At least that is what divorce lawyer Vikki Ziegler thinks he should do. She explains that in order to assure that the baby is legally “his,” he must take into account the fact that his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, is still married to husband Kris Humphries.427px-Kanye_West_at_Revel_Ovation_Hall.jpg

Kanye must take Kim’s marriage to Kris into account because Kim’s Baby is legally presumed to be the offspring of her husband.

She advised Kim to end her marriage to Kris right away. This way she will be unmarried or married potentially to Kanye when her baby is born.

If marriage is not a possibility for Kanye, she recommends he get his paternity established STAT! Then this untidy little bit of family business will be done.

If you or a loved one has any questions in regards to a paternity action, please give me a call at 904-685-1200.

Photo By Kenny Sun (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

change.jpgObtaining a name change in Jacksonville, Florida is generally pretty straightforward, especially if you obtain a Jacksonville Name Change Attorney, as the process is typically uncontested. That being that case, a person can usually obtain a name change without much hassle. Obtaining a name change for a minor child, however, may involve some family law issues.

Family law in Florida — and any state, for that matter — can be a tricky issue for both the state legislatures and the courts. The general idea is that courts are busy enough and do not need to be inviting trouble.

This is the case with obtaining a name-change for a minor child. Where both parents agree to the name change, the process is usually smooth: a Jacksonville Name Change Attorney can help you prepare the documents and, so long as no issues arise, the name change should go through.

However, the statute that governs this issue requires that when only one parent files for a name change, the other parent must at least be notified. The court will likely hold a hearing on the matter and, if the other parent does not show up or does nothing within the required time period, the name change may go through. However, this process will be much more difficult if the other parent does not want the child’s name changed.

If you are considering a name change for yourself or minor child, contact a Jacksonville Name Change Attorney, who can help you through the process. Similarly, if the other parent of your minor child is filing a name change for the minor, contact a Jacksonville Name Change Attorney to discuss your options.

Negotiating a divorce settlement can be stressful, especially when tension is high and your spouse insists on contesting every last detail. One thing that often is last on people’s priority list, but which should not be overlooked, is insurance.

Insurance policies are standard parts of settlement agreements. The spouse who pays alimony or child support is commonly expected to maintain a life insurance policy that would cover the debt owed to the spouse or children on the receiving end of the money, in case the payer dies while a debt is owed.

If you’re the spouse who is the beneficiary, you must be certain that the policy amount is sufficient to cover your children’s educations, your mortgage and related debt. It’s important to consider sticking in guarantees that forbid a lapse, cancellation or change of beneficiaries to the life insurance policy.

The death benefit on a term policy should meet or exceed the minimum amount a spouse would pay over time for spousal or child support. But more than just that simple calculation, other expenses should also be considered. For instance, is the health insurance under the paying spouse’s name? If so, what would it cost to find a new insurer and pay the premiums? That needs to be calculated into the number needed for the policy’s death benefit.

It’s critical that the details are attended to when it comes to insurance. For instance, while most divorce agreements require that a spouse purchase a life insurance policy, does yours go on to require that they maintain it? Lapsed policies can be canceled, something you surely don’t want to happen if you’re the beneficiary. Experts suggest adding the beneficiary spouse’s name to the policy as a contact that insurers can use if policy premiums ever go unpaid.

Maximum asset protection is only achieved by carefully negotiating what is needed in the present and future before the divorce is finalized. The process can be draining, but temporary tension can ensure peace of mind in the future.

If you have questions about a divorce proceeding and would like a Jacksonville divorce attorney to assist you in the matter, contact us today by email or by calling at (904) 685-1200.

Source: “Divorce and Term Life Insurance: Avoid These Three Common Mistakes!,” by Gabrielle Clemens, published at

Divorce is a hard enough process for anyone to go through and there are lots of complicated financial decisions that must be made. The money worries can multiply for small business owners who have the added concern of how the divorce will affect their livelihood and even employees.

First things first, your business will likely need to be valued in connection with the distribution of marital assets. This will mean a financial expert may need to go over the records of the company and ask questions about expenses and revenue streams. You’ll need to produce extensive documents to verify the numbers in this process. Sometimes valuations, especially complicated ones, can be expensive. Many times each party insists on having their own expert look at the books. The process can be time consuming and can serve as a distraction for employees who must spend time gathering documents.

Though the worst-case scenario in many business owners’ minds is that the company will have to be sold to pay the spouse his or her share of the marital assets, there are ways to minimize the impact of divorce on a small business.

1. First, hire a good attorney. An experienced Jacksonville divorce attorney will know what to do to reduce the impact of the messy divorce process on the continued operations of your business.
2. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that could come in very handy. Such agreements can predetermine the amount of assets that will be distributed in a divorce and can thus protect a business from being broken up.
3. If you have partners, take a look at your partnership agreement and see if it addresses a way of buying out or valuing a share of the company if divorce is filed against one of the owners. While this may not control what a family court judge does, it can show that there was an intent to minimize business disruption which the court will likely respect.
4. If you aren’t lucky enough to have either of the two above agreements, consider hiring a joint financial expert to value the business which will save both time and money. The process will move more quickly if the two of you can agree on one neutral party to conduct the examination.
5. All involved parties, including attorneys and experts, can sign a confidentiality agreement to protect any sensitive information that is uncovered while examining the business’ books such as trade secrets or other proprietary information.
6. Finally, to minimize the risk of a sale of the company, you can attempt to structure the settlement with periodic payments to your spouse rather than a lump sum.

If you have questions about a divorce proceeding and would like a Jacksonville divorce attorney to assist you in the matter, contact us today by email or by calling at (904) 685-1200.

Source: “How to Minimize the Impact of Divorce on Your Small Business,” by Jennifer Brandt, published at

slide_11845_156784_large.jpgFacebook is a good resource to communicate with old friends. Some people find it useful for such odd things as improving your heart rate or landing a job by networking. But one thing using Facebook may hurt is your chances of getting a fair hearing if you are going through a Florida Divorce or a Child Custody proceeding.

Facebook based circumstantial evidence has been used by 81percent of its members according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

You are probably thinking that you set your facebook account’s privacy settings high and you’ve blocked your ex, so they can’t see damaging information. But that does not stop your “friends” from forwarding damaging information.

He’s a list of things never to post to Facebook while going through family law related legal issues:

• That your ex was just a surrogate.
• Your ex is CRAZY, STALKING YOU or PSYCHO!!!!!!
• Pictures of you in the embrace of your new squeeze.
• Pictures of you consuming alcoholic beverages.
• Don’t check in at 3am at the club.
• Don’t Friend that Hot Guy or Girl that has 1000 friends.
• Photos of your Children.
• Racy Pictures.
• Brag about how sexually desirable you are now that “you’re free.”
• Anything that can be deemed negative about your former mate.
• Anything you would not want a Judge to find out about.

If you need a Jacksonville Family Lawyer, please give us a call at 904-685-1200.

old-tree-2.jpgWhile most of us look forward to a happy New Year as we head into January, many couples in Jacksonville marital problems are thinking about taking the first steps towards separation.

Winter is widely regarded in the legal profession as the busiest time of year. Jacksonville Divorce lawyers find that a lot of people who are having marriage difficulties try to get through Christmas, especially if they have children to think about, but once the stressful festivities are over, they see the New Year as the ideal time to make a fresh start.

Legal Seperation in Florida is not valid so the decision and implementation of a separate is one of the most important step in ending a relationship. the decisions you may during seperation or without advice of counsel can affect you for the rest of your life. It can change the division of assets, child custody, child support and even who gets to keep the marital home. The emotional upheaval, worries about how much the divorce will cost, and how it will affect your children make it a time fraught with worry and uncertainty.

At a minimum getting sound legal advice will make you feel that you have some control over a very unfamiliar situation and give you some reassurance about your long-term future.

If you would like to talk about the decisions you are making for the New Year, give us a call at 904-685-1200.

hp.12.19.12.Russiachild.jpgOn December 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Russian Federal Law No. 186614-6, which prohibits the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. This law went into effect on January 1, 2013.

Prior to traveling to Russia, The United States State Department strongly encourages families, in cooperation with their adoption service providers, to confirm that Russian authorities will process their adoptions to conclusion and provide all required documents.

It remains unclear whether Russian immigration authorities will allow adoptees to depart the country and whether families in this situation will encounter legal complications with Russian authorities. Because of the Russian Christmas Holidays, which are celebrated later than in the United States, Russian Government offices will remain closed until January 8th.

Last year, nearly 1,000 Orphaned Russian Children found moms and dads in the United States.

If you need legal representation with an overseas adoption, or have a question about the situation in Russia please give us a call at 904-685-1200.

As most everyone realizes, some child custody cases can quickly become heated between the two feuding parents. More often than one might like to admit, one of the parents might engage in some less than honorable behavior. One millionaire father in Florida recently did just that and is now finding himself in hot water.

The Florida dad decided to take his custody case into his own hands, ignoring the ruling by the judge presiding over his divorce. While his actions did help resolve the dispute in his favor, it also ended with a jail sentence of 180 days. Not quite the bargain he was hoping for.

So what did the dad do to warrant such severe criminal sanctions? He made the mistake of ignoring a judge. Family law judges have tremendous power in custody cases and when they issue an order requiring specific action, failure to follow that order can result in an individual being held in contempt of court. In the Florida case, the father was ordered to enroll his son in a boarding school across the country. Apparently believing that he knew best, the father ignored the judge and instead consented to the minor son’s marriage.

The marriage was between the 16-year-old son and the 18-year-old daughter of the family’s long-time housekeeper. The young couple eloped to Las Vegas where marriage only requires the consent of one parent, which the father gladly gave. The result of the marriage was that it effectively emancipated the son, making any further custody disputes such as child support or decision-making power moot.

When word got out about what the man had done the judge was understandably livid. When handing down his sentence, the judge wrote in his final order that, “It is hard for this court to imagine a bolder, more egregious example of indirect criminal contempt.”

The son now lives in a penthouse owned by the father, and the father reported that he plans to appeal the decision sending him to jail. The moral of the story is clear: if your family law judge tells you to do something, do it, or else you might find yourself wearing stripes.

If you have questions about a divorce proceeding and would like a Jacksonville divorce attorney to assist you in the matter, contact us today by email or by calling at (904) 685-1200.

Source: “Fla. Millionaire Gets 180 Days for Contempt in Divorce Case for Permitting Vegas Wedding,” by Martha Neil, published at

So what do you do when your Ex Spouse decides that since you are now out of state, he or she can ignore his or her child support order or obligations? An out of state child support order can be “domesticated” in Florida even if the obligation was created from another state. What domestication does is bring the out of state child support order into Florida’s Jurisdiction so the court system here can enforce it. Once the child support order is domesticated, the Florida court can determine how much is owed, how much interest is owed and potentially hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court for failure to meet their child support obligations. One prerequisite, the children must be living with you.

A contempt order can send the nonpayer to jail until they make arrangement to pay if it is shown that they have the ability to pay and are refusing to make child support payments. The judge is much more likely to order them to enter into a payment plan with a deduction order so the child support is taken out of their paycheck each payday.

If you have any questions about Domestication of an out of state child support order or any other family law issues, please give us a call at 904-685-1200 or fill out the contact us form on right hand side of this page.

DNA Doesn't Determine FatherFew Floridians realize that although the DNA test is the strongest evidence we can get to prove actual genetic relationships that there is a difference between Legal Fatherhood and Genetic Fatherhood in Florida.

For instance if a Legal Father finds out that he is not the Genetic Father of the child and despite this fact allowed himself to be listed on the child’s birth certificate, he cannot disestablish his paternity. Any even trickier provision states that a Legal Father cannot disestablish his paternity if a government agency directed him to take a DNA test and he refused. The reason for the refusal appears to be irrelevant, so if he doesn’t want to pay the cost of a DNA test, he loses his right to deny that the child is his.

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