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!


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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.

Common Misconception: We Both Agree so We Don’t Need to Go To Court

Separation is a difficult time as it is and allowing for a situation where it could become hazardous in the long run will only make matters worse. It may seem at the time that you both can come to an agreement on how you’ll handle the situation with your children. This state of mind is what has contributed to spreading the most common misconception about separation, and that’s the thought that court can be skipped if both parties can come to an agreement on the children mutually.

 

However, this could be riskier than it may seem at the time. There are many ways that things could turn out, and if you don’t find yourself with legal protection it could be unavoidable. Here’s a look at why you should reconsider the option of not going to court and settling it amongst yourselves.

 

What happens if one of you decides it’s an unfair agreement in the future?

 

This is one of the benefits of using the court of law during a separation. Not only will you be able to ensure a fair agreement (including the option for shared custody) that’s looked at by an outside party, but it opens an avenue to ensure that the agreement is one that will last for the long-term. This alone will make things easier during separation.

 

On top of that, when you go to court, you’ll most likely be using the help of an attorney to ensure your best interests are always considered. This may also let you become informed of options you didn’t think were available. Not to mention, it prevents the risk of overlooking some of the most important factors of child custody during the process.

 

In the event of child support disputes, will you be able to ensure a logical outcome?

 

The needs of a child can be demanding, and therefore the child support process was developed to simplify this aspect of separation. It ensures the weight isn’t on the shoulders of solely one parent and over the long run it will make for less stressful situations.

 

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that as time progresses, things change. Your ex may not be able to afford the amount of child support that was originally agreed on. They could even be getting paid more which would increase child support payments. By not ignoring the effect that court can have on a separation, you’re making sure all the bases are covered throughout the years.

 

Over time, if the agreement needs to be redone, it might not be feasible.

 

When you come to a mutual child custody agreement, you could be limiting your options for the future if changes need to be made. If you go to court, you always have a chance to appeal the decision later if there’s a need to do so. Not to mention, it ensures the entire process is fully documented proving the situation is indeed what it is rather than taking the chance that your explanation is considered hearsay.

 

This doesn’t consider the fact that after separation emotions could be running high. When someone finds themselves in this state of mind, future agreements may become impossible. Having an Orlando divorce attorney help you through the process could provide a needed balance to ensure that even if changes are made, they’re still upholding your best interests when it comes to child custody.

 

If one parent decides visitation isn’t fair, will it be easily fixed?

 

This is another advantage of not blowing past the option of going to court for separation. It’s how you can make sure that the child custody and/or shared custody arrangements are truly fair for both parties. In the event there becomes a dispute in the future, it’ll be easier to either prove that it’s fair or make the necessary amendments to make both parents satisfied with the results.

 

What if your ex backs out on the agreement and doesn’t continue to follow it?

 

If there’s a court order in place, there’s legal protection that comes with it. You can enforce the orders that were set forth when you went to court and even enforce other actions if they’re deemed necessary. Whereas a mutual agreement comes with very little in terms of what you can do to enforce its contents.

 

If you’re separated and you need to see what your options are for your specific situation, it’s best to contact an Orlando divorce attorney even if you’re not legally married. They’re the most experienced when it comes to child custody and related matters.

How To Establish Paternity In Florida

Studies show children with involved fathers have an advantage compared to children with distant relationships with their dads. Whether the relationship is biological, adopted, or unmarried consummated devotion these factors play a critical role in establishing the father’s paternity.

Fathers have been fighting for neutral custody of their children for years. Still today, paternity in Florida isn’t any easier, but with the help of an Orlando divorce attorney, child custody and child support is awarded fairly.

Matrimonial Paternal Rights

Paternity in Florida represents over 16,000 family court action filings each year. To legally recognize a father’s rights of child custody he needs to file a paternity action establishing paternity.

It’s presumed the husband is the biological father for children born during a marriage. The statute of limitations for challenging the father’s paternity begins when he signs the hospital’s paternity acknowledgment form after the child’s birth.

Each year the Florida Office of the State Court Administrator reports family court filings. Orlando divorce attorneys handle the largest percent of court filings (paternity) compared to civil, criminal or probate.

  • YE 2016 -2017 Florida family court filings (paternity) rose to 38.5 percent, up from 2008 at 28.2 percent.
  • Fathers are blocked or severely limited to time-sharing with their children during the divorce proceedings or separations.
  • Florida encourages a father’s involvement and his legal responsibilities to child support.

Cohabitating Paternity

The percentage of couples choosing to cohabitate before and after the birth of a child continues to rise. Establishing paternity gets complicated when the couple separates.

In most cases, unwed fathers have absolutely no legal rights to their children. The biological mother has full physical and legal custody of the children until the father can legally establish paternity.

  • U.S. Census reported almost 25 percent of Florida household were unmarried adults in 2001.
  • In 2018, 8.5 million unmarried couples were living together in the U.S.
  • Cohabitating partners represent more than 1 million homes with at least two children.

Merely being identified on the birth certificate as the father, does not lawfully prove parental rights in the eyes of the court. Before paternity in Florida can be ascertained, an affidavit of paternity is needed to begin the paternity action. Experienced Orlando divorce attorneys work with the father to authenticate his claims of fatherhood.

Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement

Sometimes voluntary paternity occurs for married or unwed couples with children. Orlando attorneys ensure a father’s rights to have a healthy relationship with the child or children.

Here, the mother and legally recognized father will sign under oath a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. In Florida, the document is an admission of the child’s legal father for establishing paternity. The action supports parental legal rights, child custody responsibilities including visitations, active participation in raising the child and child support.

  • Fathers failing to exercise paternity rights could lose custodial rights.
  • More important, the child’s development is impacted without the emotional bonds and financially support.

Before signing the acknowledgment document, each parent needs to consider the consequences because it is irrevocable in most situations. After signing, the courts accept the father as the person with legal rights to the child.

For more information on paternity situations and strategies valued by the State of Florida to support a father’s parental rights, please contact our office.

Fathers believing, they have lawful rights to participate in a child’s life and need assistance in establishing paternity, or wish to contest the court orders, should discuss the circumstances, and consider trustworthy counsel on legal paternity resolutions.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of year spent with loved ones. Some families have a little more stress during this season, however. Split families have to share child custody during the holidays. This can be a stressful situation for parents to decide on and, with some many emotions involved, may require help from an Orlando divorce attorney.

With the holidays quickly approaching, now is the time to begin working out a time sharing and visitation schedule for child custody during the holidays. By getting it all figured out now, it can prevent unnecessary stress, confusion, and arguments with the other parent when the time comes. Even if you have joint custody or pay child support, you still need to have a holiday schedule in place.

When the courts become involved in a child custody or Orlando divorce case, the judge almost always grants joint custody or shared custody of the child. This means shared holidays, too. The only time this isn’t the case is when the judge believes it would be detrimental to the child to have to spend more time with a certain parent.

How to Split Child Custody During the Holidays

Most often, a judge will split time during the holidays so that both parents are able to spend an adequate amount of time with the child. This usually means that the judge will grant some kind of time sharing order to the parents that is different than their normal joint custody schedule.

The child custody agreement will likely be different during the holidays than during the rest of the year. Even if the parents have joint custody, one parent pays child support, or one parent only gets one weekend a month, the agreement during the holidays will probably be different.

The two parents can decide how to split up the holidays themselves, but sometimes there will be a disagreement. When this happens, the courts typically have to get involved to make sure that the shared custody schedule is fair for the holidays.

There are a couple different ways that you could split up holidays. One method may work better for your family than the other method, so it is important to think all factors through before deciding. Orlando divorce courts do what they think is best for the child, so if you and your child’s other parent can come to a fair agreement, it is one less step to do in court. The different options include:

  • Switch holidays every other year

One parent would have the child on Christmas in 2018, and the other parent would get to spend Christmas of 2019 with the child. You would do this for every holiday. If you choose to divide up visitation this way, you won’t have to miss seeing your child on a holiday for two years in a row.

  • Split the holiday in half

One parent will get the child in the morning, and the other parent will get to have the child for the rest of the day. This option requires the most planning because you will have to figure in traveling. If you live far from the other parent, a portion of your child’s holiday will be spent traveling, and that isn’t always best.

  • Have the same scheduled holiday every year

This would mean that the parent who gets Christmas gets it every year, and the other parent never gets to spend Christmas with the child. This is important to think about, as well, because both parents will have to sacrifice some of the holidays.

Final Thoughts on Sharing Parenting Time During the Holidays

Both parents want to spend the holidays with their child, but in the case of Orlando divorce, parents are required to split the holidays in some way. If you are struggling to set up a joint custody or child support agreement during the holidays, an Orlando divorce attorney might be the way to go.

What To Do If Paternity Fraud Happens To You

Paternity fraud is an issue that has occurred to a surprising amount of men. Indeed, pop stars Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber have both written songs about the issue of this type of fraud. Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” came out in 1983 and if you listen closely to the lyrics you will realize what the song is about. Justin Bieber’s “Believe” came out in 2012 and touched on the very same issue! All of this of course begs the question: what are your rights when it comes to these issues? What can you do to fight it? That is the focus of this blog entry.

First of all, it is important for the respondent to understand the ramifications of Florida paternity fraud. This fraud occurs when a woman names a man as the father of her child when the paternity of the child is in doubt. Often, the woman will know full well that the child is not really the biological offspring of the man, but will just do so to claim child support from the man. Unfortunately, there are a number of men who have only found out several years after the fact that they were not, in fact, the biological father of the child. An individual that has determined they are the victim of paternity fraud will need to fully analyze the situation to determine what recourse they should look for.

Of course, the first thing they need to do is to contact a domestic litigation attorney as soon as possible who is experienced in Florida child support laws. Interestingly enough, a lot of men think that all they have to do is simply submit a DNA test to prove they are not the biological father and this will settle the issue. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. The reason for this is because of a tricky legal phrase called “the best interests of the child.” If several years have passed where the complainant has acted as the father of the child, a negative DNA test may not be sufficient to convince a court to vacate Florida paternity and child support expectations. In actuality, about the only way for a court to vacate a child support order would be for the man to be able to prove that the fraud has taken place. In that vein, there are a number of questions a man facing a false paternity case should ask themselves.

Some sample questions regarding this would be this: did she ever tell you that you were not the real father? Did she tell anyone else that you weren’t the real father? Did she send you any emails, make any phone calls, or do anything that is retrievable that would prove you weren’t the real father? If so, you just might be able to get a court to set aside a Florida child support order and establish Florida paternity fraud.

When it comes to Florida paternity laws, you also need to understand there are a number of ways a court looks at the father relationship. First, there is the “acknowledged father” who admits that he is the biological father of the child. Next, there is the “presumed father” who is someone who married the mother, tried to marry the mother, or was married to the mother when the birth took place.

With Florida paternity laws, a couple other factors in a case would include timing and whether the presumed father can determine who the biological father is. Of course, timing is everything. Contesting the paternity should ideally happen right after the presumed father suspects the child isn’t his. Moreover, if the presumed father knows who the biological father is, there are cases where he has been able to successfully sue him for restitution.

Of course, if you are questioning whether you are the biological father of a child, time is of the essence. Contact a domestic litigation attorney as soon as possible to go over your rights and what avenues you can take regarding your Florida parental case.

Ways To Make Divorce Easier On Children

Divorce is not easy on anyone, especially the kids. While the marriage may be over, both parties still owe their children love, attention, and support in all forms. In order to make that happen, it’s crucial for both parents to ensure their kids know they are there for them. Here are six approaches that many Orlando divorce attorneys will suggest to clients who want to make divorce easier for the children.

1. Tell Them Together

It’s the ethical responsibility of both parents to sit down with the children and explain that the family is about to go through an Orlando divorce. While it’s not necessary to provide specifics about the reasons behind the divorce, do help the kids understand that the end of the marriage does not mean the end of the family. It just means not everyone will be living under the same roof and that a plan for child custody will be created.

If the kids need to vent, let them. The focus here is not on what the parents are feeling. It’s about helping the kids to understand what’s happening. That may require hearing some hard words from the children, but it’s better for them to let it out now than try to keep it in.

2. Create and Abide By a Reasonable Visitation Schedule

A child custody arrangement can take on many forms. One parent may have sole custody while the other is granted visitation rights. Even in a shared custody arrangement, one parent will serve as the custodial parent while the other party is designated as the non-custodial parent. The goal of the court and the Orlando divorce attorney is to ensure the children have regular access to both parents via a workable time sharing plan.

3. But Be Flexible

While there’s a time sharing plan in place, remember to be flexible. If a child has a school activity on a visitation weekend, work together to reschedule the visit. Alternatively, the non-custodial parent must be willing to step in and help if the custodial parent is ill or needs to be out of town at a time other than the regularly scheduled visitation weekend.

4. Never Use Visitation to Punish the Other Parent

Always remember that visitation after an Orlando divorce is about maintaining a healthy and loving relationship with the children. It’s not about whatever negative feelings the former partners have about one another. Never withhold or otherwise use visitation time as a way to get back at the other parent.

This means that custodial parents should do everything possible to ensure non-custodial parents can see the kids according to the child custody arrangement. In like manner, non-custodial parents should make sure the kids are returned to custodial parents on time.

5. Don’t Fight in Front of the Children

Whatever went on before the Orlando divorce, the two parties with shared custody should never fight in front of the kids again. Even when it may be difficult, remain civil to one another when the kids are around. Should the need arise to have a heated discussion, it can take place away from the children. If necessary, the two lawyers who helped create the child custody arrangement can intervene and help the parents avoid involving the kids in whatever is causing the issue.

6. Never Speak Negatively About the Other Parent in Front of the Kids

Even when the other parent is not around, it’s important to not speak negatively about the other party in front of the kids. This can be a little more difficult, especially if a child is complaining about the other parent. Even when it would be so easy to talk about how childish, immature, or irresponsible the other parent happens to be, resist the temptation.

An Orlando divorce attorney can help the client navigate the legal system and create a child custody arrangement that’s in compliance with current laws. The attorney also has a lot to offer about making the divorce easier for the kids. Take those suggestions to heart and use them at least until the kids are on their own. In the long run, the children will adjust with less difficulty and be assured that both parents still love and want them.