Jacksonville Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

The leading cause of garnishments is child support

A large number of Florida workers have garnishment orders against their wages, and the leading cause in the nation is child support. A study released in September looked at garnishments across the country in order to identify trends, causes and the most affected industries and people.

According to the ADP Research Institute, 71 percent of the people who have wage garnishments in the U.S. are men, primarily because of child support. In the U.S., 7 percent of Americans have garnishments, but the percentages are much higher in certain industries. In the manufacturing industry, 26 percent of men between the ages of 35 and 55 have garnishment orders, and some men have multiple garnishments that impact their checks.

How to protect yourself from past marital debt

If you are embroiled in a contentious divorce, your primary goal is get out of the marriage as quickly as possible with all the property and assets you are entitled to. For those with a considerable amount of debt incurred, bold promises may be made to make a particular spouse whole or relieve a spouse of debt. After all, dealing with credit card debt, medical expenses and other financial obligations can be difficult after a divorce. And let's face it, some vindictive spouses just want to make their exes life difficult .

Because of this, divorcees must be proactive in preparing for their post-divorce lives. This post will provide a couple of helpful tips. 

Managing an estate as the executor

Some people may hire a professional when appointing an estate executor, but others prefer to name a trusted family member or friend. The executor of an estate is responsible for protecting the assets of a deceased person until the assets can be distributed. Here are some tips for Florida residents when serving as an executor.

The executor of an estate needs to get an appropriate number of death certificates from a funeral home. Death certificates are needed for notifying investment firms, life insurers, banks and more. It is a good idea to get twice as many certificates as one thinks are needed. One should notify the Social Security Administration in a timely manner if the deceased person was receiving benefits so that Social Security payments are stopped. It can cause unnecessary hassle to have to pay back those benefits.

How and why to establish paternity

Do you wish you had child support payments coming in? Trying to raise your child on your own can be full of challenges and unexpected expenses. If you want the father of your child to start paying his fair share, you might want to consider establishing paternity.

Determining paternity can potentially lead to child support payments, but it can also mean the father will have rights to see your child. Here is some of the most important information about pursuing paternity in Florida and getting child support.

What to do when one parent will not follow the time-sharing plan

Child custody is typically the most highly contested aspect of a divorce. It is for this reason that the Florida senate passed a bill in 2016 that aims to give both parents equal time with any children they share following a separation. 

However, equal time does not necessarily mean everyone is always going to comply. It is not unheard of for parents to be difficult when it comes to the time-sharing arrangement. This occurs when one parent is always late with dropping the other child off or otherwise gains more time with the child than the court allotted. There are actions to take under these circumstances. 

Disestablishing Paternity

What would you do if it turned out that you were not the biological father of a child that you had loved and financially supported for years? Well, you may be able to disestablish paternity and terminate all child support obligations under Florida law - if you want to.

When a presumed legal father finds out that he is not the biological father of a child, he may want to disestablish the paternity of the child.

The "What If" of Alimony Reform

Supporters of Florida alimony reform contend that current alimony laws are old-fashioned and unfairly reward former spouses. These laws were written at a time when most women did not work outside the home, and they had little economic bargaining power.

The Alimony Reform Bill, sponsored by Representative Mitch Workman, R-Melbourne, and Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, would have eliminated permanent alimony. The bill also included a provision that would have capped alimony payments based on length of marriage. Although the bill would have eliminated permanent alimony, other forms such as bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational alimony would have remained available. Additionally, the bill would have allowed couples to retroactively renegotiate their divorce settlements to comply with the new caps.

Child Custody 101

The laws regarding child custody vary from state to state, but in Florida, child custody is determined by the courts through their analysis of what is in the best interests of the child in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Child custody laws in Florida help to determine which parent gets legal and physical custody. The parent with legal custody can make important decisions for the child such as educational, religious, or medical decisions. The parent with physical custody can decide where the child will live and makes day-to-day living decisions regarding the child.

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Rachel Rall, Attorney at Law, P.A.
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Jacksonville, FL 32210

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