Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions we often encounter when people contact my firm. If you would like more in-depth answers, I invite you to read through this website and contact me, family law and divorce lawyer Alan R. Burton to schedule a free initial consultation.
A. Either party, but not necessarily both, must be a resident of Florida for at least six months.
A. A divorce action is generally filed in the county where the parties last lived together as husband and wife.
A. No, not exactly. Use of the term custody, as well as the term “primary physical custodian,” have been abolished and removed from Florida statutes. Although a judge will no longer make a custody determination, a judge will create a parenting plan if the parties are unable to reach their own agreement concerning the minor children.
A. A parenting plan is a written agreement signed by both parents and covers important issues regarding their minor children.
A. At a minimum, a parenting plan must include the names of the minor children, dates of birth and specify the days that each parent is to share time with the minor children; who will be responsible for the day-to-day decisions affecting the welfare of the minor child or children, who will provide health insurance for the minor child; and whose home will be designated as the child’s residence for school boundary purposes.
A. Absolutely. A parenting plan can be as detailed as the parties require and can agree upon. A parenting plan can include provisions for the type of communication that each parent shall have with the minor children, whether that be by email, telephone, Skype, etc. Additionally, you can include provisions for ultimate decision-making authority to either parent as to certain specific issues. For example, if the parties are unable to agree as to what is in the child’s best interest, the agreement can provide that one parent or the other shall have the ultimate decision-making authority on that issue. This can include medical decisions, educational decisions as well as the extracurricular activities for the minor child. The possibilities are limitless and subject only to the imagination of the parties.
A. If you are unable to agree on everything, you can enter into a partial agreement and let the court determine your unresolved issues.
A. No, it is not. Although the public policy of the state of Florida is to afford each parent the opportunity to have a continuing and meaningful relationship with his or her child after a divorce or separation, that does not necessarily mean equal time.
A. The court will schedule a special set hearing, listen to witnesses and receive exhibits into evidence, and will decide what type of schedule is in the best interests of the child.
A. Child support ends when a child attains the age of 18. This is the general rule; however, every rule has exceptions. If the child is between the age of 18 and 19, is in his or her last year of high school, is performing in good faith and is expected to graduate before the age of 19, child support continues until the child’s graduation. Additionally, if the minor child is declared to be dependent based upon some type of pre-existing mental or physical disability, child support can continue for the duration of the child’s life.
A. Current child support orders provide for an amount of support for all of the minor children involved, along with the computation for the amount of support to be paid to the remaining children as each child attains the age of majority. If you have an order like this, you do not have to go back to court for a reduction. If your order is not as specific, you will need to go back to court in order to obtain a reduction in the child support obligation.
A. The answer is yes. You have the absolute right to obtain any school or medical records of your child in the exact same manner as your spouse is receiving those records.
A. No, it is not true. The Florida legislature submitted a bill to the governor that provided for a presumption in favor of equal time sharing between the parents. That particular piece of legislation was vetoed by Gov. Scott.
A. There are currently five types of alimony, if you include lump-sum alimony, which are authorized under Florida. They include bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony and permanent periodic alimony.
A. The maximum amount of years that bridge-the-gap alimony can be paid is two years.
A. The maximum number of years that you can receive durational alimony is equal to the number of years you have been married.
A. Yes, subject to proving to the court that you have made a good faith effort to rehabilitate yourself but have been unsuccessful.
A. Yes, this is known as a supportive relationship. If you can demonstrate to the court that your ex-wife is living in a supportive relationship, you should be successful in reducing or even eliminating your alimony obligations.
A. Florida law does not allow you to relocate more than 50 miles from your current residence without the written consent of your ex-spouse, or by court order.
A. You can file a petition to relocate on a temporary basis. Generally, courts are authorized to hear a temporary petitioner relocate within 30 days of the date of filing.
A. You are required to file a petition to relocate, and include an allegation that there have been material and substantial changes in circumstances, which are involuntary and beyond your control and necessitate the filing of your petition to relocate. The petition must be in the best interests of the minor child. The court will consider any evidence that you want to offer in support of your petition. The petition must be sworn to, and include, among other things, a proposed substitute time-sharing plan. If you fail to include your proposed substitute time-sharing plan, your petition is defective and will be either dismissed or denied.
A. A preponderance of the evidence.
A. Florida statute 61.13004 is the statute that deals with relocation. Contained within that statute is a list of various factors the court looks at when entertaining a petition to relocate. Although there are several specific factors for the court’s consideration, the primary consideration is whether or not the relocation will be in the best interests of the minor child.
A. No, under the facts as you have presented to me, your wife knowingly, freely and voluntarily participated in the trips to Las Vegas, and she would not have a claim against you for any of the marital money that you have lost.
A. The answer to this question is generally no. If the mother has a child during an intact marriage with another man other than her husband, the other man may have difficulty establishing his paternity. The presumption under law favors legitimacy. If a child is born during an intact marriage, both the husband and the wife can prevent the actual biological father from attacking the presumption of legitimacy. These cases are all handled on an individual basis, with an emphasis based upon the best interests of the child.
A. The answer is no. Any agreements that attempt to waive child support are against public policy, are unenforceable, and void as a matter of law. Contact Alan Robert Burton, Attorney at Law
Call or email my offices in Boca Raton or Fort Lauderdale to schedule your free initial consultation. Call (954) 229-1660 or my cell at (954) 295-9222. I maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your schedule and to discuss your family law issues.
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