November 2010 Archives

November 23, 2010

Gay and Lesbian Shared Parenting Agreements

Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Family Lawyer.jpgIf you live in or around Jacksonville Florida, are gay or lesbian, have children, and share parenting responsibilities, it is important to have a Gay or Lesbian Shared Parenting Agreement. Having a written legal document which expresses your intentions and wishes as to raising your child is imperative.

Being a Gay or Lesbian parent in Jacksonville is no longer based on a man-woman, husband-wife model. Courts continue to wrestle with the concept of non-legal parents seeking custody and visitation with children, following divorce, separation, or termination of a relationship. A written agreement which describes both the legal as well as non-legal parent's role to the child, and outlines custody, visitation and other issues, will give both parents the opportunity to be heard in mediation or court, should a break-up occur.

There is an emerging body of case law addressing custody and visitation rights of the non-legal parent. Keeping in mind the best interest of the child standard, it may be in your families best interest to consult with a Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Rights Attorney to discuss how a Shared Parenting Agreement can help you.

November 8, 2010

Children of Divorce

kids_divorce.pngThe State of Florida requires all parents seeking dissolution of marriage to complete a parenting course before granting a pending divorce. Said parenting course is designed to educate parents on the complex and challenging issues that often arise through the divorce process with parents and children alike. In Duval County the required course is the Children First in Divorce Program offered through Hope Haven's Children's Clinic. Both parents are required to complete the course but do not have to do so together. Also, many Judges require completion of the above mentioned course in paternity actions. If you are a parent considering divorce in Duval County and have questions regarding what else Florida requires in a dissolution of marriage proceeding contact a Duval County Divorce and Child Custody Attorney today.

November 7, 2010

Florida Family Law Lawyer Update

cohabitating_pic.jpgA recent New York Times article detailed a study which found couples that cohabitate before marriage are less likely to stay married than their non-cohabitating counterparts. The study found that the odds that a marriage would last longer than ten years after first cohabitating decreased by 6 percentage points.

Whether or not cohabitation played a role in the demise of a marriage is irrelevant, especially when you find yourself at the beginning stages of filing for divorce. Divorce is often times a complex and intricate process that requires a well-versed Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer.

If you find yourself wondering how to go about filing for divorce you need to contact an attorney that could help you down the long and often treacherous road. Contact a Jacksonville FL. Family Law Attorney today for help during this trying time.

November 6, 2010

No Fault Divorce

divorce_pic.jpgLike most states in the U.S. Florida is a no fault divorce state. No fault divorce means neither spouse is required to prove "fault" or marital misconduct on the part of the other party. One party must merely show that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" or that the other party has been mentally incapacitated for the past 3 years.

However, this does not mean that divorce in Florida is always a quick and easy process that can be done without the professional assistance of a Florida Divorce Attorney. For example, if one party disagrees that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" a judge is likely to require marital counseling for up to 3 months to encourage reconciliation. Judges also have the authority to delay the divorce and require counseling for up to 3 months if there are minor children to the marriage.

It is important to note that even in a no fault divorce state divorce can be a long and taxing process. Many factors contribute to a divorce proceeding that often requires professional assistance. If you find yourself considering divorce contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer today.

November 5, 2010

Temporary Custody by Family Members

Many children in Jacksonville are being raised by relatives. In the past, a relative could raise a child, but with the new privacy, medical and educational requirements, a guardianhsip or other legal document may be needed to provide for a child.

The Law Office of David M. Goldman is knowledgeable about the procedure for obtaining an Order for Temporary Custody by Extended Family Member cases, and is able to guide you through the legal process.

If you are in the Jacksonville area, and are caring for a minor child contact a Jacksonville Guardianship Lawyer to learn more about how a Florida guardianship can benefit you.

November 5, 2010

Custody Law Information

Child Custody: The Best Interests of the Child Standard.

Child-Custody.jpgFlorida Family Law Lawyers know the importance of the Best Interests of the Child Standard. However, those going through a custody dispute may be somewhat unfamiliar. First it is important to know that the (BIC) standard is the primary focus for a Family law judge when decided a custody case. In any custody battle it is vital not lose sight of the importance of making decisions in the best interest of the child(ren). Some of the factors courts take into consideration when determining custody and time-sharing issues are as follows:

The wishes of the child;
The mental and physical health of the parents;
Any religious and/or cultural considerations;
The need for a stable home environment;
Any evidence of parental drug, alcohol or sex abuse.

If you are going through a divorce with children or a paternity battle it may be in your best interest as well as your child(ren) to contact a FL. Child Custody Law Attorney for help.

November 4, 2010

New Florida Alimony Law!

alimony.jpgAs of July 1, 2010 the State of Florida made significant changes to its alimony laws. These changes will affect all divorce proceedings initiated after July 1 as well as those that were initiated prior to July 1 and are still unresolved.

Durational alimony's predecessor, permanent alimony, gave the Judge the ability to award alimony to the spouse in need on a permanent basis. However, Durational alimony no longer allows the Judge to award alimony permanently. Instead, the Judge can award durational alimony for a length of time not to exceed the length of the marriage.

This is just a small glance at what changes have been made. Look for future posts on other issues pertaining to the new alimony laws. If this change in law has a direct effect on you or someone you know contact a Jacksonville Alimony Law Attorney today.

November 3, 2010

Gay and Lesbian Adoption Now a Reality for LGBT Community

images-2 dads.jpgJacksonville Florida gay and lesbian couples are ready to adopt. Now that the Florida law banning gay and lesbian individuals from adopting has been lifted, many same-sex Florida couples are making their dreams of a family, a reality.

Florida "second-parent" adoption procedures allow the biological parent's same-sex partner to adopt a child without terminating the rights of the biological or adoptive parent.

Children being raised in Jacksonville by same-sex parents are at a disadvantage if they only have a legal relationship with one of those parents. The legal parent may not have benefits or health insurance coverage for their child, but the non-legal parent does. Social security death benefits will not be provided to a child that does not have a legal relationship with the parent who dies.

There are many questions that must be considered when deciding whether second parent adoption is the right course for you. Florida Gay Adoption is still a new and evolving legal area and it is important to discuss the issues with an attorney. To learn more, call a Jacksonville Florida Adoption Attorney today.