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Plantation Family Law Blog

Same-sex couples sue after FL refuses to list names on birth certificates

History was made here in Florida back in 2014 when judges at both the state and federal level ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. History was made again just a year later when state officials granted legal recognition to same-sex marriages.

While you might think that the achievement of marriage equality here in the Sunshine State would effectively end the need for any additional legal battles related to this important issue, this hasn't proven to be the case.

Florida military mother emerges victorious in custody battle

The unfortunate reality is that many of the brave men and women who serve in our nation's armed forces don't come home to ticker tape parades or other warm welcomes after completing their service overseas. Indeed, some come home to find themselves facing unexpected legal challenges, particularly in the area of family law.

By way of illustration, consider the experience of a Florida woman who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for nearly four years, and found herself at the epicenter of a complex child custody battle upon her return.

What happens when a parent falls behind on child support? - II

Of the multiple payment obligations that may arise out of a divorce, none are perhaps more important than child support. That's because recipient parents rely on these funds to help cover basic living expenses for their child, including food, clothing and shelter.

In light of this reality, it should really come as no surprise to parents ordered to pay child support to learn that the state -- or, more precisely, the Florida Department of Revenue's Child Support Program -- has a host of enforcement actions that it will readily deploy should a parent fail to make timely payments and/or pay the full amount owed.

Florida woman who kidnapped daughter apprehended

When a relationship ends, there are certain matters that need to be addressed and resolved. If the union—regardless of whether the couple was ever married—produces children, matters such as child custody and support need to be worked through.

While the state of Florida has the goal of getting parents of children to work together to reach an agreement, this does not always happen. In some situations, even after an agreement is reached one or both of the parents will find that they are unhappy with it. While there are legal avenues that under some circumstances could result in a modification of the parenting plan, there are times when a parent will simply take the child and leave.

How does child custody factor into property division?

Property division is an important aspect of divorce, and arguably one of the areas parties are most concerned about from the standpoint of advocacy. This is understandable, because ending a marriage can leave parties financially vulnerable, and it is important to ensure one receives a fair property award to help one transition into post-divorce living.

Here in Florida, the approach to property division is characterized by equitable division of marital property, unlike some states which use an equal division approach. In the equitable division approach, judges are given discretion to divide assets according to what they deem to be fair to each party. Various factors are taken into account, such as the duration of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each party and the contributions each party made to acquiring, enhancing, and producing income during the marriage.

What happens when a parent falls behind on child support?

When a court issues a child support order, it's important for the named parent to understand that this binding legal document does much more than just set forth terms covering the amount, duration and parties to whom payment should be remitted.  

Indeed, it subjects them to a multitude of possible enforcement actions that can be undertaken by the Florida Department of Revenue's Child Support Program in the event they fail to make payments on time and/or pay the full amount owed.

Dedicated to helping parents facing the unthinkable

From chatting over a meal and playing in the park to reading a bedtime story or just staring at the clouds together, ask any parent and they will tell you that the best part of being a mother or father is the little things.

Indeed, most parents couldn't or wouldn’t ever imagine a scenario in which they would effectively be removed from the lives of their children. The unfortunate reality, however, is that circumstances can -- and do -- change such that you may find yourself facing the unthinkable: termination of your parental rights.

Understanding more about Florida's paternity laws - II

A few weeks back, our blog started discussing how Florida's paternity laws work. Specifically, we spent some time exploring each of the four ways in which legal paternity can be established here in the Sunshine State in an attempt to provide some much-needed clarity on what can be a difficult topic.

In today's post, we'll continue this discussion by exploring some of the benefits that come from establishing paternity for both children and their parents outside of the purely emotional considerations.

Even with equality, same-sex couples have unique family law needs

In January, same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Florida, but no one knew for sure if the law would remain in effect as an appeal before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta sat waiting for a decision to be made by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Well, the Supreme Court handed down this long-awaited decision on Friday when it ruled that all people -- gay or straight -- have a fundamental right to marry. In other words, same-sex marriage will now become legal in all 50 states, and will remain legal in Florida. 

Understanding more about Florida's paternity laws

The law in Florida dictates that when a child is born to a married couple, the husband is automatically treated as the child's legal father. However, things are decidedly different if the mother is not married at the time of birth, as the child won't be viewed as having a legal father under state law.

In these situations, it will be necessary for the mother to establish legal paternity for the child, something that can be accomplished in one of four ways: acknowledgement of paternity, legitimation, court order and administrative paternity order.

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