There have recently been attempts to reform Florida’s alimony laws. The stated goal was to create uniformity and predictability in determining alimony. The unspoken purpose was to eliminate permanent alimony.
There’s been a lot of talk about the new Star Wars movie in the last few weeks. Those familiar with the franchise know that there’s a powerful, universal energy in this world called “The Force,” and the advice given from the Jedi Masters who are training up-and-coming Jedi is to “trust your feelings.” But they also advise against tapping into feelings of fear, which can lead to anger, and hate, and destructive behavior aligned with what’s called “the Dark Side.” Continue reading
An increasing number of Americans are starting their own businesses, joining the record numbers of Americans who already own and operate businesses. That’s simply the way the American workforce is moving, and on the whole, I believe it’s a positive thing. Continue reading
It wasn’t so long ago we thought of the family attorney as someone who is supposed to “win” for his or her client. Though L.A. Law’s Arnie Becker was a fictional character meant to be a little larger than life, he fit the public’s expectations of a “pit bull” divorce lawyer. To be a good family attorney in that mold, you have to go after the other side relentlessly, destroy them, and then take the spoils of war when you’re done. Continue reading
Some people think that once their divorce is being litigated, or is being mediated, that they’re bound to that decision until the divorce becomes final. And people who think they’re stuck with that first choice might come to regret it.
Deciding to litigate a divorce, for example, might feel good in the heat of the moment – especially when responding to adultery or some other immediate, painful disruption to a marriage. Continue reading
One of the most concerning things I’ve found in my years of practicing family law – especially with my decision to move entirely away from litigation – is that not all lawyers who claim to be collaborative lawyers are actually Collaborative lawyers.
Some lawyers feel that the word “collaborative” has marketing value, and that it sounds friendly and welcoming, so they use that word without acknowledging that Collaborative law is a particular branch of family law with its own specific set of rules. Continue reading
In the debate over adopting new laws concerning alimony in Florida last year, part of the debate was about a provision that would set a new legal presumption for timesharing. If Gov. Scott had signed the bill into law last year, divorces in Florida would now operate with the legal presumption that children would spend equal time with each parent. Continue reading
As a lawyer who has worked on many divorce cases, I can tell you first-hand that divorce can be a very emotional time, and emotions can greatly impact the divorce process. If it is a litigated divorce, emotions can even go as far as driving one or both parties in a divorce to employ tactics and make demands that delay and complicate the divorce proceedings. Continue reading
Last year, alimony law in Florida came one governor’s veto shy of changing significantly, and it’s possible that the Florida State Legislature could be debating the issue this year as well. Last year’s bill sought to change the duration and circumstances under which alimony was allowed, and it also addressed timesharing by establishing a legal presumption that equal timesharing should be awarded in the vast majority of cases. While Florida’s legislation got a lot of attention last year for coming so close to passing, it’s part of a slowly-developing national trend examining the issue. Continue reading
One of the most challenging issues in any divorce case is parental interference. When a divorce decree is signed, parents either agree to a time-sharing schedule with their children, or, in litigated cases where they can’t agree to the schedule, cede that decision to a judge who creates a schedule for them. Before a divorce is finalized, standing orders can help orchestrate time-sharing schedules and make sure that each parent gets a reasonable amount of time with their children. Continue reading