A divorce is the most common method of ending a Florida marriage. What many Floridians do not understand is that some marriages are void at the beginning and are never valid in the eyes of the law. These marriages can be ended by annulment instead of divorce, that is, a legal ruling that one or both of the spouses did not have the lawful capacity or give proper consent to marry the other.
Many childless couples in our state turn to adoption to start a family. Adoptions entail many risks for both the adoptive parents and the child, but the process has brought enduring happiness to many people. Before embarking on the road to an adoption, a couple should understand the details of this family law process and the potential for both happiness and intense disappointment.
Most couples in Florida who are considering marriage have heard of prenuptial agreements. Once a rarity, these agreements are becoming more common as couples marrying for the second time, or more, want to protect their personal assets from an unfair property settlement in a divorce. Not surprisingly, a new kind of marital agreement is also becoming more popular - the "post-nuptial agreement."
One of the most widely used terms in Florida divorces involving minor children is the "best interests of the child." Courts use this broad, and not altogether specific, term to decide custody disputes, determine how much child support should be paid and other questions about the post-divorce status of the children. Any couple with minor children who may be contemplating a divorce should be familiar with the basic concepts that govern the best interests of the child.
In Florida, a child born to a man and woman who are married is conclusively believed to be the biological child of the man. Unfortunately, children who are born to women who are not married may not have a clear idea of the identity of their father. Without a determination of paternity, such children may live in poverty with their mother because the unknown father cannot be ordered to pay child support. In order to close this gap in the family welfare net, the state has established judicial procedures for determining the identity of a child's father.
In 2007, the Florida legislature passed the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The statute specifies the requirements necessary for a valid prenuptial agreement and provides guidance as to the subjects that can be included. While many people see a prenuptial agreement as antithetical to the concept of a loving marriage, a properly drafted agreement can reduce the anxiety of one or both spouses about financial matters and division of property from a prior marriage.
To most Floridians, the word "paternity" means a legal proceeding to determine whether a male is the biological father of a particular minor child. However, the same biological tests that are used to establish paternity can also be used to disestablish paternity, that is, that a male who has been ordered to pay child support is not the biological father of the child in question.
Most judges in Florida encourage divorcing couples to work out agreements on emotional issues such as child support and child custody. Unfortunately, some couples are unable to reach an agreement, and the dispute must be decided by the court. Understanding the factors that judges in Florida use in deciding child custody disputes can often help such couples set aside their differences and come to an agreement without going to court.
Although the idea of eloping may seem romantic, there are many aspects of marriage that require careful, long-term planning. For couples that desire spontaneity, yet also want some financial protections, a prenuptial agreement may be the perfect solution.
Many individuals may go through their entire lives without any issues regarding the identities of their children. However, you may find yourself in a situation where paternity does come into question, and if you hope to gain rights as a father, you may find the establishing of paternity of particular interest.