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Ft. Walton Beach Criminal Defense Blog

How long has it been since you've had a survey of your property?

As a Florida property owner, you understand the importance of protecting your financial investment. You can protect it in various ways, including taking steps to ensure you know everything there is to know about your property. If it has been a while since you had a property survey done, it may be smart to do this in the near future. 

Often, real estate transactions require a new property survey. However, if you have owned your property for a while or you never had a survey, it can help you understand important factors about your property. One of the main benefits of this step is that you will understand exactly where your property lines are, which can help you avoid legal disputes in the future.

Can a prenuptial agreement ever be set aside during a divorce?

One of the reasons that a Florida couple may choose to create a prenuptial agreement before the parties say "I do" is to manage any expectations the parties have about their property, wealth, and its distribution should they end their relationship in a divorce. Having a valid prenuptial agreement in place can smooth out certain divorce-related negotiations by having in place a set of agreements that the parties have signed off on at a prior time. If a prenuptial agreement was properly executed and does not suffer from defects, it may be difficult to have it invalidated during a divorce.

However, like other forms of contracts, prenuptial agreements can be found deficient and invalid. If the circumstances that surrounded the creation of the document cause the couple's divorce judge to question its validity, the prenuptial agreement's soundness may be investigated. This may be done to determine if fraud, coercion, duress, or other manipulative tactics were used by one party to the marriage to get the other to sign.

Options for when parents don't agree on a child's best interests

Ending a marriage is a big step, but it does not generally sever any ties that the parties have to the children they share. When two Florida residents complete a divorce they are still parents to their kids and still responsible for their children's well-being. While different families may have different custodial plans put into place at the conclusion of their divorces, it is not uncommon for parents to share legal custody of their kids as they move into their post-divorce lives.

In review, legal custody involves the right of a parent to be involved in the important decisions that must be made about their child's welfare. For example, education, religion, and medical care are often topics that parents with legal custody can weigh in on even if their kids do not live in their households. However, when parents cannot reconcile their differences of opinion over the important choices that must be made to support their kids' development, they may need to seek the intervention of the courts to get them back on track.

Make necessary changes to child support agreements in 2019

The holiday gift-giving season is wrapping up and many Florida parents have gotten much joy out of seeing their children's happiness after opening carefully selected and beautifully wrapped gifts. Parents go out of their way to make holidays special for their children and each day strive to provide them with what they need to live happy lives. However, when unexpected changes occur a parent may find that they are not capable of supporting their child the way they could before.

This may be especially true when a parent is required to provide support to their child due to a child support agreement or order. When a parent and a child live in the same home they may, as a family, make changes in their lifestyle to accommodate alterations in their spending and income. However, child support payments are fixed and if a parent does not have the money to pay what they have been ordered to provide to their child, they can be sanctioned by the courts.

Equitable distribution during divorce property division

Divorce is a big process. While at its core it is the dissolution of a marriage and the breaking of legal bonds that tied two Florida residents together, a divorce requires its parties to address many other important legal matters. For example, pursuant to their divorce, an Okaloosa couple may have to settle the custody of their kids, financial matters related to alimony and child support, and make tough decisions on how to divide up their property.

If the parties to a divorce cannot come to terms regarding the disposition of their marital property, a court will step in and resolve to divide it up in an equitable way. Equitable distribution is based on the idea that a property settlement should be fair. It is important that readers remember that this does not necessarily mean that the parties will walk away from their marriage with equal portions of their collective marital assets.

What does a buyer need to know about your house?

Your plans to sell your house probably developed over a significant space of time, especially if you love your home and are reluctant to leave it. You may have to do some clearing of clutter, create some curb appeal and find a new place to live. When you put your house on the market, you hope someone will see its charm and make a reasonable offer so you can close quickly and move to the next phase in your life.

However, your desire to move along quickly may create a dilemma. Will potential buyers walk away from the house if they know they truth? Will you be jeopardizing a sale if you tell the buyers about the serious defects in the house?

How much can I be fined for a DUI in Florida?

Right now residents of Florida are happily preparing for the holiday season. They may be buying presents for the people that they love or planning meals that they will share with friends and members of their families. One thing that they are likely not preparing for is the expensive cost of a DUI conviction if they are alleged to have driven while drunk.

Even from a person's first DUI conviction the expense of a possible fine is high. The minimum that an individual may be ordered to pay upon a drunk driving conviction is $500, but if they are convicted of having a blood alcohol concentration in excess of .15 percent or having had a minor in the car at the time of their arrest, then their fine may skyrocket to $2,000.

Legal custody is an important consideration when divorcing

The everyday job of providing for a child is something that most Florida parents embrace. Having a child is a great responsibility, but it is also an opportunity to share joy and love with someone special. When divorce disrupts the important balance that mothers and fathers share with their kids, child custody negotiations can be of significant importance to their end-of-marriage plans.

While many parents focus on where their kids will live and when they will have visitation time with them, there is another aspect of child custody that is important for parents to remember: legal custody. A parent who has legal custody of their child may stay involved in the decision-making processes of raising the youth. If a parent lacks legal custody, they may not be able to stop a decision concerning the child that they believe is detrimental to the child's well-being.

Is child support considered taxable income?

A parent who receives child support on behalf of their child is expected to use that money to provide the child with their needs. Child support can be used in many ways by Florida parents, such as for housing and food, but also for child care costs, entertainment, transportation, and medical expenses. Raising a child is expensive, and for most people contributions from two incomes are needed to provide a child with what is necessary for their survival.

However, parents who receive child support may worry that the money they accept on behalf of their children will become imputed income that they must declare on their taxes. In just a few weeks, the way that alimony is taxed will change, and readers may have questions and concerns about if and how child support payments will be affected.

Finding your spouse's hidden assets

If divorce is looming, you may have concerns. It is not uncommon to struggle financially in the months and years following a divorce, especially if you earned less than your partner did during the marriage. You may hope your divorce will leave you with a fair share of the marital assets as allowed by Florida law. However, your spouse may decide not to play fair and hide assets to which you have a rightful claim.

You may have made it easy for your spouse if you maintained a hands-off attitude toward the family finances. By allowing your spouse to manage the money, control the investments and pay the bills, you may have a weak grasp of your true marital worth. The time to change that is now.

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