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Orlando Legal Issues Blog

Protecting your assets during a divorce, part 1

The process of a divorce is overwhelming for many. There are so many decisions that need to be made and things to consider, that sometimes it is difficult to keep your mind on a level plane. Add to it the potential of emotions that could run high and it is not uncommon that less-than-ideal decisions are made.

Preparing yourself with a plan beforehand could prove to be beneficial. We will discuss several tips that might help you along the way.

Did you know your alimony agreement can be modified?

The Florida legislature has considered alimony reform for years, but it has not yet passed into law. Consequently, permanent periodic alimony is still in force, at least for the time being. Some people believe there is no way to get out of paying it, but that is not the case.

Modification of alimony is possible under Florida law, but the court will look very closely at the reasons behind such a petition.  

When could a plea bargain be an option?

Although a majority of Americans, including those from Orlando, Florida and the surrounding area, are well-intentioned and try to adhere to the laws governing our land, people are human, and sometimes humans make mistakes. While most mistakes are minor in nature, there are situations where a mistake is not so minor, and it could lead to someone facing criminal charges.

While you could of course fight the charges, it is not uncommon for the prosecutor of the case to offer the defense a chance of a plea bargain. Plea bargains are not always offered, but they could be an opportunity to accept lesser or different charges if you plead guilty. This would also allow both sides to avoid court.

How a father can earn child custody rights

Societal norms inevitably change during the maturation of a country. The United States has seen countless changes throughout our history from Constitutional Amendments, changes to the rights of Americans, including minorities, women, and the LBGT community, and less noticeable changes in general roles in both the family and the workplace.

For example, a few decades ago, it was generally assumed that the father in a family would take on the role of the "breadwinner" or wage earner for the family, while the mother would care for the house and any children from the family. But more recently, we are seeing more and more women maintain their careers in the workplace, and men deciding to stay home to become "stay-at-home dads."

What if a parent does not follow the order for visitation rights?

Florida parents who are no longer together as a couple will likely have a visitation plan in place between the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent. In some instances, a parent will not adhere to the plan, taking the step of depriving the other parent his or her visitation rights. If there is a refusal to honor the agreement, the court has several alternatives to deal with the matter.

The court will assess how much visitation was denied, and provide the parent who has not had the visitation rights adhered to extra time to account for what was lost. This will be done as quickly as possible with the best interests of the child paramount. It must also be convenient for the parent who did not get the time with the child that the court ordered. The child and the custodial parent will also be considered. The parent who did not adhere to the agreement might have to pay court costs and attorney's fees for the other parent.

Young man turns himself in after violent crime

In Daytona Beach, Janaree Williams died from a gunshot wound when he was chasing Kyonte Upton. Upton fled the scene but turned himself in about 12 hours after the shooting, according to the Daytona Beach Police Chief. Williams was 19, and Upton is 18. 

According to reports, Upton met up with Williams for a marijuana deal. A dispute arose over the sale. Upton shot into Williams’ vehicle as he was getting out and ran off. Williams attempted to drive after Upton but crashed into a tree because he couldn’t maintain control of his truck. He had been shot in the chest by Upton. It occurred in a residential area, and police were actively seeking Upton when he turned himself in.

Doctor and staff arrested on prescription drug offenses

When there are reports of an arrest on drug offenses in Florida, there is a perception that it automatically linked to illegal drugs. It might be a person who is using the drugs and is caught possessing an amount that is clearly for individual use. Or it might be a person who is dealing or distributing street drugs. However, there are also times when arrests are made for violations related to prescription drugs. This is not limited to users. Doctors and pharmacists can be charged. When there is an arrest on drug crimes related to prescription drugs, they too need to make certain they have a strong legal defense.

The alleged overprescribing of medication led to the arrest of a Florida doctor and three members of his staff. The doctor was arrested by Drug Enforcement agents for the overprescribing the painkiller oxycodone. He and three others are accused of prescribing more than 400,000 pills with a value of approximately $10 million.

How can a premarital agreement affect property division?

Florida couples who enter into a marriage in which one spouse has significant assets and the other spouse does not will often come to a premarital agreement to protect those assets in the event of a divorce. There can be confusion regarding property obtained during a marriage, non-marital property, items of sentimental value and more and how it is divided if the couple chooses to part ways. Knowing the rules of enforcement of a premarital agreement is imperative before it is signed and after the marriage has come undone.

A premarital agreement cannot be enforced unless the party that is seeking enforcement shows the following: that the party who executed the agreement did not do so voluntarily; that the agreement came about because of fraud, duress, coercion or overreaching; or the agreement was deemed unconscionable at the time it was executed and, prior to its execution, the party was deprived of certain rights.

Deputy faces criminal charge for alleged domestic dispute

In Orlando and throughout Florida, when law enforcement is called to investigate allegations that a domestic assault has taken place, the last thing they expect to find is that another member of law enforcement is the accused. However, it does happen. This shows that there can be a domestic incident with anyone at any time. Another fact about these cases is that people who are arrested on these charges have the right to a strong criminal defense.

A deputy was accused of getting into an altercation with his estranged wife and throwing her on the ground. He was placed under arrest when police arrived. The couple is said to have been in the middle of an argument in the parking lot of his residence. Initially, when the police came, they spoke to the fellow officer about what happened. His wife was not there. She called later and they went back to the apartment and spoke to her. She chose to file a charge of battery against her husband.

What counts as marital property in Florida?

When a couple in Florida chooses to end a marriage, there are many issues that need to be resolved. One that is often in dispute is determining what is marital property and what is non-marital property. The concern over this is not limited to couples that have significant assets. Couples of any financial circumstance should be aware of how state law classifies marital property as well as what the spouses are liable for even after the marriage has concluded.

Marital assets and liabilities include assets that were acquired and liabilities that accumulated while the couple was married. This is true whether they were accrued individually or by both. For example, if one spouse was not involved in a large purchase, he or she will remain responsible for it, since it was obtained while the couple was married. If there are non-marital assets that were acquired before the marriage but rose in value from the efforts of either of the spouses while they were married or through contribution to or expenditure of marital funds, assets or both, then this is marital property.

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