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Tampa Florida Family Law Blog

Understanding a parent's obligation to pay child support

Child support is an important obligation that exists between a parent and their child. In Florida, a parent may be required to pay child support if they do not have physical custody of their child. As has been discussed previously on this blog, physical custody concerns where a child lives and which parent is responsible for the child's day-to-day needs.

In the event that a child's parents separate or divorce, a court will need to determine where that child will end up living. If the court decides that the child will split time between the households of the parents, then neither parent may be required to pay support, as each will be responsible for their child's needs when the child is in their care. It is when one parent is given physical custody and the other parent is not involved in the daily maintenance of the child's needs that child support may become relevant.

Wealth does not prevent couples from seeking to divorce

It may be a common sentiment among our readers in Florida that having a little bit more money might make everything in life a little easier. With more money families might be able to enjoy more financial stability and take better vacations, parents could ease off of their jobs and enjoy a little down time and kids would not have to worry about how they will pay for college. Money seems to be the root of many benefits in life, but, according to new research, it may also be a root of conflict in marriages.

According to a recent survey, money was listed as the number one cause of stress in relationships, but not always because there was not enough of it to go around. Having different attitudes toward and uses for money caused much strain for marital couples, but this was the case whether the individuals were high income earners or earned less.

Parents can fight for legal custody of their children

Parents who are going through a divorce may not understand the difficult and sometimes confusing laws that apply to the custody of children. They may, for example, be somewhat familiar with the idea of physical custody and the need for separated or divorced parents to split their kids' time between their different households. However, they may not have a full appreciation for the importance of legal custody and the important rights in bestows on parents.

Unlike physical custody, which addresses where a child will live, legal custody has to do with how and by whom important decisions regarding the child may be made. If a parent has legal custody, then they may be involved in the process of deciding important matters about their child's upbringing. Failing to maintain legal custody of a child may force a parent out of the loop of input when it comes to deciding, for example, where a child will go to school or how they will be raised in a system of religion.

Could a prenuptial agreement hurt my interests?

Most individuals who choose to execute prenuptial agreements do so because they have compelling property or financial interests that they want to protect. In Florida, couples who wish to execute prenuptial agreements may do so and may see those documents enforced in the event that they later divorce. In some cases, they may find that the terms they agreed to prior to their marriages are no longer in their interests.

For example, some property that may otherwise be considered marital property during a divorce may be given to only one party if such a stipulation was included in the couple's prenuptial agreement. In a prenup, a person may agree to release any claims to the earnings or growth of their partner's business even if they, the releasing party, worked for and supported those goals. Generally, the contributions that a person makes to their partner's successes may make otherwise separate property marital property during a divorce.

When can you stop paying alimony?

Alimony is a legal obligation that can bind two people even after their divorce has been finalized. The duration of time that an alimony obligation will last in Florida will depend upon the type of alimony that is awarded by a couple's divorce court. Some forms of alimony have built-in timeframes and when they reach their stipulated ends the paying parties are freed from their obligations. Other forms of alimony, however, do not include these provisions.

For example, if a party to a divorce receives permanent alimony from their ex-spouse then that obligation will last for quite a long time. It may only end when the recipient passes away or elects to remarry. Conversely, a court may award durational alimony, which has a set end point, or lump sum alimony, which is paid only once in order to fulfill the paying spouse's obligation.

What happens if I want to relocate with my child post-divorce?

When you and your spouse divorce, you may wonder whether you have the ability to move away from Florida. Due to a new job or new opportunities for your child, you may wish to file a petition to relocate if you hold sole custody.

In Florida, you must follow specific steps to file an accurate petition to move. Your ex-spouse may agree to the changes or object to them, but a judge works to determine the best interest of your child when dealing with relocation. If you wish to move with your child, you may want to hire an experienced attorney to aid in bringing your petition to court.

Why can't child custody matters be settled in prenups?

A prenuptial agreement can be a good tool for two people to utilize to make important financial and property-based decisions before they get married. Prior posts on this Florida family law and divorce blog have outlined the requirements individuals must fulfill to make prenuptial agreements and the ways that prenups may be rendered invalid. This post will discuss one important topic that cannot be addressed in a prenuptial agreement: child custody.

The custody of children is a delicate issue that can take time and consideration to work through. Because prenuptial agreements are made before individuals get married, it is entirely possible that any custodial decisions that they would try to make would be applicable to only hypothetical children. As child custody matters must involve considerations related to the best interests of the children, it is impossible for people to anticipate their unborn children's needs and interests before they have come into being.

Elements to include in child custody plans

Deciding how custody of children should be set in the wake of a divorce can be a difficult task for parents in Florida. However, state law encourages them to work together to meet their kids' best interests rather than relying on the court to sort out these important matters. When parents are able to establish time-sharing parameters that meet their children's needs they may have their findings approved by the courts hearing their divorce cases.

At minimum, there are several elements that custody or time-sharing plans must include. For example, parents in Florida must include in their plans a daily schedule for each of their kids. This can include, but is not limited to, where the child will live, which parent will be responsible for providing them with their daily needs and if the child will have visitation time with the other parent.

Factors that influence child custody determinations in Florida

Couples who have children and who decide to end their marriages have the difficult task of finding ways to ease the transition of divorce upon their kids. One of the biggest issues that children of divorce must face is finding stability once their parents separate their single household into two. It is important to understand how child custody is addressed in Florida courts and what factors courts look at to decide where and how kids should live.

Like other jurisdictions, Florida relies heavily on the best interests of the child when making decisions that impact their welfare. That means that a child's needs and interests should be prioritized when decisions are made about where they will live and who should care for them. Courts seek information about children through a variety of inquiries related to their individual requirements and their parents' capacities to provide for them.

What questions should I ask to decide if I need a prenup?

It seems like whenever a celebrity couple goes through a divorce most of their financial concerns are managed through the interpretation and application of their prenuptial agreement. As previously discussed on this Florida family law blog, prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups, are contracts that individuals make with their future spouses that outline how they will divide up their financial assets and property if they divorce. Not all individuals may choose to enter into prenups before they wed but people planning to marry may wish to ask themselves several important questions before they definitively decide against creating them.

First, a person considering a prenup may want to ask themselves what kind of property they own as an individual and what the value of that property is. Property rights can be affected by divorce if one's individual property becomes marital property and a person may lose things that they once owned on their own due to their marriages.

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