Florida child custody: New timesharing law takes effect for military members

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

This year, the Florida Legislature overhauled laws that applied to active duty servicemembers whose timesharing with their children would be affected by deployments. Previously, Florida law allowed an active duty military member to designate a family member to exercise timesharing in the member's place while deployed. Starting July 1, 2018, Florida law expanded the rules on who is allowed to have timesharing in place of the deployed parent. 

A real case study about distribution of inheritance in Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

The future may be unpredictable, which is why it is good that Florida divorce courts are guided by principles of equity. When parties enter a Florida divorce agreement, they agree, as much as possible, based on the circumstances they can foresee at that time. It is difficult, if not impossible, to plan for every possible future outcome, so Florida law allows room for this difficulty in considering how to interpret provisions of a marital settlement agreement. 

Recent Florida case expands fathers' rights

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

In what could be viewed as a turning point in Florida law on fathers' child custody rights, the Florida Supreme Court recently issued a decision which grants standing to unmarried fathers to establish paternity despite the objection of the mother of the child and her husband. The case Simmonds v. Perkins, SC17–1963 (Fla. 2018) may give hope to fathers who show a vested interest in being a part of their children's lives. 

The value of clarity in a Florida divorce agreement

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Time and time again, we see the effect of not having clear provisions in a marital settlement agreement. When parties disagree as to the meaning of a provision of an agreement, it becomes necessary for the court to intervene in interpretation. If the provision of the agreement is clear and unambiguous, the court must interpret the provision as written. Otherwise, the court is permitted to review evidence to determine the parties' intent in the wording used. 

Recent case clarifies the standard for modification of alimony in Florida

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

Recently, a Florida appellate court issued an opinion which will no doubt have an impact on modifying alimony in Florida. The case Gelber v. Brydger, 4D17-295 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) explored the issue of what can be considered an unanticipated change in circumstances in modifying alimony. 

Miami family law procedure: the right to present evidence

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Family Law Procedure

Once again, we see due process in action in Florida family law in the case Walters v. Petgrave, 4D18-446 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018). When the trial court in this case denied the mother the opportunity to present her case and then ruled based on the mother not presenting evidence, she appealed the trial court's final judgment. 

Paying Florida child support for a child who lives with you?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

What happens if after a child support order is entered, a child starts living with the parent who is ordered to pay child support? Child support payments are awarded based in part on who has primary residential custody of the child. In the case Moody v. Moody, 1D17-2477 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the court considered an appeal of an order granting a motion for contempt against a father who stopped paying child support for a child who came to live with him. 

Errors in Florida divorce: Computation of alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

A common issue in many Miami divorce cases deals with calculating alimony when a spouse is underemployed or unemployed. This issue was on appeal in the case Dottaviano v. Dottaviano, 219 So.3d 990 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017) where the wife objected to the court imputing income to her and rejecting some of her monthly expenses.

Dealing with a spouse who hides income in a Miami divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

A common issue when it comes to self-employed parties is difficulty in ascertaining the party's income. When it comes to calculating child support and/or alimony, a Florida family court can impute income to a party who is found to be under reporting income. Such was the case in Newman v. Newman, 221 So.3d 642 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) where the wife appealed the trial court's denial of alimony. 

Obtaining a restraining order against a stalker in Florida

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Domestic Violence

What do you need to get a restraining order against someone for stalking in Florida? For one, it is necessary to show a repeated pattern of following, harassing or cyber stalking another person. In Kriebel v. Piedrahita, 219 So.3d 867 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) we see how a love triangle led to a restraining order being entered against the wife by the mistress. 

Do I need the other parent's permission to change my child's name in Florida?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Name Change

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, the saying goes, and a person's name can impact a first impression. For this reason, many people choose to legally change their name. But what if a parent wants to change a child's name? A case recently considered in Miami family court regarding the name change of a minor child shows us how Florida courts analyze the right of a father not listed on a birth certificate to participate in a proceeding for a name change of his purported child. 

Make sure your retroactive Florida child support is calculated correctly

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

Retroactive child support in Florida can be ordered dating two years prior to the date of a petition to establish child support. This is support that applies in the past - for every month that a parent was supposed to be paying support that he or she was not, the court can order that a parent pay that amount as a lump sum or in monthly installments. Calculating retroactive support requires the court to look at the incomes of the parties during the retroactive period. 

Enforcing grandparent make-up time-sharing in a Florida child custody case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Of note in recent Florida family law appellate decisions is grandparent visitation rights. While Florida recognizes a legal parent's constitutional right to privacy and therefore does not give standing to grandparents to petition for visitation rights, a Florida court must uphold and enforce a grandparent visitation order entered in another state. An interesting issue related to this came up in the case Downs v. Nottingham, 219 So.3d 244 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017). 

When a Florida divorce court abuses its discretion in awarding attorneys' fees

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Attorneys' fees may be a sore spot for some parties in a Miami divorce and it seems they keep coming up in recent appellate decisions. Generally, the analysis for who pays attorneys' fees and costs in a Florida divorce revolves around need and ability to pay - that is the need of the spouse asking for fees to be paid and the ability of the other spouse to pay them. In the case Richards v. Weber, 221 So.3d 714 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017), a court's decision to make the husband responsible for 70% of the wife's attorneys' fees and costs is reviewed.