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May 2017 Archives

Paternity and accuracy: a brief look at how Florida law addresses paternity probabilities, P.1

For parents of children born outside of marriage, establishing paternity is an important first step in recognizing the rights and obligations that flow from parenthood. It goes without saying that the accuracy of paternity testing is critical to ensuring a just outcome. The fact is, though, that paternity testing is not without the possibility of error.

Addressing parental alienation in contentious child custody cases in FL, P.2

Last time, we began looking at how family courts in Florida address the issue of parental alienation in divorce. The issue is, of course, more likely to come up in contentious divorce cases, where parents are bitter toward one another and unwilling to cooperate for the benefit of their children. As we noted, family courts will take into account any evidence of parental alienation in making an initial decision about child custody and parenting time.

Addressing parental alienation in contentious child custody cases in FL, P.1

Previously, we noted that Florida courts are bound by a public policy that parents should have shared parental responsibility unless this would be detrimental to the child. Family courts consider a variety of factors in determining whether a proposed parental responsibility or parenting plan arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

How do Florida courts address issue of joint custody, shared parenting?

In Florida, as in other states, courts make decisions about child custody with the primary aim of ensuring the best interests of the child are met in any given arrangement. In Florida, the public policy is that minor children continue to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after divorce, and courts will order shared parental responsibility unless it can be shown that doing so would be detrimental to the child.

Division of marital property: interspousal gifts and the issue of donative intent, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the issue of donative with respect to interspousal gifts. In determining whether a spouse had donative intent, in cases where this is in dispute, courts need to make sure there is enough evidence to support such a finding. In the decision we began looking at last time, the trial court sided with the husband—that the properties were separate.

Division of marital property: interspousal gifts and the issue of donative intent

One of the points we’ve previously mentioned on this blog is that it is important for couples, when dividing assets, to determine what property is separate and what property is part of the marital estate. Again, marital assets include those acquired during the marriage by either spouse, any increase in value and appreciation of separate property resulting from the efforts or contributions of either part during the marriage, and any value tied up in retirement, plans, insurance plans, and other benefit and funds.

When architects make mistakes: What to watch for

Architects play a foundational role in construction projects. They create both the big-picture vision as well as the all-important details of the finished structure. Considering their work combines aesthetics, math and science, it's no wonder architects undergo such intensive training and education.

Some pitfalls, considerations regarding wills in estate planning, P.2

In our last post, we began discussing some pitfalls surrounding wills, or things to keep in mind about wills. In addition to assessing the desirability of probate avoidance, periodic review of estate documents and beneficiary designations, and including less obvious assets, another potential pitfall it do-it-yourself wills.

Some pitfalls, considerations regarding wills in estate planning, P.1

Coming up with a well-thought-out estate plan is an important task for everybody, especially those who have children and/or significant assets. For many people, a last will and testament is the basis of a thorough estate plan. Still, just having a will doesn’t necessarily prevent all possibility of problems arising after death.

How can an attorney help ensure an effective family mediation? P.2

Previously, we began looking at the topic of family mediation, and how an attorney can help make sure the process is as effective as possible. As we pointed out last time, one thing an experienced attorney will do to make sure the process is productive is to gather as much information as possible in the discovery process. This ensures that there is a sufficient factual basis on which to conduct negotiations.

Work with experienced attorney to minimize potential will disputes after death

In previous posts, we took a brief look at some of the pitfalls folks sometimes fall into with will in their estate planning efforts. As we noted last time, one of these pitfalls is simply assuming that having a will can prevent family fighting after one’s death. While having a will certainly can help prevent disputes, this requires careful planning, proper drafting, and additional legwork to help ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

How are firearms divided in divorce?

For some Floridians, firearms are part of a way of life and a significant amount of money is tied up in firearms collection. For these folks, divorce can present issues not only in terms of dividing the value of firearms between the couple, but also when allegations of domestic violence come into play.

Navigating firearms possession in divorce cases involving allegations of abuse, violence

Previously, we briefly commented on how firearms would be handled in a Florida divorce cases. As we noted, firearms are generally dealt with as other marital assets, but exactly how firearms they are divided depends on the circumstances of the case and whether the couple seeking dissolution can agree on how to handle distribution of firearms that may have significant value.  

Dealing with debt in your estate plan

These days, debt is virtually unavoidable for most Americans. You need a mortgage to buy a home. You use an auto loan to purchase a car. You're strapped with significant student loans that will take years or decades to pay off. You may even have personal loans for remodeling projects, big purchases or tight financial times.

How can an attorney help ensure an effective family mediation? P.1

In our last post, we began looking at the topic of family law mediation, and some of the basic features of the process. In any mediation, it is critical to work with a mediator who is a good fit for the case to have a good shot at achieving something worthwhile. Not all mediators are equal. The differences in training and education, experience and style can be significant, and these can all impact the success of the mediation.

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