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Tavares Family Law Blog

I've been ordered to pay child support, now what?

Both parents are obligated to provide financially for their child, even after a divorce has taken place. If you're the non-custodial parent, this usually entails child support payments, which are determined by the court. It's important to take the right steps if you're ordered to pay child support, as explained by Fatherly

Keep accurate records

Sentimental value can derail your settlement

Equitable property division in a complex Florida divorce often includes real estate, businesses and retirement accounts. While the financial worth of these assets is generally clear cut, artwork and collectibles may require a third-party valuation, particularly when they hold sentimental value. At Cauthen, Oldham & Associates, P.A., we tailor our legal plan based on your needs and priorities.

Divorce Magazine reports that a qualified personal property appraiser can assess the value of collections ranging from collectibles and jewelry to coins, antiques and wine. There are two categories of professionals; those who have expertise in a particular area and individuals who have broad experience across many sectors. Selecting the right type of appraiser for your specific collection is essential, especially if you and your soon-to-be-ex both want it.

School season is almost over. Think about your co-parenting plan

If you're among Florida parents who have recently divorced, you're likely still adapting to your new lifestyle. You and your ex were hopefully able to achieve a fair settlement that you both found satisfactory and developed a co-parenting plan. Many parents, however, neglect to think ahead to summer break, holidays and other extenuating circumstances that may necessitate special instructions in a co-parenting agreement.

Thinking ahead and discussing important issues now can help you avoid problems down the line. If you haven't yet finalized a custody or visitation agreement, you can incorporate instructions regarding summer months and other special occasions into your plan. In certain circumstances, it's possible request modification of an existing plan, as well. In all child-related matters of divorce, however, the court must grant approval of modifications and has final decision-making authority.

Man arrested for shooting at mother and kids in car

Many in Tavares may suffering through abusive relationships where the one's causing their suffering are their own spouses. Oftentimes, these victims of abuse choose to remain in their bad situations out of feelings they may have for their abusers and the hope that they maintain that such actions will stop. In other cases, abused spouses may simply remain in their marriages for fear that the abuse will escalate if they try to leave. In any event, those choosing to stay in an abusive marriage could be playing a potentially dangerous game, as one never knows when the force meted out by an abuser could turn lethal. 

It almost did in a case involving a woman and her three children in Wisconsin. The family was forced to flee from the father of two of the children after he forced his way into their home. They escaped out the back door and jumped into the car before they were discovered. As they drove away, the man fired multiple gunshots into the vehicle. The mother and one of the children were hit, yet they were able to make it to the hospital to receive treatment. The father has since been arrested and charged with attempted murder. 

Creating a practical parenting plan

For many Florida couples, deciding to divorce is the start of a long road filled with decisions, debates and compromises. Whether your split is amicable or contentious, creating and agreeing on a parenting plan can be frustrating and heart-wrenching. At Cauthen, Oldham & Associates, P.A. we have experience in and out of the courtroom to help ensure the best possible outcome for you and your children.

According to VeryWell Family, a parenting plan is about more than splitting child custody and responsibilities. It is also about showing your kids that you can work together, making sure they are happy, cared for and loved. When you sit down with the parenting plan, put yourself in your children’s place. Imagine what daily life will be like for them. How does traveling between two homes and living with only one parent affect the rest of their life?

Sexual abuse and divorce

Marriages end for an array of reasons, but there are some instances where it is particularly important for someone to split up with their spouse. For example, someone who has been subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of their marital partner should immediately take steps to protect themselves and hold their spouse accountable. Those who have experienced sexual abuse in their marriage, which takes a number of forms, may need to find the courage to move on. However, various options may be available, and victims of sexual abuse should not feel hopeless.

Unfortunately, some people have stayed in toxic and abusive marriages because they felt trapped or did not have the courage or energy to pursue a divorce. This can lead to recurrences of abuse and make life harder for victims and those they love. Moreover, some people may notice that a spouse has sexually abused their child, which is extremely important to address. If your child has been subjected to sexual abuse of any form, you should immediately protect them from further harm and review all of your options. Furthermore, this is an especially important issue to bring up in court in the middle of a dispute over custody.

Defining a "supportive relationship"

Although it is not intended to be, alimony is often viewed by many in Tavares as a form of punishment leveled against a more "well-off" spouse. In reality, alimony is merely meant to be a means of temporary financial assistance. It is widely recognized that some make career sacrifices in order to fulfill familial responsibilities (such as caring for children). If and when those people divorce, their spouse's may be asked to support them until they are able to provide for themselves. Often, that comes with a supported spouse choosing to remarry, at which point an alimony obligation will typically end. 

Yet what if one receiving alimony chooses not to marry a new partner in order to keep receiving such support? Cohabitation is indeed becoming more popular in the U.S.; the Institute for Family Studies reports that as of 2015, the cohabitation rates of women and men in America are 17.1 and 15.9 percent, respectively. Yet the standard for continuing to receive alimony is not simply avoiding remarriage. If one is viewed as being in a "supportive relationship," the court may choose to end their entitlement to alimony. 

Mediation gives you a greater sense of control during divorce

You look forward to dissolving your marriage. Still, you do not look forward to the fight you envision happening in the courtroom during the divorce process.

The reality is that divorce litigation is not your only option these days when it comes to sorting out your divorce issues. Divorce mediation can be a handy tool for helping you to feel empowered during your Florida divorce and get through the process as unscathed as possible.

Can I stop my spouse from destroying assets?

The unfortunate truth is that not all Florida divorces can be harmonious; in fact, they can bring out the worst in people. Some spouses, faced with the impending division of their property, will find ways to spend, destroy or squander as many of their assets as possible so that their soon-to-be ex does not receive a share. If you fear your spouse may engage in such destruction, you can take some action to try and stop it from happening.

Forbes explains that if you suspect your assets are at risk, you can file for a court order known as an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO). An ATRO serves a number of functions, including stopping both spouses from altering the financial state of the marriage during the progression of the divorce. This means your spouse cannot sell off assets and property until the divorce is completed.

Custody disputes and infant children

Divorce can be complicated for many different reasons, but some couples face particularly difficult challenges as they work through the process and adjust to significant life changes afterward. For example, the parents of an infant may have a very hard time during their divorce, especially if there is disagreement over how custody should be divided. Unfortunately, custody disputes involving infants can be especially challenging and it is vital for parents to keep their child’s best interests in mind as they work through the dispute.

Every couple is in a unique situation. Some may have been planning their divorce for months regardless of the birth, while others may find that the recent birth of a child played a role in the breakdown of their marriage. Sometimes, couples can agree on which outcome would be best for a child, but some cannot reach an agreement and inevitably take their dispute to the courtroom. Infants are very different from older children in terms of their needs and parents may want to see their baby more often to bond with the child. Moreover, infants do not have to attend school, which also affects the custody arrangement.

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Tavares, FL 32778

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