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The Gufford Law Firm
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QUESTION: Can alimony to a husband seeking divorce be waived by the court?my sister's husband filed for divorce in the State of Florida. married since 1994, 2 dependent kids. she earns 400k, twice his. The husband claims marriage is irretrievably broken. In my sister's opinion, the marriage has gone sour mainly due to a mental illness (hallucinations) he's been having. He has been on medication for a number of years and it has helped him stabilize somewhat. However, it had a toll on my sister and she couldn't sleep with him. Nevertheless, she has been a supportive wife and mother throughout and has helped him stand on his feet after a period where he's been out of a job. She earns more than him and he wants alimony from my sister. She feels hurt after so much support she gave him all these years. She's prepared to pay child support in full but not alimony.
ANSWER: The first question is does Florida have jurisdiction over your sister, i.e was she a resident of Florida and/or are the children residents of Florida? I got the impression that she may or may not be a resident of Florida. This brings in to question the concept of diviisible divorce. Florida may have jursidiction to dissolve the bonds of marriage but not necessarily other items. The next question is whether the Husband is competent or not. He may not be. That may need to be looked into. Next, alimony is based upon a number of factors. I will give you a link to those factors with this response. The big 3 are duration of the marriage, need and ability to pay. He may not have the need for alimony based upon his income and potentially the asset/debt distribution. Child support is likewise determined based upon various factors. If the Parenting Plan gives your sister substantial shared parenting (over 20% overnights in a year), then the child support number could be significantly less.

QUESTION: What is the age when a minor can decide with whom they want to live with?I have heard many different ages, I would appreciate an accurate age please.
ANSWER: This is an urban myth perptuated by a law in Texas. In Florida, children (those persons under age 18) do not ever decide where they ultimatley will live. Parents make that decision, or, in the event the parents cannot agree, Courts make the decision. Now, as children have sufficient age, intelligence and maturity to express an opinion, the Court may take their preferences into consideration. I have seen children as young as 6 express an intelligent and well reasoned opinion. On the other hand I have seen 17 and1/2 year olds whose opinions were disregarded and should have been disregarded. It all depends on the child and the facts of the case. The factors for the court to consider are in the link attached to this response. A special motion for child testimony must be filed and grated in order for a child to testify in Court. There are better routes for child testimony as judges typically don't appreciate parents whom file such motions. A social investigation is typically the best route.

QUESTION: Can I move out of state if I have a child and have been separated from his father 3 years but are still legally married.
ANSWER: The short answer to the question is Yes. You can go with your child wherever you want to so long as there is no cour order in place that prevents you from doing so. The real answer is that if you did leave the state with the child, you could be placing yourself in a diffficult legal situation as Florida would be the home state of the child until such time as you had lived outside the state with the child for 6 months. The relocation statute could come into play. Fla Stat. 61.13001. Thus, while you probably can leave, it might not be best to do so without getting things in place properly before you go.

QUESTION: Why would a court award "Sole Parental Responsibility"? What are Florida Statutes governing this? Wife alleges I have psychological and substance abuse issues that prevent the possibility of shared parenting. I don't but I certainly need to know what a judge considers in making this decision... Yes I am ProSe no money... she ran me out long ago.
ANSWER: The pertinent statute is 61.13. Sole Parental Responsibility is very much the exception in Florida and is generally only ordered in cases where one parent is "unfit" to share in the parenting of the child. It is necessary, before sole responsibility is given to one parent, that the court determine that shared responsibility would be detrimental to the child. The statutory law and the case law on the subject states that the Court must find that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the best interests of the child . If the court determines that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child, it may order sole parental responsibility. There are also statutory reasons for a Court to Order Sole Parental Responsibility.
 In any event, simply having psychological problems and/or substance abuse problems in the past, depending upon the severity of course, are not suficient to award the other parent sole parental responsibility. The important thing is to show the court that both issues are being or have been addressed and dealt with through counselling, treatment, etc. Judges see cases involving these issues every day in a variety of different contexts. The key to the future with your child and how the court will address the same is in your hands.

QUESTION: How do I begin a divorce?
my spouse committed adultery and i want to divorce him. i have a 6 month old child he has not seen since he was born due to living 4 hrs away. He hasnt helped me financially with him what so ever. he says he wants custody of him but i have a domestic charge against him and dont trust him with my child. also, he has my car that is in both our names which i have been paying for since we financed it-- he says he will wreck it before giving it to me. I want to start my divorce process as soon as possible just dont know where or how to start.
ANSWER: The adultery issue is probably not a signifant issue for the court as Florida is a "no fault divorce" state. There are some limited circumstances in which it might be applicable. The more significant issue is the domestic violence. That is a significant factor that needs to be addressed. You need an experienced family law attorney to assist you with navigating your way through this process.

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The Treasure Coast Law Firm with Attorneys Joe Gufford and Ashley Freidrich, providing Family Law services to South Florida. Including
Prenuptial Agreements, Divorce, Child Support, Child Custody, Child Support, Alimony, Child Relocation, Adoption, Wills and Estate Planning and much more. If you are in need of a Family Law Attorney in Stuart please contact us today. 772.221.1922
#stuartfamilylawattorney   #stuartdivorcelawyer   #martincountychildsupport   #prenuptialagreementsflorida  

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We live in an apartment which is in my name only. After our divorce do I also need to file an eviction notice?

No, you did not need to do an eviction, yet. I would suggest that in any mediation agreement that you determine whom is going to have exclusive use and possession of the apartment. If he does not leave, then you may have to seek an Order from the Court for enforcement of the Mediation Agreement/Final Judgment which usually involves the issuance of a Writ of Possession. At this point he has just as much right to occupy the premises as you do, despite the fact that the lease is in your sole name.

#divorceattorneystuart

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I am a Marine and live in Louisiana.My ex wife lives in Florida.The divorce and child custody took place in Massachusetts. Since the divorce, My ex-wife has moved to 2 different states in the matter of a year and a half . With both moves, she has moved in her boyfriend in with our 2 little girls.When she can not watch kid because of work,she leaves the kids with her sister who is physically abusive or their grandmother who is also physically abusive and partially blind.During the summer,My little girls stated reporting some really scary stuff such as the following: making the girls ride in the back of the truck from Virginia to Florida,Spanking them with a wooden spoon and leaving bruises,calling them stupid and making them fearful to go back home or report the abuse.Where do I start?

The first thing that need to be done is for you to call DCF at 1-800-96-ABUSE. It would appear to me that Florida is the only state that would have jurisdiction since neither of the parties nor the children continue to reside in Massachusetts. A certified copy of the Massachusetts decree need to be obtained and then an action need to be filed in Florida to both register and modify the decree.
#childcustodyattorneymartincounty  

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Spouse is active duty military and filed for separation in November 2013, we don't want to have to wait the year for separation, can we go ahead with a divorce in FL because we are both legal residents of FL?

I would like to see the terms of any separation agreements that may be in place as well as any child custody provisions to make sure that the same are consistent with Florida law

#familylawattorneystuart  

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I am my brothers p.r. and executor. My nephew knew this and went to attorney and lied, said his father had no will or trust.Lawyer gave the authority to take money from and close the checking account.

You need to immediately hire an experienced probate attorney to assist you with this matter and recover the funds taken out of the account for the benefit of the estate.  

#stuartprobateattorney          
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