Who Exactly Are Eligible To Be A Child’s Guardian And How The Process Work
Who exactly is a child’s guardian?

A guardian of a child is someone who has the legal rights and responsibilities over that child. While parents are automatically provided with these rights, there are certain instances where parents are unable to take care of a child. In these situations, the guardian would need to take charge. Through a court order for guardianship, the judge would provide the designated guardian with the authority to make medical, educational, legal, and other relevant decisions for the child.

Here, the question may arise; how would I be able to establish a guardianship?
An agreement between a child’s parents and an individual stating he/she is the established guardian isn’t enough to declare guardianship. Proper guardianship should be established through an official court order by a judge.

To begin the process, the individual can start by filing a petition to establish the guardianship. If the parents of the child and the potential guardian have already been discussed the matter, the process would be relatively easy. In most cases, the judge will simply schedule a hearing at courts to acquire the consent of the parents. Once the consent has been approved, the judge will then evaluate if the proposed individual is well suited for the child’s best interests.

The judge would thoroughly analyze what is in the best interest of the child. That way even if all the individuals have consented, but the decision would harm the child, the judge can deny guardianship. An example would be the judge denying a guardianship proposed by an individual who has a criminal history, domestic violence records, or would be unable to meet the basic needs of the child. If an individual is overall unfit to be the child’s guardian the judge may even appoint a different guardian altogether.

If you’re trying to establish guardianship in cases where the rights of the parents’ have been terminated, the process might be different from ordinary guardianship establishment. In these cases, parental consent would not be required. However, the judge would have to evaluate the circumstances and would have to determine if the child’s best interests would be served through this designation of guardianship. Additionally, the judge may require the guardianship applicant to undergo a background check and a home visit from a social worker to acquire additional information.

Who is allowed to acquire guardianship?

In most states, the rules to acquire guardianship are quite broad. Typically, for an individual to be eligible for guardianship, he/she must be over the age of 18 and should have little to no criminal history. The best interest of the child would be able to determine the guardian proceeding outcome. A few other factors that are taken into consideration by the judge are:

• The guardian’s mental and physical health.
• The age and health of the child.
• The ability of the proposed guardian to look after the child.
• The relationship of the child with the proposed.
• Any other factors that seemed relevant.

If you’re looking for an Orlando child custody attorney to help you secure guardianship, the Erin Morse Family Law Firm is the place for you. We guarantee highly competent attorneys and the best service in town for all our clients to ensure that their cases go in the right direction. If that’s what you’re looking for, contact us now, for a consultation!

The Effects of Divorce on the Children.

Running two separate homes is far more difficult than running one. This typically means that there is overall less money to go around after a divorce happens. After a divorce, the courts normally order spousal support to help the more financially unable spouse retain a similar standard of living as compared to the lifestyle experienced during the marriage. However, there are certain instances where a spouse may have lost a high-paying job. In these cases, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have to experience a completely different lifestyle after the marriage.

Typically, as part of the divorce case, the judge may require both spouses to file financial declarations which support the different sources of income and other expenses. The judge would then base the alimony payments and child support payments based on the financial situation of both parents. The divorce process may sometimes make things a little more difficult to handle in the start. However, you and your children may come to adjust over time.

Both parents normally have an ongoing duty to support their children in every possible way. During and after the divorce process, the support order issued by the courts may include who is responsible for covering a child’s extra-curricular activities. If the order doesn’t include it, the child’s additional expenses may depend on the laws of the state.

In certain instances, if finances get really tight, the child may have to give up certain extra-curricular activities such as ballet lessons. While this may be difficult to understand from the child’s perspective, the child would grow to understand the situation over time. Finances can become a significant problem after a divorce, for that reason it is essential to have a competent child support attorney Orlando FL available by your side to make sure finances are in order. If a properly discussed financial situation is in order, both parents can divide the extra-curricular expenses among each other. That way the child can experience a financially stable life while maintaining his/her routine activities.

If a parent loses his/her job it may affect child support payments. If this happens, the child would be affected financially. Child support is intended to cover the basic costs of a child. That means clothes, food, and otherwise basic care. If you’re on the custodial side of the divorce, without the child support payments, it may be difficult to make ends meet if the child support payments decrease over time.

In certain situations, the court can impute income. This is if the parent making the child support payments loses his/her job or has taken on a lower paying job. When a judge imputes income, the court begins to base the child support payments on what the parent should be earing than what he or she earns in reality. This can also help limit the financial impact that the divorce may have on the children.

Paying child support can be tough, but not receiving enough child support payments can be even harder. Whatever the case, you shouldn’t have to go through it alone. That’s what we at The Law Office of Erin Morse are here for. We are one of the best Family Law Firms in the city of Orlando. We guarantee all our clients that they will be provided with the best legal services through a group of skilled and experienced attorneys from the start through the end of their cases. If that’s what you’re looking for, contact our firm now, for a consultation!

Staying Safe While Getting Divorce From An Abusive Spouse

Anyone who has suffered from abuse knows that abuse comes in different forms. These kinds of abuse can be either emotional or physical. Abuse can also be somewhere in between. An example would be two spouses in a heated argument where one spouse takes away the phone so the victim can’t call 911. Other cases include instances where a spouse takes full control of the household funds, may isolate the other spouse, or even leave the child threatened and never return. When a spouse is faced with such situations, it is known as domestic violence.

If you’ve successfully divorced someone who has abused you and your children with minimal issues during the process, that is great news. However, it is always essential to have a plan once the divorce is over.

It is always nice to imagine an abusive spouse would go away once the divorce has been settled. However, that’s not how it would work sometimes. Studies were found that while abusiveness may have been extreme before a divorce, it sometimes gets even worse after a divorce.

For that reason, it is vital that you have a plan B for your life. When it comes to abusers, you should not gamble your life away by taking the chance of insufficient precautionary measures. No matter what an abuser says or promises you, you should keep in mind that it would merely be a risk to believe a violent person. Studies have shown that there is a higher risk of violence after divorce, especially if both spouses have made agreements on child custody during the divorce.

So you may be wondering what kind of things you can do to protect yourself and your children after the divorce procedures. A few of the things to keep in mind could include:

Hire an efficient divorce attorney Lake Mary, FL.
That way after you’ve discussed your entire situation, your attorney could develop a safety plan with you.

Prepare a safety list of items required for you and your children.
This includes all legal documents necessary for you to bring a case to the courts such as documented proof of abuse.

Practice leaving your home as safely as possible.
If you create a more obvious scene while leaving your home, this may cause your abusive spouse to get angrier and plan something that may affect your life and your child’s.

Depending on the parameters of the custody order issued by the courts, conceal your new details.
Once you’ve left your home, create a strategy to keep your address, phone number, and other relevant details a secret from your abusive spouse.

Speak to a judge about your problems.
If you have a child, it is absolutely necessary to do everything you can to protect yourself and your child/children. However, the most important thing is that you need to take action and not be afraid to show courts that you are suffering from an abusive spouse.

If you’re looking for an attorney to take your divorce case and ensure it goes on the right track, The Law Office of Erin Morse is here to help. We guarantee skilled, professional, and experienced lawyers for all our clients to make sure they receive the best service. Contact The Law Office of Erin Morse now for a consultation!

How Can You Be Sure If Trial Separation Is Right For You?

While trail separation is right for some people, it is important to remember that the experience is not for everyone. In some successful cases, trial separation allows couples to seek therapy and save their marriage. However, there are cases where trial separation helps couples realize that they need a divorce. No matter the long-term result of a trial separation, the temporary break from each other in a trial separation would help couples realize what they would want from each other. This means that couples can either identify if they want to stay together or end the marriage.

Before moving towards understanding if trial separation is right for you, let’s look at what exactly trial separation is and how it works.

A trial separation can be described as a short-term split from your spouse. During this time of separation, couples spend their time assessing their relationship. Once this is done, the couple would be able to determine if they would need to work on reconciliation, establish a more permanent separation, or even end things in the marriage overall and file for divorce.

Generally, during this time, one of the spouses may move out of the house and stay with family, friends, or even in a hotel or temporary rental. If a spouse can’t afford to move out of their home, they may live together but simply agree that they are temporarily separated. In most trial separation instances, the couples don’t enter into any legal agreements about finances or child custody. This is because the trial separation is supposed to be a temporary solution to their differences. However, if a trial separation drags on further, it would be better to put some of the terms of the separation into a contract.

One of the most significant advantages of going through a trial separation is that the couple would be able to realize what they need, where they stand, and whether the marriage requires work. The temporary split allows the couple to assess things in a more orderly fashioned manner and make rational decisions regarding their marriage. It is often found that a marriage in trouble would be better off because of a trial separation.

A trial separation can also benefit couples in marriages that may ultimately lead to a divorce. Specifically, during this period, the couple would be able to decide how to make important decisions such as:

  • How to cover expenses.
  • How to divide income and properties.
  • How to manage childcare arrangements.
  • How to decide who gets the family pet.

While a judge in a divorce court would typically decide what would be the best decision regarding the child, a couple’s temporary agreement may affect the long-term arrangements regarding their child. Additionally, with most of the decisions already made clear during this period, both spouses can save in legal fees by avoiding trial.

However, when it comes to the divorce, both spouses would require the services of an efficient and affordable divorce attorney in Orlando FL. That’s where we come in. The Law Office of Erin Morse has a reputation for the best services in Family Law in Orlando. We guarantee your case would be guided through the right direction while providing you with the best results in the end. If that’s what you’re looking for in a divorce attorney, contact us now, for a consultation!How Can You Be Sure If Trial Separation is Right for You?

What Happens If You Fail To Pay Child Support

The laws in the United States entitle all children under the age of 18 to be financially supported by both parents. If a single parent fails to make court-ordered child support payments there are numerous options available for that money to be collected from both parents. When a marriage ends in divorce, both parents typically agree that they should work together to support their children financially. Unfortunately, there are certain cases where parents refuse to make payments ordered by the court. In these instances, the spouses may face dire consequences.

Every law in the country affirms the necessity of child support payments. If one parent is resistant to pay, the other spouse can request help from the courts to resolve this issue. When a case on child support begins, certain financial documents would be required of each parent.

These may include:
  • Tax forms.
  • W-2 or 1099 documents.
  • Medical and daycare costs for proof.
  • Paystubs.

Once these documents/information have been passed to the courts by the parents of the child, a judge will calculate the payment each parent needs to pay through a state formula. In most cases, the custodial parent of the child would not have to pay anything since they would be the one responsible for the child’s needs on a daily basis. Once the judge has signed the support order, the parent making the payments should be timely. If not, this parent may have to face serious penalties by the law.

The federal law makes it illegal for parents to willfully fail to make payments for child support. Even though the federal law would be handling the penalties of child support, the state court will be handling child support cases. This means you should be able to listen to your local court to avoid any other issues from arising.

One of the most common consequences for non-payment of child support results in something to do with the parent’s finances. If a parent refuses to make the child support payments, the court may deduct finances flowing into the person’s account. This means the courts can decrease the finances from a paycheck, bank account, or even a tax-refund.

Although financial penalties are most common, there are non-monetary penalties as well. Failure to pay child support could result in:
  • A lien can be applied to the sale of a property.
  • Reporting the non-payment of child support to credit reporting agencies.
  • Medical or teaching licenses being revoked or suspended.
  • Suspended driving license.
  • If the payment penalties go over a certain limit, the government may deny the request of a passport.

There are multiple other consequences to the non-payment of child support by the courts. The same way child support is a commitment, bringing a child into the world is a life-long one. It is essential to make sure the child support payments are issued for the care of your child. However, if you’re having significant difficulties in child support payments, the court does allow the modification of child support settlements too. If you require help in that aspect, a child support attorney Orlando would be the best choice.

If you’re looking for one of the best child support attorneys in the state, The Law Office of Erin Morse is the place for you. We at the Erin Morse Firm have notable experience in Family Law and guarantee all client cases would fall through in the best possible way. Contact us now for a consultation!

How Can You Be Sure That Your Lawyer Is Doing A Good Job?

Trying to determine if your lawyer is doing a good job can be difficult. Especially if you’ve never been through a divorce before, the divorce procedures may look foreign. One important thing to keep in mind is that if you require getting a better handle on how your case is doing, it is essential to acquire a virtual road-map of all the procedures. Since a lawyer has traveled down the same road many times before, these divorce attorneys will be aware of what to expect. Your lawyer should be able to go over all the stages of the procedures before the case begins.

Going over the facts of a case doesn’t mean that every detail should be discussed. However, it should be able to provide a basic idea of the different stages of divorce. This includes the approximate timeline for each stage of the procedures. If your attorney can disclose and discuss this information with you, it shows a good sign that you and your attorney possess a strong relationship.

The timelines are essential because they are incorporated into the state’s legal regulations. Once these timeline procedures are in place, the divorce can take place at a relatively predictable pace. Attorneys should be able to meet all timelines without fail to execute an efficient case.

During a divorce, there may be certain issues that couples disagree on and that would eventually need to be resolved in courts. These issues may include alimony, custody, and visitation. When spouses can’t resolve these cases in court, the judge would normally address them through motion hearings. To handle unexpected situations where contested divorces turn into uncontested divorces, the attorney should be prepared for moments like this. If your attorney can handle the situation based on any significant changes then you can see positive results in your attorney’s job.

One of the most prominent activities that attorneys need to perform is communicating with clients. Lack of communication is one of the most significant complaints that clients have had about attorneys in the past. To make sure your attorney is doing a good job, he should be able to communicate the facts of the case with you. You shouldn’t expect to hear about it through regular mail, e-mail, or texts. In fact, your attorney should show the results of his work by thoroughly being able to communicate your case developments and major facts to you. If you’re constantly in the dark about the facts of your case, you should consider changing attorney.

Lastly, one of the most important considerations of a competent attorney is identifying who is the real decision maker is. If your attorney is really on your side, he will consult you about every major decision that he has to make regarding the case. If you face the unfortunate disadvantage of your lawyer making major decisions without your input, your attorney isn’t right for you.

Searching for a good lawyer is easy, but searching for a skilled lawyer to make sure your case goes on the right path can be difficult. That’s what we’re here for. At the Law Office of Erin Morse, we guarantee the best Orlando divorce lawyers experienced in Family Law for all our clients’ cases. We work really hard to give you the best results. We won’t let you down. Contact the Erin Morse firm for a consultation!

How Divorced Parents Handle Children’s College Expenses

If you’re wondering if you’re legally obligated to pay for your child’s tuition fees for college, the answer to that actually depends on a number of reasons. In most states in the United States, parents of the child aren’t typically obligated to pay for their child’s tuition. However, there are multiple divorcing parents that have considered reaching an agreement on how much each of them will contribute to the college tuition and expenses of the child. If parents aren’t able to come to a decision, in some states, the court allows the order of a non-custodial parent to make a contribution in the college payment of the child. However, in other states, the laws prevent the judge from ordering the parents to pay for the child’s college. This, however, applies only to parents who haven’t had a previous agreement on the payment.

When it comes to the contribution of funds for the child’s college, generally, the non-custodial parent has more responsibilities towards that matter. However, a judge will try to make sure that the custody situations that are complex don’t end up in one parent overbearing a higher amount in the child’s bill for their education.

Specifically, in these cases of determining the tuition fee payment by parents, the courts will weigh several factors to identify which parent, either one or both, should pay for college and how much. A few of the factors that are considered to determine the payment include:

  • The financial situation of each parent.
  • The level of education after high-school.
  • Whether the parent would require the child to attend college if they were still married.
  • The academic achievements of the child.
  • The academic goals the child may have to finish college.
  • The assets and debts of both parents.
  • Whether the child is eligible for scholarships.
  • The child’s ability to earn while in college.

Depending on the state laws the family resides in, the judge might depict some factors over others depending on what is an appropriate support award financially for the college education. If you don’t want to leave things in the air and want to ensure your child receives the right amount of financial support for their education, it is essential to contact one of the best child support lawyers in Orlando FL. That way you can draw up a valid support agreement.

Voluntary support agreement:

Voluntary college support agreements can be identified as contracts that describe the responsibility of each parent’s costs for their child’s college finances. Even for states that don’t order the payment of college expenses by parents, the court will be able to honor the payment of the parents through a support agreement. The agreement is typically used to describe the following elements to be enforceable:

  • Description on the type of college that the child will be attending.
  • The description of the expenses that would need to be covered.
  • The way the payments will be made.
  • The responsibility of certain expenses that the child will have.
  • Where the child will stay during college.
  • The conditions that the child is required to pass before continuing to college.

A substantial amount of thought should go into the determination of how the child would receive his support. You can alleviate some of the stress by contacting a competent attorney to handle your case. If you’re looking for the best child support attorney in Orlando, contact The Law Office of Erin Morse now. Here at our firm, we guarantee that our clients receive the best services and results in town. Contact our firm now for a consultation.

The Grounds/Reasons For Divorce.

Typically, the law requires that all couples provide the court with a reason for divorce. To begin the divorce procedure, the spouses must state the grounds or reasons for divorce. This should be done in a complaint or petition for divorce. Since the year 2010, all states in the United States have recognized “no-fault” as grounds for divorce. This means that the spouses can simply declare that their marriage has come to an end.

Some states do not recognize the fault grounds for divorce at all. In these states, a complaint should be made by a single spouse that the marriage is beyond repair or that you and your spouse have differences that can’t be resolved. Fortunately, the spouses don’t need to provide a reason for the breakdown of the marriage. The idea behind no-fault divorces is that both spouses of the marriage don’t need to blame each other for the divorce. Here the couple can identify their issues and resolve them in an orderly fashion.

There are some states that don’t need the details of how broken ones’ marriage is. In these states, when spouses are living apart from each other for a certain amount of time, that is enough to show the court that the marriage has ended. However, the separation period should be a minimum of six months and can be as long as five years depending on where the spouses reside. Some states in the US require that the couple live separately to show that their marriage is broken beyond repair.

Certain states offer the option of fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. When it comes to fault grounds, a certain proof is required. This means that there should be a viable reason to show that the other party in the marriage is at fault for the marriage ending. The most commonly determined fault grounds for divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruelty, or even the desertion of the spouse and child. If fault grounds for the divorce has been used, the spouse filing for fault grounds for divorce can’t simply state that the spouse had been cruel to him/her. In these cases, the proof is required to show the court that the spouse has committed an act of fault to cause the breakdown of the marriage. If proper or convincing proof isn’t offered, the court would not grant the divorce. Additionally, the other spouse also has the right to offer his/her form of defense against the grounds offered by one spouse.

It is essential to keep in mind that through fault grounds for divorce, there is a chance that your spouse in the divorce may contest to the divorce. This is because the fault can affect the way the courts make the division on the property. If you’re considering filing for divorce on fault basis, this is something to remember. Additionally, it can also affect spousal support and alimony. However, there are some states that the courts consider misconduct in the marriage when deciding certain issues.

The laws that surround the grounds for divorce can be incredibly complicated. That’s why it is essential to acquire the help from a competent divorce attorney Lake Mary FL. The right attorney would be able to guide you through the process with minimal backlashes and as little problems as possible. If that’s what you’re looking for in an attorney, contact The Law Office of Erin Morse. At our firm, we issue only the best lawyers to make sure your case goes in the right direction. We won’t let you down. Contact our firm for a consultation.