Child Support

The Reality Of Equal Time Sharing

As the law stands today, equal time sharing is not presumed to be in the best interests of the children in all situations. I will however state that it is becoming the norm, rather than the exception. It is believed that frequent contact with both parents will result in better adjusted child. Of course, every case is different and as such, it is difficult to have a set rule for all cases. Parent’s work schedules, travel schedules and locations should be considered. A parent who must leave for work prior to a minor child having to wake up for school, could present a problem. A parent who does not have a set schedule such as pilots or firefighters also require some planning. Parents who choose to live a distance apart can also complicate the situation. Of course, the other factor which is always considered is child support and how equal time sharing affects the monthly amount to be paid. Child Support in Florida is based upon several factors, one of which is the number of overnights a minor child spends with each parent. An equal time-sharing schedule will result in a reduced amount of support, since it is presumed that each parent will have significant “out of pocket” expenses if each has an equal amount of time with the child. This concept of equal time sharing has existed for several years now. I have recently met with prospective clients who seem to share the same issue. A parent has equal time sharing pursuant to their Parenting Plan, but in reality, the parent is not actually exercising his/her 50%. The...

Basic Issues Of Divorce

It seems that DIVORCE is often misunderstood.  Unfortunately everyone seems to know someone who is either going through a divorce or has been divorced.  Everyone has heard various “horror stories” about someone’s divorce case.  Many people who come to my office for a consultation are lost or confused as to what may lie ahead.  A common question is “how do I start this?”  Even though every case is obviously different from the next, most cases deal with the same general issues one might encounter in a divorce.  I thought it might be helpful to briefly touch upon each one of these.  1. Equitable Distribution: This is the principle by which assets accumulated and debts incurred during the marriage are divided. In most cases the division will be an equal division of both assets and debts.  This however is not always true.  Florida Statutes allows a Judge to consider various factors in determining the possibility of an unequal distribution.  In addition, non marital assets (assets owned prior to the marriage or received from a source unconnected with the marriage; such as an inheritance) will not be divided unless these assets were co-mingled with marital assets or gifted to the other spouse. 2. Alimony: Alimony is not an issue in every case.  There are a number of factors which must be considered in addressing alimony.  There are several different kinds of alimony which are contained within the law.  The one most people think of is “permanent alimony”, which is a sum of money paid on a monthly income until death or remarriage by the receiving spouse.  This is based upon, among...