Tag Archive for: Florida Statutes

Video: Alzheimer’s and Divorce

Recently, religious broadcaster Pat Roberson made controversial comments regarding whether a person should divorce a spouse with debilitating case of Alzheimer’s disease:

The fact is that a spouse may have an unimaginably difficult and deeply personal choice of how to handle this type of situation.  But it is a decision that Florida marital and family law has contemplated.

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Calculating Child Support: Net Income

In a previous post, I provided a list of items which would be considered gross income for child support or alimony purposes.  Florida law does allow some deductions to that gross amount prior to calculating a child support obligation.  These deductions include the following: Read more

What is Considered “Income” for Alimony and Child Support Purposes?

In a Florida family law case that involves a claim for alimony or child support, one of the most important preliminary considerations is how much income each party has.  In child support cases, each party’s income gets plugged into a formula that tells us what the law presumes is the correct amount of child support.  In alimony cases, the income of each party is important to help determine whether one spouse has the need for support and the other spouse has the ability to pay support.

You should keep in mind that the term “income” in family law cases is defined differently than how the term is used in the Federal Tax Code or in other situations.  Section 61.046, Florida Statutes (2011), defines “income” for family law purposes as follows:

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Text of Changes to the Alimony Statute

On July 1, 2011, changes to section 61.08, Florida Statutes (the “Alimony Statute”) went into effect.  These changes narrow the circumstances under which permanent, periodic alimony will be awarded.  Below you will find the affected portions of the Alimony Statute, with the new language underlined:

61.08 Alimony.—

(2)        In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance under subsections (5)-(8), the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

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Father Flees Florida With Child; Faces Charges of Felony Interference With Custody of Child

News-Press.com out of Fort Meyers, Florida, is reporting that a father faces felony charges of interference with custody of a minor child after fleeing the state and hiding his child in Michigan.

The child’s father and mother had been divorced since May of 2010, and the father was exercising his regularly scheduled time-sharing with his child.  However, instead of returning the child to the mother at the end of his time-sharing schedule, the father simply left Florida without telling the mother where he or the child were going or when they would be back.  The Lee County Sheriff’s Office then obtained a warrant for the father’s arrest.

A charge of interference with custody of a minor child is based on section 787.03, Florida Statutes.  Below is the text of this statute:

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Section 61.538, Florida Statutes

Role of state attorney.—

(1)In a case arising under this part or involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the state attorney may take any lawful action, including resort to a proceeding under ss. 61.524-61.540 or any other available civil proceeding, to locate a child, obtain the return of a child, or enforce a child custody determination, if there is:

(a)An existing child custody determination;

(b)A request to do so from a court in a pending child custody proceeding;

(c)A reasonable belief that a criminal statute has been violated; or

(d)A reasonable belief that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

(2)A state attorney acting under this section acts on behalf of the court and may not represent any party.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.542, Florida Statutes

Transitional provision.—

A motion or other request for relief made in a child custody proceeding or to enforce a child custody determination that was commenced before the effective date of this part is governed by the law in effect at the time the motion or other request was made.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.541, Florida Statutes

Application and construction.—

In applying and construing this part, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.540, Florida Statutes

Costs and expenses.—

The court may assess against the nonprevailing party all direct expenses and costs incurred by the state attorney and law enforcement officers under s. 61.538 or s. 61.539 so long as the court has personal jurisdiction over the nonprevailing party.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.539, Florida Statutes

Role of law enforcement officers.—

At the request of a state attorney acting under s. 61.538, a law enforcement officer may take any lawful action reasonably necessary to locate a child or a party and assist a state attorney with responsibilities under s. 61.538.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.