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Florida Board Certified Family Law Attorney Blog

What does the 'best interests of the child' mean?

If you are currently involved in a child custody matter, you may have already been told that any decisions that are made should be in the “best interests” of the child involved.

If the matter is taking place outside of the court system, that means the parents should focus on what is best for their child when negotiating an agreement. If the matter is taking place within the court process, it means the judge will base his or her decision on the “best interests of the child” standard.

A few misconceptions about high-asset divorce cases

Last month, it was reported that one of the wealthiest people in the country, hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, had filed for divorce from his wife of more than a decade, who is also a hedge fund operator.

In the wake of the announcement, speculation began to swirl over how much the divorce settlement would be worth and when the sordid details of the marriage would be disclosed.

However, there is a lot the general public doesn’t know when it comes to high asset divorce cases. For starters, just because Ken Griffin filed for divorce first doesn’t mean that he will get a better deal out of the divorce, as some reports have suggested.

In reality, the order of filing for divorce doesn’t really make an impact on the outcome of the settlement as the divorce is granted to both parties and assets are split equitably. 

Need help changing a family court order in Florida?

Divorce orders are meant to be permanent, but sometimes significant life changes require them to be modified. For example, you or your ex may have obtained a new job or lost a job; or maybe one of you has had another child or remarried. Any of these situations could warrant the need for a post judgment modification to your divorce order.

However, in order to convince a court to grant (or deny) a modification, it’s important to have competent legal representation on your side.

Our firm has extensive experience helping Florida clients with modifications of family court orders, including modifications to child support, alimony or child custody orders. Our experienced family law attorney is well-versed in the state laws governing modifications.

Florida child support: guidelines and legal considerations

There are two aspects regarding child support in Florida that are immediately apparent, namely these:

  • State statutory law provides for child support guidelines that must be followed 
  • The guiding judicial standard is dictated by what is in the children's -- not the parents' -- best interests

It is certainly understandable that a lay person would be struck by the complexity and comprehensive nature of the guidelines at first glance. They are indeed lengthy and exacting, with a number of relevant calculations that must be made through reference to a support worksheet.

Florida lawyers back same-sex couples' right to divorce

Florida currently has a ban on same-sex marriage in place, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t married same-sex couples living in the state. In fact, many couples have been married in other states that recognize same-sex marriage before returning to or moving to the state of Florida.

But these couples aren’t granted the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples in Florida. And when their relationships end, Florida courts have refused to grant them a divorce, reasoning that the marriage was never recognized by the state in the first place. 

Deciding whether or not to divorce

An attorney experienced in matters of family law can generally tell you everything you need to know about the legal aspects of divorce. An experienced counselor can generally guide you through emotionally processing the end of your marriage. However, only you can decide whether or not divorce is the healthiest decision you can make for yourself.

Your loved ones, your counselor and others who are close to you may have strong opinions about whether you should seek a divorce. But it is your unique needs, values and priorities that will ultimately determine which path you take. As a result, there is no one “right” way to going about determining whether or not you should divorce. However, sincere soul-searching and meditating on a few specific questions over time may help you to make the decision that is best for you.

Facebook: cited nexus with a spiking divorce rate nationally

It certainly seems safe to say at this point that the online social networking site Facebook is a flat-out phenomenon of our times, and that it is driving human habits and behavior in ways that have never been seen before.

There are obvious upsides to using the portal for users in Florida and just about everywhere else on the planet. For starters, it’s fun. It forges social bonding and connections, and it serves as a reliable font of amusing and otherwise engaging information for users needing a break from other routines.

Along with all that social euphoria, though, comes a price for many users, and research is increasingly showing that the cost is far from negligible.

Qualifying for a mortgage after a divorce, continued

Continued from part 1.

The only way to cut your ties to the mortgage on your marital home is by having your spouse refinance the home in his or her name only (or by selling the home to a third party). Essentially, refinancing a mortgage means paying off the original mortgage with a new mortgage (taken out by just the spouse staying in the home).

However, keep in mind that it’s not a guarantee that the spouse who remains in the house will be able to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own, especially if the current mortgage is underwater. In that case, selling the home through a short sale may be one of the best options. 

Qualifying for a mortgage after a divorce

In many Florida divorce cases, one spouse decides to stay in the marital home while the other agrees to find a new place to live. Another common scenario is for the spouses to decide to sell the home and then both find a new place to live.

Either way, at least one spouse will likely need to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own sometime down the road. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your credit score and make sure the mortgage on the marital home is transferred properly following a divorce.

Dividing debts during a Florida divorce

In the wake of the economic recession, debt division has become a major issue in many Florida divorce cases. Although we most often think about assets needing to be divided during a divorce, debts also need to be distributed equitably between the spouses.

"Equitably" is a term of art that under Florida law means "fairly" but not necessarily "equally." Most commonly, marital debts that need to be divided during divorce include mortgage debt, credit card debt, home equity lines of credit and auto loans.

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Lewert Law Offices, P.A. The Plaza, 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 203, Boca Raton, Florida 33486
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