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Seminole County Family Law Blog

Can unmarried couples adopt?

As an unmarried couple in Florida, you may have no interest in tying the knot any time soon. However, that might not change your desire to raise a family and have children. If adoption is an option that appeals to you, you may first be wondering if it is even available to unmarried parents.

The short answer is yes, in most states. According to Unmarried Equality, you can still adopt even if you aren’t part of a married couple in states that allow for joint adoptions. However, it may unfortunately be more difficult for you to adopt than a traditional couple. You could face discrimination even in states where joint adoption can happen, as the courts may argue that you will be unable to provide the healthy and stable living arrangements that would best benefit a child.

What are some signs that income is being hidden from you?

When you and your partner split, you may realize that some things aren’t adding up financially. Florida divorcees like yourself have a right to equal monetary compensation, so we at Michelle A. Barry, P.A., believe that you should have an eye peeled if you feel like money is being hidden from you by your spouse.

The total sum of income is taken into consideration when making divisions for child support or spousal support payment. You should be aware of some tricks that some people may use to make their overall income seem less than it really is. For example, some people may undervalue their assets on purpose, or they might make up expense reports that never actually occurred. Another very common trick is reporting a net income that isn’t matched up with the actual payroll of their job.

Mistakes to avoid while going through your divorce

Florida couples who are splitting up may make mistakes along the way. Even if someone has been through a divorce before, it is entirely possible for them to be doing things less efficiently than they could be.

Vibrant Nation says that there are a list of avoidable mistakes that can turn a divorce sour before a person knows it. The top mistakes include things like rushing the process along, not planning well enough ahead of time, and focusing on lesser important issues when there are bigger matters at hand that need more attention. For example, a person shouldn’t nitpick about the details of every item in their home when splitting up assets. Instead, focus on the big things like who gets the house, how the savings will be divvied up, and so on. A person should go into divorce meetings with a rough idea of what they want already mapped out, as well.

Why is a visitation plan called parenting time?

As a Floridian couple seeking a divorce, you have likely heard the term “parenting time” before. But what exactly is it, and what does it mean for you, your co-parent, and your children?

In short, parenting time is Florida’s version of visitation plans, or child custody. Traditionally speaking, these types of plans tend to favor one parent over another. For example, one parent may have custody during the weekdays, while the other only gets custody during the weekends. Another common schedule is for one parent to have the children during most of the year, and for the other parent to have them over during the summer holiday. While child custody plans are usually meant to divide the responsibility of raising a child equally – or as equally as possible – there are often cases in which one parent or another ends up feeling like they got the short end of the stick.

What is a supervised visitation?

Florida couples who officially split will still have more hurdles ahead of them after their divorce. One of the biggest potential hurdles is visitation rights, which will determine how often you may be able to see your child based on various circumstances.

Sometimes, traditional visitation options may not be suitable for your situation. It could be for any number of reasons, but in the end, it boils down to the court’s feelings about you and the other parent. If they believe that the child could be in danger if left totally alone with a parent, they will issue supervised visitation orders. What does this mean? It essentially means that you will need a third party present at all times when you visit your child, for the sake of their potential safety.

How do you know when it’s time to divorce?

Splitting up is a big deal, and the laws both in Florida and on a national level can make the process seem even more complicated and hard to deal with. With so many potentially obvious drawbacks, how do you know when the benefits of divorce outweigh the downsides?

First and foremost, this sort of question will have different answers for different people and situations. What applies to one couple may not apply to you, and what applies to you may not apply to others. You will need to look carefully at your own life and happiness and determine if your personal gains will outweigh what you will lose or have to deal with in turn. However, Huffington Post has created a list of some signs that might mean it’s time to let your relationship go.

What to expect when relocating with your child

Post-divorce relocation is an option that some parents may take after their divorce is finalized. This can be for many reasons, such as better jobs, more opportunities for their child, or a safer and more stable living environment. However, there are some potentially negative hurdles as well.

The American Psychological Association states that there may be long-term repercussions for children who are relocated after a divorce. A study was recently done in which college students were interviewed and the students with divorced parents were divided into different categories. At the end of the study, it was found that those whose parents did not move away post-divorce generally had an easier time than those who had a parent move away, or who moved with said parent. The latter category generally had less trust in their parents and viewed them as a smaller emotional support. They also rated themselves lower in terms of physical, emotional and mental wellness.

How do you handle domestic violence accusations during a divorce?

As a Florida resident seeking a divorce, you can prepare yourself for a long and sometimes trying road. However, if domestic violence accusations are thrown into the mix, you will have even more complexities to deal with that can lengthen the process much further than anticipated and throw in additional complications.

It is very common for people to get emotional during a divorce. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes things are said or done that would not otherwise even be considered. If your partner feels threatened at any point after a divorce has been declared, it is possible that you might find yourself facing domestic violence accusations. In some cases, false accusations have even purposely been made in order to keep one parent away from the children of a past relationship.

What can happen if you don’t pay child support?

When you and your partner split, the financial burden of the child is still left up to both of you. To that end, child support is made mandatory under Florida law in order to ensure that the child gets as much financial support as possible. You can face legal consequences for skipping out on it.

According to Florida’s Department of Revenue, children up to the age of 18 have the legal right to be financially supported by both parents. When you don’t pay your child support, it’s considered a violation of the support order. This means that you could be fined or even sent to jail for not paying on time. A warrant for your arrest may be put out on the statewide crime computer, allowing officers to arrest you at any place in the state.

What are some reasons you should consider adopting?

As someone settling down in Florida and preparing for the family life, you may have considered adoption before. There are plenty of things to consider when this choice is on the table, but what are some of the most common reasons that people just like you end up adopting?

The American Adoption Agency has a many reasons for you to consider. For example, you would be helping out a child who needs a loving family. You can bring the gift of opportunity, shelter and love into someone else’s life and help them grow into an adult. You have the power to change a child’s living situation and make it something truly remarkable.

Contact Information

Michelle A. Barry, P.A.
285 West Pine Avenue
Longwood, FL 32750

Phone: 407-622-4529
Fax: 407-622-4532
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