Legal Blog

Timesharing and How Florida Courts Handle Summer Visitation

Time Sharing and How Florida Courts Handle Summer Visitiation_cheshire_blogChild custody issues are among the most difficult in a divorce, since many parents don’t want to lose any time with their children. As you approach topics like holidays, long weekends, and summer breaks, keep your child’s best interests in mind at all times.

Timesharing vs. Custody and Visitation

While the terms “custody” and “visitation” are the most frequently used in the world of family law, Florida uses slightly different terminology. Timesharing is a term that highlights the fact that a child has the right to spend time with both parents. As you and your co-parent work together to create a timesharing schedule, you will have to consider the three-month stretch of summer vacation. read more

Top 4 Tips for Successfully Co-Parenting At the End of the School Year

End of School Year Program as Co-Parents_cheshire_blogThe end of the school year can be a very rewarding and yet stressful period for co-parents and their children. The sudden change in schedule is challenging on its own, but children who divide their time between two homes often have multiple schedule changes. With these tips, you, your co-parent, and your children can all enjoy a peaceful start to summer.

Plan Ahead for End-of-Year Graduations, Concerts, and Other Events

The end of the school year is often a flurry of school concerts, graduation ceremonies, and classroom parties. Review your children’s schedule with your co-parent at least two weeks in advance. Try to arrange your schedules so that at least one parent—if not both—can be at each important event. This allows both parents to be engaged in their child’s school activities and helps children feel secure. read more

3 Reasons to Hire an Expert in Your Divorce Case

Divorce Case LawyerThere are at least three different circumstances that commonly lead to hiring an expert in divorce cases.  Hidden assets, alimony, and child custody are all areas of a divorce that may benefit from the insights an expert can provide.  Not every type of expert will be necessary in every in type of case, however, in the right case, one or more experts can have a profound impact on the results.

Hidden Assets

It is never a good idea to hide assets from your lawyer or your spouse’s lawyer during a divorce.  However, sometimes, people do it.  A forensic accountant has the skills necessary to identify and track down hidden assets.  This is important because property division should be equitable under the law.  Without a complete picture of all the assets, the parties and the court cannot fairly divide the property.  A forensic accountant reviews income, retirement accounts, business records, and other data to make a determination about potential hidden assets. read more

Jeff Bezos is Divorcing – 4 Ways He Might Approach Divorce

Jeff Bezos is Divorcing - 4 Ways He Might Approach DivorceRecently, the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos announced he and his wife are divorcing.  While he may have significantly more money than the average person filing for divorce, his options for how he approaches his divorce are the same as everybody else’s.  He and his wife, guided by their lawyers, may choose mediation, negotiation, collaboration, or litigation to resolve their issues.

Mediation

Mediation is a process that involves the parties, their lawyers, and a neutral third party.  The neutral third party listens to the wants and needs of both sides, and works to arrive at a resolution the parties are happy with.  One benefit of mediation is the parties can be creative in how they approach their situation and address their needs.  For example, there is no provision in the law that permits a judge to order a spouse’s new girlfriend to refrain from worshiping at the same church as the current spouse.  However, this may be a mediated condition of the divorce. read more

Five Money Mistakes You Should Avoid During Divorce

Divorce lawyerDivorce can be a tumultuous time for anyone.  Often times, people dealing with the stress of divorce find themselves making poor money choices.  Unfortunately, all to often, people only realize their mistake after the mistake has been made.  Recognizing common money mistakes people make during divorce can be the key to avoiding them during your own divorce.

Money Mistake #1: Hiding Assets

Hiding assets has consequences.  When filing for divorce, the parties are expected to be candid and forthcoming about their assets and debts.  By concealing assets, one party is withholding important information from the court.  This could result in both civil and criminal contempt charges.  In other words, you could go to jail.  It simply isn’t worth it. read more

Co-Parenting After Divorce: 3 Benefits for Your Family

Co-Parenting After Divorce: 3 Benefits for Your FamilyDifferent people experience different levels of animosity towards their ex spouse (and maybe their new love as well).  Regardless of how you feel about your ex’s life choices, if you have minor children together and share parenting time, you are going to both be present in your children’s lives.  Making the conscious choice to co-parent can benefit your family and thus, should be considered.

Moving Into New Roles: Understanding Co-Parenting

When couples focus on co-parenting exclusively, they can effectively shift their relationship to one based on their mutual commitment to raising productive, kind, and thoughtful human beings.  Consider approaching this project as you would a long term business arrangement.  Using a professional tone, and keeping the boundaries clearly set can help.  It will take time to adjust to the new roles, so give yourself, and your ex, a break if one of you temporarily forgets and asks about the new girlfriend or the purpose of the out of town trip the week you don’t have the children. read more

Father of Serena and Venus Williams Alleges Forgery in Divorce Case

Florida Divorce LawyerIt has recently been reported that Richard Williams, father of Serena and Venus Williams, is alleging his estranged wife either forged his signature, or, in the alternative, that he was not mentally capable of understanding what he was signing in a document that turns ownership of his Florida home to his estranged wife exclusively.  Of course, in every divorce case, there are far more facts than those reflected in court filings.  While the facts of that case will play out in a Palm Beach, Florida courtroom over the coming weeks and months, the mere allegation offers a cautionary tale for people getting divorced. read more

Lifestyle Choices that Impact Your Future Earnings

family law attorneyMany people enter into divorce proceedings assuming the assets and debts will be divided equally between the parties.  However, this is not the case under Florida law.  In the state of Florida,  courts divide assets and debts equitably, taking into consideration a host of factors, including the choices the couple made while they were married.  Some decisions a family makes have more of a financial impact on one party than the other.  Courts will often take the impact of family choices into consideration when dividing assets and debts.  Some of those considerations are outlined below. read more

Pets are People, Too – At Least in California!

Divorce LawyerIn most states, pets are considered property in divorce cases.  Because of this, courts allocate pet custody the same way the decide who gets the boat, who gets the house, and who gets the coin collection.  Florida law requires property division be equitable, which is not the same as equal.  An equitable division of property could result in one person getting a larger share of the marital property than the other.

A New Way to Deal with Pets in Divorce in California

In California, the law recently changed, allowing for a new way to deal with pets in divorce.  Under the new law, courts have the power to consider what is in the best interests of the pet, rather than treating the pet like property.  In fact, courts are required to view pet ownership differently than boat ownership, or house ownership.  Courts may consider how the pet is cared for by the parties and has the discretion to create a shared custody agreement.  Not surprisingly, the law was sponsored by state Assembly member Bill Quirk, a dog owner. read more

Redefining Roles and Setting Boundaries After Divorce

divorce lawyerOne of the biggest challenges of divorce is redefining roles and establishing boundaries after the divorce is final.  Couples without children may choose to happily go their own way, never to see each other again.  On the other hand, for couples with children or a common set of friends, never seeing each other again is an unlikely result.  As such, it is critical to redefine roles and set boundaries going forward.  Below are some examples where boundary adjustments may be necessary.

  1. You are Now Co-Parents, Not Partners

As co-parents you have a job to do together.  However, this job is limited to encouraging happy and healthy kids to get through adolescence and into adulthood – ideally while knowing they have the complete love and support of both of their parents.  If you are able, you should both attend school functions.  You should be flexible with parenting time when the circumstances merit flexibility. However, as co-parents your communications should be limited to the children and their best interests.  Leave finances, new romance, talk of vacations planned, or promotions hoped for out of the discussion. read more