Who gets the dog or cat in a Florida divorce?

Many people value their pet as they do their own children.  Hence, during a divorce, the custody of a pet can become a source of debate between the parties.  However, some question as to whether a court can provide or even enforce an order addressing the custody of a pet in a divorce case.  In Florida, there is no law that addresses the custody of a pet however, courts typically categorize and divorce them in a divorce matter as they would any other type of property.  

Specifically, Florida law dictates that property is subject to equitable distribution, which means that the property or pet in question will need to be identified as either separate or marital property.  If the pet was obtained by a single spouse before the marriage took place, it may be asserted that it should remain with him or her post-divorce. However, the other spouse may claim that marital funds were used to support the needs of a pet and therefore, it should be considered marital property.  If it is determined that the pet is marital property, then the court will attempt to equitably “divide” the pet.  Most often, the judge is likely to award one the beloved pet to one of the spouses, which can be very painful for the other spouse to endure.  The good news is that the parties can develop an agreement that allows each spouse to spend a certain amount of time with the pet, which may include the times in which the pet will be with each partner, the manner of exchange, and the determination as to who will cover the pet’s expenses.

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

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High net worth divorce attorney in Orlando, Florida

Being financially secure is one of the main concerns when pursuing a divorce in Florida.  If you and your spouse shared certain assets and liabilities for a certain period of time, it may be overwhelming to consider what your financial status will look like after a divorce.  This financial uncertainty commonly results in spouses considering whether they are entitled to receive spousal support, also known as alimony.  

In Florida, there is no specific formula by which spousal support is calculated as with child support.  Rather, the court must first determine whether there is a need and an ability to pay.  This standard is rather ambiguous and showing a need for spousal support can be a complicated process. Notwithstanding, the first and most important step is to complete a financial affidavit, which lists all of your monthly expenses, income, liabilities and assets.  Each party must individually provide for this information and attest to its accuracy within forty five days of service of the initial petition for dissolution.  It is important that you keep this information current during your divorce proceeding, as you may find out that your needs have changed as you contemplate the additional expenses and loss of potential income that comes with a divorce.  

Overall, the need for spousal support is typically found when there is a deficit between the income of a spouse and the expenses. The larger this deficit, the more likely you have a case for spousal support. However, you must establish that the other spouse can support this need.  If their financial affidavit is complete, you can analyze it to determine whether there is a deficit or surplus.  If there is a surplus, then you would likely meet the threshold of need and ability to pay.

Regardless of whether a financial affidavit demonstrates a surplus or deficit, the court is afforded broad discretion when ascertaining the needs and ability to pay of each partner.  For example, evidence of infidelity, age of each party, length of the marriage, health of each party, earning capacity and income of each partner, standard of living established during the marriage, and contribution to the marriage are all relevant when determining spousal support. 

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

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Contact Orlando Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary

Under Florida law, a parenting plan is necessary in all cases involving the timesharing of a minor child.  Hence, even if you and your spouse agree on all custodial issues, this agreement must be provided for in a formal parenting plan and given to the court for final approval.  However, some people underestimate what details are needed in this plan as well as all items that must be addressed therein. 

Florida Statutes Section 61.13, states that a parenting plan must include, without limitation, the time-sharing schedule that provides for the time that the child will spend with each parent, who will be responsible for health care, school related matters, and other activities, and how each parent will communicate with the child.  Overall, the document not only provides for the decisions and care of the child but also the interactions between the parents and each parent with the child.  Therefore, it plays a significant role in a child’s life and should be as detailed as possible.

Accordingly, the parents may choose to include additional details in the parenting plan which address their unique circumstances.  Hence, if certain details are important to you and your child such as health care, religion, education, etc., it is critical that they are included in the parenting plan.  It is also important to include details of visitation as to certain dates and events that may be important to the child, including holidays, birthdays, and other important dates.  

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

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Child Support Lawyer in Orlando Florida

A common concern of those who have been a stay at home parent is if they are able to continue in this role once their divorce case has been finalized. Nearly 20% of parents fulfill the stay at home parent role.  For a party to a marriage that stayed at home, he or she may have been out of work for a significant period of time, or he or she may not wish to obtain a job outside of the home.  In this view, they may be worried that they will be unable to support themselves financially once the divorce case is complete.  

In Florida, spousal support, also known as alimony, is awarded on a case-by-case basis after a consideration of a party’s needs and the other party’s ability to support their needs.  When a spouse has been a stay at home parent, he or she has been absent from the workforce, which is why it is clear why they would have a deficit between their income and necessary expenses.   With such a deficit, the court may find that there is an apparent need for spousal support.  However, the court must also establish that the other party has the means necessary to support this need.

If this initial threshold has been met, the court will then examine a number of different factors provided in Florida Statutes Section 61.08 which include the following:  the length of the marriage, the standard of living established, the age and health of the parties, earning capacities, and contribution of each individual to the marriage, which includes child care and homemaking.  

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

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Orlando Alimony Lawyer

Without a prenuptial agreement providing for the terms of spousal support upon divorce, individuals need to contemplate the potential for paying alimony to their spouses. Under Florida Statutes Section 61.08, there are four types of alimony in Florida, which include:

  • Bridge-the-gap alimony – this is awarded to provide one spouse with support to enable him or her to transition from being married to being single.  It is payable to a spouse for legitimate, identifiable, short-term needs and may not exceed two years.
  • Rehabilitative alimony – this is awarded to help one spouse establish the ability to support themselves through the redevelopment of education, skills, work experience or training.  This is to be part of a specific and defined plan and is not intended to be a long-term obligation.
  • Durational alimony – this is awarded to a spouse when permanent alimony is unwarranted, given the specific set of circumstances.  This is paid to provide one spouse with economic assistance for a certain period of time following a marriage.
  • Permanent alimony – this is awarded to provide for the necessities and needs of life as they were established during a marriage to a spouse who does not have the financial ability to meet their needs following a divorce.  This type of support is typically awarded in cases involving long-term marriages (seventeen years or more). It is typically not appropriate in short-term marriages (less than seven years) and will be awarded only in a certain number of limited circumstances. 

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

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Child Support Lawyer in Orlando Florida

If you share a child with your former spouse, your parenting plan provides the guidance by which to direct the interactions between you and your coparent as well as between you and your child.  Hence, when this plan is violated, it can majority disrupt your life as well as the life of your child.  A violation of a parenting plan may come in various forms however, the most common is when one parents fails to adhere to the timesharing portion of the plan.  For examples, a parent may intentionally be late for a planned exchange, refuse to allow the child to communicate with the other parents, and continuously change the schedule.  Each of these can be in violation of a parenting plan, and additionally, may be harmful to the wellbeing of your child.  

The State of Florida has a clear stance on shared parenting, which believes that there needs to be active involvement of each parent in their child’s life.  This is why is one parent violates a parenting plan, it is considered very serious.  In this view, the compliant parent may work with an attorney to file a Motion for Contempt and Enforcement, which provides the court with the parenting plan, the facts surrounding the violations, and the remedies that are being pursued.  Keep in mind that the court does not allow a person to engage in self-help in terms of seeing compliance with the parenting plan (for instance, a party cannot withhold the child or child support payments in order to force the non-compliant spouse to follow the parenting plan).

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

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Orlando Female Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary

A common concern for divorcing spouses is the ability for each to afford a divorce and to be financially independent from their spouse.  There are many details of a divorce case that consider the income of each spouse, such as spousal support, equitable division, and child support.  Hence, it is highly recommended that you and your spouse accurately provide details as to your respective incomes.  

One of the key details to consider regarding the calculation of income is the difference between your gross and net income.  In a divorce case, the court is considers an individual’s net income, as provided in more detail below.  This includes your gross income minus deductions that are allowed per statutory law.  For instance, this net amount is provided on your tax return and can provide you with an accurate gross income along with each deduction to determine the proper net income amount.

However, if you need to perform a present calculation of your net income during a divorce case, which is highly recommended, you must determine your gross income. This includes anything that provides you with a source of monetary benefit. Under Florida law, gross income includes any form of salary, bonuses, hourly wages, overtime pay, commissions, or tips received by a parent, whether employed outside of the home, self-employed or contracted.  Benefits received from worker’s compensation, pensions, annuities, disability, or social security are also included as income for purposes of a Florida divorce case. Income also includes rental income, spousal support payments, interest, royalties, dividends, trusts, or any other type of gain or reimbursement.  

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

Google Maps / Cell Phone Directions |  Email Us

High net worth divorce attorney in Orlando, Florida

When undergoing a divorce, there is likely a concern as to how to handle the marital home, should this apply in your case.  Many people feel that when they are divorcing, that there are only two options available when dealing with the marital home – one spouse retains the home or the house must be sold.  However, there are a variety of things to think about when choosing to divide a home.  For example, these are contingent upon whether there is a financial encumbrance of the home.  If the home has no mortgage, which vastly decreases the spouse’s monthly expenses, which in turn decreases other financial needs such as spousal support while increasing the value of the asset.  Hence, if you believe you will be required to pay spousal support, you may choose to offer your spouse to remain in the marital home so as to decrease their monthly expenses and decrease the amount of spousal support that you will have to pay.  

Conversely, if the home does have a mortgage, the couple should think about the balance of the mortgage in comparison to the value of the house. If the value of the home is less than the outstanding mortgage balance, then there will be no proceeds available to split between the parties and they will owe an outstanding debt that must be paid.  Furthermore, in the event of a mortgage balance and you wish to keep the home, you will need to determine whether you will be able to support the payments and upkeep of the home without financial assistance by your spouse.  If not, then you should consider selling the home.

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

Google Maps / Cell Phone Directions |  Email Us

Contact Orlando Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary

Many people scoff at the thought of a prenuptial agreement, which is associated with many less than positive thoughts and feelings. Specifically, they believe that a prenuptial agreement means that they will likely get divorced.  However, research provides that the manner in which each spouse views a prenuptial agreement is actually a more consistent factor in a couple’s ability to stay married. 

Pursuant to research examining marriages, one consistent factor that can predict a couple’s likelihood of divorce is how each individual views marriage and divorce and the role of a prenuptial agreement.   For example, if your partner believes that marriage is for the long haul that requires work each day, and that divorce is the last resort, they are more likely to look upon a prenuptial agreement in a more favorable light.  However, if divorce is viewed as a method of resolving conflict and that a marriage is simply a title that can easily be removed, they may view a prenuptial agreement as something that should provide a detailed guideline for their divorce.  

In light of the above, it is important for both partners to share the same ideas on these topics, which is critical to the development of a prenuptial agreement and ultimately your marriage.  That is why it is highly recommended that the above topics are discussed with your partner before the marriage takes place, as even the slightest difference of opinion in the early stage of your relationship may become a point of contention later on.

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801

Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

Google Maps / Cell Phone Directions |  Email Us

Orlando Divorce Attorney

If you are facing a divorce matter, you may be faced with a discovery tactic known as a deposition.  These are conducted by your attorney as well as your spouse’s attorney, where testimony is provided by experts, witnesses, or the parties, under oath. This tool is documented by a court reporter, and may be used later in court.  The purpose of a deposition is to obtain additional details that relate to your divorce case.  Keep in mind however, depositions can be time consuming and may significantly increase your costs.  This is why some question the necessity of depositions in divorce cases.

There are a number of instances where almost everyone would admit that depositions are necessary.  This includes where a party did not fully disclose all relevant information through other discovery means such as requests for production or interrogatories. As noted above, you are placed under oath during a deposition, and the party being deposed must answer every question.  Attorneys may raise objections where the court will rule on them later on, however, each party subject to a deposition must respond to the questions being asked of them.  

Another reason why a deposition may be necessary is when there are several experts with differing opinions.  For example, if one party is stating that he or she is unable to work, or there are questions as to what is in a child’s best interest, each spouse can rely on experts to testify as to their respective positions.  Overall, a deposition allows your lawyer to obtain a full picture of the qualifications and analysis of each expert in order to prepare for trial. 

Call the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary P.A. Today

We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard,and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 1-888-640-2999.

Beryl Thompson-McClary

350 N Orange Ave., Suite #2300
Orlando, Florida 32801
Tel: 1-888-640-2999
Open: 8 AM to 5 PM or by appointment

Google Maps / Cell Phone Directions |  Email Us