Pet Law is evolving in Florida but for now, pets are considered property in Florida. Because of this they are treated like any other property. Which means, if you are married, they will be allocated to one of you in the divorce just like the couch, or TV. If you are not married and you are living together and split you are going to have a whole lot of problems when you split because there is no real standard for splitting ANY assets, particularly pets. In the end we have no current pet law in place that allows for "shared custody", "visitation" or "pet support". There is no equivalent of child support for pets. But these are all things that you can contract with your partner for. You can enter into an agreement that determines a schedule for joint ownership, or that determines one owner to be the sole owner and also make provisions for payments of bills and costs if you are going to "share custody". It becomes an enforceable contract, like any other that you can pursue in Court if not followed. These are thing that Judges lack the ability to do in divorce court or civil court (in the event you are not married). Even if the dog is registered, or was purchased with papers, if you are married, and you purchased the pet during the marriage the pet is likely considered a marital asset and will be treated as joint property whether you are the "true" owner or not. Also, many people who treat their pets as family set up pet trust to provide for their pets needs after their death. This is critical as we see so many instances where pets end up in shelters after an owners death because relatives are unable to care for them. Solaris law group can help with Pet Law issue, including pet pre-nups and pet trusts. Call us for a free consult.
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.
There are several areas of law that have overlapping issues and various types of attorneys. As an example, if you and your significant other were to get into a physical altercation in front of your child, you would trigger several areas of law. It is very important to understand what kind of attorney you need so that you can find the right attorney for you.
Here are some tips for how YOU can help to keep your own attorney's fees low.
The appointment of a guardian ad litem should be considered if you are in the midst of a custody or family law matter, whether it is within a divorce, modification or paternity case, and there are allegations of drug use, neglect, unsafe living conditions, alcohol use or generally bad parenting. Guardian Ad Litems (GALS) are professional who job it is to investigate the facts and circumstances of a case and to report to the Court on what they perceive would be in the best interest of the child. The recommendation of the GAL is not binding upon the Court, but most judges weigh very heavily a GAL's opinion.
I have had several clients attempting to change the names of their children. It is usually the mother calling, trying to change the child's last name from the father's last name to the mother's last name. There are some issues in this area of family law that should be kept in mind.
New video blog on child support in Broward County Florida. Check it out ...
Mediation is required in most family law cases which involve children in Florida, including divorces. It is a process where the parties come together with the help of their attorneys (if they have attorneys) and a neutral 3rd person called a mediator. the purpose is to attempt to work out an agreement as to all or some of the issues. In most family cases mediation will come about 1/2 way through a case. As an attorney, I prefer to mediate earlier in cases, because, if parties are inclined to settle, settling early can decrease total attorney's fees, animosity between the parties and chaos in the family. It also provides valuable information on the case for both sides.
Reaching an agreement in a DOR Child Support case is no easy task. When a person, typically, but not always a mother, obtains assistance from the State of Florida in obtaining or enforcing child support she actually assigns her right of child support to the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR). Sometimes she does this voluntarily, meaning she contacts the State in hopes of getting them to assist her, and sometimes she gets their assistance whether she wants it or not. This happens when she attempts to get food stamps or cash assistance from the State of Florida, who, in return, says we will help but only if you allow us to go after the Father of the child for child support on your behalf. Sometimes the mother is aware that she has assigned her rights of child support and sometimes she is unaware of this fact.