January 2011 Archives

January 30, 2011

Family Law Custody: Orange Park FL

Thumbnail image for padma.jpgIn the past few days reports have surfaced that Padhma Lakshmi, the host of Bravo's highly popular show Top Chef, is being sued for child custody by venture capitalist Adam Dell, the brother of Dell founder and billionaire Michael Dell.

It is being alleged that Mr. Dell, the father of one-year-old Krishna, only gets to see his child for a few hours a week.

Dell's lawyer stated they had no choice to go to court because Lakshmi "refused to negotiate a reasonable co-parenting agreement." Whereas, Lakshmi's rep accused Dell of being "more interested in garnering media attention" than the welfare of their daughter.

It appears as though Lakshmi and Dell are at the very beginning of a long legal battle regarding custody and visitation of their child.

If you are currently in a similar situation as Lakshmi and Dell don't hesitate to contact an Orange Park Custody Lawyer today.

January 29, 2011

Family Law and Custody

movingkids.jpegWhen considering moving with a child to a location outside of Florida, or even more than 50 miles away from your current residence within the state, it is important that you go through the courts to ensure that the relocation is legal. Florida has extremely strict laws that govern child relocation. The laws focus on the best interests of the child and maintaining loving relationships between the child and both time-sharing parents.
If the other parent does not agree to your request for relocation and you don't go through the required legal hoops you may end up in a long and stressful legal battle.
If you are wanting to relocate with your child I recommend speaking with a Jacksonville Beach Family Law Attorney that can help guide you through all the necessary legal hurdles.

January 28, 2011

Child Support and Divorce

baby_hands.jpgChild support is always a sensitive topic. I often deal with parents who want to know exactly where their child support money will be going. They want to control how the parent receiving the child support spends the money. Thus, it is important to know exactly what child support is meant to cover.
The term "child support" covers all the economic necessities of life required by a child. These necessities include, but are not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care, and other day-to-day expenses.

According to the federal Child Support Enforcement Act, each state, including Florida has developed guidelines to calculate a range of child support to be paid, based on the parents' respective incomes and expenses.

There are so many questions about child support and frankly no good answers. Child support becomes an emotional issue instead of a financial one, and everyone has a different view and opinion of what it should cover and how much should be paid. There is no question the "necessities" listed above have to be paid for by someone, whether it is the custodial or non-custodial parent.

If you find yourself questioning if you are paying or receiving the correct amount of child support contact a Jacksonville Child Support Attorney today in order to help you find the answers you so desperately need.

January 28, 2011

Guardian Angel Watching Over Elders

Elderly lady.jpgA Florida Guardianship is an arrangement sanctioned by the Probate Court in which a person appointed by the Court (the guardian) takes responsibility, and has a duty of care towards another individual (the ward). Advances in medical care, and life-prolonging techniques have led to increased longevity, resulting in many Floridians living longer. This makes it more likely for disability to set in, as the more one ages, the more likely that person will suffer from mental or physical disabilities.

A Fernandina Guardian becomes necessary when the elder person is no longer able to care for his or her self or can no longer manage finances. A guardian can be appointed to look after the person (residential and medical decisions), the person's property (real and personal property) and financial matters, or both.

An advantage to a court-supervised Florida Guardianship is the presence of the court as a "guardian angel" for the incapacitated individual and the family. The Florida Guardianship statutes are designed to confer on the guardian only those rights and duties necessary to ensure the well-being of the ward. If you are one of the many in Fernandina Beach who are caring for and assisting an elderly parent, relative or friend, it may be important to discuss your situation with a Fernandina Guardianship Attorney who can you advise you depending upon your particular circumstances.

January 27, 2011

Florida's New Administration: A Cloud over Gay Adoptions in the Sunshine State?

rainbow familiesimagesCA7M3TPR.jpgA New York Times article reported that about 32 percent of gay couples in Jacksonville Florida are raising children, making Jacksonville second only to San Antonio, Texas. The article also reported that child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country.

The day after this article, the Miami Herald ran an article where Florida Governor, Rick Scott, stated that "adoptions should be by a married couple". At this time the governor has no plans to revive the ban on gay adoptions.

Florida, the last state in the nation to allow for a gay person to adopt, has come a long way. If you are raising a child in a same-sex relationship in Jacksonville and are not a biological or an adoptive parent, perhaps a 2nd parent adoption has been something you have been contemplating. Now is the time to contact a Jacksonville Attorney who can talk with you about the road to 2nd parent adoption.

January 11, 2011

Financial Abuse of Settlement Money to Disabled Children

A New York financial adviser illegally invested money from medical malpractice settlements for mentally and physically disabled children, by investing the money in risky bonds, despite the court order that the accounts be invested in low-risk bonds. These accounts, controlled by the children's guardians, appeared to have been targeted because they were unlikely to notice the unsuitable trading.

Talking with an Orange Park Guardianship Attorney may help alleviate your fears when your disabled child has been awarded a sum of money from a legal settlement. Many Florida parents may not realize that when their disabled child turns 18, he or she becomes an adult and are responsible for their own decisions. This is true, regardless of their developmental disabilities.

It may become necessary for a guardian advocate to be appointed when a disabled child lack some but not all of the decision making tasks necessary to care for his or her person or property. A guardian advocate may consent to medical care, determine residence, and make decisions about social environment, as well as to act as representative payee of government benefits or to seek benefits. If you need guidance in making the decision to become a guardian advocate or to have one appointed, consult with an Orange Park Guardianship Lawyer.

January 6, 2011

Guardian of Minor Child

1086695 child guardianshp.jpgIf you are caring for a minor child and are not the natural or legal parent or a relative, then it is in the child's best interest for you to become his or her legal guardian. There are many obstacles you will face if you care for a child without the legal recognition of Florida Guardianship. Whether it is providing for medical care, obtaining medical or school records, or consenting to special education classes and fieldtrips, there will be times when you are unable to proceed without the court ordered authority granting you Florida Guardianship.

Whatever the circumstances which put you in a position of caring for another person's child, it is important to discuss your situation with a Green Cove Spring Guardianship Attorney who can walk you through the guardianship procedure. There are many factors, such as how long you have cared for the child, what your familial relationship is to the natural parents, and whether you have parental consents. A law firm that practices in Florida Guardianship is familiar with the Florida Statutes that govern guardianship, and will best be able to assist you.

January 6, 2011

Florida's Child Abduction Prevention Act

childairportimage.jpegAs of Saturday, January 1, 2011, Florida's Child Abduction Prevention Act became effective. The Act is designed to help those who fear a spouse, ex-spouse or family member will remove their child to a foreign state or country.

The Act provides the Florida courts the responsibility to assess risk factors associated with a potential parental child abduction and further allows for judges overseeing high-risk cases of potential abduction to issue court orders that will prevent a child's abduction from occurring.

To learn more about this newly enacted law contact a Jacksonville Beach Child Custody Attorney today.

January 5, 2011

Florida Divorce and the New Year

newyearsjaxphoto.jpgMany Florida divorce attorneys refer to the first Monday of the New Year as "divorce day." Why is this you may ask? Well for many married couples the New Year means new beginnings and for some couples it means time to split from their spouse and file for divorce.
The first Monday of the New Year is the day some married couples contact divorce attorneys to get a new start and a new lease on life.
There are a few reasons for this:

  • One is too much holiday time together.

  • Another reason is that couples with children don't want to spoil the holidays for their kids, so they choose to wait until the holidays are over.

  • A third is money. Many couples choose to face the hefty financial burden of the holidays together, but part ways when it's over. Or, they're waiting to use tax refund money to help offset their upcoming legal fees.

  • If you find yourself considering divorce as your new beginning this New Year call a Jacksonville Florida Divorce Lawyer today to get all the help you need.

    January 4, 2011

    Florida Lesbian Fears Losing Child Custody Due to Sexual Orientation

    401795_sad_boy.jpgA heartbreak for a Florida parent to lose custody of their child because of their sexual orientation. Many Nassau County gay men and lesbians have children as a result of prior heterosexual marriages. In some instances, the other parent may argue that the court should consider sexual orientation or gender identity in the determination of child custody.

    Florida case law states that a parent's sexual orientation is irrelevant to custody issues unless there is direct evidence of harm to the child. Florida Statute Section 61.13 provides the court with a list of factors affecting the welfare of a minor child, including the "moral fitness of the parents." Cases have analyzed Florida gay and lesbian parents under this statute and have concluded that standing alone, sexual orientation should not be weighed negatively.

    Same-sex couples raising children together in Fernandina may also become involved in child custody disputes. Usually only one partner is the legal parent, and therefore, unique issues arise for the non-legal parent. It is beneficial to talk with a Gay and Lesbian Family Law Attorney about the various legal documents, including parenting agreements and shared parental contracts to ensure that you will be protected in the event that a child custody issue ensues.

    January 3, 2011

    Wife loses Financial Support when Husband becomes Incapacitated.

    498955_holding_money.jpgA family member is not always qualified to act as guardian for a loved one who has been determined to be incapacitated, or unable to handle all, or some of the tasks necessary to care for themselves or their financial matters.

    If you are the spouse or dependent of a person who has been deemed incapacitated, and who is under the control of a professional guardian, you may petition the court for an order directing the guardian of the property to contribute to your support from the property of the ward. A Ponte Vedra Guardianship Law Firm has the experience needed to petition the court for the support of a person financially dependent upon a ward. The court may enter an order for suitable support and education of the dependent person out of the ward's property that is subject to the guardianship.

    According to Florida guardianship statutes, a dependent means, in addition to those persons who are legal dependents of a ward under existing law, the person or persons whom the ward is morally or equitably obligated to aid, assist, maintain, or care for, based upon the showing of an existing need, and the ability of the ward to provide without unreasonably jeopardizing his or her own care.

    Follow this link for more information on Guardianships in Jacksonville, St. Johns, Nassau or Clay County