most appropriate given the circumstances of each spouse and their situations. As discussed in a previous post, the four types of alimony that are generally awarded in Florida are bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational and permanent alimonies.

How are assets divided in high asset Florida divorces?

As most people are likely aware, the property division process is often the most contentious aspect of reaching a divorce settlement for couples in Boca Raton, and throughout the country. This can be especially true for high profile couples, and other couples of substantial wealth. Divorcing spouses may disagree over what they are each entitled to because of greed, differences of opinion over what each spouse brought to the marriage, asset complexities or any other number of factors.

In cases when divorcing spouses are unable to reach an agreement on their own, Florida law stipulates that the court handles the distribution of assets in accordance with the rule of equitable distribution. Unlike other states that divide assets down the middle, with each spouse receiving an equal share, Florida divides marital property based on what is equitable or fair. To determine this, courts may take into consideration a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, the earning potential of both spouses and any debts owed by each of the spouses. Through equitable distribution, Florida courts are able to take this into consideration, however, and are thus able to divvy up a couple’s assets based on what makes the most sense, and is most fair, for both of the spouses.

Divorce settlement could affect founder’s holdings in company

In Florida, like many states, the assets and wealth that is accrued by each spouse over the course of their marriage is generally considered marital property. Should a couple decide to divorce, these are the assets that typically must be divided between the spouses. While some holdings, such as bank accounts, can be easy to divide, others, including business assets, may be more complicated.

According to reports, one man’s pending divorce settlement could seriously affect his stake in an Oklahoma-based oil drilling company that he founded 20 years before he was married. When the couple married in 1988, the company was reportedly still relatively small, but it has grown to be one of the largest companies involved in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale formation. Currently, his wealth is estimated to be approximately $20 billion, but it was not reported how much of that is tied up in the company.

How inaccurate information affects Florida child support awards

Raising children, as any parent will confirm, can be an expensive undertaking. Beyond just the common daily expenses, including food, clothing and shelter, there are typically a number of others, such as medical costs and education expenses. As was explained in the first post of this child support series, Florida family law judges often order child support to ensure that both parents bear the financial responsibility of raising their child. This post will discuss the guidelines that are used to determine the amounts of child support awards and the effects that inaccurate information can have on such awards.

By law, the amount that parents are ordered to pay per month in child support in the state of Florida is generally determined using a numeric formula. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the child support formula considers a number of factors, including the income of each parent, the child’s health care expenses, the child’s standard needs, any childcare costs and the number of children that the parent owes child support for. 

Enforcement of child support orders in Florida

As was discussed in the first post of this child support series, family law judges in Florida regularly order child support in order to ensure that parents fulfill their financial obligations toward their children. Whether due to circumstances beyond their control, such as the loss of a job, or simply by choice, there are situations when parents neglect to make their payments. In order to limit these occurrences, and establish consequences for parents who fall into arrears, there are procedures and tools in place at both the state and the federal court legislative levels. This post will discuss some of the methods commonly used for child support enforcement in the state of Florida.

The primary method for enforcing Florida child support orders is through income deductions. According to the Office of the State Courts Administrator, when child support orders are established, it is mandatory that income deduction orders also be entered. Through these orders, employers must automatically deduct child support payments from parents’ paychecks. Furthermore, the state of Florida requires businesses to report all new hire information in order find out where parents who owe child support are employed. Parents must also inform the Child Support Enforcement Program, and the court, when they change jobs.

An overview of child support awards in the state of Florida

Generally, both parents take on the financial responsibility of providing for their child’s needs in Florida, at least until their child is 18-years-old. When children are not living with one, or both, of their parents, family law judges often order child support awards to ensure that both parents continue to provide the financial support their children need and deserve. These monetary payments are for the benefit of the child and can be applied toward everyday expenses, such as room and board, as well as health care, medical and education expenses.

Under Chapter 61 of the 2014 Florida Statutes, one, or both parents, may be order to pay child support to the other parent, or to the child’s custodian by the court. In general, these orders can be established through one of two types of procedures – administrative or judicial.

Relocating with children after Florida divorces

After a divorce in Florida, it is common for people to want to move. For parents, however, it can be a very complicated process. At the law firm of Peter A. Rose, P.L., we often hear from parents who are in this situation, but are unsure of the state’s laws regarding relocating with minor aged children.

Under Chapter 61 of the 2014 Florida statutes, parents who have time-sharing agreements must have permission from the court if they wish to move more than 50 miles from their residence at the time that their existing child custody and time-sharing agreement went into effect. There are two primary methods by which parents can gain permission from the court to relocate – either with the other parents’ consent or through petitions.

What are the different types of alimony in the state of Florida?

It is common in Palm Beach, and throughout Florida, for one spouse to be the primary earner in a marriage. Should married couples in these types of situations divorce, it could place a heavy economic burden on the lesser, or non-income-earning partner. In order to help alleviate this, family law courts often order spousal maintenance awards, including alimony.

Generally, alimony is a monetary allowance that is paid by one spouse to the other during the divorce process or after its completion. In most cases, higher earning spouses are ordered by the courts to pay this type of spousal maintenance to lower earning spouses. Depending on the circumstances, under Chapter 61 of the 2014 Florida Statutes, there are four primary types of alimony that are awarded in the state of Florida – bridge-the-gap, durational, permanent and rehabilitative alimony.

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