Articles Tagged with Boca Raton visitation attorney

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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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Imagine the following scenario: A woman with a one-year-old daughter marries a man who is not the biological father of her child. The stepfather takes an active role in parenting the little girl and considers her to be his own child. The biological father does not play a significant role in his daughter’s life. After twelve years of marriage, the woman decides to get a divorce and wants to cut all ties with her former spouse. The stepfather wants to seek visitation rights of the child he has considered to be his own for many years.

With the constant blending of families in recent decades, a stepparent’s right to visitation with a stepchild is a common issue that arises in divorce cases. Many people seek legal advice asking the following question: Do I have visitation rights regarding my stepchild following a divorce? Unfortunately, in Florida, the short answer to this question is no. Florida is actually one of four states that provide no rights to stepparents for visitation or parenting following a divorce. Though a stepparent will not have any legal rights regarding stepchildren on which to fall back, there are certain steps that a person can take to have a better chance of preserving the ability to visit with stepchildren after a divorce.

Work for an Amicable Divorce