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Broward County Family Law Blog

NBA player seeks paternity test and sole custody of child

Legal resources exist to determine paternity and handle the important implications of paternity. If NBA Pacers' player, Paul George, is proven to be the father of a child through a paternity test, he plans to seek sole custody of the child. George has sought to move the proceedings to Florida.

Though a pre-birth paternity test was already performed, George has requested a second test now that the child is born. The mother of the child has also sought sole custody of the child because of the NBA player's travel schedule. George has cited his ability to provide for the child as one of the reasons he should receive sole custody.

Florida man jailed for alleged failure to pay child support

Child support may be a complex issue for many families, however, legal resources are available to help with both the collection and, when deemed necessary, modification of child support. A Florida man is facing charges in another state because he failed to pay $83,000 in child support. The man was placed in jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. The man was wanted on separate warrants in 2012 and 2013 and authorities say other proceedings are also pending in other courts. Several law enforcements agencies, as well as other agencies, collaborated to make the arrest.

The importance of paying required child support can be underscored by the penalties that can be faced for failure to pay child support. Penalties can include license suspension; denial of a passport; the withholding of tax refunds; garnishment of wages; and jail time in some circumstances. Child support enforcement options are plenty and consequences for failure to pay child support payments are serious.

When going through a divorce, keep calm and move forward

Divorce can sometimes be unquestionably hard but the divorcing couple has some control over managing the process. Divorce can be a difficult process emotionally and for other reasons as well. There are many things that an individual can do, however, to minimize the mental and emotional strain a divorce may sometimes present. Refusing to agree when settlement is an option can be detrimental to the process and the parties. It is best to determine in advance what a party can live with and stick with that. De-stressing with a simple break away from an individual's daily environment can help; this can also be useful for children involved in the divorce.

It is important once divorce is decided upon to regard it as an opportunity to start fresh and look forward to the future. Keeping these tips in mind can help a divorcing spouse through the divorce process and the various decisions and compromises it entails. Divorces include a variety of important considerations from property division to alimony, child support and child custody considerations.

Marc Anthony's child support payment increased

Child support modifications may be possible based on a variety of considerations. Singer Marc Anthony was recently ordered to pay his ex-wife $26,000 in child support each month. Anthony will be required to pay his ex-wife and former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres, $26,000 in child support each month which is an increase from the $13,400 he was previously paying. Torres had asked the court to increase the amount of child support she was receiving to $123,426 but that request was denied. Torres also noted for the court that she needs between $4,000 and $7,000 a month for a nanny and a housekeeper.

In seeking the child support modification, Torres argued that the couple was divorced over ten years ago and that her needs had change. The couple was married in 2000 and divorced in 2004 and has two sons, aged nine and thirteen. As part of the original divorce agreement, Torres received a home in Florida, two vehicles, a vacation budget and golf club membership.

T.V. comedian's divorce recently finalized

Courts focus on fairness when resolving divorce legal issues at the end of a marriage. Former Madtv star and comedian Aries Spears is in the divorce process with his wife of two years. According to the finalized divorce, Spears must purchase a home for his ex-wife in Florida that she chooses valued at between $300,000 and $375,000. Spears must also purchase a new Escalade equipped with backseat television screens for the couple's 4-year old son. According to documents, Spears makes $48,000 a month and must pay $5,000 a month in child support. Spears ex-wife was awarded full custody of the couple's child.

In Florida, equitable distribution rules are followed when dividing property between a divorcing couple. The goal of the property division process is the fair division of assets and this includes in high asset divorce situations. The end of a marriage can cause many strong emotions that can make the divorce process more difficult. By focusing on a division of assets that is fair, including in circumstances when one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the process may sometimes be resolved with fewer disputes.

Child custody myths sometimes complicate the process

Many Florida residents know that following a divorce, the idea of not seeing the couple's children all the time can be difficult. This can be made even more so if the divorcing parents believe some of the child custody myths parents sometimes may hear. Although the custody process can be adversarial because of the strong emotions involved, it does not have to be; too often divorcing parents listen to child custody war stories from others and may begin to prepare for the worst. Custody laws can vary state-to-state but there are certain child custody commonalities throughout the legal system.

In the past, mothers may have been favored in the child custody process. Because child custody is based on the best interests of the child and takes into account various factors, including who is the child's primary caretaker, changes in social norms and family structure have also led to changes in child custody arrangements. In determining who the child's primary caretaker is, the court will determine which parent primarily handles the meal planning and preparation for the child; the bathing, grooming and dressing responsibilities; purchases clothing and cares for the laundry; makes healthcare arrangements; teaches reading, writing and math skills; and fosters participation in extracurricular activities.

Florida man jailed for failure to make child support payments

It is important to take child support agreements seriously and involve the court early on if a parent is experiencing difficulty making monthly payments. A Florida man was recently jailed in another state for failure to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in support payments. The man is accused of failing to pay $452,000 in child and spousal support payments. The 51-year old man was recently charged, and jailed, for failure to pay required support payments. There is a separate federal case against the man for a failure to pay $160,000 in child support. According to federal authorities, the man purchased and developed property in Florida while failing to make required support payments. The man was jailed and a $25,000 bond was placed for his release.

Sometimes people may not realize how serious penalties for failure to pay child support can be. Penalties are not limited to wage garnishment and the withholding of tax refunds but can also include driver's license suspension; occupational and business license suspension; denial of a passport and jail time.

Florida child taken in child custody dispute and mother reunited

Armed with the knowledge of the family law process, child custody disputes do not have to be acrimonious.

A southern Florida girl that was abducted by her father during a child custody dispute was recently returned to her mother after five years. An anonymous tip led to the father and daughter living in Mexico. The girl was eight years old when her father, who had weekend visitation rights, took the girl from her mother, who had legal custody of the girl, during court-ordered visitation. At the time, a warrant was issued for the father for interference with custody. He was arrested without incident and awaits extradition on the warrant.

Gray divorces are a divorce trend in Florida and elsewhere

As discussed previously in this blog, so-called "gray divorces" are on the rise. For three southern Florida residents aged 50 to 60, having recently gone through divorces later in life, the new trend is personal. The divorce rate for those 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010. In 2010, around one in four divorces were between those 50 and older, while, in 1990, one in 10 divorces were between those 50 and older. Historically, the divorce rate for those 50 and older has dropped.

According to researchers, the marital patterns of baby boomers accounts for the spike in divorce between those over 50, this is now being followed by experts. Experts note that baby boomers view divorce differently, with less stigma, and are enjoying longer life spans. They are increasingly reluctant to spend in an unhappy marriage. Therapists and financial planners alike, however, have concerns about how older individuals being both alone and financially vulnerable can impact society. Concerns about retirement stability for adults divorcing later in life are significant.

Southern political candidate involved in paternity dispute

Florida's family law system helps to solve many practical issues residents encounter in their daily lives. The system can assist anyone, from everyday Floridians to those holding higher office. A candidate for county commission in a southern state is currently involved in a paternity lawsuit. The man brought the paternity action after a woman claimed he was the father of her child born in 2011. There has been controversy, however, over what led to the political candidate missing five scheduled paternity tests. The man originally brought the petition to determine paternity and require DNA tests for both he and the child.

In court documents, if he was the father, the political candidate was seeking legal and physical custody of the child and for the mother of child to pay child support. If that award of custody was not made, he requested equal parenting time. The mother of the child opposed the request and sought child support and past child support, as well as other expenses ranging from medical expenses to private school and college tuition. The woman has been receiving state aid while caring for the child.