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Sarasota Family Law Blog

How do grandparents get visitation rights?

Although you prefer your family to get along peacefully, there may be times when you realize you need legal aid to visit your grandchildren. In these circumstances, it is important to understand your rights as a grandparent in Florida.

For the most part, visitation with your grandchildren is something decided by you and your family. The Florida Legislature says that when your family disagrees about how often you should visit, it is your family's responsibility to find a solution which works for everyone. There may be times, though, when your family cannot reach an agreement by themselves. In this situation, seeking legal aid is usually a last resort. Instead, it is recommended that families seek a resolution by working with local mediation services.   

How relocation will affect your child custody

While most people in Florida would prefer post-marital arrangments to be completed once the judge declares them legally divorced, things can become more complicated when there are children involved. Child custody plans may be sufficient at the time of divorce, but can quickly become out-dated and incapable of handling your family's changing needs. This is especially true if jobs, relationships or other factors cause you to move away from your ex-spouse. We at The Law Office of Philip J. Schipani can help you determine how this move will affect your child custody plan and what you can do about it.

According to the Florida State Legislature, not every move will qualify as a relocation and require a change to your parenting plan. In order to be considered, your new residence must be at least 50 miles away from where you used to live and you should be planning to stay there for at least 60 consecutive days. If this is the case, you can submit a petition to relocate. 

Tips for preventing international child abduction amid divorce

If you have ever gone through a divorce, you probably know that it is rarely an easy process, but the transition into life on your own may prove far more difficult if you and your spouse were in an international relationship. International family law matters are difficult for many reasons, and this is due at least in part to the fact that there are often questions about what governing body has jurisdiction over such matters.

Depending on the specifics of your relationship and situation, you may have concerns about your partner taking your child to another country where you may not have the same legal recourse you might here in the United States. You may find it wise to take steps to prevent the abduction in the first place rather than figure out what to do after it occurs. Therefore, to reduce the chance that your child will be a victim of international child abduction, consider taking the following steps.

Mandatory mediation in Florida divorce cases

When couples enter the family law system in Florida, they have no choice but to agree to mediation. The Law Office of Philip J. Schipani understands mediation can be something you are not familiar with, so you may need guidance. The general idea here is to talk through your issues and come to an agreement in order to minimize the time you spend in court.

The Florida Courts explain there are three people who are the main participants of a mediation session. You, your spouse and the mediator, who is a neutral third-party. You may also have attorneys representing each of you. The mediator is there to facilitate the negotiations. He or she is not a judge and does not make rulings or suggestions.

Dividing artwork during divorce

Handling the division of property can be difficult in any divorce, but certain occupations and hobbies can make the process even more complicated. If you are an artist in Florida, you may find that determining ownership of your artwork is trickier than you imagined it would be. We at The Law Office of Philip J. Schipani can help you reach a fair and reasonable agreement during your divorce, even if that means splitting your artwork.

 

What can a postnuptial agreement accomplish?

If you are a husband or wife, you live in Florida and you did not create a prenuptial agreement before your marital union, you may find reason to create and sign a postnuptial agreement sometime during your marriage. Couples choose to do so for a myriad of reasons, and these legally binding agreements can accomplish any number of things based on a couple’s unique needs. 

Often, per ABC News, postnuptial agreements dictate agreements between you and your spouse about finances. Maybe this is your second or third marriage, and you want to make sure that your belongings and assets go to your children, and not your spouse, in the event of your death. A postnuptial agreement may, too, make stipulations as to how property acquired during your marriage gets divided when compared with property each of you had prior to marrying one another.

What needs to be included in your parenting plan

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce can be determining child custody. In most cases, you will need to present a parenting plan to the judge before you can have your custody arrangement approved. We at The Law Office of Philip J. Schipani can help you navigate the rules and restrictions that the Florida state courts have outlined when it comes to developing your parenting plan.

 

What can you do about parental alienation?

Divorce is notorious for custody battles. Parents fight over who gets the children, how often and when. More conflict arises over unexpected schedule changes, children who want to live with one parent and altered life circumstances.

Instead of cooperating to find a solution best for the children, some parents attempt to make their children hostile to the other parent. This behavior is called parental alienation or hostile aggressive parenting.

Are there ways to ensure being awarded custody?

Under Florida state law, both parents have equal rights to being awarded custody of their children in a divorce. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court will step in. In doing so, the court will look at some specific things to determine whether it is in the children's best interest to be placed with you or your spouse.

According to the Huffington Post, understanding what the court looks for can help you to put yourself in the better position, thereby making you the more likely choice to become the custodial parent. To begin with, you need to be involved in your children's lives. You should know their schedule and routine. You should know details, such as who their friends are and their doctor's name and the next scheduled appointment times. You should play an active enough role in their lives that teachers, friends' parents and doctors know who you are. Essentially, you should be considered the primary caretaker of the children who manages their daily lives.

Things you may not know about child support in Florida

Whether you have been ordered to pay child support or are on the receiving end, there are several things that you may not know about this program that could affect you and your family. We at The Law Office of Philip J. Schipani can not only help you fight for your rights while you are going through divorce, but can also provide education on the little-known details of Florida child support.

First, many people do not realize that they can determine their approximate monthly support payment before they ever step foot in court. The Florida State Legislature has a graph to help parents determine support amounts. You can find your monthly net income and coordinate it with the number of children you will be supporting to determine what your payments may be. The amount will be affected by the custody determinations or other factors, but you can get a general idea of what to e xpect.

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Law Office of Philip J. Schipani
1605 Main Street
Suite 608
Sarasota, FL 34236

Phone: 941-549-8981
Fax: 941-366-7331
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