Articles Posted in Family Law

Man Looking Over Insurance PolicyGoing through a major life change like divorce can leave you with questions about the many details that must be addressed. For example, how do you deal with your insurance policies when you get a divorce in Florida? With insurance plans covering your whole family, you’ll need to make your policies reflect your new marital status. Here are more things to know about dealing with your insurance in a divorce.

Make a List of Your Policies

To get an overview of what needs to be changed, make a list of each policy that you have as a family. This includes health insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, life insurance and any other polices you have. Once you’ve compiled a list, you’ll know exactly what you need to address with your insurance agents, spouse and divorce attorney.

Military Father and ChildGoing through a military divorce comes with a number of laws and issues that don’t necessarily apply to a civilian divorce. If you are a military family facing divorce, it is important to be aware of the specific issues that you face. Speak with the experienced divorce attorneys at Parker & DuFresne if you’re seeking legal representation in a military divorce.

Where Can I File for Military Divorce?

Service men and women and their families often move frequently. In some cases, they may be stationed in a state that is different from where they maintain a permanent residence. This can make it hard to know where to file for divorce if you’re a military family.

A person prepares to file divorce in Jacksonville with Calculator and W-2 onlineYou’re probably not thinking much about your taxes when going through a big life change like divorce. But if you’ve recently been divorced or are going through a divorce, it can actually have a big impact on your taxes. Below are some important things to consider about the effect on your taxes when you file divorce in Jacksonville.

Your Filing Status

Your filing status is the most obvious change on your tax return after getting a divorce. It’s also what determines many of the numbers on your tax return, such as your tax bracket, deductions, and exemptions. The impact your status has on your tax liability will depend on your own personal situation. Some people who file divorce in Jacksonville may find they owe more in taxes, others may owe less.

Child Support spelled out with gavel on top of cashThe myths and misconceptions about child support seem to be endless. Different states have different laws regarding child support and some laws are changed over time, which adds to the confusion. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with current child support laws in our state. Below, we dispel some of the most common misconceptions surrounding child support in Florida.

Myth: No one receives child support when both parents share custody.

Fact: While there are cases when this may be true, one parent will usually be responsible for paying child support. This is because child support is determined based on income and time spent with the child. Often, even with joint custody, a child will spend more time with one parent. Child support is designed so that both parents share financial responsibility for the child. Child support in Florida is not necessary if both parents earn the same income, have 50/50 time sharing and share equal financial responsibilities for the child.

a couple walking while holding their child's handNo longer an anomaly, blended families are becoming increasingly common in today’s society. In many households, the stepparent is more involved with a child’s life than the biological parent. He or she may even develop a stronger bond with the child. This is why it’s not uncommon for some stepparents to speak to their family law attorney about adopting their stepchildren. Here’s what you need to know if you are considering adopting your stepchild.

Should I adopt my stepchild?

Adopting your stepchild may seem like a natural choice, especially when the biological parent is not as present. For some, it’s more ceremonial and a way to solidify the commitment to their blended family. It’s also a way of establishing legal rights for both the stepparent and stepchild. Speak with your family law attorney about the advantages of adopting your stepchild, which include:

An adult holding their child's handThere are several ways that child custody can be arranged in a divorce. When both parents want to be actively involved in the child’s life, shared custody and joint custody will be considered. They may sound like the same thing, but there are some important differences to be aware of. Be sure to work with an experienced divorce lawyer in Jacksonville to help you determine the best arrangement for you and your child.

What is Shared Custody?

In shared custody, both parents have shared legal physical rights to their child. Both parents receive approximately the same amount of time caring for the child in their separate homes. Generally, this works out best when both parents agree to a set schedule. If that’s not attainable, the judge will determine which parent has primary custody. He may also arrange a set visitation schedule.

A child holds a stuffed bear while hugging his parentIf you’re being investigated by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), you’re probably wondering if you need a lawyer. While many calls to DCF see no action taken, some may result in serious changes to your family’s current situation. Hiring a family law attorney can help protect you and your parental rights. Here’s what you need to know about dealing with the DCF.

What is the DCF?

The Department of Children and Families, or DCF, is a state government agency responsible for protecting children and helping troubled families. In cases of abuse and neglect, the DCF investigates any calls or reports that a child may be at risk. An investigation may go to court to try to remove a child from their home if they conclude that the child is in a harmful environment. The DCF also provides support services for families who are in turmoil, places children in foster care and arranges adoptions.

a retired couple looks worriedThe divorce rate among couples who are over 50 has been rising in the past few decades. On top of the emotional difficulty of divorcing later in life, there’s often a profound financial impact. This is especially true when dealing with retirement. If it looks like you may be headed towards a “gray divorce”, be sure to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. Here’s what you need to know about divorcing in retirement.

Alimony

Permanent alimony is generally granted after a long-term marriage (over 17 years). In Florida, the court merely requires that an award of permanent alimony is more likely than not to be appropriate. The amount can vary dramatically, but you should expect alimony to be a factor when divorcing in your senior years. Work with a reputable divorce lawyer to ensure alimony is awarded fairly in your case.

a man circling the word facts over mythsThere are plenty of divorce-related myths circulating out there. Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to believe. The Jacksonville divorce attorneys at Parker & DuFresne want to help you separate the facts from the fiction. Here are some of the most common myths about divorce in the state of Florida.

1. The divorce rate is rising faster than ever.

It’s no longer true that the divorce rate in the United States in on the rise. In fact, divorce has been steadily declining since the 1980s, especially among college educated couples. Approximately 70% of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary.

a family on the couch with their dogIt’s hard to believe that gay adoption was completely illegal for over 30 years in the state of Florida. But in 2010, the Florida Court of Appeals ruled that the law prohibiting LGBT adoption was unconstitutional. Still, the adoption process for gay and lesbian couples may vary slightly from that of a heterosexual couple. The following information should help you better understand the process of gay adoption in Florida.

Ways to Adopt

Many LGBT people and gay couples have successfully adopted children into their families since gay adoption has become legal in Florida. There are several ways to go about adoption in Florida.