We discussed in other blog articles how child-support is calculated in Florida. Basically, Child SUpport is an algebra formula that takes into consideration both parents and, childcare costs, healthcare costs, and the number of overnights that each parent legally has pursuant to a court order. One of the elements that gets litigated, or comes into question when we are trying to figure out child-support is what exactly each person's income is. When people own their own business, work multiple jobs, or have sources of income that are not standard W-2 employee salaries or hourly wages, figuring out what someone's income is to get challenging. One of the places that gets confusing is one of the parents is receiving SSI or SSDI.
How to get full Custody of their children is a topic of conversation I have multiple times each week with unmarried moms who want to know their rights. This article is intended to educate these moms. Before I get started, please note that the world of family law is VERY fact specific. It is important that you contact a lawyer for advice. If you are in Broward County, or Miami Dade County, we would be happy to provide you a free consultation on these issues.
Many people seek to eliminate alimony in prenuptial agreements and many pre-nuptial agreement do state that no alimony will be owed and or that bother parties waive any right to alimony. That said, the law is still evolving in this area and there is case law indicating that a provision limiting alimony is subject to judicial review. This means that a Judge may award alimony despite any agreement stating otherwise. The cases which have discussed this are Posner v. Posner, 233 So.2d 381, 385-86 (Fla.1970) ("Posner I ") (an antenuptial agreement settling alimony rights is subject to increase or decrease under changed conditions as provided in section 61.14, Florida Statutes, as the parties are assumed to have known of the existence of the statute when they made their agreement); Posner v. Posner, 257 So.2d 530, 534 (Fla.1972) ("Posner II ") ("a change in circumstances of the party since the date of the agreement can be considered by the [Court] in modification of support and alimony provided for in an [pre-nuptial] agreement").
Advice to Women as to the Alimony Bill which will likely take effect July 1, 2013
Under Florida Statute 744.301 a Mother of a child born out of wedlock (unmarried) is the natural guardian of the child. As such, she has ALL of the rights to that child. NOTHING changes this as a fact for unmarried dads EXCEPT filing a Petition for Paternity and requesting that the Court grants you Parental Responsibility (decision making rights) and Timesharing ("custody"). The name of the Petition - Petition for Paternity - is confusing. It leads dad's - and moms - to believe that it is related to DNA testing or who the biological dad is. This is not an accurate understanding - we simply call "custody" actions for unmarried couples "paternity actions".