City Landscape
Published on:

Divorce and family law litigation can be difficult on multiple levels. It can be emotionally stressful. It can also be draining in terms of time and money. That is especially true if if you are asked to make extensive and intrusive production of information, including sensitive financial documents. Sometimes, there may be ways to persuade the judge that you should not have to make such disclosures. It is important to avoid simply not complying, but instead to go through the proper legal procedures. A knowledgeable Florida family law attorney can help make the arguments you need.

One recent South Florida case that involved family law litigation and document disclosure was the dispute between G.E. and P.E. The spouses co-owned several rental properties. As part of the resolution of the divorce litigation, the spouses agreed to divide those rental properties. The agreement required the husband to use his “best efforts” to remove the wife from the properties he received in the settlement, and also obligated the wife to make similar efforts to remove the husband from the properties she received.

More than two years later, the ex-spouses were back in court. The ex-wife asked the court for an order to enforce the agreement. She alleged that the ex-husband still had not gotten her name removed from the mortgage on one of the properties that he received in the settlement. As part of this legal action, the ex-wife made a demand for the production of extension financial information.

Published on:

When you and your former spouse or partner share a child, there can be some very special logistical hurdles you have to navigate. That is especially true if you have to move away from your current home and seek to bring your child with you to your new home. Many times, these issues come up because a parent has a job-related or family-related need that makes them choose to relocate. However, what happens if your relocation is not voluntary, such as parents who are facing deportation? Regardless of why relocation happens, be sure you follow the rules necessary to relocate with your child. An experienced Florida family law attorney can provide you with the representation you need when it comes to the legal processes of child relocation.

A Florida couple from Indian River County recently found themselves facing this type of case. The wife was a citizen of the Philippines and received a Green Card when she and the husband married. The marriage lasted only a little more than two years before the husband filed for divorce.

The trial court, in addressing issues of custody and timesharing, recognized that the mother’s future circumstances were uncertain. Her citizenship application was still pending. If the government denied the application, the mother would be deported. The trial judge decided that, if the federal government deported the mother, then she would be entitled to take the daughter with her to the Philippines.

Published on:

Life is full of many twists and turns, many of which can have financial consequences. When you experience a turn in your life that reduces your income, and you are under an existing court order to pay your ex-spouse alimony, that downturn in your income may result in an alimony payment that is too large. In some circumstances, you may be entitled to obtain a court order that lowers your alimony payments (or even ends them altogether). There is, however, a specific way that you must go about seeking this modification, so it is definitely worthwhile to have knowledgeable South Florida counsel on your side.

R.B. was a man in such a position of change. In 2015, he was close to retirement. 10 years earlier, he and his wife, B.B., had divorced. In the couple’s 2005 marital settlement agreement, the husband agreed to pay the wife $5,500 per month in permanent alimony. The agreement said nothing about either’s spouse’s future retirement.

R.B. sought a reduction of his alimony. The trial court ruled in favor of B.B. The court of appeal, however, concluded that the trial court had made an “error of law.” The law allows courts to consider “a reasonable retirement as part of the total circumstances in determining if sufficient changed circumstances exist to warrant a modification of alimony.” A failure by a couple’s original divorce judgment or marital settlement agreement to address the parties’ future retirements does not change a trial judge’s ability to consider retirement in a request for reduction of alimony.

Published on:

When your divorce involves two accomplished and successful professionals, and no children, it is very likely that the main issue to be resolved in the divorce case will be equitable distribution. It is important to understand that equitable distribution in Florida does not automatically mean equal distribution. However, in order to award one spouse a larger portion of the marital assets (and/or a smaller portion of the marital debts), there has to be the presence of certain special circumstances. Overcoming your spouse’s request for an unequal distribution can often mean proving that special circumstances don’t exist, or at least that the special circumstances recognized by the law aren’t present. When it comes to avoiding such an unsuccessful outcome, it pays to have representation from a knowledgeable South Florida family law attorney.

The question of when an unequal distribution is (or isn’t) allowed was at the center of one divorce case from the Tampa Bay area. D.C. and C.C. were a couple whose marriage was a short-term one. They married in the summer of 2008 and separated late in 2012. The husband was a county government employee in Tampa who earned a stable income. The wife had been a teacher but, in January 2008, began attending law school full time, which she finished in December 2010. During her time in law school, the wife took out more than $91,000 in student loans.

As the couple had no children, the main issue in their divorce was the distribution of marital assets and liabilities. This couple’s trial judge decided that special circumstances did exist to warrant an unequal distribution. The husband had supported the wife “emotionally and financially in her career pursuit” and had been the pair’s primary income source during the marriage. Based on that, the court’s order established a significantly unequal distribution. If the distribution had been equal, the husband would have owed the wife an equalizing payment of $81,000. The court’s order obliged the wife to pay the husband $11,000, for a total difference of more than $92,000 (from what equal distribution would have meant).

Published on:

Many courts, when facing a divorce or paternity case, award the parents shared parental responsibility. In fact, shared parental responsibility is the default option that will be implemented unless there is proof that such a custody arrangement would be against the best interest of the child. However, what happens if you and your child’s other parent are at complete opposites when it comes to a major decision, such as the child’s education? Hopefully, you can find a way to resolve the issue between yourselves but, other times, litigation may be necessary. When that happens, you’ll want to reach out to an experienced Florida family law attorney.

A recent Miami-Dade case presented such an impasse. The parents divorced in 2015. The children were 9 and 8 at that time. During the 2017-18 school year, the children attended public school in Pinecrest. For the 2018-19 academic year, the mother wanted the kids to continue in public school, while the father wanted to enroll them in a nearby Christian academy. The father asserted that the Christian school offered a stronger academic program for the children, and the father also offered to pay the entire cost of the kids’ private school tuition. Nevertheless, the mother still opposed the change.

With the parents unable to resolve their disagreement, the matter went to court. The trial judge sided with the father, and ordered that he pursue applying for admission for the children and enroll them if the school accepted them.

Published on:

In an episode of a popular TV courtroom drama, a judge once declared that “it’s not about being right… it’s about doing right.” While that case and that judge were fictional, that statement acknowledged an important aspect of the law: having a successful case is about more than facts. It requires understanding the procedural requirements of the law and following them properly. For one Miami-Dade County wife, procedural shortcomings were what derailed her recent case. To make sure you avoid getting trapped in a procedural pitfall, be sure you have skilled Florida family law counsel working for you.

The wife and her husband reached an oral agreement to resolve the matters involved in their divorce. The agreement said that each spouse was entitled to keep his/her own separate property assets. One item that was covered by this settlement, and by that non-marital-asset provision, was the marital home, which the husband had bought and which he 100% owned. The trial court finalized the divorce, including the settlement agreement, on April 5, 2016. The wife did not contest that order.

The problem was that the wife and the couple’s two minor children lived in the home. The husband, after getting the divorce order, went back to court and filed an “unlawful detainer” action. That is a legal action you can file and pursue in order to evict someone from a property.

Published on:

Prenuptial agreements can be a very important part of the process for some couples planning to wed. The agreements can allow both partners to reach an agreement at a time when their views are not colored by the pain and stress of a marriage’s recent or impending demise. One of the key things in ensuring that your prenuptial agreement is successful is ensuring that it is written carefully, unambiguously, and with an appropriate level of detail. This is important because the courts will seek to enforce your agreement as it is written. For advice and representation regarding the creation or enforcement of your prenuptial agreement, contact an experienced South Florida divorce attorney.

Michel and Sherrone were a couple who had a prenuptial agreement that was the crux of their family law litigation. The couple’s agreement stated that neither spouse would, in the event of divorce, receive any type of spousal support from the other. However, the agreement did state that the husband or one of his companies would pay the wife a salary of $6,000 per month for 24 months.

Ultimately, the marriage did end in divorce. The trial judge in the couple’s divorce case concluded that the prenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable. The court acknowledged that the agreement made it clear that the spouses were renouncing their right to collect alimony. However, the court went on to rule that the salary payments owed to the wife would be in the form of durational alimony.

Published on:

Most parents just want the best for their children. Part of that includes ensuring that they can have a healthy and meaningful relationship with the child. If you are denied visitation or have all of your visits supervised, that may impair the growth of your relationship with your child. To make sure that you get an appropriate order of visitation that will help to enhance your parent-child relationship, be sure you have representation from an experienced South Florida family law attorney.

One of the key aspects of getting quality visitation time can be obtaining unsupervised visits. One recent case from Miami focused upon that question of transitioning from supervised to unsupervised visits. The parents, D. and S., were married for 14 years before the wife filed for divorce. As part of her divorce petition, the wife sought an injunction for protection against domestic violence. That injunction prevented D. from having contact with S. or the couple’s two children.

The court appointed a psychologist to examine the parents and the children. The psychologist recommended that the father receive supervised visitation with a goal of ending that supervision “in a short time frame.” The guardian ad litem for the children recommended that unsupervised “visits should considered as the next step.” However, when the court entered its parenting plan for the couple, it stated that the father’s supervised timesharing was to continue and made no reference to any future potential for unsupervised visits.

Published on:

There can be a lot that can be learned from the family law cases of celebrities. Take the divorce litigation of hip-hop and reality TV stars T.I. and Tiny. The pair’s divorce case has been pending since late 2016. Now, the celebrity news site Bossip reported that Tiny has hit “pause” on the advancement of the divorce case and that rumors “have swirled that the exes…were planning to renew their vows.” So can you pause your divorce case in Florida, and, if so, how? For answers to important questions like these and others, make sure to consult a knowledgeable Miami divorce attorney about your situation.

Some may know T.I. as the hip-hop artist involved in such hit songs as “Whatever You Like,” “Live Your Life,” “Dead and Gone,” and “Blurred Lines,” and they may know his wife, Tiny, as a member of the R&B vocal group XSCAP3. Others may know the couple for their successful reality TV series, T.I. and Tiny:  The Family Hustle. In December 2016, though, the pair of hip-hop entrepreneurs made news for a more personal reason, when Tiny filed for divorce. Nearly a year and one-half later, the case is still pending in the trial court. Recently, Tiny filed court papers that would further delay the advancement of the case.

The latest development in the star couple’s divorce, which is not taking place in the Florida courts, was the filing of a “leave of absence,” which brought a stop to the proceeding. It was the second time that had happened in the pair’s case.

Published on:

There is often much that anyone can learn from the rulings courts make. A recent decision handed down by a Florida appeals court in Miami provides two very important reminders for anyone going through the divorce process.. First and foremost, it is always a good idea to ensure that you have the representation of a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney for any divorce-related legal matter. That is especially true if there is a potential language barrier issue. Florida and the Florida courts remain English-dominant, and you want to ensure that you do not lose out on important rights or legal options because of a barrier due to English being something other than your first language.

The spouses involved in the case, Gerardo and Aura, began divorce proceedings in 2016. At the time, the couple had been married for 19 years. Each spouse decided to navigate the legal system without the representation of an attorney. The husband obtained the necessary paperwork, and the couple, with the help of a private notary, filled out the forms. The forms, along with a marital settlement agreement, stated that neither spouse would receive alimony. According to the notary, the wife did not speak English well, and she (the notary) translated much of the paperwork’s English into Spanish to aid understanding.

At the court clerk’s office, the wife allegedly objected to the “no alimony” provision, and the clerk made a note of it. Unfortunately for the wife, the paperwork that said “no alimony” got filed, and the document that supposedly showed her objection did not.