Family Law

Children with Special Needs and Divorce

Parents of children with special needs have all the responsibilities which come with being a parent and those required to meet their child’s unique requirements. Often caring for their children needs means being a diligent advocate for their medical care, education, and therapeutic services. When families in this situation are faced with divorce, there will be additional concerns when it comes to planning for their child’s needs. Time-Sharing In Florida, how parents spend time with t...

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Keith 9/19/2019 Comments(0)

Child Support and Your Child’s Mental Health Condition

A parent of a child with a mental health condition has the dual responsibilities of caring for their child's daily needs and making sure they get the specialized care they require. When parents in this situation divorce or are no longer together, future support will be an important issue. Child Support in Florida Florida law generally requires that both parents support their children until they turn 18 or until they graduate from high school or turn 19. However, when a child has a mental disabil...

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The Draper Firm 5/6/2019 Comments(0)

The Stages of Your Florida Divorce

When going through a divorce, there can be a lot of tension, uncertainty, and confusion. One way to reduce stress during this already complicated process is to understand more about what to anticipate. Here are some of the stages which you can expect during your Florida divorce: Serving or Being Served with the Petition A divorce case is initiated when one party files a Petition for Divorce. While the petitioner may include several requests such as those related to your children, property, and d...

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The Draper Firm 5/3/2019 Comments(0)

Digital Assets and Your Divorce

In a Florida divorce, the law focuses on making sure the couple’s marital property is divided fairly. While some marital assets are easy to value and allocate such as a car or bank account, others such as electronic assets can be more difficult. Here are some considerations regarding dividing digital assets during your divorce Marital Property Ordinarily, a couple’s marital property refers to the property that they acquired during the marriage. This includes income which is due but m...

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The Draper Firm 5/1/2019 Comments(0)

What to do to Protect Your Kids When You Suspect Your Ex has an Addiction

When you share time with your kids with their other parent, you can’t always know everything that happens when they are away. However, when there are signs which indicate that the other parent has an addiction, you need to take action immediate action to ensure that your children are safe. Signs of Addiction Your first suspicions that the children’s other parent has an addiction are probably going to come from comments the children make after spending time with them. For instance, if...

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The Draper Firm 4/29/2019 Comments(0)

Starting Over after Divorce

Divorce can be one of the most emotionally and financially devastating experiences a person can have. After the process is complete, the newly divorced person is left to recover from the pain of losing their marriage and rebuild their lives. While staring over after divorce may seem daunting, there are steps you can take to get back on your feet. Financial Adjustments Going from sharing a home and finances with your former spouse to being on your own can be a difficult change. While you may not ...

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The Draper Firm 4/26/2019 Comments(0)

Parental Alienation and Your Child

In an ideal world, parents would be able to work together after divorce to raise their children and support each other’s relationship. Sadly, sometimes divorce can bring out the worst in parents causing them to make bad choices when it comes to what they say to and around their kids. Over time, a parent’s comments can cause their children to become emotionally distant from or even refuse to see the other parent. When one parent tries to turn a child against the other parent, it can b...

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The Draper Firm 4/26/2019 Comments(0)

Divorce Issues When Your Spouse is Violent

In many cases, when one partner is physically abusive towards the other, this brutal conduct will be the reason the marriage ends in divorce. When the couple begins a divorce, this history of violence can have critical implications for both sides. Here are some considerations about divorce issues when your spouse is violent. Safety Plans Violence between spouses is often part of a cycle of abuse wherein a spouse will hurt the other, reconcile with them, and then assault them again. This pattern ...

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The Draper Firm 4/22/2019 Comments(0)

How to Successfully Mediate your Divorce

Most of the time someone going through a divorce will not benefit from having a long drawn out case which ends in a trial. Fortunately, mediation offers a way for even the most contentious couple to resolve their differences. Here are some steps you can take to help make your divorce mediation successful: Gather Information and Have it Organized Beforehand Mediation involves a neutral third-party, usually an attorney, working with both sides to reach an agreement on their divorce terms. The medi...

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The Draper Firm 4/19/2019 Comments(0)

Common Myths about Florida Divorce

Whether you are thinking about leaving your marriage or have just been served with divorce papers, when you have the wrong information about what to expect, this already tense situation becomes more difficult. However, by knowing some of the common myths about Florida divorce , you can avoid unnecessary stress and confusion. Committing Adultery Means Losing Everything Florida is a "no-fault" divorce state which means that neither party's role in causing the marriage to end will be a basis for fi...

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The Draper Firm 4/17/2019 Comments(0)

Psychological Evaluations and Your Custody Case

In most cases, there is nothing more important to a parent than maintaining their relationship and connection with their child. Therefore, it is not surprising that child custody battles are among the most contentious legal situations. In some cases, the facts before the court can be so convoluted that it can be difficult to determine what parental custody and parenting time orders will be best for a child. In this type of situation, the court may turn to psychological evaluations to help it mak...

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The Draper Firm 4/15/2019 Comments(0)

Showing Positive Parenting

When parents of minor children divorce, it can be several years before their involvement with the court will end. Ideally, both parties will abide by their thoughtfully created parenting agreement and make changes which support their children’s well-being. However, as time passes and circumstances change, it is not uncommon for parents to disagree about what is in the best interest of their kids. A parent may also claim the other does not have good parenting abilities and seek to make lega...

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The Draper Firm 4/12/2019 Comments(0)

Can my Spouse make me move out during divorce?

When you know your marriage is over living in the same home with your soon-to-be ex can seem unbearable. This uncomfortable situation may escalate to the point that your former partner insists that you leave the home. This situation raises the question: Can my spouse make me move out during divorce? It Depends on the Reason You both have a right to remain in your shared residence. However, you both could ask the court to award you exclusive use of the home. In most cases, merely being frustrated...

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The Draper Firm 4/10/2019 Comments(0)

Divorcing when your Ex has a Personality Disorder

Divorce can be an ugly experience even when the parties start out being reasonably agreeable. When one party has a personality disorder, the conflict and problems which often come with divorce can become much more complicated and difficult to manage. While divorcing someone with a personality disorder is not easy, it is possible to get through the experience. What is a Personality Disorder? The Mayo Clinic describes a personality disorder as a kind of mental ailment which includes symptoms such ...

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The Draper Firm 4/10/2019 Comments(0)

Divorce when your partner is financially controlling

When you are married to someone who controls all of the household income, accounts, and bills it can be easy to feel like you are entirely in the dark. While this may have once felt like a workable arrangement, if you find yourself in the position of wanting a divorce, not having access to information about or power over your finances can be highly problematic. Determine How Much You Know While you may have a partner who asks a lot of questions about your spending this is not the same as being m...

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The Draper Firm 4/8/2019 Comments(0)

Can I keep my Ex’s new partner away from my children?

Divorce is a hard experience for families even when the parties are cooperative and amicable. Both kids and parents have to adjust after sharing their home to living life according to a visitation schedule. Another challenge may come when one or both parents decide to begin a new relationship. In some cases, you or your children may not feel comfortable with this new person and wonder: When your ex gets a new boyfriend or girlfriend, what can you do to keep this person away from your children? W...

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The Draper Firm 4/5/2019 Comments(0)

Leaving an Emotionally Abusive Relationship Through Divorce

When one partner is physically abusive towards the other there is usually physical evidence of their violent conduct. However, when a husband or wife is emotionally abusive, the damage can be harder to detect and prove. When the victim cannot see tangible signs of what is being done to them, it can be harder to recognize the abuse. By the time the abused person finally realizes what is happening he or she may have fallen into a severely dysfunctional dynamic. While deciding to leave this kind of...

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The Draper Firm 4/3/2019 Comments(0)

What Qualities do You Need in Your Divorce Attorney?

Hiring an attorney for any reason is no small decision. When you are going through a divorce choosing the right attorney can be the difference between being able to achieve fairness and equity and having serious and long-lasting repercussions. Here are some considerations about the qualities to look for in your divorce attorney. Experience When meeting with someone you are considering to represent you, it is important to have certain questions in mind. One thing which should be at the top of you...

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The Draper Firm 3/29/2019 Comments(0)

What is Worth Fighting Over During Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, every exchange with your ex can feel confrontational. With all of the intense feelings between you, it can be tempting to make every effort to hurt and fight the other person at every turn. While you can choose to wage war on your former partner during your divorce, it can save you time, money, and much aggravation if you focus your energy on the matters which are worth your efforts. Marital Property Florida is an equitable distribution state which means tha...

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The Draper Firm 3/27/2019 Comments(0)

Preparing for Divorce

Thinking about the implications of filing for divorce can be overwhelming. While you may realize it is time to leave a relationship which is no longer working you also know that initiating the process will mean experiencing significant changes to your life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare for divorce which can help alleviate concerns about what to expect in the future. Get Your Documents Together While divorce is an emotional ordeal, it is also a legal process which involved...

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The Draper Firm 3/4/2019 Comments(0)

Mental Health, Custody, and Your Divorce

When your partner has a serious mental health condition and is symptomatic finding the right course of treatment can be a demanding process. Once they are stabilized the delicate balance between medication and daily living can be challenging to maintain. Over time, the strain of the situation can take its toll on a marriage and ultimately lead to its end. When the divorcing couple has children, deciding time-sharing and decision-making in this situation can be a complex task. Here are some issue...

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The Draper Firm 3/1/2019 Comments(0)

Managing divorce with a high-conflict Ex

Divorce can be hard even when the couple agrees and commits to being civil and fair with one another during the process. When one person decides to engage in combative and aggressive tactics unnecessarily, this painful experience can become almost unbearable. While going through a divorce with a high-conflict ex can be stressful there are ways to manage your case so you can move on with your life. Get Counsel on Your Side Now When divorcing a person who is prone to hostile behaviors you can expe...

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The Draper Firm 2/27/2019 Comments(0)

Sharing time with the kids during the holidays after divorce

When parents of minor children go through a divorce, they will end up with a parenting plan which details how they will share decision-making and time with their children. In many cases, the schedule will require parents to alternate having their children with them on major holidays. While this arrangement may seem equitable on paper, not being with your kids on these family-centered occasions can be difficult. However, there are ways to share time with your children during the holidays which ...

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The Draper Firm 2/24/2019 Comments(0)

Signs it is time to change your time-sharing Plan

Coming up with a workable time-sharing plan for your children can be a painstaking and drawn out process. After weeks and even months of going back and forth over the details, you finally have a parenting-plan which sets out when you will see your children. However, as time passes, children get older, circumstances change, and it may be necessary to adapt to your time-sharing plan to fit everyone’s circumstances. Here are some signs it may be time to change your time-sharing plan. Your Chi...

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The Draper Firm 2/22/2019 Comments(0)

What to do when you think your child’s step-parent is abusive

After you and your child’s other parent are no longer together, you will have a parenting plan which sets out time-sharing and decision-making. Once this plan takes effect, you will have no choice but to give up some control over what happens when the other parent is with your child. Another adjustment you may have to make is accepting that your ex’s new spouse will also be part of your child’s life. While the step-parent and step-child dynamic can work in some situations, it i...

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The Draper Firm 2/20/2019 Comments(0)

Demonstrating Positive Parenting

When you become a parent and form a relationship with your child, it's not usually something you would later expect to have to defend in a courtroom. However, when parents divorce or are no longer together who will have parenting time and how parental responsibility will be shared can become a fiercely contested issue. The court will examine both parents and assess their ability to provide a safe, stable, and emotionally healthy environment for their child. Here are some ways in which you can de...

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The Draper Firm 2/18/2019 Comments(0)

10 Mistakes to Avoid During Your Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, can feel like every aspect of your life from where you live to how you are going to support yourself is at risk. At a time like this it is a natural response to be afraid but, if you are not careful, that fear can lead you to make errors which could hurt your case. The good news is that you can avoid mistakes during your divorce. 1. Tell Your Attorney Everything Having a divorce attorney at your side is one of the best decisions you can make. With their advi...

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The Draper Firm 2/15/2019 Comments(0)

Divorce When Your Ex is a Narcissist

Ending a marriage can be an emotionally difficult process even under the most amicable of circumstances. However, when one of the parties to the case is a narcissist, this already painful situation can escalate to the point of becoming a living nightmare. Often, it is the opposing side’s manipulative, controlling, and cruel behavior which has driven the other person to take action to end the relationship. While it may not be easy, surviving divorce when your ex is a narcissist, is possible...

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The Draper Firm 2/13/2019 Comments(0)

What is a Guardian Ad Litem and How Can They Impact my Custody Case?

When parents and children share a close bond, their connection is unlike any other in their lives. Given this nearness, it is hardly surprising that child custody can be one of the most contentious matters heard by a family court. The court must consider what is best for the child when deciding how his or her relationship with each parent will be defined. When divorcing or separated parents have a high degree of conflict regarding decisions about their children, Florida law provides that the cou...

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The Draper Firm 2/11/2019 Comments(0)

What to Look for in a Family Law Attorney

Going through a family law dispute can feel as if everything in your life is falling apart. Suddenly, personal details about your finances and family are thrust into an impersonal and public legal process. Whether the matter involves divorce or only child-related issues, this is a time when you need counsel at your side. The right attorney can be a grounding force when you are struggling to understand the process and maintain control of your situation. Here are some essential qualities to look f...

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The Draper Firm 12/19/2018 Comments(0)

When Violence is Part of Your Divorce

According to the Florida Commission Against Domestic Violence FCADV in 2016, 105,668 domestic violence crimes were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies which resulted in 63,193 arrests. The FCADV also found that during the fiscal year 2015-2016, Florida's certified domestic violence centers provided emergency shelter to 16,362 survivors of domestic violence and their children. Advocates also received 122,999 domestic violence hotline calls from individual seeking assistance. A sad realit...

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The Draper Firm 12/17/2018 Comments(0)

Can I have my marriage annulled in Florida?

When you hear about people ending their marriages, the term annulment sometimes arises. Unlike divorce, which is the process which legally ends a valid marriage, annulment results in treating marriage as if it never existed or was illegal. In Florida, annulments can only be granted in certain situations. Here is what you need to know about annulment in Florida: Grounds for Annulment Florida law allows a couple to annul their marriage if there is: Bigamy - If either spouse is already married at t...

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The Draper Firm 12/14/2018 Comments(0)

How Adultery can Impact Your Divorce

When a couple’s relationship ends due to infidelity, there are usually hurt feelings and animosity throughout their divorce. When the case begins, the injured spouse may believe that because they have been cheated on, they can file on this basis in court. Adultery is not a ground for divorce in Florida. However, this does not mean that it will not be a factor in the case. Here are some considerations regarding how adultery can impact your divorce. Florida is a No-Fault State Florida is a n...

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The Draper Firm 12/12/2018 Comments(0)

Maintaining a Positive Co-Parenting Relationship

After parents are no longer together, sharing custody of children can be an emotional and complicated process for the entire family. Parents have to adjust to sharing their time while children are left to get used to a life where they have two homes and a parenting schedule. While parents in this situation may encounter frustration and disagreement at times, it is possible to build a positive co-parenting relationship. Your Parenting Plan is the Foundation In Florida, your parenting plan will es...

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The Draper Firm 12/10/2018 Comments(0)

Understanding the Best Interest Inquiry

When a Florida family court has to make decisions in a case which concern children, the court must make choices which are in the "best interest of the child." The court can look to several factors to evaluate whether a proposed parenting plan term or change is in a child's best interest. While figuring out what is best for a child may seem obvious to the parties, this can be complicated for courts. Here is some information to consider to help in understanding the best interest inquiry: The Facto...

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The Draper Firm 12/7/2018 Comments(0)

Signs that your Child May Need a Therapist

Divorce can be an emotionally trying experience for everyone involved, and this can be especially true for the children. Even the most protective and careful parents will not be able to entirely shield their kids from the feelings they will experience during this time. Further, even when they are not present during their parent's conflict, children will still feel their parents’ tension. Some kids may need help in understanding and managing their feelings about the changes in their family....

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The Draper Firm 12/5/2018 Comments(0)

What to do When Your Ex is Hiding Assets During Divorce

I n a Florida divorce, the court is responsible for ensuring that the couple's marital assets and liabilities are divided fairly. To accomplish this task, the court will look at detailed information about the couple's financial holdings, assets, and debts. While both sides are required to fully disclose this information there can be situations where a spouse may decide they would rather hide an asset than identify it for purposes of equitable division. This deceptive behavior is not only dishono...

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The Draper Firm 12/3/2018 Comments(0)

How Can a Divorced Parent Move with Children?

When Florida parents enter into a parenting plan, there are usually detailed provisions concerning how they will share their time with and make decisions concerning their children. If a parent wants to relocate with their children after this plan is in place, they will have to return for the court’s approval. Making this type of modification can be complicated especially when the other parent does not agree with the move. Florida Law Florida law favors parenting plans which support the par...

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The Draper Firm 11/30/2018 Comments(0)

Child Support and Underemployment

In Florida, when parents are no longer together or divorced, they remain obligated to provide support for their minor children. Typically, this means that the child will live with one parent the majority of the time while the other sees the child according to a schedule and pays child support. Sometimes, an obligated parent may intentionally accept a lower paying job in order to avoid having to pay a higher support amount. However, this tactic is not only inadvisable but can also have unintended...

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The Draper Firm 11/28/2018 Comments(0)

3 Things to Consider When Negotiating a Divorce Settlement

A common misconception about divorce is that to complete your case, you must go through a stressful and dramatic trial. While the process can be anxiety provoking and tense, in truth, most divorce cases settle without the parties having to set foot in a courtroom. With settlement being the norm, it's essential to handle negotiations carefully so that you can achieve a fair result. Here are 3 things to consider when negotiating a divorce settlement: Have Realistic Expectations During divorce, bot...

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The Draper Firm 11/26/2018 Comments(0)

My Spouse is having an Affair: What are my options?

Any form of untruthfulness during a marriage can create a crack in its foundation. When the deception is infidelity, the consequences can be emotionally devastating for the innocent spouse. After experiencing the initial shock of finding out a spouse is having an affair, the injured party is often at a loss as to what his or her choices may be concerning ending the marriage. Adultery is not a Ground Florida is a no-fault divorce state which means that the only requirement for filing for divorce ...

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The Draper Firm 11/23/2018 Comments(0)

Dividing Retirement Accounts

When a couple is married, and one or both is working and has retirement accounts they usually plan to jointly use these funds for their support during retirement. However, divorce will cause each to re-evaluate their future concerning the use and availability of their once shared retirement assets. Here are some considerations regarding dividing retirement accounts during divorce. Florida Law Florida is an equitable distribution state which means that the court is going to examine a divorcing co...

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The Draper Firm 11/21/2018 Comments(0)

Dealing with False Accusations During Divorce

Divorce can be an emotional process which encompasses everything from your finances to the custody of your children. With such personal issues at stake, it is understandable how exchanges between the parties can become intense. Unfortunately, when there is a high degree of conflict, there can be circumstances where one party may decide to make untruthful statements about the other. While hearing false accusations during your divorce can be frustrating, there are ways to deal with the situation. ...

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The Draper Firm 11/19/2018 Comments(0)

Alimony—Do I have to Pay and if so, How Much?

Few life experiences are as financially burdensome as divorce. During a marriage, a couple usually shares their financial resources to cover household expenses and the cost of living. After a divorce, each person will have to find a way to take care of their financial needs on their own. However, in some cases, one spouse may be ordered to pay alimony or spousal maintenance to the other. Those who contemplate the possibility of paying alimony often want to their likelihood of having to pay and, ...

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The Draper Firm 11/16/2018 Comments(0)

Divorce When Your Spouse is Missing

Deciding to end a marital relationship is difficult for everyone. For some, this choice will be followed by immediately filing for divorce and separating from their partner. However, this is not always the case. In other situations, a couple may decide to delay getting a divorce right away for a number of reasons such as financial or emotional considerations. Over time, the couple may lose touch with one another or one partner may have moved away. When the remaining partner wants to proceed with...

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The Draper Firm 11/14/2018 Comments(0)

The New Tax Laws, Alimony, and Child Support

In 2017, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act TCJA amended the tax code and made sweeping changes. Some of these changes significantly altered the taxation treatment of alimony and child support. Here is what you need to know about the new tax laws, alimony, and child support and how it may impact you: Alimony and Child Support Today Currently, an individual who is court-ordered to pay spousal maintenance or alimony is permitted to deduct their payments from their federal taxable income. The recipi...

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The Draper Firm 11/12/2018 Comments(0)

The Dangers of a DIY Divorce

Today, the market has DIY or do-it-yourself creations for just about everything conceivable. Some of these offerings are aimed at people who want to handle legal matters without the benefit of advice from an attorney. While DIY legal products tend to be attractive to those seeking to save money on their divorce, they can end up costing the purchaser dearly in the long run. DIY Products are Limited Do-it-Yourself legal planning services are usually designed to address a limited and uncomplicated ...

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The Draper Firm 11/9/2018 Comments(0)

Social Media and Your Family Law Case

Today social media is more ingrained in American culture than ever before. Millions of people make daily use of forums such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to share personal details about themselves with their networks. When a social media user is going through a significant event such as a divorce or custody battle, their first inclination may be to post the details on these accounts. However, sharing information about your family law dispute on social media can be extremely damag...

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The Draper Firm 11/7/2018 Comments(0)

Is Divorce Mediation Right for Me?

When you think of the word divorce, it can summon images of dramatic courtroom battles where former spouses go after one another over issues such as property and custody. In reality, most divorces never go to trial at all. Instead, the majority of these cases are settled between the parties with the assistance of their attorneys. One means that many people use to reach a settlement is divorce mediation. This process offers a solution for those seeking to resolve their divorce without resorting t...

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The Draper Firm 11/5/2018 Comments(0)

Postnuptial Agreements in Florida

After a couple gets married there can be circumstances which come up which cause them to want to memorialize certain agreements concerning their assets in the event of divorce. In this situation, the couple has the option of creating a postnuptial agreement or a written contract which binds them to certain covenants. Here are some things to consider about postnuptial agreements in Florida: What is a Postnuptial Agreement? A postnuptial agreement is written contract in which a married couple esta...

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The Draper Firm 9/28/2018 Comments(0)

Florida Prenuptial Agreements

Choosing to get married is an important decision which is usually made amid an air of excitement and celebration. As the couple begins to plan for their new life together one part of their preparation may include entering into a premarital agreement which sets out certain terms for their property and future. Here are some considerations regarding Florida prenuptial agreements. Florida Premarital Prenuptial Agreements In Florida, a prenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement is a legal document...

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The Draper Firm 9/26/2018 Comments(0)

The Family Business and Your Divorce

Family businesses ownership is commonplace in Florida. Some business owners are joint owners such a couple while others may be larger operations which involve generations of a family. When a couple connected to a family business is going through a divorce, there can be complications for their family and their business. Here are some issues which bear consideration regarding your interest in the family business and divorce: Valuation In a Florida divorce, the law requires that marital property, o...

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The Draper Firm 9/24/2018 Comments(0)

How to Keep Your Bond When You Don’t Live with Your Child

Even under the most amicable circumstances, divorce is a difficult process for everyone involved. When a divorcing couple has children, this painful situation can become that much harder when the children go from living with both their parents to primarily residing with just one of them. Becoming the non-custodial or minority time-sharing parent means changing from having daily contact with your children to seeing them according to a set schedule. This arrangement can leave the parent feeling di...

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The Draper Firm 9/21/2018 Comments(0)

Your Retirement Plan and Divorce

A couple that has been married for decades, has usually accumulated some retirement savings with the idea that they would be together during their retirement years. When faced with divorce, each person in the relationship will have to re-evaluate their future plans and consider the amount and availability of their retirement assets. Here are some considerations regarding your retirement plan and divorce. Your Accounts In Florida, the law allows the division of marital assets which typically mean...

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The Draper Firm 9/17/2018 Comments(0)

Making Changes to Your Parenting Plan

A final parenting plan is usually the product of countless and painstaking hours of negotiation between parents. After all is said and done each parent will know how they will be spending time with their child and how decisions will be made regarding their care. However, circumstances may come up which require that this carefully crafted plan be altered. In this instance, it may be time to think about making changes to your parenting plan. Modification Florida law provides that a parenting plan ...

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The Draper Firm 9/14/2018 Comments(0)

Mental Health Issues and Divorce

Going through a divorce is a complex and emotionally draining process for everyone involved. When a person in the relationship has a psychiatric condition, this experience can become more difficult. Issues ranging from your former partner becoming symptomatic and unreasonable during negotiations to valid concerns about their parenting abilities can come to the forefront. Here are some matters to consider when facing a divorce with mental health issues: Mental Incapacity as a Ground for Divorce F...

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The Draper Firm 9/12/2018 Comments(0)

Your Separate Property and Divorce

Florida law requires that when a couple is divorcing their assets and obligations which were acquired and incurred during the marriage be divided equitably. While this may seem to be a relatively straightforward process when former partners also have separate property or property that once belonged only to them, the matter of what can be divided during a divorce can become confusing. Here is what you need to know about your separate property and divorce: What is Separate Property? Non-marital Pr...

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The Draper Firm 9/10/2018 Comments(0)

5 Myths About Divorce

The thought of going through a divorce can be frightening and intimidating for someone who has no idea what to expect. Under these conditions, it’s easy to become misinformed by well-meaning friends and online resources about what will happen during the case. A good way to begin preparing for your divorce is by separating fact from fiction. Here are 5 myths people frequently believe about divorce: All Divorces Go to Trial One common misconception is that being involved in a divorce automat...

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The Draper Firm 9/7/2018 Comments(0)

What not to do during divorce

Divorce can be an unnerving and emotionally difficult time when you can feel like you constantly have to defend yourself. At times, it may be tempting to take specific actions which could ultimately harm your case and your family. However, by not doing certain things you can help make certain that your case is protected and the process can be more beneficial for you. Avoid Major Purchases and Spending An integral piece of most divorce cases is how property and debt will be divided. The court is ...

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The Draper Firm 9/5/2018 Comments(0)

Property Division During Your Divorce

A central task in any divorce is the assignment of debts and award of assets to each person. In Florida, the goal is for the court to distribute of the couple's marital assets and obligations equitably. However, deciding which property and liabilities should be included in the divorce and how to allocate them fairly can be challenging. Here are some keys facts to know about property division during your divorce. Florida is an Equitable Distribution State Florida divorces, unlike some other state...

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The Draper Firm 9/3/2018 Comments(0)

Contesting Paternity in Florida

The law has different means for establishing a father’s parental rights. For example, a man who is married to the child’s mother at the time of conception or birth is presumed to be the father. If the couple is unmarried, the man can acknowledge paternity and provide support for the child as a married father would. In other circumstances, a court order may name a man as a child’s father. However, sometimes facts come to light after a child’s birth which calls fatherhood i...

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The Draper Firm 8/31/2018 Comments(0)

Self Care and Your Divorce

Even under the most amicable of circumstances divorce can be an emotionally brutal experience. Experiencing the loss of a marriage and changes to your family can leave you feeling drained, anxious, stressed, and forlorn. While the divorce process can be punishing, there are steps you can take which will help strengthen your emotional reserves so that you can begin to recuperate and rebuild your life. Here are some considerations about self-care and your divorce. Get Adequate Rest A good place to...

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The Draper Firm 8/29/2018 Comments(0)

Florida Spousal Support

When a couple is divorcing, the question of spousal maintenance or alimony may become an issue. Florida law does allow for the payment of alimony in some circumstances. However, there are multiple types of support and numerous factors the court will consider in deciding whether to grant a request for alimony, how long it will last, and what the payment amount may be. Here is what you need to know about Florida spousal support: Types of Florida Alimony Florida divorce courts may grant alimony or ...

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The Draper Firm 8/27/2018 Comments(0)

Florida Grandparent Rights

A child’s connection with their grandparent can be one of the most special and cherished relationships of their life. In an idyllic world, grandparents would be able to spend time with their grandchildren regularly while providing support to the children’s parents. Unfortunately, when a family is no longer together, this can result in grandparents not being able to see their grandchildren as they once did. Divorce, separation, or the death of a parent, can mean grandparents will be e...

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The Draper Firm 8/24/2018 Comments(0)

How to Protect Your Children During and After Divorce

A parent going through a divorce must contend not only with the devastation of their marriage ending but also safeguarding their children's emotions. While it may be unrealistic for you to expect to be able to completely insulate your children from the divorce, it is possible to minimize the stress this process can place upon them. Look at Things from Their Perspective When parents divorce, children are placed in the position of having to adapt to being part of a divided family. They must also e...

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The Draper Firm 8/22/2018 Comments(0)

Military Divorce Issues

Military families have unique circumstances and stressors. Often one spouse is left to manage the household responsibilities while the other is away for extended periods of time. There can also be frequent and unexpected moves which require leaving friends and comfortable surroundings. These and other pressures can strain a marriage to the point the couple cannot remain together. When a military family is going through a divorce, they will be confronted with numerous issues. Here are some import...

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The Draper Firm 8/20/2018 Comments(0)

How to Successfully Mediate Your Divorce

A person going through a divorce will probably have some preconceived ideas about what to expect during the process. For some, these expectations may include dramatic images of a courtroom showdown with their former partner. However, the truth is that most divorces will end up settling outside of court. A common way for parties to reach an agreement is through mediation and in some cases, they may even be court-ordered to mediate. Here are some ways to successfully mediate your divorce: Understa...

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The Draper Firm 8/17/2018 Comments(0)

How to Successfully Mediate Your Divorce

A person going through a divorce will probably have some preconceived ideas about what to expect during the process. For some, these expectations may include dramatic images of a courtroom showdown with their former partner. However, the truth is that most divorces will end up settling outside of court. A common way for parties to reach an agreement is through mediation and in some cases, they may even be court-ordered to mediate. Here are some ways to successfully mediate your divorce: Understa...

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The Draper Firm 8/17/2018 Comments(0)

Florida Child Support Basics

In Florida, like all other states, parents are legally obligated to support their children. When a couple is no longer together or divorced, Florida law uses guidelines to determine how much a parent is to pay to provide for their child's needs. Here is what Florida parents need to know regarding child support: Calculating Child Support In Florida, courts use the Florida Child Support Guidelines to calculate a parent’s child support obligation. Calculating child support can be extremely co...

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The Draper Firm 8/15/2018 Comments(0)

Preparing for an Effective Mediation

Divorce can bring to mind images of dramatic legal battles in front of a judge. However, in reality, most divorces will be settled outside of the courtroom. One way that a divorcing couple can reach a settlement is through the mediation process. Designed to be a form of alternative dispute resolution, mediation can be a useful means to reach agreements on even the most complicated aspects of a divorce. Here are some ways you can prepare for an effective mediation: What is Mediation? Mediation is...

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8/10/2018 Comments(0)

Consideration for Divorce After 50

The reasons a couple may divorce can be complicated. For older individuals, it may be that after decades of marriage, they have grown apart and can no longer function happily as a married couple. The end of the marriage could also be due to something as devastating as cruelty or infidelity. Whatever the circumstance, people, facing divorce after 50 have the challenges which inevitably come with the end of marriage as well as those presented during this stage of their lives. Here are some conside...

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8/8/2018 Comments(0)

Taking Advice During Divorce: Be Careful

Going through a divorce can be disorienting and emotionally devastating. Making important choices about your case in the middle of enduring these problematic emotions can be challenging. Reaching out to trusted family and friends to gain perspective and get support is a natural reaction to such a stressful circumstance. However, it is essential to your case that you are careful when taking advice from others during your divorce. Having supportive loved ones to lean on during divorce can be criti...

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8/8/2018 Comments(0)

Substance Abuse and My Parenting Agreement

Substance abuse can be a destructive element in any relationship. In many cases, a partner’s inability to refrain from drinking or using drugs will be a central reason for a marriage ending in divorce. When a couple in this situation has children, a parent’s addiction can and usually will have a measurable impact on their parenting plan. Your Parenting Plan Florida law requires that divorced parent be subject to a parenting plan which sets out how parents will share their time with t...

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The Draper Firm 8/6/2018 Comments(0)

Things to Avoid During Divorce

When a married couple becomes legal adversaries, it can be emotionally draining and extremely painful. This very personal experience becomes part of a public and impersonal legal world. While divorce is never simple, by refraining from taking some actions you can help make the process easier. Here are some things to avoid during divorce: Do Not Put Children in the Conflict When a family is going through divorce children are acutely aware of the conflict between their parents. While it may seem i...

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8/6/2018 Comments(0)

Meaningful Holidays for Children After Divorce

Holidays can be an idyllic time for families to create traditions and memories. When a family goes through a divorce, it can be challenging for children to feel the same way about the holiday observances you used to share. While the family celebrations will be different from those you had together in the past, parents can take positive steps towards making meaningful holidays for children after divorce. Work Together if Possible While some festivities will need to be only for you and your childr...

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8/3/2018 Comments(0)

International Custody Orders

Today the globalization of the world marketplace and advances in technology have made it increasingly common for American citizens to have relationships with people from other countries. As a result, international marriages have become more commonplace. When parents from different nations are going through a divorce, and one parent wishes to return to their home country, child custody will become a critical issue. Here is what you need to know about international custody orders: Venue A central ...

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8/1/2018 Comments(0)

Divorce and Your Estate Plan

Getting married is often followed by a couple's preparations for their future life together. In many cases, those plans include making health care and financial directives, taking out insurance policies, drafting wills, and creating other estate planning documents. These steps are usually taken by a couple who is concerned about building security for one another and making their sure their final wishes are honored. When a married person is faced with divorce the question is presented: What about...

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7/30/2018 Comments(0)

The Long-Distance Divorce

More and more it is increasingly common for couples to live separately without starting the divorce process. As time goes on, their situations may change, and the pair may decide it is time to start the divorce. However, it may be during their time apart one person has moved to another city or state. When people who reside in two different cities or states decide to divorce issues can be raised. Here are some matters to consider regarding the long-distance divorce: Florida Divorce According to F...

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7/27/2018 Comments(0)

Co-parenting with a Hostile Ex-Partner

In an idea l world divorced parents would put their emotions aside and combine efforts to raise their children and look out for their best interest. However, following divorce parents may continue to have disagreements with one another when it comes to making even minor decisions concerning their children. When a parent exhibits overt animosity towards the other parent, creating a functional parenting relationship is challenging. While co-parenting with a hostile ex-partner can be difficult ther...

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7/25/2018 Comments(0)

Divorce and Social Security Benefits

Divorce is not a simple proposition regardless of how long a couple has been married. The process can be lengthy and emotionally draining as the couple determines how to equitably divide their assets and move forward. When couples are retired, nearing retirement, or have been married for several years, there can also be an added concern regarding their respective social security benefits during divorce. Qualifying for Your Former Spouses’ Benefit The Social Security Administration has spec...

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7/23/2018 Comments(0)

Reasons Why Your Prenuptial Agreement Could be Held Invalid

When two people decide to get married, it is usually a happy time centered on plans for the future. In some situations, the couple may want to include a prenuptial agreement as part of their preparations. A couple who wants to have a valid prenuptial agreement will need to adhere to specific legal rules and requirements. Otherwise, they may find that their contract will not be upheld by the court. Here are some reasons why your prenuptial agreement could be held to be invalid: What is a Preput...

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7/20/2018 Comments(0)

Why Would the Court Require Supervised Visitation?

In an ideal world, divorced parents will be able to share time and decision-making concerning their children. Unfortunately, there are circumstances which warrant that a parent must be supervised when spending time with their kids. Here are some reasons why a court may determine a parent needs supervised visitation: Drug and Alcohol Abuse In a divorce or custody case, Florida courts are required to make decisions which are in the best interest of the child. When making this choice the court will...

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7/16/2018 Comments(0)

Parenting Plans for Toddlers v. Older Children

When Florida parents divorce they will have to make decisions about custody and their children’s care. This information will be included in a parenting plan. A parenting plan will set out the terms of how the former couple are to parent and share time with their children after the divorce. When the former couple has very young children, the plan will have to be adapted to their needs. Likewise, if the children are older, the plan will need to contain provisions which are appropriate for th...

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7/13/2018 Comments(0)

Tips for Introducing Your Children to Your New Partner

After divorce, families are left to adapt to parents living in different homes and everyone moving forward with their lives. For parents, helping children getting used to a life where their parents are no longer a couple can be difficult. What can also be challenging is helping your children become accustomed to you having a relationship with someone new. Here are some tips for introducing your children to your new partner: Take Your Time Adults and children often operate on different schedules ...

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7/11/2018 Comments(0)

Can the Court Make Me Pay for My Child’s College Expenses?

Divorce with children means that parents or going to have to share their time and, in most cases, one parent will pay the other child support for their children’s care and expenses. For a parent who is obligated to pay support, a question can arise: Can the court make me pay for my child’s college expense? Under Florida law, child support ordinarily ends once a child turns 18 or is 19 and has completed high school. In most cases, that is when a parent's commitment to provide support ...

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7/9/2018 Comments(0)

Making Plans for your Disabled Child in your Divorce Settlement

Parents of children with special needs can encounter a host of challenges concerning their child's care and well-being. They often spend countless hours advocating for their child's increased educational and health requirements while also parenting and operating their household. Unfortunately, the stress of all of these responsibilities can take its toll on a marriage. When parents in this situation decide to end their relationship, they will have to consider not only the terms of their divorce ...

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7/6/2018 Comments(0)

Will My Drinking or Marijuana Use Affect My Parenting Plan?

The question of what is in a child’s best interest is at the heart of any Florida custody case. When one or both parents have had a problem with alcohol or marijuana, their substance abuse can directly impact their case in terms of parental decision-making abilities and spending time with their child. Here is what you need to know about how your drinking or marijuana can affect your parenting plan: Substance Abuse and Your Parenting Agreement Under Florida law when parents are divorcing or...

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7/2/2018 Comments(0)

Can I Force My Child to Visit Me During Parenting Time?

A parenting plan is usually the product of countless debates between parents. After this painstaking process is complete and the plan is finalized, families are left to adjust to sending children back and forth between parental homes for time-sharing. These changes can be overwhelming to children and in some cases may lead to a child’s outright refusal to go to a parent’s residence. The parent who is not being seen will be in the difficult position of either going without their time ...

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6/29/2018 Comments(0)

What Happens When You Reconcile During Separation?

When a couple is contemplating divorce, it may be that they want to separate to take a break from their conflicts or to experience living away from one another. For some, separation will be a matter of an informal arrangement to live apart. While for others their circumstances may require that the court be involved. When a once divided couple decides to get back together, it raises the question: What happens when you reconcile during separation? Florida, unlike several other states, does not hav...

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6/25/2018 Comments(0)

What to Think About Before You Waive Your Right to Alimony

Even under the most amicable circumstances divorce is never simple. When a couple is going through this complicated process there is always an issue regarding how each spouse will support themselves in the future. As the parties negotiate their respective positions, questions of alimony and its potential waiver are likely to be discussed. Here are some key points to consider before you waive your right to alimony: Florida Alimony In Florida, a court may grant alimony or maintenance to either par...

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6/20/2018 Comments(0)

Why are Second Marriages More Likely to End in Divorce than First Marriages?

It can sound disheartening, especially if you have been divorced and you are now in a new relationship, but it is the truth: an individual’s second or subsequent marriage is more likely to end in divorce than his or her first marriage. There are numerous reasons why this is the case. A few of these reasons have the same root cause: people tend to have more baggage when they enter a second marriage than they had when they entered their first marriage. They might have children from the first...

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6/18/2018 Comments(0)

Dividing Debt in your Divorce

In any divorce, the couple’s marital assets must be divided between them. For couples with relatively small marital estates and prenuptial agreements in place stating exactly how their assets are to be divided, this is a fairly straightforward process. For other couples, it can be fairly complicated. Marital debt, too, must be divided between the divorcing parties. This is the debt that the couple accrued jointly during their marriage, such as balances on their joint credit cards and outst...

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6/13/2018 Comments(0)

Paternity is More than DNA. How to Support your Paternity Claim

When a child is born to a married mother, her husband is legally the child’s father. This is true whether he is the child’s biological father or not. If the child’s mother was not married when he or she was born, the child does not have a legal father unless his or her parents establish his or her paternity. Without establishing paternity, the child’s father has no legal rights to the child. Why Establish your Paternity? Establishing yourself as your child’s legal f...

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6/8/2018 Comments(0)

The Different Types of Alimony

Alimony is money paid by an individual to his or her former spouse to help offset the financial burden of the divorce. Generally, it is meant to protect the spouse who earned less money during the marriage from suffering financially in the months and years that follow the divorce. Often, but not always, it is awarded because the spouse who earned less chose to work part time or not at all to devote him- or herself to the couple’s children and household. In Florida, there are six types of a...

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5/30/2018 Comments(0)

Will my Personal Injury Settlement be Divided in my Divorce?

Under most circumstances, no. When you receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages through a personal injury claim, that money belongs solely to you to cover what you spent to have your injury treated and the expenses you will face in the future because of the injury. Like many other legal questions, though, the real answer to this is that depends on the circumstances of the case. There are many scenarios where an individual’s personal injury compensation is ...

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5/28/2018 Comments(0)

Can I Change my Divorce Settlement After it is Finalized?

Yes. However, this is not a simple process. A change to your divorce settlement is known as a modification, and they must be sought through the court that created your original divorce settlement. In most cases, they are not simply handed out – in order to modify a divorce settlement, the party seeking the modification must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate why the modification is necessary. It is extremely rare for an individual to have the property division portion of his ...

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5/25/2018 Comments(0)

What to Do if you Suspect your Child is Being Abused by your Former Spouse

If your child comes back to you from time with his or her other parent upset or injured, take anything your child says seriously. Listen carefully to what your child says and does not say – if your child is being abused by his or her other parent, be proactive and take steps to modify his or her parenting plan . Suspicion of Abuse is a Legitimate Reason to Break your Parenting Plan Under normal circumstances, refusing to send your child to his or her other parent for their court-ordered pa...

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5/11/2018 Comments(0)

Dividing Digital Assets in your Divorce

Think about everything you own and everything you have created. You have your home, your car, the money in your savings account, and all of your personal items like your books, your music or video game collection, your hobby items, and recreational objects like a bicycle or a kayak. If you are like most Americans, you also have digital assets. The whole part of your life that exists online, like your online transactions and accounts on digital platforms, are just as much your possessions as the ...

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5/9/2018 Comments(0)

When Does Infidelity Affect a Couple’s Divorce Settlement?

It is not uncommon for an affair to be the reason why a couple divorces. Although some couples do recover from infidelity, doing so can be extremely difficult and for many couples, impossible. Although infidelity may be the reason behind a Florida couple’s divorce, neither party has to cite it in their divorce paperwork. This is because in Florida, all divorces are no fault divorces, which means that couples must only state that they are no longer compatible and choose to end their marriag...

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5/7/2018 Comments(0)

What is a QDRO?

A qualified domestic relations order QDRO is a court order that designates one or more alternate payees for an individual’s retirement account. In a divorce, this generally means that the spouse who has an employer-sponsored retirement plan will have his or her plan divided to ensure that his or her spouse receives a fair share of the couple’s marital assets. A QDRO may also be used to provide alimony or child support following the couple’s divorce, depending on what the court ...

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5/4/2018 Comments(0)

Social Media and your Divorce

Almost all of us use social media on a daily basis. It is where we document our lives, celebrate our victories, and vent our frustrations. A divorce and the months that follow can be a very frustrating time for anybody, and it can be tempting to post about your divorce on social media. But do not do it. When you are working through a divorce, it is always in your best interest to keep the divorce completely separate from your social media activity. How your Social Media Activity can be Used A...

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5/2/2018 Comments(0)

What Happens to your Home in a Divorce?

What happens to a couple’s home in their divorce depends largely on the circumstances of their divorce and the couple’s desires and goals. In most cases, the couple’s home is a marital asset. As such, its value must be divided equitably between the couple . This can mean the home’s value is somehow split and shared between the couple or that one partner retains it while the other takes a larger share of their other marital assets to make up for his or her partner retainin...

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4/30/2018 Comments(0)

Who is a Custodial Parent? Can Both Parents be Custodial Parents?

Before getting into a discussion about designating a custodial parent in Florida, it is important to note a few points: In Florida, the word custody is no longer in use. Rather, the time a child spends with each parent is known as parenting time, and the schedule according to which he or she spends this time is known as a timesharing arrangement; and Alongside timesharing, a parenting plan involves parental responsibilities. These components replaced the concepts of physical and legal...

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4/28/2018 Comments(0)

What Evidence Should I Bring to my Divorce Hearings?

If you are divorcing in the courtroom, even if you are completing an uncontested divorce, you will need to provide evidence to aid the court in its determinations regarding your property division and parenting plan. This is true even if you have worked out a property division plan on your own, because the court will need to see that your plan is in line with applicable state laws. Evidence is also necessary to refute claims your spouse makes about you, such as a claim that you are an abusive par...

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4/25/2018 Comments(0)

I Can’t Afford a Divorce, What Can I Do?

When you are unhappy in your marriage but cannot afford to complete a divorce, you have a few options. The right option for you depends on a few different factors, which include your reason for wanting to end the marriage, your goals for the future, and your current financial state. Determine if you Can Complete an Uncontested Divorce If you and your spouse agree about how to divide your property and debts, neither plans to seek alimony, and you have no minor children, you could be candidates...

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4/23/2018 Comments(0)

Changing your Estate Plans After a Divorce

If you made estate plans during your marriage, you will need to change them after your divorce or while the divorce is pending. It is a good idea to revisit your estate plans every few years to make sure they match your current wishes. Because your spouse is your primary beneficiary and in most cases, the executor of your will, a divorce generally means it is time to make substantial revisions to your estate plan. Make a New Will One of the largest changes you will need to make is writing a new ...

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4/20/2018 Comments(0)

Do I Have to Change my Name When I Get Divorced?

No. Whether you change your name after the divorce is finalized is completely up to you. Your spouse has no say in the matter, even if it was his name before you married. If you do choose to change your name after your divorce, you can include the change in your divorce settlement. This can make the process much easier than legally changing it on your own and updating all of your legal documents, such as your driver’s license and any titles in your name, piece by piece. Think about what li...

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4/18/2018 Comments(0)

Equitable Distribution in a Divorce

In Florida and many other states, a divorcing couple’s marital assets are divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution . In states that do not use equitable distribution, a method known as community property is used. When property is divided according to equitable distribution, it is not necessarily divided equally between the partners. Rather, it is divided equitably, which means that each partner gets a fair cut of the marital estate according to his or her personal and fi...

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4/16/2018 Comments(0)

How to Talk to your Partner About Signing a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement, often known as a prenup, can be an intimidating concept for some. This type of document can be used to determine how a couple’s marital assets will be divided in the event of their divorce, and some people’s minds, this makes it easy to assume that a prenuptial agreement is a plan for a divorce. But a better way to think of a prenuptial agreement is to compare it to a homeowner’s insurance policy: no homeowner plans for their house to be damaged by a nat...

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4/13/2018 Comments(0)

What Can I Include in my Prenuptial Agreement?

Many engaged couples choose to sign prenuptial agreements before they marry. Having this type of document in place can make the divorce process more streamlined if the couple chooses to end their marriage later. It can also be used to ensure that a partner’s children from other relationships inherit part of his or her estate following his or her death. Although it can seem like an awkward concept at first, do not be afraid to discuss a prenuptial agreement with your partner. Your lawyer ca...

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4/11/2018 Comments(0)

How to Recognize Domestic Violence

If you think you know how to recognize domestic violence in a relationship, you are probably partially right. Hitting, kicking, and harming a partner with a weapon are all physical forms of domestic violence. But domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse. It can be psychological, sexual, emotional, and even financial. Many of these other types of domestic violence are far more subtle than physical abuse and can go unnoticed – even by the victim – for years. Domestic violence affec...

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3/16/2018 Comments(0)

Which Parent can Claim the Child on Tax Returns?

The parent considered to be the child’s custodial parent is generally the parent who claims a child on his or her tax return. The custodial parent is the parent who has the majority of the child’s parenting time, even if the child’s parents have an almost equal amount of parenting time. If the parents have a truly 50/50 parenting time split, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income is often the one who claims the child as a dependent. Only One Parent can Claim the Child...

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3/14/2018 Comments(0)

How to Complete an Uncontested Divorce

If you meet certain requirements, such as not having any minor children with your spouse and agreeing with him or her about how you will divide your marital assets, you could be eligible for an uncontested divorce. This is a simpler, more straightforward way to end your marriage than a traditional courtroom divorce. By cutting out a lot of the time and investigation that comes with a traditional divorce, choosing an uncontested divorce can also save you quite a bit of money. Below are the steps ...

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3/9/2018 Comments(0)

Who Can Have an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce, also known as a simplified dissolution of marriage , is an option for divorcing Florida couples who want a streamlined process. Because it is a simpler process than divorcing through litigation, it can be far less expensive for a couple. Not every couple is eligible for an uncontested divorce. Florida law has specific requirements for couples seeking this type of divorce, some of which are the same as the requirements for couples seeking traditional divorces. In any...

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3/7/2018 Comments(0)

What Does Child Support Cover?

When the court develops a child support order for a divorcing couple, it uses a set of guidelines that include the couple’s combined income, the standard cost of raising the number of children named on the order, and any special needs or considerations for one or more of the couple’s children. Once the child support order is in place, one parent regularly makes payments to the other to help with the costs of raising their children. Once the recipient has money received through child ...

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3/2/2018 Comments(0)

What Happens with Custody when a Parent is in Jail?

When a parent is convicted of a crime and sentenced to time in jail, one of his or her first thoughts may be how the jail sentence will affect his or her parenting plan. Obviously, a parenting plan that has the child regularly spending time in both parents’ homes cannot be maintained while one parent is in jail. If the child’s parents share custody, the non-incarcerated parent will generally have the child full time while the other is in jail. When this is not possible due to a termi...

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2/26/2018 Comments(0)

Changing Names After Divorce: You and your kids

When a family goes through a divorce, it can mean experiencing changes to some of the most central aspects of their lives. Children and their parents can find themselves living in different homes, with new schools and jobs, and with a new family dynamic. One issue which can come up during this time is whether children and their parent should change their names after divorce. Parents and Changing Names For a divorced parent, deciding to use their former name again can be a complicated decision. S...

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The Draper Firm 2/25/2018 Comments(0)

Effects of Domestic Violence During Pregnancy

When a pregnant woman is abused, she is not the only one who suffers. The fetus developing inside her suffers as well, sometimes to the point of suffering permanent disabilities after birth. All types of domestic violence – physical, emotional, sexual, and even financial – can have a lasting impact on a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Generally, domestic violence during pregnancy is not a new occurrence. Women who already face abuse in their relationships often see the abuse con...

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2/23/2018 Comments(0)

Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can affect any couple. It occurs in same sex and heterosexual marriages, in households of all socioeconomic levels, and among individuals of all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Women can abuse their male partners just as easily as men can abuse female partners. Domestic violence also comes in many forms. Not all instances of abuse involve physical violence – in some cases, it involves emotionally tearing down the victim’s self esteem or using access to fu...

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2/21/2018 Comments(0)

Dividing a Small Business in a Divorce

Many Florida couples operate small businesses together to support themselves and their families. In some cases, the couple operates the business as equal partners. In other cases, one partner operates the business full time while the other stays home with their children, works at the business part time, or works at a job with another company. In all cases where a small business provides part or all of a married couple’s income, the business or the couple’s share in the business is co...

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2/19/2018 Comments(0)

Modifying your Alimony Order

In a divorce where one partner can reasonably expect to face financial hardship after exiting the marriage, the court may create an alimony order to ease that partner’s financial difficulty . Although permanent alimony orders are sometimes still issued, the majority of today’s alimony orders last for a specific period of time, generally what the court deems to be enough time for the lesser-earning spouse to sufficiently prepare to reenter the workforce and become self-supporting. Whe...

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2/14/2018 Comments(0)

Using an Injunction to Protect Yourself

A protective order, also known as an injunction or restraining order, is a court order that requires one individual to cease all contact with another for a specified period of time. Typically, protective orders are used to protect domestic violence victims from facing additional abuse from their former partners. Why Would I Need an Injunction? An injunction requires another party to stop contacting you and avoid future contact. Individuals charged with violating injunctions can face first degree...

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2/9/2018 Comments(0)

Challenges Blended Families Face

Second and subsequent marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages because when divorced individuals remarry, they often have baggage. This baggage can include children from previous relationships and all that comes with raising a child, such as interaction with a former partner, child support payments, and the child’s personal needs. This does not mean that an individual with children cannot have a successful, happy second marriage. It does mean that when a parent rema...

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2/7/2018 Comments(0)

Time Limits for Florida Annulments

In Florida, the law does not explicitly address annulments. Because of this, there is no time limit or waiting period for a couple who determines their marriage to be invalid to have the marriage annulled, which is not the case in all states. Couples can file annulment paperwork with the court to have their marriages voided if they fit the criteria for annulment, but whether the annulment is granted is at the court’s discretion. In many cases where a couple’s marriage is not valid, t...

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1/31/2018 Comments(0)

Extending Child Support Beyond Age 18 for Young Adults with Special Needs

Under most circumstances, a Florida parent’s child support obligation ends when the child turns 18. If the child is still in high school on his or her 18 th birthday, child support may continue until he or she graduates from high school or turns 19. When a child has a physical or mental disability that makes it impossible for him or her to become a self-sufficient adult, child support may be extended into his or her adulthood. How long support continues and how much the parent is required ...

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1/3/2018 Comments(0)

Adopting Through the Foster System

When a child is deemed to be at risk of being harmed in his or her parents’ care, he or she may be put into foster care. Through the state’s foster system, children are placed with foster parents, adults who provide these children with homes and the support that comes from a home until they are adopted or returned to their birth families. Many foster parents end up adopting the children they foster. In fact, many become certified to foster because they intend to adopt children. If yo...

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12/29/2017 Comments(0)

Why your Divorce will Not be the Same as your Friend’s Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, you will probably turn to your divorced friends to ask them about their divorces to gain insight about the process and what you can expect. Although you can certainly seek advice and general information about the divorce process from a friend, do not assume that his or her experience will be your experience. Every divorce is different because every marriage and the circumstances that end it are unique. Your divorce can be more complicated, more expensive, or...

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12/27/2017 Comments(0)

Seeking an Annulment in Florida

A marriage is a legally binding contract. Just like other legally binding contracts, the parties involved must meet certain requirements in order to enter a marriage. If a marriage ceremony occurs despite these requirements not being met, the marriage is not valid. Individuals in invalid marriages can have their marriages annulled, which means that they are erased from the public record. An annulment is not the same as a divorce. A divorce is the dismantling of a legal marriage, whereas an annul...

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12/25/2017 Comments(0)

What if my Spouse is Hiding Assets in a Divorce?

In a divorce, the couple’s marital assets must be divided equitably . This is always an easier process when both parties are equally involved in the couple’s financial life and each understands the value of their marital assets. When one party is more well-versed in the couple’s finances than the other, that party might try to hide assets from the other in order to keep them after the divorce. Divorcing individuals are advised to work with lawyers who prioritize a fair asset di...

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12/20/2017 Comments(0)

How to Handle False Accusations During your Divorce

During a divorce, emotions can run high. Disagreements can become conflicts, and conflicts can drive people to say things they do not really mean and believe simply to make their opponents look bad. Sometimes, facts are taken out of context to be used against former partners and in other cases, individuals completely fabricate claims in order to make themselves look better to the court. This might be done in an effort to come away with a larger share of their marital assets, to be given sole cus...

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11/24/2017 Comments(0)

The Role of a Guardian Ad Litem

When the court needs an unbiased perspective on a child’s best interest during a divorce proceeding, it may appoint a guardian ad litem for that child. The guardian ad litem’s role is to gather information about the child’s current lifestyle and personal needs and to use this information to make recommendations to the court about the child’s custody. Do not panic if the court appoints a guardian ad litem to help determine the ideal parenting plan for your child. You want ...

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11/22/2017 Comments(0)

Why you Shouldn’t Start Dating Until After your Divorce is Finalized

Some people are not ready to date again until years after their divorces are finalized. Others want to start dating before they even begin the divorce process. When you are ready to date again depends largely on the circumstances of your divorce and your own personality. But even if you feel you are ready to start dating before the divorce is finalized, doing so is usually not a good idea. If you and your spouse are on amicable terms and working cooperatively to complete your divorce, you might ...

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11/13/2017 Comments(0)

Ways to Save Money on your Divorce

Getting divorced is expensive. In most cases, the expenses have two primary causes: lawyer fees and court costs and the expenses of adjusting to life as a single person, which often means footing the entire rent and utility bills and making all car payments, insurance payments, and household purchases on one income. Because of these expenses, it is not uncommon for individuals to complete the divorce process deep in debt. If you have a fairly amicable relationship with your spouse, work with him...

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11/10/2017 Comments(0)

How Divorce Affects Children at Different Developmental Stages

Every parent who gets divorced thinks about how the divorce will affect his or her children. Some parents worry about the long-term effects of the divorce while others simply contemplate these effects and search for ways to handle them. If you have children, there is no way to keep them from thinking or feeling about your divorce. This is not necessarily a bad thing – how you support your children through the divorce and in the years beyond will determine the impact the divorce has on thei...

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11/8/2017 Comments(0)

When Is It Legal to Violate your Custody Order?

Timesharing orders are legally binding. If you have a custody order in place after your divorce, you are required to comply with its terms or face penalties for being in contempt of court. However, there are circumstances under which you might feel you have to violate your timesharing order for your child’s benefit. Violating your timesharing order is an act of indirect contempt of court . To face the penalties for contempt of court, the court must prove that you willfully violated y...

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10/25/2017 Comments(0)

What is Contempt of Court?

Contempt of court is the state of disobeying a court order. Any form of willful disobedience against the court is an act of contempt of court. This includes speaking out of turn during a hearing, failing to appear in court when summoned to do so, and failing to comply with a court order. After a divorce, your timesharing schedule, child custody obligation, and alimony payments are all court orders. Failure to comply with these orders is an act of contempt of court that can lead to penaltie...

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10/23/2017 Comments(0)

How to Navigate the Holidays When you Have a Timesharing Agreement

While you are developing your timesharing agreement for your children after your divorce, do not forget to include how you will handle the holidays . Keep in mind that the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving are not the only ones worth considering; your child’s birthday, long weekends off from school, and specific cultural or religious holidays you observe should all be written into your parenting plan. Ways to Divide the Holidays with your Children There are a few different...

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10/20/2017 Comments(0)

How Can my Criminal Record Impact my Timesharing Arrangement?

A criminal history can have a significant impact on your timesharing agreement. Although it is generally in a child’s best interest to have an ongoing relationship with each parent, the court may limit a parent’s time with his or her child or even terminate his or her parental rights if it determines that a relationship with the parent is harmful to the child. A parent’s criminal activity can harm his or her child physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Violent crim...

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10/18/2017 Comments(0)

How to Talk to your Adult Children About your Divorce

For divorcing parents, talking to the children about the divorce is nearly always a stressful conversation. The right time to talk to your child about your divorce and the right amount of information to give depend largely on the child’s age and maturity level. This does not stop being true when your children are adults. A parent’s divorce can be upsetting at any age. Even though your child is an adult, he or she still needs your emotional support, especially during stressful t...

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10/16/2017 Comments(0)

Pet Custody After a Divorce

We love our pets like they are members of our families. If you are facing a divorce, the thought of your spouse taking your pet permanently can be devastating. Pet custody is not like child custody. With a human child, the court must determine which arrangement would be in his or her best interest to develop a parenting schedule. Although you might consider your pet to be your child, the court does not see it this way. To the court, your pet is a piece of personal property, just like your ...

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10/13/2017 Comments(0)

Dividing a Professional Partnership in a Divorce

In a Florida divorce, all marital assets must be divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. This includes all of the couple’s streams of income, which could be shares in small businesses or professional partnerships like law firms or physician’s practices. Dividing a small business or professional practice can make a couple’s property division more complicated because these are not static assets. Dividing assets like this requires the court to first valu...

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10/11/2017 Comments(0)

Benefits of Signing a Prenuptial Agreement

If you are engaged, you should consider signing a prenuptial agreement. Do not allow friends, relatives, or even your partner try to talk you out of it by saying that a prenuptial agreement is unromantic or that by singing one, you expect your marriage to fail. Signing a prenuptial agreement has nothing to do with the integrity of your marriage. It is a legal document that provides guidelines for the financial aspect of your marriage, which includes how your assets are to be divided in the...

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10/9/2017 Comments(0)

The Top Reasons Why American Couples Divorce

Many different issues can drive a couple to file for divorce. Many of these are universal difficulties that have destroyed marriages all over the world for hundreds, even thousands, of years. Do an online search for the top reasons why American couples divorce and you will find the same issues listed again and again. This is not lazy reporting – it is the reality of marriage and divorce in America today. If you can recognize one or more of the following issues in your marriage, it co...

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10/6/2017 Comments(0)

Can my Child Choose His or Her Custody Arrangement?

In certain cases, yes. But your child cannot dictate his or her custody arrangement to the court. The court will determine your parenting plan based on what it finds to be in your child’s best interest . This could involve your child’s preference regarding where to live, but your child’s preference cannot be the only factor it considers. Your Child’s Age and Maturity Determine Whether the Court Consider His or Her Preference In some states, a child must be a certain...

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10/4/2017 Comments(0)

Child Custody in Florida: Parental Responsibility and Primary Residence

Although a 2008 revision to Florida’s child custody laws did away with terminology like custody, custodial parent, visitation, and primary residence, they are still often used alongside the modern terms like timesharing and parental responsibilities. All of these terms, new and old, refer to a parent’s rights following a divorce to spend time with his or her child and make decisions on the child’s behalf. The court determines a couple’s parenting time and parental respons...

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9/25/2017 Comments(0)

Will my Spouse Receive Half of my Inheritance if We Get Divorced?

No. Most, but not all, property obtained during a marriage is marital property and as such, it is subject to division by the court if the couple decides to divorce. Gifts and inherited assets are exceptions to this rule. Inheritance is Separate Property The opposite of marital property is separate property. This includes property each party owned before entering the marriage, such as personal items and vehicles. Because inheritance was given directly to one spouse, it, too, is separate property....

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9/22/2017 Comments(0)

What you Need to Know About Filing Divorce Papers in Florida

Once you determine that your marriage is over, the first step in the divorce process is filing your divorce paperwork. This is colloquially known as filing your divorce papers. To file divorce paperwork in Florida, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months. You can find all the necessary paperwork for your Florida divorce online . The initial paperwork an individual must file to begin the divorce process in Florida is known as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Th...

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9/20/2017 Comments(0)

Can Florida Parents Waive their Right to Child Support?

No. Child support is not like spousal support, which an adult has the right to waive his or her right to receive. A child cannot support him- or herself financially and even if one parent can support a child completely, that parent does not have the right to waive his or her child’s right to receive child support for any reason. Child support is a separate area of a divorce settlement from a couple’s property division and spousal maintenance agreement – in some divorces, an ind...

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8/30/2017 Comments(0)

Does Child Support End When my Kid Turns 18?

In the United States, age 18 is when a child is considered to become a legal adult. Because of this, many mistakenly believe that parents are only required to financially support their children until the children turn 18. For a married couple or a single parent with no child support order, this is true. But if there is a child support order in place, the paying parent is not necessarily relieved of his or her obligation on the child’s 18th birthday. If the child is still in high school whe...

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8/28/2017 Comments(0)

Can I Modify a Child Support Order in Florida?

Child Support Orders in Florida are able to be modified. There is a procedure you must follow, but it is possible to change the amount of child support you are required to pay. Similarly, Time-Sharing Orders and Alimony are also modifiable. Requirements to Modify a Child Support Order in Florida To modify a Child Support Order in Florida you must file a petition with the court. To qualify the judge must find that: There has been a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties; and The c...

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Draper Law Office 6/26/2017 Comments(0)

Understanding the Mediation Process in Divorce

The Florida Rules of Family Law require that parties to a divorce attempt mediation. Mediation is a process where both parties attempt to reach mutual agreement on disputed issues with the assistance of a mediator, who is a neutral third party. In special or unusual circumstances the judge has the power to waive the mediation requirement, though this rarely happens. Successful medication can have profound advantages, such as costing significantly less than the court process and resulting in an o...

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Draper Law Office 6/19/2017 Comments(0)

Parenting Plans After Divorce in Florida

Concern for the children is typically the primary concern for both parents in a divorce. A Parenting Plan is required in all cases involving time-sharing with minor children. This is true even when time-sharing is not in dispute. The Parenting Plan determines the details and logistics of shared parental responsibility. The Parenting Plan must be agreed to by the parents and by the court. In situations where the parents cannot agree on a plan, or the court will not agree to the proposed plan, the...

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Draper Law Office 6/14/2017 Comments(0)

How Can I Legally Adopt My Stepchild?

A stepparent may legally adopt a stepchild so long as he or she meets the requirements and completes the proper legal proceedings. When a stepparent legally adopts a stepchild, it is type of "relative adoption" in which the child is adopted by someone who is related to them by marriage. Once the adoption process is complete, the adopted child will be legally treated as a biological child of the stepparent and will be treated as such in regard to custody, child support, inheritance and properly l...

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Draper Law Office 6/12/2017 Comments(0)

How is Alimony Calculated in Florida

Alimony is monetary support one spouse pays to another to maintain the receiving spouse’s standard of living after divorce. The family law court may grant alimony to either spouse. The court considers numerous factors when determining the type and amount of the alimony aware. Those factors include , but are not limited to: The parties’ prior standard of living. Length of the marriage. Age and physical and emotional condition of both spouses. Each spouse’s financial resources an...

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Draper Law Office 6/2/2017 Comments(0)

Contested Divorce, Florida Family Law

In Florida divorces are either uncontested or contested. An uncontested divorce is when both parties in the divorce have reached a mutual agreement that resolves all issues pertaining to the marriage or its dissolution. In contrast, a contested divorce means that both parties are not in agreement on all issues. Parties may be disputing issues regarding child timesharing arrangements, division of assets, division of debts, child support or alimony payments. Contested divorces may require the help...

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Draper Law Office 5/26/2017 Comments(0)

Do I Need An Attorney for An Uncontested Divorce in Florida?

If you live in Florida and you are considering a divorce, you may have heard the terms contested divorce and uncontested divorce." How your divorce is categorized will determine what you will need to do to complete the process. An uncontested divorce is when both parties in the divorce have reached a mutual agreement that resolves all issues pertaining to the marriage and its dissolution. Issues pertaining to property, financial assets, and custody have been discussed and decisions have been agr...

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Draper Law Office 5/22/2017 Comments(0)

Establishing Paternity in Florida Courts

Under Florida law, when a married woman gives birth, the woman's husband is the presumed father. If the woman is not married at the time of giving birth, then paternity must be established. Paternity can be established either voluntarily or through a court order. Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Pursuant to Fla. Stat. 742.10 , both parents may voluntarily acknowledge paternity by signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. This document must be notarized or witnessed by two individua...

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Draper Law Office 5/17/2017 Comments(0)

Types of Alimony, Florida Family Law

Alimony is monetary support one spouse pays to another to maintain the receiving spouse’s standard of living after divorce. The family law court may grant alimony to either spouse. Alimony is subdivided into several categories: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent periodic alimony. Bridge-the-gap Alimony Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to help a spouse transition from being married to being single. Its goal is to assist with the costs of legitimate and identifiable ...

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Draper Law Office 5/11/2017 Comments(0)

Can I Kick My Spouse Out Of the House in Florida?

Ending a marriage can be a confusing and emotional time. You may be wondering how dissolution of marriage works and what your rights are. As family law attorneys , one of the most common questions we are asked is "can I kick my spouse out of the house?" We understand that you no longer want to be living with your spouse; however, in general in the State of Florida, you cannot force your spouse to move out of the house. As long as both parties have been married and living in the home together, th...

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Draper Law Office 5/4/2017 Comments(0)

What Are Florida's Child Support Guidelines?

Child support is payment made by one parent for the financial benefit of the child. Child support is to pay for the roof over the child's head, food, water, electricity, and other living essentials. In some cases child support also pays for health insurance, health care costs, and other expenses made for the benefit of the child. Florida's Child Support Guidelines Child support is determined by Florida’s Child Support Guidelines in Fla. Stat. 61.30 . The child’s right to support cann...

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Draper Law Office 4/26/2017 Comments(0)

Dividing Debts In Divorce, Florida Family Law

Who has to pay back debts after divorce? This can be a contentious question. It is not uncommon for people to incur debt together during a marriage. Common debts, or "liabilities," that must be divided during the dissolution of marriage include: Mortgages Car loans Credit card debts Other amounts of money owed to third parties Florida law provides for an "equitable distribution" of marital assets and debts. Equitable distribution refers to the division between spouses of tangible and intangible ...

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Draper Law Office 4/19/2017 Comments(0)

Dividing Assets In Divorce, Florida Family Law

One of the most difficult issues in divorce is the division of assets and debts. It is common for people to purchase assets together during a marriage. Common assets that must be divided during the dissolution of marriage include: Houses Other real property Cars Bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other security interests 401 k plans, pensions, and other retirement benefits Deferred compensation or profit-sharing accounts Personal property Other items of value ·F Florida law provides for an "...

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Draper Law Office 4/19/2017 Comments(0)

Florida Family Laws Focus On the Best "Time-Sharing" Situation for Minor Children

Florida family law has undergone some significant modifications concerning child custody. Florida law now focuses on the best time-sharing situation for minor children. When considering parental issues the courts use a best-interest-of-the-child standard. The terms "primary" and "secondary" child custody have been eliminated in favor of "parental time-sharing." These changes are a positive step for parents and children. They were brought about to help avoid fights between parents based upon sema...

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Draper Law Office 4/13/2017 Comments(0)

Florida Is A "No Fault" Divorce State

Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, can be a confusing and emotional time. You may be wondering how dissolution of marriage works and what your rights are. We encourage you to find the right attorney to help guide you through the legal process. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a divorce can be based on irreconcilable differences. Florida is one of many states that have done away with fault when it comes to dissolution of marriage. Essentially this means the divor...

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Draper Law Office 4/6/2017 Comments(0)

What to Do Before your Divorce

Just like with anything else in life, taking time to prepare for your divorce before you actually file your paperwork will make the process easier for you and your spouse. If you enter the divorce process with certain issues sorted beforehand, the court will only have to finalize them, rather than determine them for you. If you are considering ending your marriage, speak with an experienced divorce lawyer about the steps to take before you file for divorce. Although they will vary according to y...

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1/29/2017 Comments(0)

Can I Move Out of Florida with my Child?

If moving will mean disrupting your child’s current timesharing plan, you could have to obtain approval from the court or your child’s other parent in order to complete the move. This does not mean that it cannot be done, but it does mean that you will have to demonstrate to the court that moving out of Florida would be in your child’s best interest. Sometimes, moving is inevitable. New jobs, family obligations, and personal needs can push people to move across state and even n...

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1/26/2017 Comments(0)

What to Consider when Developing a Timesharing Agreement

Except for in cases of abuse or neglect, it is in your child’s best interest to have a consistent relationship with both of his or her parents as he or she grows up. Remember that phrase – in your child’s best interest – because it is the court’s highest priority when developing a child’s parenting plan. As a parent, it should also be your priority when working through the parts of your divorce that have to do with your children. You and your spouse can provid...

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1/24/2017 Comments(0)

Are my Lottery Winnings Subject to Division in my Divorce?

The short answer is yes, your lottery winnings are subject to division under the doctrine of equitable distribution if you divorce . This is because although you might have been the only one to purchase the lottery ticket, the money that you won is money that you acquired during your marriage and thus, it is marital property and must be divided between you and your spouse in your divorce. When Did you Win the Lottery? If you were living separately from your spouse when you won the lottery, the w...

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1/22/2017 Comments(0)

How is a Divorcing Couple’s Property Divided in Florida?

A divorce is more than just a romantic breakup. It is the legal dissolution of a marriage. When a couple divorces, the court must make certain determinations to ensure that both parties’ rights are upheld and needs are met in the years that follow their divorce. This can mean creating a child custody order and parenting time schedule for the couple’s children or creating an alimony order. It nearly always involves dividing the couple’s marital property. Courts Use the Doctrine ...

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1/19/2017 Comments(0)

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

In most divorces where the couple has minor children, one parent is required to make child support payments to the other to contribute toward the costs of raising the children. When the children become adults, they ideally become self-supporting and no longer need financial aid from their parents. In some cases, child support can extend into adulthood if a young adult cannot be financially self-sufficient, either because he or she is still in high school or because he or she has a mental or phys...

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1/17/2017 Comments(0)

Modifying your Child Support Order

When a couple with children divorces, the court generally creates a child support order for them. This is money paid from one spouse to the other on a regular basis to help him or her cover the expenses of raising a child, such as the need for more groceries and other household supplies and the items the child uses, like school supplies and clothing. As children grow, their needs change. Parents’ financial realities change over time too. When a couple’s original child support order n...

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1/15/2017 Comments(0)

When Alimony is Terminated

When a couple divorces, one spouse may receive alimony in the years that follow. This could be for a temporary length of time as determined by the court or for the rest of the recipient’s life, depending on the circumstances of their marriage and divorce. An alimony order can be terminated. There are a few different events that can trigger a termination, which are discussed below. When Either Spouse Dies An individual who is dead cannot pay or receive alimony payments. The only circumstanc...

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1/12/2017 Comments(0)

How is Alimony Calculated in Florida?

A Florida divorce settlement typically has multiple parts. These include the division of the couple’s marital assets, a parenting plan and child support order if they have minor children, and a spousal support order to help the lesser earning spouse avoid financial hardship after the divorce is finalized. Spousal support is often known as alimony . It is meant to provide the lesser earning spouse with a financial safety net after a divorce is finalized, typically because that spouse opted ...

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1/10/2017 Comments(0)

Paternity Testing in Florida Custody Cases

When a child’s parentage is in question, a parent or the court may order a paternity test to determine whether or not a man is the child’s biological father. When a child is born to a married woman, her husband automatically becomes the child’s legal father, regardless of whether the baby is actually related to him biologically. If a mother is not married when her baby is born, there are a few different ways she or the child’s biological father can establish his legal par...

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1/8/2017 Comments(0)

What Can I Do if my Child Says He or She Does Not Want Visitation with Me?

Although it is generally in a child’s best interest for him or her to have regular, consistent time with each parent, it can be difficult to convince a child that such a schedule is the best course of action. A child might not want to spend time with a parent because it breaks up his or her routine, takes him or her away from friends and the comforts of home, or simply because it is something he or she cannot control and feels forced. As a parent, it is important that you work to encourage...

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1/5/2017 Comments(0)

Florida Uncontested Divorce

Terms like "amicable divorce" and "co-parenting" are popping up more and more frequently in the news as celebrities try to work together in the best interest of their children rather than dragging each other through the mud. But you don't need expensive celebrity divorce attorneys to draw up these family-friendly agreements. It's called an uncontested divorce and many states have laws that make it very possible for you to maintain a cordial, if not good, relationship with your ex, whether you're...

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Draper Law Office 9/9/2016 Comments(0)

What Do I Need for My First Meeting with a Florida Divorce Lawyer?

Your first meeting with a divorce attorney, after you initial consultation, can be intimidating. It feels like your whole life is on the line, but where do you even start? Finances? Custody? Property? What paperwork do you even need? No need to worry. You should be prepared for your first appointment if you bring the following information. 1. Basic Financials Bring a list of basic financial information such as balances of savings and checking accounts – joint or individual – as well ...

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Draper Law Office 8/12/2016 Comments(0)

Emergency Hearings for Florida Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody hearings can be a gruelingly slow process. But sometimes, there may be justification to file for an emergency hearing if there's reason to believe the child may be in danger. Emergency relief is fairly rare and the reason for the relief must be a really good one because it deprives the opposing party of their rights. As such, you must be able to show that the child is in imminent danger from an immediate threat of irreparable harm or injury and that the child's right not to be ...

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Draper Law Office 8/8/2016 Comments(0)

Cheating And Divorce Cases in Florida - Divorce Lawyer

If a divorce ends because of infidelity, the spouse who was cheated on often feels they should receive special consideration in the divorce. Because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, you don't have to prove your spouse was cheating to file for divorce. It pays to remember that the court's responsibility in a divorce case is practical and legal, not emotional. The court works to determine a fair division of assets and debts and establish or approve custody arrangements for shared children....

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Draper Law Office 7/19/2016 Comments(0)

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support in Florida

At Draper Law Offices, we get a lot of frequently asked questions when it comes to child support in Florida. In this article, we will address some of these. If you have further questions, feel free to call for a free consultation at 866.767.4711. Child Support FAQ Which parent pays child support? Under Florida law, both parents are responsible for financially supporting their minor children. The statute uses a formula to determine each parent's share of the child's expenses based on a number of ...

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Draper Law Offices 5/26/2016 Comments(0)

Preparing for Kissimmee Divorce Litigation

While the decision to divorce is one of the hardest most people will face in their lives, the unfortunate reality is that it isn't over until it's over — when a final judgment is entered by the Court. We talk a lot about the various legal nuances related to divorce. The truth is that your best strategy is to be fully prepared — not just emotionally, if possible, but also legally and financially. This includes making your children your top consideration because the Court certainly ...

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Draper Law Offices 5/26/2016 Comments(0)

Attorney For Enforcing Court Orders After a Divorce

In the process of finalizing a divorce , the court enters a Final Judgment which outlines the terms of the divorce, including the rights, obligations and responsibilities of each spouse with regard to asset and debt division, spousal support, child support and more. If the divorce was concluded through the parties’ agreement, the Final Judgment approves the agreement and makes it a part of the Final Judgment. In many states, like Florida, if children are involved, the court will require a ...

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Draper Law Offices 5/25/2016 Comments(0)

Who Gets the House in a Florida Divorce Attorney

If you are like most people, your home is the most expensive thing you own. When it comes to a divorce, very often, both spouses want to take possession of the home. This may be due to the home's value or because the parties want to maintain some sense of normalcy after the dissolution of their marriage. The parties may even have an emotional attachment to the home they've lived in and make improvements to over many years. If you and your spouse can't come to an agreement about who gets the hous...

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Draper Law Offices 5/24/2016 Comments(0)

10 Worst Mistakes Made During a Florida Divorce

Divorce is extremely stressful and does cost money; but the entire process only gets worse if you make these avoidable mistakes. 1. Failing to make a game plan It's rare that a divorce is simple, especially one that takes place after many years after marriage. Your attorney can better negotiate on your behalf if you provide all these details: Bank statements for all personal and joint accounts including savings, checking, money market, CDs, etc. Retirement plan statements and information includi...

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Draper Law Offices 5/17/2016 Comments(0)

How is Spousal Support Determined in Florida?

One of the key issues to be determined by the Court for many divorcing couples is alimony – otherwise referred to as spousal support. Spousal support isn't gender-specific. The first thing the Court decides is whether either spouse has a need and, if so, whether either has the ability to pay spousal support. If alimony is to be awarded to either spouse, the court may consider adultery in deciding the amount to be paid. Types of Alimony in Florida
 Alimony types and factors will vary ...

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Draper Law Offices 5/17/2016 Comments(0)

5 Questions to Ask a Kissimmee Family Law Attorney in a Child Custody Case

Divorce proceedings are hard enough but when child custody is an issue, they can get downright nasty. Online research is helpful but these are extremely complicated matters. This is why you should always ask your Kissimmee divorce attorney about certain specifics, especially since the law can vary subtly or even greatly from state to state and family law attorneys are familiar with how judges or even a specific judge tends to rule in these matters when the law isn't absolute. Here are five quest...

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Draper Law Offices 5/4/2016 Comments(0)

What to Do After Receiving Divorce Papers

People tend to panic when they receive their divorce papers, even if they knew it was coming. Having those papers in hand tends to make the breakdown of your marriage more real. Like many people, if you haven't already started preparing for your divorce, there are some things you should do and some things you should NOT do after being served with divorce papers. What Not to Do After Receiving Divorce Papers Don't flip out. You are far less likely to make good decisions about what to do next and ...

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Draper Law Office 3/19/2016 Comments(0)

How a Kissimmee Divorce Lawyer Can Help You

Divorce is one of the most painful and costly times in a person's life, but a qualified Kissimmee divorce attorney can ease the burden by ensuring you have all the proper information and explaining every step and facet of the process to you before you make decisions that could negatively impact the rest of your life. Divorce lawyers do much more than just file papers. Give Objective Advice Your emotions are bound to be running high, especially when discussing your spouse or children. Your friend...

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Draper Law Office 5/4/2015 Comments(0)

How to File Contempt in a Family Law Case

  Cases related to divorce are hard enough, but once the Final Judgment has gone through, you have the right to expect the court's order will be followed. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen, in which case your ex may be in contempt.   About Contempt Contempt of occurs when the Court determines that an individual knowingly and deliberately violated a Court order. As such, before contempt can be found, the court must re-examine the original order to ensure it was suffici...

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Draper Law Office 4/5/2015 Comments(0)

9 Things to Do Before Signing Divorce Papers

If you're considering divorce, you're probably already aware of the physiological toll such a life-changing decision can take. Before you make a decision that has such a profound effect on the rest of your life, do these nine things: 1. Get Marriage Counseling If you're worried your spouse might react badly to the D-word or simply prefer to keep it to yourself, there's no need to tell your spouse you're considering divorce. But if you're unhappy, chances are they are, too. Even if they aren't, i...

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Draper Law Office 2/18/2015 Comments(0)

How to File for Divorce If Your Spouse Lives in Another State

There are as many reasons as there are people, for a person to move to a different state when their marriage is on the rocks, but one thing is the same for all of them: if you and your spouse do live in different states, it can complicate divorce proceedings if you don't know up front how to properly file. In Which State Can You File? You aren't required to file for divorce in the state that issued your marriage license. If no other circumstances make filing in another state a better idea, you m...

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Draper Law Office 2/2/2015 Comments(0)

Do I Need a Family Law Lawyer?

If divorce were easy, it wouldn't be the basis of so many movie and TV drama plots or the butt of so many sitcom jokes . The reality is, if you were sure your divorce were going to be settled quickly and amicably, you probably wouldn't be reading this. If there's anything about your divorce that has you worried, you should certainly always hire an attorney . If you're still on the fence, you should know there are some situations in which hiring an attorney is imperative. Your Spouse Hires an Att...

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Draper Law Office 11/26/2014 Comments(0)

What Does Florida Child Support Cover?

Children are a lot of things. They're adorable, amusing and sometimes ornery. They're also really expensive. When parents get divorced, there will inevitably be discussion, likely a battle, over custody of the kids. But parents forget when they're fighting for custody that they also need to carefully consider the expenses they'll undertake as the custodial parent . Because the courts don't monitor how the money is spent unless there's evidence of neglect or criminal activity, that means they don...

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Draper Law Office 11/5/2014 Comments(0)

Legal Separation or Divorce: What Are the Benefits?

Is your marriage on the rocks? Before you file for divorce, make sure you understand the full ramifications of that decision. For some people, a permanent or long-term legal separation may be the better option than divorce. Why Would Someone Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce? There are many reasons people might choose legal separation over divorce. Some people shun divorce for religious reasons. Others prefer to remain married for a co-parenting situation to work effectively. There are even r...

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Draper Law Office 10/7/2014 Comments(0)

Dividing Assets in a Divorce - Divorce Attorney

When it comes to divorce, the division of material assets is one of the most difficult and emotionally charged negotiations after child custody . In Florida, the law provides for what's called "equitable distribution" of marital assets. Marital assets include things like cars, houses, business interests, bank accounts, cash, personal property, stocks and bonds, retirement benefits and other items of value. But take note that "equitable" and "equal" don't mean the same thing. In Florida, marital ...

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Draper Law Office 9/29/2014 Comments(0)

Social Media and Effects on Divorce

We all love reading the stories of criminals who were caught because they were dumb enough to post to Facebook. One of the silliest we've found was a 19-year-old man in Washington D.C. Rodney Knight Jr. He broke into of all people Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher's home in January of 2011 where he pilfered a laptop, coat and some cash. His next brilliant move… he went to Fisher's kid's Facebook which we assume was still logged in and literally posted a photo of himself with his stash. ...

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Draper Law Office 8/25/2014 Comments(0)

Out of State Child Support

Does the mother or father of your child live out of state? If so, you may think it's virtually impossible to force them to cut your child support checks reliably, but that's not the case. Whether you're the payor of child support or the payee, your child support agreement is governed by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a 1992 law that sets federal standards for enforcing child support arrangements from state to state. This law is one of several uniform codes the federal government craf...

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Draper Law Office 2/6/2014 Comments(0)

Your Homeowners Policy

Recent news stories have raised some interesting questions regarding things many do not know about their homeowners insurance policy. Specifically, there are some claims that are not covered, despite what people may believe. This comment will highlight a few of these matters. 1. Pool pop-outs: Did you ever hear about someone who drained their pool to clean or repair it and then had it rise out of the ground overnight? This happens here in Florida and it is costly to fix. Unfortunately, most home...

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M. Kirschner 12/12/2013 Comments(0)

Going Through a Divorce? Love Your Children 61.13 Ways

Are you a parent of a minor child going through a divorce or a paternity action? If so, and your goal is to spend as much time with your child as possible after your case is concluded, it is vitally important that your next step is to read and understand Fla. Stat. §61.13. Florida law is very specific and very clear about the priority placed on the child’s best interests when making decisions about all matters relating to parenting and time sharing… 61.13 2 c If you cannot find ...

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Draper Law Office 4/11/2013 Comments(0)

Bankruptcy court helps you not have to walk away from your property

Today there are many families who feel that they should just walk away from their property. Their property has lost it value. They ask themselves why continue to pay for a house that it is not worth the amount owed on the mortgage. There are others who think that it is not worth keeping their house because there are two mortgages on their property. I write to inform you that there are ways in which these families may stay in the property, and reduce the amount owed on the property; thus reducing...

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Draper Law Office 2/26/2013 Comments(0)

Why to be Anti-Social during a Family Law Dispute or Divorce

If you are going through a family, marital, paternity or child custody dispute – or if you have even considered the possibility – it is critical that you immediately become anti-social. No, this does not mean you need to give up your social and sporting events with friends or stop communicating with them altogether. In fact, that type of old fashioned socializing often proves to be therapeutic while enduring the emotional and financial strain of a divorce or other type of litigation....

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Draper Law Office 2/18/2013 Comments(0)


Linda was an exceptional lawyer. This was a divorce from (Hell) and was drug out over more than a year. My Ex's lawyer actually quit. Linda was very professional yet had a really personal touch. She actually felt like a friend through this. I really am glad I chose your law firm and would recommend you to others, especially Linda.