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.

Child Support Orders.

When two spouses in a marriage go through a separation or get a divorce, one of the most significant factors to consider is the child’s well-being. The parents should make it a point to discuss which parent would be required to pay child support to the other.

Typically, when one of the parents of the child earns significantly more than the other parent, a child support payment would be required to help the parent who earns lower and who becomes the custodial parent of the child. These payments are generally made to ensure that the parents are both able to cover the costs of food, shelter, clothing, and other living expenses of the child.

In many states, there are multiple factors to be considered for child support payments. However, the exact amount of the child support payment is typically calculated through the income of both parents. Additionally, the amount of time each parent spends with the child is also a primary factor to be considered for child support payments.

Every state in the US has a specific formula in Family Law which is used for the calculation of child support payments. This formula is known as child support guidelines.

Many states have software that runs the child support payment calculation based on both parents financial data. A few of the factors considered for the software when calculating child support payments include:

• Percentage of time spent by the parent with the child.
• The income of both parents. This includes:
– Self-employment income.
– Unemployment compensation.
– Salaries.
– Wages.
– Taxable income.

• It also calculates the monthly deductions. This includes payments for:
– Health care premiums.
– Property taxes.
– Mortgage interests.
– Union dues.
– Retirement contributions.

For this software, once all the required information has been entered, it then determines how much child support is owed to the child. If there is more than one child involved, it calculates how much child support is required for each child.

Normally, when it comes to the payment procedure for each payment, the parent who has to pay the child support is required to follow a child support order. These payments then have to be made until the child turns 18 or finishes high school. In some states, these payments may last a few years longer or until the child becomes emancipated.

Payments should continue unless a judge issues a new child support order. In this case, the parents are required to submit new evidence that supports their requests for a change in the child support order. These requests should include evidence such as updated financial information, expenses, assets, and debts. Once the judge has considered these factors, the judge will then determine if the ability of the parent to pay child support should be changed.

If you have any concerns regarding child support, it is essential to contact a child support attorney Orlando to help you through the process.

If you’re looking for skilled, professional, and experienced attorneys to help you with your case, The Law Office of Erin Morse is here to help! We guarantee client cases will go in favor of the client while ensuring satisfaction with our services!

Contact The Erin Morse Firm for your Family Law needs!

Trial Separation.

Some couples just may not be ready to get a divorce. Fortunately, these couples who aren’t ready for the permanent divorce are provided with the option of either entering into:

  1. Legal separation
  2. Trial separation.

Regardless of why you need to get a divorce, it is in the best interest of you and your spouse (and the sake of the marriage and children) to either go through trial separation or legal separation before ending the marriage altogether. This article will be discussing Trial Separation.

So what exactly is Trial Separation?

The term trial separation can be understood by the name itself. In a trial separation, couples typically split for a short-term period. Once there is a trial separation, couples would be able to take some time for themselves to assess their relationship. By doing so, they can determine if they would want to work on reconciliation, establish a more permanent separation, or even get a divorce.

When it comes to getting a divorce, overall, it might simply be done through negative emotions getting in the way of making rational decisions. For that reason, time apart from the marriage can really clear the mind of both spouses. This would help the couple decide on whether or not they really want to be separated.

Generally, once there is a trial separation in motion, one of the spouses’ moves out of their family home. They then move into a hotel, reside with a friend, or even rent out a place of their own to stay. If the couple decides that they can’t afford separate living environments, they may come to a decision on still living together, even though there is a trial separation in motion. In most cases, for a trial separation, couples don’t iron out all the details on the legal part of the separation. This means that there aren’t any legal agreements established about finances or custody. This is because the separation is supposed to be temporary. However, in some cases, there are times when trial separations begin to drag on. For that reason, it may be a better idea to put some of the terms of the separation into a legal document.

It is essential to keep in mind that a trial separation is an option that may not work for everyone. However, if both parties of the marriage are open to the option, giving it a try can sometimes help the marriage get back on track

However, if you feel like your marriage has deteriorated to the extent that it seems unfixable, contacting an efficient and affordable divorce attorney in Orlando FL should be your priority. In many cases, couples may have tried to resolve their outstanding problems and may be faced with either no results or negative results. In these cases, divorce is often the best solution for both parties in the marriage.

If you’re looking to get a divorce, but you’re not sure where to start or how to proceed,The Law Office of Erin Morse  can help you! We at The Erin Morse Firm guarantee clients would be provided with optimal service to make sure cases go through the right path. Contact the Erin Morse Firm now, for a consultation!

Dividing Property And Houses In A Divorce.

For most couples, one of the assets that have the most value to them is their marital home. When couples get a divorce, they often have to determine who gets what after the divorce. This means, figuring out what to do with their marital residence becomes a primary factor to consider. A few of the options the divorcing spouses can have on their marital property include:

• Agreeing to sell the property.
• See if one spouse can buy the other spouse out.
• Refinance to access the equity.

Agreeing to sell the property together:

The most common way for divorcing couples to deal with their real property is by deciding on selling their home and dividing the finances acquired from the property. In cases where the majority of the net worth for the couple is in their home equity, using this conventional method is the fairest way of dealing with property. A divorcing couple generally divides the cost acquired through selling the residence. This is done either by one of the spouses reimbursing the other after selling the property, or by reimbursing the spouse who makes sales proceeds costs. When couples decide to sell their home in this way, one of the spouses may stay in the house while it’s being marketed. Once the house is sold, the divorcing couple can then divide the costs of the sale after all the expenses have been paid. This way the couple can be sure they are both receiving an equal amount.

Buying the other spouse out of the home:

In other cases, a spouse might be able to buy the other spouse’s share of the house and stay in that residence. This is typically done if one of the spouses feels their home has a more sentimental value and decides to reside there. This can be done in a way where half the value of the home is be paid to the other spouse where the other spouse can then sign a quitclaim deed which grants full ownership of the house to the spouse buying the other spouse out. An alternative for this method would be if one of the spouses decides to leave the residence, he/she has a chance on receiving a larger share of the other assets. This includes assets such as retirement accounts.

Refinance to access the equity:

In some cases, the spouse who remains in the home may be able to refinance the home. In this case, he/she may pull out some of the equity to pay the share of the spouse moving out. Sometimes, the divorcing spouse may seek to attain the property to ensure the children are able to stay in the same home for their minor children. This is often the best option.
If one of the spouses is buying out the other spouse’s interest in the residence, he/she would definitely want to get an appraisal done to determine the equity amount in the home at the buyout time.

If you’re unsure about what to do and how to handle the finances and other legal procedures of property division during your divorce, adequate and affordable divorce lawyers Orlando can be sought. One of the best Family Law Firms in Orlando is known to be The Law Office of Erin Morse. Through skilled, professional, and experienced attorneys, clients can ensure their cases would settle and go in the right direction. Contact The Erin Morse Firm for a consultation now! 

Divorce Negotiations With An Angry Spouse.

If you’ve experienced marriage with a difficult spouse, it should come as no surprise that those bad behaviors would be more elevated during a divorce. Divorce can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming situation. It can even get messy in some cases if spouses turn into rivals after the marriage. However, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way even if you are dealing with a difficult spouse.

The best thing to do when it comes to dealing with a difficult spouse is to remain calm during the process and not let him/her affect your decisions. You can deflect your spouse’s angry behavior by not responding or staying calm in such situations. Approach any divorce decisions calmly and rationally. The most important thing to do is not let emotions make the decisions for you. If there comes a time where your spouse crosses any boundaries, you can respond by taking a break. Keep in mind that a reaction is what he/she wants. If there is a consistent reaction, the spouse may eventually give up trying to provoke you.

If there comes a situation where the spouse uses unacceptable language or threatens your children, these issues should immediately be reported to the judge or your attorney. In such cases where your spouse uses violence, you should speak to your attorney on getting a domestic violence order against your spouse.

The worst thing about these situations would be to engage in the same behavior as your angry spouse. If there is any reciprocation to your spouse’s anger, there is a significant chance that the case wouldn’t settle.

Keeping adequate records of your spouse is essential to be used as any evidence during the divorce procedures. Proving that your spouse has anger problems can put him/her at a disadvantage in many aspects of the divorce. If things accelerate from there, contacting your attorney as soon as possible is essential to be sure of what to do while avoiding legal calamities.

Multiple states require married couples to go through a mediation process before they escalate to a divorce trial if it comes to that. In other situations, however, judges are able to order divorcing couples to go through a mediation process. Mediation can be a great tool to establish some aspects of dealing with difficult spouses. In the mediation process, a third-party mediator would try to help couples overcome their differences for the sake of the divorce procedures. Although attorneys aren’t ordinarily present during mediation proceedings, having your attorney present would be a contributing factor since mediators aren’t allowed to give legal advice to spouses. Additionally, you would be able to ask your attorney for advice about settlement agreements that are agreed upon.

Many couples go through the divorce procedures with a lot of weight on their shoulders. However, you don’t have to face it alone. With the help of a competent divorce attorney Lake Mary FL, you can be guided through the process. If you are looking for a competent family lawyer to assist you through your divorce, you have come to the right place. The Law Office of Erin Morse is an Orlando based Family Law firm with a group of competent, experienced, and skilled lawyers. We ensure that all our clients are satisfied with the final outcomes of their cases. If that’s what you’re looking for, contact us now for a consultation!

The Divorce Settlement Agreement.

To be able to establish a proper divorce, there are multiple ways both spouses can reach an appropriate settlement. These methods include:

• Mediation.
• Through attorney negotiations.
• On your own.

It doesn’t really matter how spouses resolve their issues as long as one of the spouses do not induce the other spouse into a settlement through force, lies, or duress. A judge is also able to overturn the settlement agreement if one of the spouses lied to get the other spouse to settle.

How would a mediator help divorcing spouses?

Mediation is generally used to help couples resolve their differences in a divorce. In this process, couples are led by a third party to help them do so. Attorneys of the spouses don’t frequently appear to mediation proceedings; however, they can be present. This is done since mediators aren’t allowed to give legal advice to the spouses he/she is mediating. The mediation is typically led by a family law attorney who is specialized in mediation. Typically, court-ordered settlement depictions are held in the judge courtrooms, while voluntary settlement conferences are held in private and are usually established in an attorney’s office. Sometimes, judges are present during these procedures to facilitate the settlement discussions. Other times, attorneys will handle the meetings themselves.

In most cases, the mediators or judges will request a brief or a letter which explains the background of each position of the spouse. It is essential for both spouses to be prepared during these times and the more prepared each spouse is, the better each spouse would be able to negotiate. This means that each spouse would be able to determine and understand if the settlement that is established is fair to themselves.

What does a settlement agreement consist of?

Typically, a settlement agreement for divorce should be able to address all the issues that may arise in a divorce. These issues include:

• Custody.
• Visitation.
• Child support. (If you have any children)
• Alimony.
• Division of debts and assets.

If both spouses are unable to settle their divorce issues, there would be a need for them to go to a divorce trial. In this case, there would be a judge present to make the decisions for both spouses on who gets what in the divorce.

The rules involved in the divorce settlements frequently vary depending on the spouses’ area of residence. However, a settlement agreement should consist of all properties, finances, retirement accounts, assets, and debts of each spouse and explain how those attributes can be divided. If either spouse in the marriage requests alimony, that and the duration of the potential alimony payment should also be included in the settlement agreement. Who gets what from all assets, health insurance coverage, and pets should also be considered.

How comfortable are you with your settlement agreement?

It is essential to be comfortable with all the terms of your settlement agreement before making the final signature on it. Changing the contract once it becomes legally pronounced is difficult. If you feel like you need help with the relevant terms of the agreement, contacting a family law attorney Lake Mary Fl can contribute significantly.

The Law Office of Erin Morse is a family law firm based in Orlando, Florida. Through a set of competent, professional, and experienced lawyers our clients can ensure that their cases go in the right direction. If you’re looking for the best family lawyer in Orlando to handle your case, contact The Erin Morse Firm now!

What You Need To Know About The Termination Of Child Support.

When parents of a child are married, the law would automatically assume that both parents gain parental rights. When a child’s parents aren’t married, however, the court would typically make it a point to order the non-custodial parent to make child support payments. These payments are directed to the custodial parent to assure the child has a proper lifestyle. These child support payments are made to ensure the child’s basic needs are covered such as food, shelter, and clothing.

If you’re making or receiving child support payments, you may sometimes wonder about the ending period of the payments. Typically, that depends on the laws of each state and the situation of the child. However, there are still certain guidelines that are offered to provide a basic idea of when the child support payments end.

Typically, child support orders are issued from the age of when the payment is established to the majority age of that child, which is 18 in most states. However, nearly all jurisdictions allow for child support payments to be made until the child has finished school. This applies as long as the child has graduated by the age of 19 or 20. It may vary according to the state you’re residing in.

What is emancipation?

In emancipation, the child is considered self-sufficient. This means that in this case that child is recognized and treated as an adult by law. In emancipation, the parents are no longer required to financially support the child.

Emancipation is a procedure that typically occurs by the age of eighteen. However, it could be later or earlier depending on the circumstances. In some cases, a child can file a petition for legal emancipation before the age of eighteen. This is generally done by child actors, entertainers, or when a child tries to escape an abusive home. In other times, if a child is suffering from a mental or physical disability, the court will find that the child cannot be self-sufficient by the age of eighteen. In this case, the parents are required to provide financial and medical support well above the age of eighteen.

Child support payments get terminated once the child is emancipated. This is done either by age or court order. When this happens, the parent who is non-custodial doesn’t have to pay child support to the custodial parent. Additionally, the custodial parent is also no longer required to support the child financially.

If you’re going through the process of child custody and child support and don’t know how it works, or where to start, the first thing to do is hire an attorney. An Orlando child custody attorney or child support attorney could help you determine the nature of your situation. Hiring a lawyer for your situation is essential to ensure that the entire process goes smoothly.

If you’re looking for the best Family Lawyer in Orlando, The Law Office of Erin Morse is here to help. We provide experienced, skilled, and professional attorneys to ensure that client cases go in the right path. Contact the Erin Morse Firm for your family law needs!

How Can You Determine A Fair Divorce Settlement

When two spouses want to get a divorce, not only would there be emotional problems to be overwhelmed about but also procedural ones. When couples negotiate a divorce settlement, there are multiple issues that each spouse has to resolve. These issues may include the following:

• Determining which spouse is entitled to which property or assets.
• Determining how to divide the marital estate.
• Determining child custody and visitation.
• Establishing the calculation of child support.
• Determining if one of the spouses would have to pay alimony. If there would be an alimony payment – determining the amount and duration of the alimony.

One thing that makes it significantly difficult for spouses to manage their divorce issues is realizing that there are multiple issues to resolve at a single time. In that case, both spouses might be highly contentious. This means that it may be easy only to see things from your perspective. Your spouse, on the other hand, might be seeing things a little differently. When you’re just looking at your own interests, it might make it hard for you to know what’s fair.

The following is what determines a fair settlement:

• Separating marital property and separate property.

A fair settlement would be able to establish the difference between separate and marital property adequately. If a single spouse owns property or assets before the marriage, those properties should go towards that spouse in the divorce settlement.

A gift or inheritance received by a spouse in a marriage should also be regarded as a separate property. If a spouse receives a gift or inheritance during a marriage, that asset should be awarded to the spouse who received it. That would establish a fair settlement.

• Division of marital assets.

In community property states, a couple’s debts and assets both will be divided evenly between spouses of the divorce. In equitable division states, courts will divide assets in a fair way to spouses. This means that the division doesn’t necessarily have to be divided equally but fairly. Depending on the legal requirements of each state, the courts may consider the following factors for division:

  • The income of each spouse.
  • The separate assets and debts of each spouse.
  • If one of the spouses of the marriage was at fault during the marital period.

• Child custody.

A fair settlement should include proper parenting procedures and adequate parenting time for each parent of the marriage. A fair settlement would also be able to recognize that the children of both spouses would be better off with both parents involved in the child’s life.

• Child support.

Most states in the US take into account a set of factors to determine proper child support payments.
Typical child support payments include:

  • Income of the parent.
  • Health insurance costs of the child.
  • Childcare costs.
  • Private school tuition.
  • Extracurricular activities.
  • Pocket money.

• Alimony.

When a spouse has been financially dependent on the other for a long time, and the marriage then leads to a divorce, it may be fair for the working spouse to make alimony payments.

Multiple factors go into a fair settlement, and the above mentioned are only a few of the many. However, to be thoroughly learned on the subject it is essential to be guided through the process with a competent divorce attorney Orlando FL.

The Law Office of Erin Morse is a Family Law firm in Orlando, Florida. Through experienced and professional lawyers, clients can guarantee their cases would go in the right direction. Contact us now!

How Can You Avoid Divorce Settlement Mistakes?

Divorce can be hard for everyone involved in the process. There are multiple things to consider when going through a divorce. However, the ultimate goal is to establish a proper settlement between spouses. Typically, the majority of divorce cases don’t necessarily have to end up in a trial. In most divorce cases, over 90% of spouses are generally able to reach a settlement. If couples are more on the compatible side, the spouses might be able to reach a settlement on their own. Another way to reach a settlement on the divorce would be through a collaborative divorce process. Spouses who are divorcing may also seek to resolve their issues through mediation or arbitration processes. Whichever the method to be chosen for in a divorce, to reach a settlement, it is essential to keep in mind that there are many factors to consider.

The following methods can be used to avoid mistakes made in establishing divorce settlements:

  1. Coming prepared.

When you’re going to the courtroom, it is a big mistake to think that you don’t have to be prepared thoroughly for a mediation process. Before accepting or making a settlement offer, it is essential to have a thorough picture of all the finances in your hold. With the help of an Orlando divorce lawyer, you can anticipate your potential objectives and have potential responses prepared for any possible situation.

  1. Keep tax consequences in mind.

The tax consequences involved in a divorce are often overlooked. However, these consequences can have long-term financial effects. An example would be parents determining the tax deductions for the children. The deduction might be able to help one parent more than the other, depending on the income of each parent.

  1. Spend some time thinking before negotiating.

Both spouses of a divorce process will generally expect slight changes from their original settlement positions. This is mainly done if there is some distance apart. However, there would be nothing wrong with starting from the best possible scenario. Leaving the room for negotiation could create a more realistic compromise for the settlement. There would be a higher possibility of reaching an adequate agreement if both spouses are able to show flexibility from the original settlement.

  1. See the case from the spouse’s perspective.

When couples separate, it becomes a scenario where an income used to support both spouses becomes one where it has to support two. In most cases, there would be degradation in the lifestyle change. Calculating your spouse’s monthly budget would help you reach a more reasonable settlement.

  1. Don’t let emotions dictate decisions.

Emotions can be incredibly deceiving and compromise your chances of making rational decisions. It is essential to keep in mind the ultimate goal of the negotiation should be to reach a fair settlement.

We understand that the entire situation of a divorce can be overwhelming. With that being said, you don’t have to go through it alone. The Law Office of Erin Morse is here to help. Through a competent and determined staff, we guarantee your case would be guided on the right path. Contact us now!