Articles Posted in Family Law

It is not uncommon in divorce actions for the parties to develop a marital settlement agreement, which is essentially a contract that sets forth their rights and obligations, or for the court to incorporate the agreement into the final judgment that dissolves the marriage. If a party refuses to comply with the terms of a marital settlement agreement, however, a dispute may arise as to whether an action to enforce the agreement is subject to the statute of limitations that applies to contracts or the one that applies to judgments. Recently, a Florida court addressed this issue in a case in which the wife waited almost twenty years to file a motion to enforce a divorce judgment. If your spouse refuses to comply with the terms of your marital settlement agreement, it is advisable to contact a seasoned Florida family law attorney to assess your rights and your options for seeking enforcement.

Factual Background

It is alleged that the husband and the wife entered into a marital settlement agreement in 1997. The agreement divided their marital property, business assets, and debts, and dictated that the husband was to pay the wife close to half a million dollars, either in a lump sum or in five principal payments, plus interest, which were due each year beginning in 2001. The agreement was incorporated into the final judgment dissolving the marriage, which was issued in April 1997.

It is reported that the husband failed to make any payments as required under the agreement, however. Then, in 2017, one day shy of the twentieth anniversary of the entry of the divorce judgment, the wife filed a motion to enforce the judgment. The court granted the motion and ordered the husband to pay close to one million dollars to the wife based on the amount of principal payments plus accrued interest. The husband appealed, arguing that the wife’s motion was barred by the statute of limitations.

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Litigating a family law case in the proper jurisdiction is essential to protecting the rights of all involved. In divorce cases in which a couple has resided in more than one jurisdiction throughout the course of their marriage, the issue of what state or country possesses the authority to rule over the proceedings may be hotly contested. Recently, a Florida court discussed the process of determining where jurisdiction over a divorce matter lies, in a case in which divorce proceedings were filed in both Spain and Florida. If you or your spouse seek to end your marriage, it is prudent to speak to a dedicated Florida family law attorney to discuss what steps you can take to safeguard your interests.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the husband and wife, both of whom are citizens of Spain, were married in Spain in 2008. They had two children, after which they moved to Southern Florida. The couple was charged with crimes involving a bank in Luxembourg, after which they became involved in a disagreement over a contract the husband asked the wife to sign. The wife then took the children to another Florida city, after which the husband filed an emergency petition to retrieve the children and a divorce petition.

Allegedly, the husband then filed a second divorce petition in Spain. He subsequently dismissed the Florida petition, which prompted the wife to file her own divorce petition in Florida. The husband served the wife with the Spanish divorce petition and then filed a motion to stay the Florida action. The wife had not yet served the husband with her divorce petition. The trial court granted the husband’s motion, finding that Spain had jurisdiction over the matter, after which the wife appealed.

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Typically, when a party is ordered to pay child support, the obligation lasts until the child receiving the support turns eighteen. In some instances, however, the obligation can extend past the age of majority. Recently, a Florida court discussed the grounds for extending a support obligation in a case in which the plaintiff sought support from her father due to her disabilities. If you are a Florida resident dealing with a dispute over child support obligations, it is advisable to consult a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney to discuss what steps you can take to fight to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was twenty-seven years old, filed a petition seeking child support from her father. The plaintiff had Down Syndrome, which prevented her from obtaining and maintaining gainful employment. When her parents divorced, her father was ordered to pay child support until the plaintiff turned eighteen, but since that time, she relied on her mother for financial support.

Allegedly, the defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s petition, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. He further alleged that there was no provision in the order dissolving his marriage that allowed the plaintiff to seek support, and no continued support was sought while the plaintiff was a minor. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied. She then appealed.

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During or after the divorce process, you may be given court orders. It’s important that you comply with these orders as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be held in contempt of court.

Whether you have been held in contempt or need help with filing a contempt citation, you can trust our divorce attorneys for sound legal advice.

Here’s what contempt of court means during or after getting a divorce.

Have questions about estate planning? Keep reading to learn how an elder law attorney can help you make a will and other legal documents to protect you and your family. While we understand our clients don’t like to confront their own mortality, it’s important to make your estate plan while you are of sound mind. Many of the documents you’ll create with your estate planning attorney will also protect you in the event you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for your own finances & health care.

How to Start Estate Planning

Your first step should be to hire an experienced estate attorney. Their knowledge of elder law will help you create legal documents that will stand up in court. For example, an attorney can help you avoid inconsistencies or loopholes that could lead family members to challenge your last will and testament.

In too many cases, nursing home residents drain all of their assets on long term care. Fortunately, our Medicaid attorneys can help your family plan for nursing home care before it costs you your life savings. Continue reading to get the facts about Medicaid planning and what you should know before you retire or need to be admitted to a nursing home. For more information on how to avoid a Medicaid spend down, schedule a consultation with our elder law attorneys today.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health insurance program funded by the state and federal government for people who have very low income and are elderly, blind, or disabled. It’s important to understand that Medicaid may cover some (not all) of nursing home costs, which is why we recommend hiring our estate planning attorneys to protect your assets.

Fort Myers, FL Divorce AttorneysNot every divorce needs to be settled in court. If you want to avoid public court proceedings, divorce mediation might be right for you. A mediator is a third party that can help you come to an agreement with your ex-partner without resorting to messy court proceedings.

Please contact our law office today with any additional questions. Here are a few reasons our divorce attorneys recommend divorce mediation.

Understanding Divorce Mediation

Family Law Attorneys Naples, FL

Family law can refer to divorce, child custody arrangements, adoption, and other issues that affect home life. If you disagree with a lower court’s verdict on your situation, our family law attorneys can help. It’s possible to appeal the lower court’s decision and have it overturned.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding your family law appeal, please contact our talented legal team today.

NAVIGATING A FAMILY LAW APPEAL

No one wants to think about divorce as they’re about to get married, which is why prenuptial agreements tend to get left out of the discussion. A prenup, though, isn’t an omen of an ill-fated marriage. When done right, a prenup can set the foundation for a healthy marriage by putting you and your spouse on level ground and giving you both peace of mind. Here’s what our family law attorneys want you to know about prenuptial agreements.

Getting a Prenup

When should I bring up the idea of a prenup?

How is Child Support Calculated in Florida Attorneys Cape Coral
Divorce is stressful enough without having to calculate child support. Fortunately, our divorce lawyers are ready to help you negotiate an amount that’s fair for your circumstances. Continue reading to learn how child support is calculated in Florida and what you can expect from the divorce process. For more information, call our law firm to set up a consultation with one of our child support lawyers.

For more information please feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

What Factors are Used to Calculate Child Support?

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