Articles Tagged with Boca Raton divorce lawyer

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Child support obligations, on the one hand, and the failure to fulfill them, on the other, are among the biggest sources of conflict and resentment among divorced couples. Florida has laws to protect the rights of the parent ordered to pay child support and the one who receives child support payments on behalf of the children. The laws surrounding the enforcement of child support orders and the measures that Florida family courts can take to collect late child support payments are popularly known as the Deadbeat Dad Law, although this is something of a misnomer. First, not all parents who are required to pay child support are men. Second, not everyone who falls behind on child support payments does so as a means of intentionally evading parental responsibility. Except in the direst financial circumstances, Florida courts hold parents to the responsibility to provide financial support for their biological and adopted children. Thus, it is much easier to fall behind on child support obligations than it is for a court to absolve you of responsibility for them.

The Lengths to Which Courts can Go to Collect Child Support Payments

The court system can go to great lengths to collect overdue child support payments. These are some of the ways that courts can take money from you and apply it to child support if you do not pay:

  • Garnishing wages
  • Seeking bank accounts
  • Selling assets from your estate (even death cannot get you out of the obligation to pay child support)
  • Additionally, the court can impose the following non-financial punishments for failure to pay child support:
  • Contempt of court
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Suspension of passport

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Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida has been in the midst of an extraordinarily acrimonious divorce since last year, and he is reportedly preparing to make accusations of bigamy against his wife, Lolita, at trial. Though he had previously expressed his suspicions of bigamy, Grayson claims he will present these suspicions to the judge and request a legal annulment instead of a dissolution.

Specifically, Grayson claims that his wife married him in 1990 and did not legally divorce her first husband, Robert Carson, until 1994. These claims are based on divorce records discovered in Broward County, Florida for “Lolita B. Carson.” His wife claims that the divorce involved a different Lolita Carson and that she was actually divorced in Guam in 1981. Neither Grayson nor his wife have been able to locate Robert Carson to testify in the matter.

Effects of an annulment

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In previous decades, divorcing spouses may have hired private detectives or other surveillance to catch their spouses in lies or questionable behavior. In recent years, however, such resources have become almost unnecessary since many Americans tend to broadcast nearly every detail of their lives online. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and more allow people to post statuses and photos that allow a look into their daily activities. Such posts can make it very easy for divorcing spouses to catch each other in lies or combat arguments made to the court.

No matter how often divorce attorneys warn clients to stay off social media, we are constantly surprised by how many people ignore this basic advice. Some clients believe their online activities are okay because they “defriended” or “blocked” their spouse. However, you likely still have some online contacts in common with your spouse, and those “friends” may always report information back to your spouse. Information online is widely discoverable, so it is always the best idea to stay off these sites or even suspend your profile until after your divorce is final. The following are some issues that social media posts may adversely affect in your divorce.

Spousal Support and Property Division

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When most people think of divorcing couples who own homes, they may likely think of the question: who will get the house? This question usually implies that one spouse or the other will remain in the family home, while the other spouse must find a new residence. However, there is another option that many spouses do not consider—that neither spouse will get the house.

If a couple cannot reach an agreement regarding who may stay in the home, the issue will have to be litigated in court. The court will look for a way to most equitably divide the property in accordance with Florida divorce law. Often, this may require the couple to sell the family home at fair market value, pay off the mortgage, and then divide the net proceeds equitably, if there are any.

Note that equitable distribution of property is not always 50/50 as the court considers many factors when deciding how to fairly divide property. For example, if one spouse had an affair, gambling problem, shopping addiction, or other factor that caused them to waste marital funds, the court may award that spouse significantly less proceeds for the home sale.