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Ft. Walton Beach Criminal Defense Blog

Modifications may help ease child custody tensions

It can be hard to create a child custody plan that meets all of a child's needs and satisfies their parents' desires to be close to their kid. Everyone subject to a child custody arrangement will have to make some concessions when it comes to planning out where a child will live, who will provide them with care, and when they will have time to visit with their non-custodial parent. In Florida, parents and their legal representatives work hard to establish custody agreements that meet the children's interests and needs.

While many child custody orders and agreements are workable in the periods of time immediately following their creations, not all remain so as the months and years tick by. Children's needs and wants change, and so too do the lives of their parents. A parent may discover that they have to move for a job, or a child may receive an opportunity to attend a better school because of their academic success. When circumstances change, child custody plans must also be modified to meet new expectations.

What is a child support agreement?

It can be hard for two Florida residents who are going through a divorce to imagine any instances when they may find common ground on a topic and agree with each other. It is an unfortunate fact that many divorces are contentious and involve hostilities between the parties that cannot be easily worked out. Since divorce can involve conflict many individuals choose to litigate their divorces and have the support of attorneys and the courts to help them end their marriages.

Sometimes, though, even individuals who choose to litigate their divorces will decide to make agreements about divorce-related matters that are important to them. Often these agreements relate to their children, and may involve agreements regard their kids' custody, visitation, and support. Although the courts can work out all of these matters and impose orders on the parties to divorces, divorce participants can also work together to establish agreements that serve their children's and their needs.

Affirmative defenses to drunk driving charges

There are many reasons Florida residents should take the drunk driving charges that are made against them seriously. Aside from the embarrassment that they may experience after their arrests, they should be aware that convictions for drunk driving crimes may result in the loss of their licenses, the imposition of significant fines, and even periods of incarceration. In some cases, individuals who are fighting drunk driving charges may have defenses that they can assert to overcome their alleged crimes.

One category of defenses that can serve the needs of drunk driving defendants is affirmative defenses. An affirmative defense effectively admits that a driver had alcohol in their system at the time of their arrest and does not deny that fact. Rather, an affirmative defense provides an explanation for why a person chose to drive when they had alcohol in their system.

The types of construction defects that could affect your project

Investing in a Florida construction project is an expensive and lengthy endeavor. It can take months to bring it to completion, and even after that, it can take longer to ensure the interior meets your specifications. Due to the time and money that you have put into a project, defects in your project are not acceptable. 

Construction defects are any type of problem or issue that affect the integrity of your construction project. Some types of defects are easily repairable, while others require a significant financial investment to fix. If you learn that there is a defect that affects the integrity of the structure, the visual aesthetics or function of your building, you have the right to make sure the liable parties address the issue or compensate you for your losses.

What is a divorce waiting period?

Getting a divorce can be a complicated process if a Florida couple shares children, assets, and other items of property. Once they have filed their petitions and have begun the steps of untangling their lives from one another, the parties may have many difficult decisions to make to ensure that they are able to smoothly transition into single life. Some people wish to end their marriages as fast as possible, and while a timely end to a marriage might be possible for some, the state's waiting period requires all divorcing parties endure a short duration of time before their divorces can be finalized.

In Florida divorcing parties must wait 20 days from when their petitions to divorce are filed to when their divorces may be finalized. Waiting periods are sometimes informally called "cooling off" periods and they exist to allow individuals to make sure they are certain that they want to end their marriages. A divorce is a final process-- once a marriage is terminated it must be reestablished through legal means to be put back together.

Visitation options for noncustodial parents

If a Florida parent is denied custodial rights over their child then they may have the option of seeking visitation time with them. Visitation can take on many different forms that will depend upon the nature of the relationship between the parent and their child. In general, visitation arrangements can be unsupervised, supervised, based on virtual communications, or nonexistent.

Unsupervised visitation is common and involves the right of a parent to spend time with their child without the presence or control of another adult. Visitation of this form is often subject to a schedule made by the custodial and noncustodial parents to accommodate the needs of the family. When a parent poses no threat or harm to their child, unsupervised visitation may be ordered.

Help with enforcing child support orders and agreements

Raising a child is an incredibly expensive process. Florida parents may struggle to keep their kids in clothing that fits, full of healthy food, and engaged in activities that are both entertaining and educational. Providing a child with what they need can be hard for two parents working together in a single household, and it can be very difficult for a single parent to manage all of their child's costs and expenses on their own.

Parents who are no longer involved with their children's other parents can seek child support from those responsible adults. Generally a noncustodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent for the benefit of their shared child, but the custodial parent is also expected to provide financial support for the benefit of their kid. Therefore, a child is given financial help from both parents, regardless of the nature of those grown-ups' relationship.

Child support and alimony have different purposes

A divorce can leave a lot of questions in the lives of Florida residents. While one of the parties may continue to work and earn the income that they made while they were in their martial relationship, the other may worry about how they will make ends meet without the support of their ex. In situations such as this, a court may award the non-working spouse with alimony to help them get back into the working world.

Alimony is support for a former spouse and may not be awarded in every divorce case. If the parties to a divorce are self-sufficient and do not rely on each other's earnings to live then they may simply divorce with no alimony agreement or order in place. However, when couples with kids go through divorces it is practically certain that they will be bound to a child support agreement or order that will go toward the costs associated with raising their kids.

Protect your business interests in a commercial lease

Your Florida business is growing, and you are finally ready to find your own building or lease more space so you can continue to expand and serve more customers. Finding the right type of space for your company is not easy, especially finding one that meets your needs while still fitting your budget. When you finally find the right storefront, it can be tempting to simply jump on it and sign the lease as fast as possible. 

What you may not know, however, is that you can probably negotiate with your landlord on the terms of your commercial lease. Before you sign on the dotted line, it may be helpful to consider whether negotiating certain terms could be beneficial for your company. You may want to familiarize yourself with certain terms and things to look for in order to ensure you are not exposing your company to unnecessary risks in the future.

What is implied consent?

Readers of this blog may have heard that Florida, like many other jurisdictions, has an implied consent law on its books. What that means may not be clear to many who have heard of the law's existence but do not know what it mandates. While this post will briefly discuss the role that implied consent plays in drunk driving cases in Florida, it should in no way be read as legal advice.

When a person chooses to drive on the roads of Florida, they implicitly consent to be tested for impaired driving if they are legally arrested on a related charge. That means that they do not have to sign anything to agree to be tested or verbally accept that requirement: driving in Florida means that a person agrees to be tested if suspected and arrested on drunk driving.

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