Once Upon a Domestic Dispute

There was a Man who had a Girlfriend.  They got in a verbal disagreement over finances.  She rather thought he should bring home more money; he thought he was doing the best he could.  The Man called the cops, but he was the one who wound up wearing the orange jumpsuit. The Man had said something to the Girlfriend and then went to his car to go to work.  The Girlfriend followed him to his car, beating on him.  He had his gun in the car.  In accordance with the two-step process of firearm safety, he stored the clip separately (which she knew).  In order to get her to back off, he moved the slide, and the sound was enough to send her back into the house.  That is when the Man realized he still needed money from her to buy gas to go to work.  He called the cops so they could help him talk to her. The most difficult thing a cop has to do is deal with a domestic dispute.  They do not know what they are walking into.  Though the Man in this case had not touched the Girlfriend, the cops had to make a decision […] Read More

Mediation Instead of Trial

Sometimes you just want to settle a conflict.  Even if it costs you more money, sometimes it may be worth it to you personally, professionally, emotionally, or with the right set of circumstances to have a matter settled.  A Mediation rather than a Trial may be able to bring you that. In Mediation, you control the crash.  In Mediation, you do not get as much of a winner and a loser, but you do get to settle the matter.  Depending on your circumstances and your goals, Mediation may be the right thing for you. A trial is going to result in a winner and a loser, and a judge is going to decide which is which.  In Mediation, however, you have the opportunity to sit down with the other side and hammer out a deal.  Then once the deal is made, it is made, and you have settled the issue.  It gives both sides more control over the outcome. There are a number of civil law matters where Mediation can be used, such as divorce and consumer debt defense.  Seek competent legal counsel to determine if Mediation is an option in your case, and if it would be beneficial to […] Read More

Child Support

For those of you who pay child support, I recommend that you pay it.  St. Johns County is an equal opportunity jailer when it comes to paying child support; whereas, in Clay County, it is all men wearing the inmate jumpsuits.  No matter where you live, you may be able to avoid legal complications by paying child support and informing the court immediately if something changes in your income. Your minor children are entitled to a portion of your income.  However, when a change happens in your income, that will impact the family and you have to adjust immediately by filing a petition.  If the parent who has the child most of the time is on State Assistance, the Department of Revenue gets involved and enforces child support with an iron fist. Obligation to pay child support is based on income—that is just a thing called MATH.  Be up front and honest about your income and you may benefit, as well as your child.  For more information on child support in Florida, visit the Florida Department of Revenue website at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/childsupport/.   Read More

Divorce & Your Dirty Laundry

Florida is a ‘right-to-dry’ state, meaning that clotheslines are generally allowed (check your covenants and restrictions).  Though you might be permitted to air your dirty laundry, you may not want to, especially in divorce.  Fortunately, Florida also has Therapeutic Divorce. Therapeutic Divorce does not mean keep getting divorced until you feel better.  The idea behind it is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details. One of the amenities of Therapeutic Divorce is that the details do not go into public records.  Because the process goes through mediation and not through the court, the dirty laundry is hampered from public view. Therapeutic Divorce offers an alternative to courtroom drama.  Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your circumstances and your divorce options.   Read More

Mediation Instead of Trial

In Mediation, you do not get as much of a winner and a loser, but you do get to settle the matter.  Depending on your circumstances and your goals, Mediation may be the right thing for you. A trial is going to result in a winner and a loser, and a judge is going to decide which is which.  In Mediation, however, you have the opportunity to sit down with the other side and hammer out a deal.  Then once the deal is made, it is made, and you have settled the issue.  It gives both sides more control over the outcome. There are a number of civil law matters where Mediation can be used, such as divorce.  Seek competent legal counsel to determine if Mediation is an option in your case, and if it would be beneficial to you.   Read More

Divorce Sans the Drama – Therapeutic Divorce

Behind every successful man is his woman.  Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.  In some cases, divorce is necessary, but it does not have to be a costly courtroom drama. Florida is a “No-Fault” divorce state, meaning that you can get divorced without having to figure out whose fault it is.  If the marriage is irretrievably broken, you do not have to declare who broke it.  Furthermore, you can cut out the courtroom drama with a Therapeutic Divorce. The idea behind Therapeutic Divorce is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details, and also does not make public those details.  Because the process goes through mediation and not through the court, the dirty laundry is hampered from public view. When the love is gone, it is only math. If both sides are ready to sit down and take the necessary steps to complete the procedure, then it can be over and done within about a month.  Seek competent legal counsel to […] Read More

Divorce & Estate Planning

If you cannot live with her, do you want her to get your house when you die?  This is where divorce can be part of estate planning. Not everybody needs a will, but if you die without a will while you are still married, your house goes to your spouse.  Even if your will was made before you got married, your spouse is still entitled to half your estate, the same as if you had died without a will. Some couples are “ABD” – All But Divorced – living in harmony separated from each other, but in Florida, unless they are divorced, they are still married.  Should one of them die without a will, that person’s assets get distributed by the State according to the legal formula of Intestate Succession.  Part of that formula is that the living husband or wife is entitled to the homestead property (unless there is a properly executed marital agreement). Divorce does not have to be expensive and it does not have to take a long time.  If both sides are ready to sit down and take the necessary steps to complete the procedure, then a divorce can be over and done with in about […] Read More

Hate Drama? Try Therapeutic Divorce

In Florida, you can get divorced without having to figure out whose fault it is…and you do not have to make it a blood sport. Florida is a “No-Fault” divorce state.  If the marriage is irretrievably broken, you do not have to figure out who broke it.  Furthermore, you can cut out the courtroom drama with a Therapeutic Divorce. Therapeutic Divorce does not mean keep getting divorced until you feel better.  The idea behind it is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details. One of the caveats of therapeutic divorce is that if the negotiations break down, none of the attorneys can continue to be used by the clients.  This eliminates any attorney incentive to keep the couple fighting for more money.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details, and also does not make public those details.  Because the process goes through mediation and not through the court, the dirty laundry is hampered from public view, another […] Read More

Bullet Points of Therapeutic Divorce

If marriage is a choice, divorce might be a necessity, but you can choose how you go about it.  You can go through the traditional courtroom drama, or choose Therapeutic Divorce (which can reduce time and expense). Therapeutic Divorce does not mean keep getting divorced until you feel better.  The idea behind it is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details. Here are the bullet points of advantages to Therapeutic Divorce: You negotiate the settlement (instead of having a Judge decide it for you). No public records—because Therapeutic Divorce goes through mediation and not the courtroom, your dirty laundry remains your private matter. The process does not have to be expensive or take a long time. If both sides are ready to sit down and take the necessary steps to complete the procedure, then it can be over and done within about a month.  Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your circumstances and your divorce options.   Read More

Therapeutic Divorce…Believe It Or Not!

According to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, the word ‘gift’ means ‘poison’ and ‘marriage’ in Swedish—depends on how you take it.  In Florida, we have Therapeutic Divorce, so your marriage does not have to be poison. Marriage can be difficult to take, and sometimes divorce is a necessary cure, but you do have a choice.  Therapeutic divorce offers an alternative to the traditional sense of “till death do us part.”  (It does not mean you keep getting divorced until you feel better.) Once the love is gone, it’s just math—therapeutic divorce upholds that statement.  The idea behind it is to work out the details while allowing both sides to continue to be good parents, good employees or employers, good at whatever it is that they are.  Therapeutic divorce is not a new concept, and there’s been a push for it in Florida. One of the caveats of therapeutic divorce is that if the negotiations break down, none of the attorneys can continue to be used by the clients.  This eliminates any attorney incentive to keep the couple fighting for more money.  It keeps the focus on the business of how best to deal with the details, and also does not […] Read More