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Spousal support basics in Florida

Spousal support can be a difficult issue to address during divorce as one spouse is usually seeking it and the other spouse may not want to pay it. Understanding how spousal support is awarded in Florida can help spouses on both sides prepare for the spousal support concerns during their divorce.

Spousal support is a payment made by one former spouse to the other. If one spouse was lower wage earning or non-wage earning, spousal support is intended to ensure they are not economically disadvantaged by the divorce or suffer as little economic disadvantage as possible as a result of the divorce. There are different types of spousal support, or alimony, available in Florida including rehabilitative alimony; bridge-the-gap alimony; permanent alimony; durational alimony; or lump-sum alimony.

3 factors the courts use to make custody decisions

The main question going through your head as your marriage ends is probably, "Who is going to get custody?" This concern may wrack your brain and drive you crazy. The possibility of your soon-to-be-ex getting sole custody may make you feel sad and angry.

While it is impossible to predict exactly how a custody case will turn out, it is helpful to know what the courts consider. According to Florida custody statutes, the court makes custody determinations based on the best interests and wellbeing of the child. Here are three factors that the court will take into consideration when making a decision: 

Understanding modification resources following divorce

Few things remain the same following a divorce as children grow and life moves on. Because of that reality, it is important to be familiar with the family law resources available to help with modifications related to a divorce as circumstances change and the need arises.

The family law process recognizes that modifications may be needed following a divorce related to child custody, child support or alimony and spousal support. In some circumstances divorce-related modifications may be possible following a final divorce settlement and child custody order, child support order or order for spousal support has been issued.

What is probate?

Because many estate planners want to avoid probate, it is important to be familiar with what probate is and the probate process. Though you have likely heard the term on many occasions, you may wonder what probate involves.

Probate is the process, supervised by the probate court, that handles the assets and liabilities of a person who has passed away. The probate process can involve any of a number of different aspects of estate administration including proving the validity of a will if it exists; selecting who will administer the estate such as an executor or representative; totaling assets in and out of the estate; paying any applicable estate taxes and other outstanding debts; identifying heirs and relatives; and distributing remaining assets to heirs according to a will or intestacy statute.

Common defenses to drunk driving charges

Drunk driving charges are serious. Even first-time defendants can face stiff fines, suspended driving privileges and, perhaps, time behind bars. The penalties get much harsher for repeat offenders. With all this at stake, it is important to be familiar with defense strategies. When facing drunk driving charges, there are two different types of defenses which fall into two separate categories.

Affirmative defenses include necessity, duress, entrapment, mistake of fact and involuntary intoxication. Accused individuals should be familiar with these defenses and whether they apply to their circumstances. It is important to note that if police fail to follow procedures required for the protection of accused individuals, or violate the rights of accused individuals, this may form the basis of a drunk driving defense.

Florida's man defense was he only drank alcohol when stopped

There are many defenses available to individuals charged with driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. However, one defense that will definitely not work is if a driver claims he or she only consumed alcohol when the vehicle was at a stop sign or red light. One Florida man, Earle Stevens Jr., learned that the hard way when he attempted to use that exact defense on June 27th, 2018. 

According to a police report, the cops pulled over Stevens, who is 69 years old, after a woman contacted the police. Allegedly, the woman said that Stevens ran into her car repeatedly when they were both stopped at a drive-thru. Police arrived at the scene, and according to the report, they found an open container of bourbon in the passenger seat. It was at this point the cops discovered Stevens did not have a valid driver's license. The officer asked Stevens if he drank any alcohol that day, and Stevens said he had about three drinks. 

Property division basics in Florida

Divorce can bring many concerns, among them is how property will be divided between the couple. It helps to understand how property is divided in Florida, so that divorcing spouses can better protect their interests when they are going through a divorce.

Property division involves sorting out how all the couple's assets and debts will be divided, including real estate, the family home, cars, home furnishings, banks accounts, retirement, liabilities and other property. In Florida, property is divided equitably, which means property is divided between the divorcing couple as fairly as possible. Unlike community property states, states that follow equitable property division attempt to divide property as fairly as possible, but this may not always be equally.

Know your options in family law court

No one in Florida looks forward to a family law court proceeding, but these can be some of the most important events in a person's life. From divorce and child support to paternity actions and child custody disputes, the decisions that are made in these proceedings can have a profound impact on a Florida resident's life.

That is why, no matter what type of issue you are facing, it is important to fully understand your options in family law court. For instance, a divorce can be a type of overarching proceeding that includes several subsets of issues, such as property division, child custody and child support. However, each of these issues is also interlinked as well. A person may make some concessions when it comes to property division to achieve the desired outcome when it comes to child support, for example.

What are the penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida?

Drunk driving is one of the most common criminal charges people face in Florida and throughout the country. Despite public awareness campaigns to alert people of the dangers of drunk driving, thousands of people in Florida are charged with this crime each year. And, the penalties that these individuals face upon conviction can be difficult to overcome.

So, what are the penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida? Well, it depends on the level of the crime that a person is charged with. For instance, the more "priors" that a person has, the higher the potential penalties can be. Or, the higher a person's blood alcohol content is alleged to be, the higher the potential penalties as well.

Boyfriend arrested after death of missing Florida park ranger

There are many people in Florida who may, rather suddenly, find themselves in need of a defense to criminal charges. Such is the case for a man who was taken into custody in Hamilton County recently, and the charges he might be facing are some of the worst anyone could face.

According to the reports, the boyfriend of a Florida park ranger was taken into custody as a "person of interest" in a case in which the park ranger was missing, and then found dead in Georgia. Although there has been no official report of the case being investigated as a homicide, law enforcement officials have announced that the circumstances of the park ranger's death are "suspicious." The park ranger's boyfriend is currently being held in police custody due to reported outstanding warrants from neighboring Georgia.

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