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Miami Divorce Law Blog

How medical needs can impact child support

It is important for parents to be aware that in addition to child support obligations, they are also responsible for their child's medical needs and costs. Parents are responsible for uninsured and unreimbursed medical costs that result from their child's medical care. Examples can include co-pays, deductibles and prescription costs. Parents are responsible for medical costs resulting from medically necessary treatments and procedures.

Medical needs that parents are responsible for include the child's medical, vision and dental treatment needs and costs. These medical expenses are referred to as extraordinary because they exceed the cost of the basic health care that would be covered under a parent's health insurance coverage. A child support order may address extraordinary medical care costs and state the percentage of uninsured and unreimbursed medical care expenses each parent is responsible for paying.

Former NFL player jailed for failure to pay child support

Failure to pay child support is not treated lightly in Florida. Former New England Patriots running back Jonas Gray was recently jailed in Florida for failure to pay child support. After paying a $7,924 "cash purge," the former NFL running back was released from jail 17 hours after he turned himself in. The mother of Gray's child filed a paternity petition last year. The 33-year old woman gave birth to the couple's child in the fall of 2015.

The court will hold a parent in jail for failure to pay child support on a "cash purge" until an amount that is owed is determined and paid in lieu of bond. It is unknown how much child support Gray owed. He was under the threat of 30 days in jail when he paid $7,924 and was released from jail the following morning after turning himself in.

Understanding post-divorce modifications

Life does not remain unchanged following divorce and the family law court recognizes that fact which is why it provides the option to modify a post-divorce agreement. Modifications may be possible in circumstances of child support, child custody and spousal support. While the family law court provides resources to modify a divorce agreement that no longer workers for the divorced couple, modifications must be pursued through the family law court.

It is important that neither of the spouses simply chooses to ignore the divorce agreement and seeks a modification through the family law court. In certain circumstances, depending on the situation, a modification may be possible. Based on a significant, and previously unforeseen, change in circumstances a modification of a divorce order may be made. Significant changes can include the loss of a job or a change in medical insurance or a change in the needs of the child related to medical expenses or child care needs.

Research shows that shared custody is preferable for children

Florida favors shared custody for children following divorce and research supports that shared custody is best for children following a divorce. According to research, having both parents involved in their lives significantly increases the likelihood that a child will have a positive and healthy future following divorce. The professor who conducted the research noted that shared parenting, or shared custody, should be the norm even for young children.

Yet in 80 percent of court-ordered custody cases, the mother is awarded full physical custody of the child. Because of the understandable conflict between the parents during divorce, traditional wisdom has favored full physical for the mother and allowing the father to parent one night a week and every other weekend. The study examined these notions and found that most conflict subsides within several years of separation.

Prenuptial agreements can help any couple

Prenuptial agreements have many different uses and can be valuable for individuals in a variety of different types of situations. Most, if not all couples, enter marriage believing they will not get divorced so may not consider a prenuptial agreement and may also not consider a prenuptial agreement if they are of limited financial resources. Having limited financial resources when marrying is not necessarily a reason to forgo the many benefits of a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements can be beneficial for couples of limited resources and couples of high net worth. Prenuptial agreements are beneficial because they contemplate an equitable division of wealth, investments, savings, debt and possible alimony obligations. Prenuptial agreements make sense to clarify responsibilities and while generally debt and assets a soon-to-be spouse enters a marriage with are commonly viewed as separate property, debt incurred during the marriage, including student loans, can be viewed as marital property which is shared. Prenuptial agreements can address those important concerns.

Do I need a reason to get a divorce?

After being married to your spouse for so long, you may feel your relationship is just not working out. You may feel you have exhausted all options for reconciliation and you are ready to start over on your own. Before you file for a divorce, carefully assess your feelings and situation to make sure you are really ready to take the next step. 

You may want to keep your reasons for wanting a divorce to yourself. Those issues may be why you have held on to your relationship for so long. You do not need to stay in a relationship that may not be healthy for you. Take some time to review the following information on divorce. 

What can cause my prenuptial agreement to be invalid?

Prenuptial agreements can have a number of valuable benefits for a couple considering marriage. Prenuptial agreements can clarify financial rights between couples, secure assets and protect a family business. Prenuptial agreement disputes, however, can jeopardize the terms the couple agreed to in the event they later divorced. As a result, it is important to be familiar with the rules for a prenuptial agreement to be valid.

A prenuptial agreement can be invalid for a variety of reasons. To begin with, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing to be valid and if it is not in writing, may be invalid. In addition, both parties must sign the agreement prior to the wedding for it to be valid and if they fail to do so, the prenuptial agreement may be considered invalid. Prenuptial agreements also cannot include invalid provisions such as child support topics or illegal provisions. Prenuptial agreements primarily address financial considerations.

Alimony basics in Florida

Spousal support, or alimony, is an important issue in many Florida divorces. It can also be a contentious issue and a subject of disagreement between the divorcing couple. Permanent alimony, for instance, may also be controversial in some situations. Under Florida law, there are several different categories of alimony for different situations. Because of this, the amount and duration of alimony can vary and is something divorcing couples should be familiar with.

The basic purpose of alimony is to provide support for a financially dependent spouse during and after the divorce until they become financially self-sufficient. Alimony may be either temporary or permanent and generally is awarded as four different types. Alimony may be awarded as durational alimony; bridge-the-gap alimony; rehabilitative alimony; or permanent alimony.

How child support is determined in Florida

Parents in a variety of different circumstances may have concerns about child support. Child support is a significant obligation for many which must be taken seriously so it is helpful to understand how child support orders are determined. A child support order outlines the child support obligations parents have for their children.

The family law court in Florida determines child support obligations according to child support guidelines. The child support guidelines are used to determine the amount of support the child needs and the amount of child support the parent has to pay. The child support guidelines are designed to ensure that the amount of child support ordered is fair. Child support guidelines are used for the initial determination of child support and if any modifications are requested and awarded down the road.

Florida appeals court returns divorce to lower divorce court

Resolving divorce-related issues and dividing property can be a complicated task during a divorce. This blog recently discussed how this reality may be even truer in circumstances of high asset divorces. A woman recently appealed the decision of the divorce court related to its decision not to award her permanent alimony, its failure to correctly categorize which stocks were considered assets, its order for both sides to pay money made from the sale of a rental party to her ex-father-in-law and its decision to dismiss her request for attorney's fees.

After 18 years of marriage, the woman's husband filed for divorce and moved out of the country. The wife remained in Florida with the couple's two children. The wife allegedly received gifts from her husband's family throughout their marriage. The woman requested $20,000 in alimony and noted she did not have an income. The court awarded her $2,500 and required that the husband pay $12,000 for her to attend nursing school. The appeals court returned the alimony determination to the lower divorce court to determine how much money the husband could pay.

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