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Ft. Walton Beach Criminal Defense Blog

Is cost of living an important factor for setting child support?

Readers have probably heard that the cost of living across the country can vary greatly. It seems as though individuals who live in the middle, less populated regions of the nation enjoy more reasonable prices on everything from homes to bread to gasoline; people who live on the coasts and in the metropolitan cities that stand out on the national map pay more for the privilege of experiencing the benefits of bigger populations.

The cost of living differs even throughout the state of Florida. Families that choose to live in affluent communities may pay more for the amenities that they enjoy than those who elect to live in smaller, less sought out parts of the state. It is for this reason that courts put an emphasis on cost of living when they make decisions about how much child support a parent should have to pay.

What to do after a drunk driving arrest

Over the Fourth of July holiday Florida residents may have enjoyed celebratory events with friends and family. It is not uncommon for individuals of the legal drinking age to indulge in beer, wine and other alcohol spirits when they are having a good time in the company of people they love. For some, this combination of getting out of the house to be with others and consuming a drink may have had an upsetting outcome: a drunk driving arrest.

An arrest for drunk driving can happen when a law enforcement official has sufficient evidence on which to accuse a person of breaking a drunk driving law and placing them in custody. The officer may allegedly witness the breaking of a law or may have probable cause to believe that a law was broken. There are other grounds on which drunk driving arrests may be made and individuals arrested for drunk driving may use deficiencies in those grounds to attack their drunk driving arrests.

Does your child custody plan address holiday scheduling?

Across the nation millions of Americans celebrated the Fourth of July holiday with their families and friends. This patriotic summer day of celebration is often recognized with fireworks, parades and big food-based get-togethers. While some Florida families are able to enjoy the day without any internal conflicts, families of divorce may struggle with how to split the time of the kids between the households of their parents.

Holidays can be a very difficult topic to tackle when negotiating a child custody plan. Both parents may feel strongly that it is important that their children be with them for Christmas, Thanksgiving and the other important holidays of the year, such as the Fourth of July. Unless the plan is for both parents to be in the same place and at the same celebrations, this may not be realistic for divorced parents, making it impossible for parents to both get time with their kids on the same days.

Is my prenup going to control the outcome of my divorce?

Not every Florida couple chooses to enter into a premarital agreement prior to getting married. The decision to create a premarital agreement may depend on what assets and possessions the parties hold prior to entering to a marital union. It may also depend upon the past relationships of the parties and whether they wish to protect their separate property for the benefit of children or other family members in lieu of their prospective spouses.

Since premarital agreements cannot speak to certain divorce-related topics, they are generally only controlling when it comes to matters of property and money. A couple can dictate how they will divide what they own in the event of a divorce in a premarital agreement. However, they cannot outline matters related to the custody of their children in such a document. This is because child custody orders must be based on the interests of the children at the time their parents go through a divorce.

Which comes first: Divorce or bankruptcy?

Financial difficulties plague many Florida families. In some cases, they contribute to marital problems that may be temporary or could mean the end of the marriage. If this happened in your case, you may be wondering whether you can afford to file for divorce considering the fact that you may start your new life with a significant amount of debt.

You and your spouse may discuss the possibility of filing for bankruptcy since you incurred most of your debts jointly, but the question you both ask is whether you should file before you file for divorce or after.

Child support delinquencies survive bankruptcy proceedings

A custodial parent may fear the day that their child's support-paying parent files for personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy proceedings are used to eliminate debts and allow individuals to get back on their feet after struggling with their financial situations. A Florida parent who is trying to provide for their child but who is struggling to get judicially ordered payments from their ex may worry that bankruptcy will absolve the delinquent parent of the past and future obligations to their child.

Fortunately this is not the case. While bankruptcy may allow a person to wipe out certain debts, debts to an individual's children in the form of child support cannot be eliminated. That is to say that even if a parent successfully works through personal bankruptcy and obtains a discharge, their child support debts will not be included in the discharge order.

What are the options for physical custody of a child in Florida?

It can be hard on a child to watch their parents end their marriage in divorce. Even if the divorce is the best option for the family, a child can still experience strong feelings of loss and fear when their household is divided into two. For this and other reasons, Florida parents should fully understand their options when it comes to finding the best possible custody solutions for their kids.

The legal custody of a child has previously been discussed on this blog, and therefore the remainder of this post will address the physical custody options that parents and courts can explore. Physical custody can be granted to both parents in a joint or shared arrangement or it may be given only to one parent in a sole custody decision.

Florida sheriff advocates for stricter drunk driving laws

Drunk driving can be a dangerous practice that can lead to accidents and arrests. The state of Florida, as well as other jurisdictions throughout the nation, have criminalized the act and impose different penalties on those who are convicted of drunk driving crimes. Every person accused of drunk driving, though, is entitled to their day in court and their right to fight for their freedom.

One county sheriff in Florida wants to increase penalties against some alleged drunk drivers. Citing multiple deaths in his jurisdiction from alleged intoxicated drivers, the sheriff of Santa Rosa County wants some individuals who are convicted of drunk driving crimes to face stiff penalties, including life in prison if a drunk driver causes the death of another individual. A state senator has claimed that he will help the sheriff work to change the laws if other state sheriffs are in agreement.

Is your landlord responsible for your physical safety?

If you rent property in Florida, it is beneficial for you to understand how to protect your rights and interests. Landlords have the responsibility to do certain things for their tenants, including ensuring the property is safe and secure. However, as a renter, it is smart for you to understand the landlord's responsibilities involving criminal activity.

Criminal activity can pose a threat to your physical safety, and to a certain extent, your landlord is responsible for issues that take place on his or her personal property. If you suffered harm as a result of criminal activity that took place near or on the property you rent, you may wonder who is to blame and how you can protect yourself.

Understanding when a child support obligation will come to an end

For the most accurate information regarding the end of a child support obligation readers of this Florida family law blog are encouraged to turn to their operating divorce decrees. Individual child support cases are worked out pursuant to divorces and other legal proceedings, and as such, a person can find out case-specific information about their own situation by referring back to the order or agreement for support that was created for them. Generally, though, child support obligations end when children become adults or when they are otherwise no longer under the care of their parents.

A child may be considered an adult at the age of 18, but often parents are obligated to continue providing for their children until their children graduate from high school. Some parents agree to continue to support their kids through college, though laws generally do not compel parents to do so.

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