The Challenges You Might Face With Filing A Divorce In Florida

Divorce in Florida can be a necessary process in many instances. Marriages often end because one or both partners is truly unhappy. It can lock people into unhealthy or abusive relationships because of societal and financial connections. For these and other individuals, divorce is the option that they pursue for their Florida marriage. But divorce is not an easy process in Florida or any other state. Individuals have to spend months of effort and sometimes thousands of dollars finalizing a divorce. This process can be arduous even for people interested in an uncontested divorce.

Fees

Divorce of all kinds can be costly. The costs are prominent for both kinds of divorce. The two main kinds of divorce in Florida are a contested and an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both parties have mutually agreed upon the particulars of their divorce. They have decided the fate of their house and how they will split all of their assets. A contested divorce is one where both parties will instead rely on judges and lawyers to dole out their assets and any child custody arrangements. An uncontested divorce still costs money.

Couples in Florida without minor or dependent children can file a simple divorce and end their marriage after paying several hundred dollars. These individuals still have to appear in court for the final hearing and may have to spend money selling a home or splitting other assets. A contested divorce, or an uncontested divorce with minor children involved, takes a considerable amount of time and effort from both parties.

These fees can be difficult for millions of Floridians to handle. Divorce is an expensive process that is piled onto all of the other expenses that an individual already has to pay for. 1/5th of all Americans do not have any money in their savings accounts. For many of these individuals, even the cost of a simple divorce fee can force them into debt. The time required for divorce also creates an expense that many people simply do not know how to handle. Many individuals cannot simply take off of work during the week in order to appear at hearings and meet with judges. Such problems are amplified considerably if one party in a divorce is particularly belligerent.

Time

One understated challenge of a divorce in Florida is the time that the process takes to complete. Many individuals in Florida who have decided on divorce have most likely spent months or years attempting to save their marriage. But they still have to wait even longer once they apply for divorce. An uncontested divorce in Florida can take a few months. This divorce is “no-fault” and does not require a finding for either party.

But a contested divorce can take a considerable amount of time. There are numerous waiting periods and legal deadlines that both parties have to meet. There is a court-imposed period of mediation where both sides attempt to hammer out their differences between their attorneys. Then, there may be a trial that may take several months or even years. Cases can be delayed and motions can be filed almost endlessly. All of this time means more money that has to be paid to the lawyers involved.

The Process Of Contested Divorce

Uncontested divorce is challenging enough as it is. But contested divorce can be significantly more difficult. In a contested divorce, both sides begin by contacting their attorneys and filing paperwork. They contact a judge and receive temporary orders that decide on the state of assets and child custody while the case is ongoing. Then, the case goes through mediation. Both sides and their attorneys meet with a mediator who is trained on how to achieve a compromise that is well-respected by both parties. The process of mediation is followed by a legal case where both sides present their arguments on divorce disputes to a judge. These individuals go through the discovery process where evidence is collected. A deposition is taken from both parties where they cannot lie under penalty of perjury.

What To Do

Anyone looking to overcome the challenges of divorce in Florida needs to keep a few aspects of the process in mind. First, they need to show that they have gone through every reasonable step possible in order to save their marriage. An uncontested divorce in Florida needs to be pursued in many cases. While divorces in the case of abuse are often quickly processed by the courts on the side of the victim, other divorces are much less clear-cut. When abuse or neglect are not concerns, individuals need to be able to prove to their attorney and a judge that they did as much as they possibly could for their marriage.

Individuals also need to make sure that they are careful with their actions and their interactions with their former partner. Any negative communications with a former partner can result in potential problems or evidence later on in the divorce in Florida process. Finally, individuals need to contact an attorney early on in the process. Attorneys like those at the Erin Morse Law Firm often have years of experience and a wealth of advice on how an individual should handle the divorce in Florida process. They know what individuals must due in order to secure the best deal possible from their particular divorce circumstances.

Conclusion

Divorce in Florida can be a painful, time-consuming process that ranks as one of the most difficult periods of any individual’s life. The difficulty of this process is one of the reasons why many couples go through the extra effort of marriage counseling. Florida has created incentives for individuals to stay in the legal union of marriage and attempt to work out whatever issues have arisen in their marriage. When this process still fails, individuals have to enlist the help of an attorney at a group like the Erin Morse Law Firm. Attorneys will serve as advocates and go through a rigorous work process in order to help individuals with their divorce in Florida cases. An attorney is often the main reason most individuals can make a divorce work to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.

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Ending A Marriage - How To Make The Decision

If you’ve already started thinking about ending your marriage, there are obviously troubling issues between you and your spouse. Thoughts of leaving your husband or wife don’t come up unless something serious is going on in the marriage. People contemplate ending a marriage for many reasons. It may have been the occurrence of a singular catastrophic incident, chronic behavior or a slow burning dissatisfaction with life as a married person.

Everybody Deserves To Be Happy

You deserve to be happy, as does your spouse. No matter what else may be true about your or your spouse, or about your marriage, happiness is supposed to be part of the equation. For better or for worse was never meant to mean a long, tortuous life chained to someone who almost makes you feel like life isn’t worth living. Consider how short your life is and how big the world is. The world is filled with opportunities and chances to be happy. You shouldn’t have to pay the price of your own happiness just to avoid ending a marriage.

Could Things Get Better?

As a loyal spouse, you may be torn between divorce and staying in the marriage because things may get better. It’s important to be very honest with yourself about this. Theoretically, any marriage can get better. In reality, many marriages don’t. Some rifts between spouses are just too painful to heal. Other times, inherent differences between people make it impossible to have a peaceful coexistence. And people change over time. You might feel like you’re married to a stranger at this point. One sign of a possible improvement in the marriage include your spouse initiating meaningful conversations with you about the marital issues. Another is a willingness by both partners to go to marriage counseling. If things are looking hopeful, you might delay your final decision. Just make sure you aren’t delaying it because you’re afraid to ever make a choice.

What Will People Think?

The anticipated reactions of other people can convolute your decision-making process. If you have a close relationship with your in-laws, you may be embarrassed or afraid of what a divorce will do to that relationship. You might feel like you’ll lose friends, or that your neighbors will look down on you. The thing is, those people aren’t living your life. They don’t know what you have to put up with on a daily basis. Just as you don’t know the intimacies of anyone else’s marriage, no one else knows the intimacies of your marriage. When deciding on whether to end a marriage, it really doesn’t matter what other people think. It only matters what you think and feel.

Consider the Alternative

Speculate on what would happen if you decide to stay in a dead end marriage despite being unhappy, being treated poorly or suffering abuse. A dead end marriage won’t lead to anything positive in the future. If nothing improves then things may not even stay the same; they may get worse. You will have lived your life in a dead end marriage for what? To please others, or to please some false idea of who you think others want you to be?

Ending a marriage isn’t easy. It’s not “the easy way out.” It’s the smart way out if you’ve given careful consideration to the divorce from all angles. Ending a marriage means you’ll have to forge ahead on your own. That can be a scary thought after years of marriage. Look at it this way. You were alone before and you made it alright. If you need to, you can do it again.

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Florida Divorce Law

Like all the other states in the country, Florida has its own set of divorce laws. When a married couple has decided their relationship is no longer worth salvaging, divorce may be the only option they consider. The general requirements for getting a divorce according to Florida divorce law are essentially the same as for other states. At least one member of the married couple must be a legal resident of the state for at least six months before the couple decides to file for divorce. The party who files must also visit their local circuit court and get a form for Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The form must come from the court in the county in which the person lives. It is also required that the spouse be made aware of the petition as they have 20 days to file a response to the petition.

If the other spouse doesn’t respond within the 20 days, the person filing for the divorce can file a motion for default. To do this, Florida divorce law requires the individual to the clerk of court and file out certain forms, as well as set a final hearing. The person filing must also notify their spouse of the hearing with a Notice of Hearing. The next step is that the respondent can either agree or disagree and file a notice for trial. When this occurs, it is considered a contested divorce. With a contested divorce, it’s wise to retain a skilled divorce attorney. If the spouse agrees with the divorce, it is an uncontested divorce and the hearing can proceed as long as all pertinent forms are filed.

Marriage Presumptions in Florida

According to Florida divorce law, two people are considered legally married when they have had a ceremony and live together with the belief that they are married.

What are the Terms of Divorce in Florida?

If a person is filing for divorce, there are certain things to consider, which makes it extremely important to know what they want to gain from the divorce. One of these things is whether the wife will keep her married name or go back to her maiden name after the divorce is final. Whatever the aspects, it’s important to acknowledge what’s most important to each party and to properly proceed when filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. However, even if both parties agree to all of the conditions of the divorce, they should file a Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage. If the marriage produced children, they should file a Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children, which can ensure that the divorce proceedings go smoothly.

In general, there are two specific grounds for divorce according to Florida divorce law. They include the following:

• The marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be saved
• One of the spouses has been mentally incapacitated for over three years

How a Married Couple Can Qualify for Simplified Dissolution

In the state of Florida, a couple can qualify for a sampled dissolution of marriage as long as certain requirements are met. They include the following:

• The two spouses mutually agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be salvaged
• Both spouses agree to give up their rights to a trial or appeal
• Both spouses will go to the clerk of court’s office and sign the petition
• The wife is not pregnant and there are no children or dependents in the marriage
• Neither spouse is requesting alimony
• The spouses have agreed on how to divide their property and debts
• Neither spouse is requesting financial information other than court-approved financial documents
• Both spouses will attend the final hearing

Once the two parties file and submit all the pertinent documents to the clerk of court, they will get the date and time for their court appearance. If both parties appear at the hearing and all the paperwork is in order, the judge can then hand down the final judgment for dissolution of the marriage. The divorce is officially final after the judge signs a Final Judgment of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.

It’s important to note that both spouses are required to appear together before the judge at the hearing. If all the paperwork is in order, the judge can grant the final judgment to dissolve the marriage as a simplified dissolution of marriage by signing the Final Judgment of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. This document is required to be provided by the soon-to-be-former couple.

Division of Property in Florida Divorces

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that all the property amassed throughout the course of the marriage is divided in an equal and fair manner. Additionally, per Florida divorce law, other things are considered as well, including alimony awards, child support and other responsibilities each party had throughout the marriage. Generally, per Florida divorce law, the court considers certain factors when determining property division during a divorce, including the following:

• Length of the marriage
• The economic circumstances of each party
• The contributions of each spouse during the marriage, including child care, education and more
• A spouse’s wishes to retain an asset and to be free of a claim from the other party
• Contributions made to one spouse by the other for education or career enhancement
• A spouse’s wishes to retain the marital home for the benefit of a dependent child
• Contributions from each party toward marital and non-marital assets
• Vested and non-vested benefits, pensions, funds, retirement or insurance plans other other things subject to distribution

Alimony in Florida Divorces

As per Florida divorce law, alimony is classified in four distinct categories. The court can order periodic payments or lump sum payments or even both. Either spouse can request the support as it is based on need as opposed to the other spouse’s ability to pay. The alimony categories include the following:

Bridge-the-Gap: This is a type of payment that is made to help one spouse in the short term as they work toward being independent. It lasts no longer than two years.
Rehabilitative: This type of payment is meant to help one party become self-sufficient by developing skills through education, training or work.
Permanent: This type of support is in place when one spouse is financially unable to support themselves. However, it is usually not awarded if the marriage was short unless there are exceptional circumstances in place.
Durational: This type of support is awarded to someone whose marriage was short to moderate in duration.

Child Support in Florida Divorces

Florida divorce law involves the Income Shares Model when taking child support into consideration. This takes both parents’ income to consider how much money each contributes toward the child.

In some cases, a health insurance provision is included in a child support order for minor children. Health insurance costs do not go over five percent of the parent’s gross income. In some cases, the court can require that the parent paying child support buy a life insurance policy to protect the child support order.

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Child Support Legal Services
In Florida, divorced or separated couples often share joint custody of their children. However, sometimes location or other complications make this arrangement impossible. When one parent has sole physical custody of the children, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support. Other conditions require support payments as well. Both parents are required to take part in meeting the needs of their children.

Generally, child custody and support are established during divorce proceedings. However, parents who were never married are still entitled to child support. All children are entitled to support to meet their basic needs. If you are having difficulty getting child support that is owed to you, it is best to consult a Florida family law attorney.

Procedures for Obtaining Child Support

To legally obtain child support, you must go through the court system or visit your local child support office. If you and your partner create a verbal or written agreement together, non-payment cannot be pursued by the law. While you may be able to reach an agreement at the time of separation, you cannot be sure one partner won’t change their mind. Your family law attorney will help you get started with the proper forms.

After filing your claim for child support, you will be contacted for information regarding your financial situation and that of your spouse. (If you applied for other government assistance, child support enforcement may have been contacted on your behalf.) It is important to comply with this step. However, it can be difficult to gather information about a parent wishing to avoid payment. Your attorney and the support enforcement office can help get this information. You must also disclose any court case that has involved your child in the past. It may take 6 to 8 months to obtain the support order.

Determination of Payment Amount

In Florida, the income of both parents and the amount of time the child spends living with each parent work to determine the payment amount. There are many factors that define the final amount, but Florida payments are determined by the following calculations.

  • 1 child – 20 percent of income
  • 2 children – 28 percent of income
  • 3 children – 32 percent of income
  • 4 children – 40 percent of income
  • 5 children – 45 percent of income
  • 6 children – 50 percent of income

Along with the use of the calculator, other factors are considered. Some special circumstances may be considered regarding the income of both parents, and the healthcare needs of the child. Florida guidelines include some additional deviations. Payments may be different from the amounts calculated above if the child has excess medical, psychological, or educational expenses. This change would distribute these needs evenly between both parents.

The age of the child(ren) is an important factor regarding the payment amount. Older children may have larger expenses. The independent income earned by the child may also be considered. If parental income varies with seasons, payments may need to be changed as well. A parent will not be required to pay more than 50 percent of their income toward child support payments.

Your custody plan will also be considered when determining payments. The number of overnight stays is an important factor. Other activities may be considered as well. If a parent fails to uphold a joint custody arrangement, support payments may be modified.

Enforcing Child Support Payments

In the event that your spouse refuses to pay or stops making payments, there are ways to enforce support through Florida law. Sometimes, it is difficult to obtain information about a parent attempting to dodge support payments. A family law attorney can help you find the best options to regain unpaid child support.

The Enforcement Unit of the Child Support Department may take the following actions to enforce payment.

  • Wage Garnishment – Employers can deduct the amount of support owed before payment for labor.
  • Freezing Bank Accounts – A computer search can reveal active bank accounts of non-paying parents which can be frozen.
  • Referral for Contempt – Failing to follow a court order is contempt of court which can lead to fines and jail time.
  • Suspension of Licenses – Vehicle and professional licenses can be temporarily suspended.
  • Liens – Liens can be placed on real estate and personal property.
  • IRS Interception – Tax returns can be taken to help cover delinquent payments.
  • Lottery Winnings – If a parent wins more than 600 dollars in the Florida state lottery, the winnings can be used for delinquent support.

Florida child support enforcement works with departments in other states to ensure payment from parents who live in another state. In cases that involve other states, enforcement tactics are used that comply with the laws in both states. A family law attorney is especially useful in these cases to act as a liaison between the cases of each state.

If the support you receive is insufficient, you may be able to modify your payments. This is done by filing a modification petition with the court. This is usually only considered with a significant financial change by either parent. It is important to note that once the modification is filed, the court must see in through even if payments decrease.

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

There are laws in place to support the needs of children and the families who care for them. However, court cases can become lengthy and difficult. Your family law attorney understands the statutes surrounding your case. An attorney can help you speed up the process by preparing the proper forms, searching for a missing parent, and enforcing support payments.

Child custody and support cases are always difficult and painful for families to endure. Providing for your child(ren) should not be a complication of your separation. If you are facing a child support case in the Orlando area, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. The Law Office of Erin Morse is ready to fight for your right to provide the best care for your children.

General Family Law Issues

The term family law seems like a misnomer. In a perfect world, the two words would never be required to go together. However, many legal cases fall under the category of family law. These cases are naturally difficult and require an attorney with compassion and understanding for every unique situation.
Family naturally invokes the expectancy for privacy, and it may be tempting to try to work out the legalities of family problems alone. However, the results can be disastrous when emotions and anger take over the situation. An experienced family law attorney has the ability to fully understand your case and the laws surrounding it. This helps to successfully work out the best outcome for you and your family.
While thousands of individual cases fit into the category of family law, there are five broad sections that describe these situations.

Divorce

No matter who made the final decision to file for a divorce, the situation is always painful. A marriage that two people initially expected to last forever fell apart. Unfortunately, the resolution of a marriage is not as easy as simply parting ways.
The legal issues surrounding divorce are complicated and often add stress to an already volatile situation. A family law attorney can help you keep emotions in check to determine the best terms to live by when the divorce is final. The considerations to be made include:

  • Child support
  • Division of assets and debt
  • Alimony
  • Parenting and custody plan

Determining a marital settlement agreement before filing for divorce helps to ensure you make the best decisions for your family. Having a plan in place helps relieve anxiety and ensures you will face no surprises in court.

Child Custody

There is no such thing as a perfect custody arrangement. After all, no one wants to give up time with their child. However, child custody in Florida is determined by “the best interests of the child” and this often means a joint custody agreement. There are 4 main types of child custody in Florida including:

  • Physical custody – Physical custody refers to the home in which the child resides. Physical custody can be joint custody (when the child’s time is divided between both parents) or sole custody (when the child resides with one parent). Sole physical custody is often awarded when the parents live far apart.
  • Legal custody – Legal custody is the authority to make important decisions regarding the child. This includes healthcare, education, religion, and upbringing. Joint legal custody is usually awarded.
  • Sole custody – Sole custody may refer to legal or physical custody. This means one parent has full legal and/or physical custody. This usually occurs when one parent is unfit to care for the child.
  • Joint custody – Joint custody is an arrangement where parents work together to share legal and/or physical custody of the child. Joint legal custody may require meetings to make major decisions regarding the child’s future. Joint physical custody usually revolves on a schedule where each parent will spend time with the child.

It is vital to make these decisions in a professional setting. A united controlled plan will help children feel at ease with the situation.

Property Division

When couples separate, the property they owned together must be separated. The biggest part of this decision is often the home shared by the couple. There are several ways to consider working out the decision, including:

  • Selling the home – If neither spouse wants to keep the home, this decision makes division easy. The profits from the sale will be equally divided.
  • Buyout – If one spouse wants to stay in the home, they might buy the other spouse’s share of the residence.
  • Refinance – If a spouse decides on a plan to buy out the home, refinance can free up equity to pay for the full property.

All assets acquired during the marriage must be divided. Debts are divided as well. There are different ways the court works to divide these things fairly in Florida. If children are involved, the best interests of the children is a major factor in the division of assets. Sometimes, couples can agree on how to divide property. More often, a family law attorney or mediator is necessary.

Child Support

The agreement of child support is often a hotly contested issue in child custody cases. However, child support has nothing to do with either parent. In all states, child support is required because it is the right of the child. Child support is used to supply children with basic needs including food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education.
Child support is calculated in Florida based on the total earnings of both parents. However, the non-custodial parent is expected to make payments determined by a basic child support calculator. There are other issues surrounding child support which your family law attorney can help you to understand.

Spousal Support

After a divorce, both spouses should have the expectation to continue with the same quality of life they enjoyed while living together. It is not uncommon for one spouse to take care of most of the home duties while the other achieves a successful career. In the event of a divorce, the high wage earner is often expected to pay alimony (spousal support payments) to the spouse with lower earnings.
Alimony calculation has always been a fuzzy science in Florida. However, new changes to legislation may mean big changes for payments. Current statutes include a list of factors to be considered to receive payment. The technical process can be made easier with help from your family law attorney.
There are no easy answers surrounding the issues of family law. However, learning the laws surrounding your situation can help you make important decisions. A family law attorney can help calm tense negotiations and guide you to make decisions for an easier future. If you are facing legal issues and are located in Orlando or the surrounding areas, contact us today for a free consultation. The Law Office of Erin Morse is ready to take care of your unique case with the care you give to your own family.

The Quickest And Easiest Way
To Get In Control Of Your Family Law Concerns

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Putting Your Children, Not Your Divorce First

Children deserve to have a healthy relationship with their parents. Parents who are going through a divorce may not be able to be with the children everyday, but through mutual respect of the divorce and separation and putting the children first, the children will feel as if they can better maneuver the separation. This mature approach to a situation that is already mentally taxing can help the children to go a long way. As the child custody and child support related duties are assigned, allowing the children to be the center and in the winning position should be the goal for the parents.

Making a stand for your children is what should be front and center. Child custody is a serious position to have. It is in the interest of the both parents if they decide on child custody in a healthy manner. Both parents can agree to disagree on the dissolution of their relationship, but coming up with a game plan on how to make certain the children are fully supported is key.

CHILD SUPPORT

Child support is put in to place in order to protect and provide for the child. The parent with child custody receives the money to use for raising the child. Remembering this fact and not focusing on how the ex-partner will receive the money can remove a lot of misunderstandings. The financial support is for the parent who has custody to use for the children.

Child support is necessary. In focusing on the game plan of putting the children first, it is best to remember to put egos aside. Child support payments continue until the child is 18 years of age. There are special circumstances where the support may continue if the child is unable to care for him or herself. In Florida paying child support is a necessary step in order to ensure that both parents are involved in the upbringing of the child. Florida has laws in place in order to make certain that both parents participate in hopes of having the child grow up to become an upstanding and balanced individual.

Florida assists parents with the following issues:

  • court orders
  • support enforcement
  • collection from the parents living in another state
  • to enforce payment via income withholding
  • to find a missing parent
  • establish paternity

THE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT

Thе amоunt оf support varies per each situation. The parent who is responsible for paying support reports how much they are making and the judge assesses. The support is an agreement made by negotiating, mediating or a court decision. Factors that are considered for the percentage to pay is the paying parent’s income. Additionally, the parents can agree and arrange for who pays for medical insurance. If the parents do not do this the court may order the paying parent or both parents to pay for the insurance or medical bills.

Without being too afraid that your bottom line will all go away, it is important to understand that the support amount is also based on what the parent is capable of earning as per their education and job skills. Taking on a low wage job in order to avoid child support payments is not a way of making certain that your child is first and winning in the game of life. The court will assess accordingly and may decide that even with a lower paying job the paying parent must pay a higher amount.

MAKING PAYMENTS

In order to comply with the state’s law, payments have to be made. The judge will set how often and how the payments are made if the parents cannot come to an amicable agreement. In too many cases, the parents forget about the importance of the child and start to have a tug-of-war about if they should make payments and if the receiving parent is taking advantage of the situation. If the child has pushed to the side like this, then the payment will be made via the state of Florida’s child support agency.

Not making payments is not putting the child first. In the event that this happens Florida has laws in place to get payments back on track. Modifications and adjustments can be made under special circumstances. If both parents are in agreement they will do so in an agreement of which the court must approve. If the parents are not on the same page the court will decide and could decide to not make a change at all.

When the paying parent does not pay, then the repercussions could be the following:

  • Credit bureaus are notified of the unpaid amount and this affects the paying parent’s credit
  • Tax refunds are taken and diverted accordingly
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Criminal charges brought forward and jail time served or a fine imposed
  • Lien against property which makes it impossible to sell the property or to transfer it

TAXES

The state works hard to make certain that the child is receiving the child support needed. The benefit goes to the parents when the child is getting the support they need.

Parents are encouraged to have a talk with their accountant in order to learn of the tax benefits.

ATTORNEYS AND MEDIATORS

By hiring an attorney more in depth information can be learned about the situation. Hiring a lawyer in Florida can be helpful in order to make certain the person is going in to the support case with all eyes open and aware of the options.

There is also online information available. Just remember that in order to be fully prepared hiring an attorney may be the next best move to protecting your assets and keeping the child first.

With the help of the Internet there are calculators which help in figuring out how much you may receive and how much is possible overdue. The Internet, however, can never fully assess your personal situation. Hiring an attorney, you can share the specific information about your situation.

Remembering that you and the other parent are in a lifelong commitment to the child is going to be the best goal of putting the child first and not the divorce. The divorce becomes a secondary item on the list of what is important. By keeping a sound mind and the ability to communicate, only then can agreements be made. The divorce attorney you choose will assist in making certain that the child custody and child support are front and center.

4 Tips For A Strong and Healthy Marriage

Many people that are at the end of their marriage often wonder where things went wrong. Should they blame their partner? Would it have been possible to avoid divorce altogether? While it depends on each person’s situation, there are a few things every married couple should be doing to build a stronger relationship.

Secrets to a Healthy Marriage

Marriage isn’t easy–the sheer number of divorces in Orlando proves that. However difficult it may be to maintain a marriage, it isn’t impossible. The best way to keep a marriage together is to take steps to keep the relationship strong. Hoping to build a better marriage? Consider the following tips:

1. Focus on Clear Communication

In a marriage, communication is one of the most important ways to create intimacy, as well as gauge the stability of the relationship. While clear communication is essential, it is often far from easy. While each partner has their own preferred method of communication, both people have to actively work together to try to understand each other and build a better relationship.

If miscommunication is always the common denominator in a couple’s relationship issues, this is a sign that both partners aren’t quite on the same page. Instead of focusing on the miscommunication itself, try to find ways to start speaking the same language. Many couples find that they are able to understand each other better by setting aside uninterrupted time to really hear each other out. For 30 minutes to an hour each day, couples should try to spend time just talking to one another.

2. Discuss Budgets and Financial Expectations

Conversations about money are essential to the health of a marriage. However, these financial discussions can quickly do more damage. To ensure these financial discussions help to strengthen the marriage, both partners need to recognize and understand each other’s various expectations and money mindsets.

Married couples often have contrasting ideas regarding spending and saving. While this isn’t a bad thing, both partners need to learn to work alongside these differences when handling money. Couples can begin to do this by agreeing on a budget, deciding on how to approach debt, and learning to live within their means. While these discussions are often difficult to navigate, talking about money is a guaranteed way to build a better relationship and to prevent divorce.

3. Find the Balance

Balance is key in all relationships–especially marriages. Whether both partners are newlyweds or they both have been together since they met in college in Orlando, finding the balance in their marriage is essential to making it work and to prevent divorce. Just as it is important to communicate with each other and build intimacy, it is essential for both partners to take some time away from each other to focus on their individual needs.

As each partner tries to create the right balance, it’s important to consider the other partner’s needs. The healthiest relationship will be one where both partners are getting the alone time they need without sacrificing the time that they spend together.

4. Don’t Stop Dating

Marriages often end soon after the dating does. Though a couple may be married to each other, that doesn’t mean they should stop having date nights. These dates can be a night out in Downtown Orlando or a quiet evening having dinner at the house. Regardless of what activity a couple decides to do, the idea is to set time aside to focus on getting to know each other all over again.

As couples work to maintain their marriage, it’s essential that they never stop trying to build a better relationship. Each person is a work in progress, so it’s important to keep trying to improve. With these four tips, couples working to prevent divorce will be able to strengthen their marriage and fall in love all over again.

Contact Us Now

Let us handle the paperwork for you. Our Orlando Divorce Team at the Law Offices of
Erin Morse will guide you through the paperwork process, file your paperwork with the
courts, and give you a thorough review of the ramifications of the decisions/agreements
you made. Again, we are your fastest path to “Finding your new normal”. Call Us Today!


407-900-7451






What To Expect When You Are Filing For A Divorce In Orlando When Minor Children Are Involved

Divorce is a life-altering experience that is filled with complications for all parties involved. These complications are increased when children are involved.

Couples divorcing in Flordia will need both a Marital Settlementment Agreement and a Parenting Plan. Once agreed upon, these documents will be attached to the divorce settlement and become the roadmap for how parental responsibilities and shared custody issues will be handled.

When parties are unable to come to a mutual agreement on these issued, a judge will appropriate the assets and responsibilities. Individuals in the Orlando, Florida area should seed the services of an Orlando divorce attorney with these matters.

The following considerations are important to individuals in Florida taking part in divorce proceedings.

Marital Settlement Agreement

The marital settlement agreement provides a specific list of divorce terms and provides structure for the post-divorce relationship of the divorced parties. The agreement will include agreements on issues like child support, the division of assets and debt, whether or not alimony is to be paid by either spouse, and other important matters. Once signed, no modifications will be made to the agreement. For this reason, it is important that both parties fully understand their rights and reach an agreement with which they can both live.

Equitable Distribution of Assets

Florida statutes mandate all assets, properties, and debts of divorced individuals are to be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. The governing statute is Section 61.075. Contributing factors to the fair and equitable division of property are the assets owned by each spouse before entering the marriage, the debt of each party before becoming married, assets gained during the marriage, and current assets and debts possessed by the couple.

Florida courts give the opportunity to the divorcing couple to decide for themselves how assets and debts will be divided. However, if they do not agree on the issue the court will make the final decisions. Again, an Orlando divorce attorney would be helpful with these matters.

Alimoney

Also known as spousal support, alimony is paid by one spouse to another when it is determined that responsibility for the spouse that is the payee still exists after the couple is divorced or separated. There are many factors to be considered in regards to the payment of alimony but chief among these concerns is the need of the spouse to receive the payments and the ability of the paying spouse to deliver payment.

Other important considerations regarding alimony are the length of the marriage, the standard of living while married, and the financial resources possessed by each party.

Child Support

Florida Statute 61.29 establishes policy for child support in the state. The principal guidelines are:

  • Both parents are obligated to provide care for dependent children.
  • The court will consider the net income for both parents that would have expected to go to the care of children if all parties resided in the same home.
  • Child support issues are to be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible with as little litigation as possible

The amound of support to be paid for the child is calculated by a formula set out in Florida Statute 61.30. The formula takes into acount the income of both parents, the number of nights the child stays in the home of a parent, health insurance for the child, and other pertinent matters.

Parenting Plan

This plan is required in all divorces that include the shared custody of a child. The plan must include detailed provisions for:

  • The contribution each spouse will make to the daily upbringing of the child
  • A time-schedule outlining when each parent will spend time with the child.
  • An agreement on which parent will be responsible for each important matter in the life of a child. For example, health care, education, and extracurricular activities.
  • The means of communication parents will use to stay in contact with the child.

The history between the parents and any relationship issues must also be taken into account when devising the parenting plan.

How To Help Your Family Law Attorney During Trails And Hearings

A family law attorney can help shepherd a client through their participation in certain potentially trying and difficult legal proceedings. Erin Morse, a family lawyer presenting the Orlando, Florida area invites clients and concerned parties to read this brief blog highlighting the actions a client can execute that might increase their chances of achieving more successful outcomes in said proceedings.

Specific Legal Proceedings A Family Law Attorney Might Partake In

Common actions family law attorneys will participate in include divorce trials, as well as child custody and asset distribution hearings. The role of the family law attorney is to formulate arguments demonstrating why their clients deserve to emerge victoriously (or at least favorably) in these endeavors. That said, there are numerous actions a client can execute to assist their family lawyer in achieving this objective such as:

Providing The Necessary Documentation

Winning most legal cases depends upon the production of adequate and admissible evidence. The presentation of important papers like tax forms, banking statements, pay stubs, housing deeds, vehicle titles and other important documents are vital to helping an attorney create a favorable argument on their client’s behalf.

Remaining Positive

Trials and other legal proceedings can become tedious and, at times, contentious. That said, the client should always maintain a sense of positivity. An outward display of negative emotions might not only place added strain on one’s lawyer but also invite the individuals adjudicating the case (a judge or jury) to formulate a negative impression of the client.

Displaying Professional Legal Etiquette

Should the case proceed to trial, it is imperative that the client understand professional legal setting etiquette. The Judge should always be addressed as your honor and other courtroom officials should be treated with the utmost professional demeanor. While the proceedings are ongoing, the client should, at all costs, refrain from performing rude and deliberately distracting behaviors including but not necessarily limited to:

*Rolling their eyes
*Fidgeting in their seats
*Sarcastically clearing their throats or vocalizing any other attention-getting sounds
*Mumbling derisive statements

Furthermore, the client should only speak when given the opportunity to do so and should always be strictly focused on the proceedings.

Creating A Proper Appearance

The appearance a client displays could have a significant bearing on the outcome. Said individuals should appear groomed and be adorned in professional business attire (suits for men, dresses for women). Inappropriately dressed or unkempt individuals might cause the adjudicators to opine that the client is irresponsible or possesses a lack of etiquette.

Being Prepared

Once a family lawyer formulates an argument or strategy, it is imperative for the client to commit to this plan and memorize the associated details. When lawyer and client are on the same page, they present a united front and stand a better chance of avoiding confusion or being caught off guard by the opposing legal team.

Not Attacking The Adversary

In many family law proceedings, the legal adversaries are separating spouses. Attempting to attack or discredit one’s soon-to-be former partner is among the worst possible actions a client can take. Rather, said individuals should work with their family lawyer to develop an argument that focuses more on their positive attributes and illustrates why an adjudicating body should render a decision in their favor.

Allowing The Lawyer To Perform Their Job

It is imperative that the client not bother their lawyer with unnecessary questions or interrupt said professional during the proceedings. Occasionally, events might transpire on the fly that requires attorneys to think on their feet. Repeated distractions might interfere with a family lawyer’s ability to make necessary adjustments and ultimately hinder the client’s chances of attaining a favorable outcome.

For more information, please visit www.morse-firm.com.

When Should You Speak With A Child Custody Attorney

There’s nothing easy about a child custody case. Even the most civil of cases end with a situation in which you have to share your time with your child with someone else, taking away some of the most important bonding time you’ll ever have with him or her. While this might not be your ideal choice, the norm in Florida is joint custody. In fact, Florida’s concept of joint custody is more accurately one that involves shared parenting, a type of child custody arrangement that keeps the best interest of the child in mind while still giving significant rights to both parents. If you’re confused about what to do when it comes to custody or how to deal with divorce in Orlando, the following information may be helpful to you.

Divorce

The most common time for an individual to speak to a child custody attorney is when he or she is facing a divorce. Only an experienced can walk you through the process of divorce in Orlando, helping you to determine how to proceed with your plans for custody. A good lawyer will talk to you about shared custody, child support, and how to fight for a decision that is in the best interest of your child.

Issues of Paternity

One of the most common times to speak with a child custody attorney is when you’re dealing with a paternity issue. Paternity issues can impact not only your custody arrangement but also have a huge impact on the issue of child support. Women may be impacted by paternity suits when a man claims paternity, while a man might suddenly find himself either seeking to establish paternity in order to get shared custody. In either case, speaking to a child custody attorney is a necessity.

Moving

It’s also very common to talk to a child support attorney when you or your partner is considering moving to a new area. As you might expect, moving out of your current area can wreak havoc on a shared custody plan, greatly altering the amount of time that can be spent with your child and irrevocably changing the way that your child custody agreement works. Whether you are moving our your ex is moving is irrelevant – it’s important that you speak with an attorney as soon as you know that a major location shift is in the works.

Changes in Your Child’s Life

What worked as a custody arrangement in the past isn’t guaranteed to work in the future. Your child’s life will change as he or she ages, requiring both you and your ex to juggle new schedules and to make room for new activities in your child’s life. As you might imagine, this will also mean that the way you shared the custody of your child in the past won’t be guaranteed to work as these changes continue to occur. You will need to meet with an attorney to discuss child custody arrangements and make sure that the best interests of your child are being considered while still giving you a chance to be a part of your child’s life.

Get Help from an Orlando Child Custody Attorney

Child custody cases are difficult and speaking with a lawyer may be your only chance to ensure that you continue to play an active role in your child’s life. Whether you are considering custody for the first time or you need to make changes to an existing arrangement, a good lawyer will give you the advice and representation you need to seek the outcome that’s best for both you and for your child. If you’re faced with a custody issue of any sort, make sure to call an Orlando child custody attorney for the help you deserve.