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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

Google Maps / Cell Phone Directions |  Email Us

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

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

Orlando Female Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary

No matter your income or assets, divorce is a stressful event. But having a high net worth can make the proceedings more complicated, as you try to divide large assets and decide how to settle potential alimony. Knowing Florida’s laws will help you understand the things you need to consider.

Florida’s General Rules During Divorce

Florida follows the law of “equitable distribution,” meaning divorce courts in the state will sort out which property is marital and nonmarital and then divide the marital property according to what is most fair for both spouses. Understanding which property is marital will go a long way in helping you determine what you will need to divide with your spouse.

According to Florida law, marital property includes: 

  1. Assets acquired during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them;
  2. The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both;
  3. Interspousal gifts during the marriage; and 
  4. All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs. 

Conversely, nonmarital assets are those acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage or as the result of a gift or inheritance to only one spouse. Income derived from nonmarital assets is likewise a nonmarital asset. In addition to these rules, spouses can agree in writing to what assets are marital and nonmarital, usually through a prenuptial agreement.

Division of Assets in Florida Divorces

Once you have figured out which assets are marital and thus subject to division, you need to consider the kinds of assets you will have to divide. It is very important for both spouses to be completely forthcoming and transparent during this phase, identifying all their various assets to which the other might be entitled. You do not want to hide anything or find out you have been fooled. 

Some basic questions to ask yourself are: Do you have a business or are you a shareholder in a business? Do you have primary and secondary residences and vehicles? Do you have retirement benefits, a pension, stock options? 

All of these things, if acquired or accumulated during the marriage, will need to be sorted out. The first step you will need to take in accomplishing that is obtaining a valuation on each asset. This is most commonly accomplished by hiring a forensic certified public accountant or appraiser to analyze your assets and assign values to them. 

For instance, in valuing a business, a forensic CPA would examine the following aspects of the business:

  1. Size of the business
  2. Nature of the business
  3. Properties owned by the business
  4. Financial records
  5. Business accounts
  6. Business reputation and good will

After investigating all relevant business information, the CPA will arrive at the value of the business by using either a fair market valuation (based on what an everyday buyer might offer in a sale) or an investment valuation (based on what a knowledgeable industry buyer might offer in a sale). The CPA can rely predominately on the business’ present income, its potential for future earnings, the value of comparable business, and/or a straight calculation of the business’ assets minus its liabilities. 

When you have values assigned to your assets, you will then need to decide whether to split your interests in the assets, liquidate the assets, or arrange for one spouse to take the assets with some kind of cash or property offset going to the other spouse. 

Payment of Alimony

In the absence of a prenuptial agreement as to maintenance upon divorce, high net worth individuals need to consider the potential for paying alimony to their spouses. Florida has a statute specifically devoted to the subject of alimony (61.08) that states a court can award either spouse to pay any of four kinds of alimony:

  1. Bridge-the-gap alimony – Bridge-the-gap alimony is awarded to assist one spouse by providing support to allow him or her to make a transition from being married to being single. It is paid for the purpose of legitimate, identifiable short-term needs and may not exceed two years in duration.
  • Rehabilitative alimony – Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to assist one spouse in establishing the capacity for self-support through redevelopment of skills, education, training, or work experience. It must be part of a specific and defined plan and is intended to be short-term in nature.
  • Durational alimony – Durational alimony is awarded when permanent alimony might not be appropriate. It is paid to provide one spouse with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage. 
  • Permanent alimony – Permanent alimony is awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a spouse who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a divorce. Permanent alimony is generally reserved for long-term marriages (17 years or longer) and will be awarded for short-term marriages (less than 7 years) only in exceptional circumstances. 

In considering whether one spouse needs to pay alimony to the other, the court will look at several aspects of the marriage, including:

  1. The duration of the marriage;
  2. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  3. Any infidelity in the marriage;
  4. The age and physical/emotional condition of each spouse;
  5. The financial resources of each party, including bothmarital and nonmarital assets;
  6. The earning capacity, education, vocational skills, and employability of each spouse;
  7. The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including homemaking services, child care, education, and career building of the other spouse;
  8. The responsibilities each spouse will bear with regard to any minor children;
  9. The tax treatment and consequences to both spouses of any alimony;
  10. All sources of income available to both spouses, including income from investments and assets.

In most circumstances, alimony payments are modifiable. However, bridge-the-gap alimony is never modifiable. Other types of alimony can be modified by the court based on changes in circumstances and whether the payments are being made according to the agreement. There are also tax implications to consider, both payments and deductions.

The Importance of Hiring Aggressive Counsel 

Because of all the complicated considerations involved in a high net worth divorce, it is critically important to retain a competent lawyer to help you arrive at the most favorable result. A skilled lawyer will be able to hire experts, conduct depositions, perform written discovery, and go to trial if necessary. You have worked hard for your assets, and you need the right attorney to help you protect them. 

If you are contemplating a divorce in Florida involving high-value assets, you need a knowledgeable divorce attorney like Beryl Thompson-McClary on your side. She has 28 years of litigation experience and is steadfastly dedicated to protecting what matters to her clients. Schedule a confidential consultation today at no cost to you by calling our Orlando office at (888) 640-2999.