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Child support enforced by Florida Department of Revenue

A government agency has policies in place to protect families, but is it working? The Florida Department of Revenue (FDR) Child Support Program exists to assist both custodial and noncustodial parents with child support payments. In a recent news story, some parents are saying that the department is not doing enough to help them get needed payments. 

The FDR reports that it has collected more than $1 billion in current and past-due child support, with a collection rate of over 80 percent, but that it is still tracking down $1.2 billion more in unpaid support payments. Some parents reported frustration with their co-parents dodging payments. The unpaid child support was because noncustodial parents simply would not work, or would even file fraudulent tax returns in order to avoid having them garnished by the state agency. 

A new look at divorce that allows for change

The beliefs that people hold can be so limiting. Even traditional structures should be examined from time to time to allow for adjustments based on new research and insight. Marriage and divorce are no exceptions to this rule. In Florida, and all around the country, the old ways of sticking with the same person, no matter the circumstances, are being revised in the face of new research and new ways of thinking. A recent news story shows the positive aspects of planning for the possibility of divorce. 

One therapist sees the benefit in moving away from the shame-based model of marriage, the concept that once people marry, they are in it for life. She cites the work of a Harvard psychologist who teaches that people do not anticipate how much they will change over the course of a decade. Allowing for the potential dissolution of a marriage shows empathy to one's future self and to one's partner. If a person feels safe to ask for what they need in the future if the circumstances change, they are more likely to live a happy life. 

Is Collaborative Divorce Right for Me?

Going through divorce is never easy, but some couples do not realize they have choices about how the process takes place. Litigation in court is not the only option. Collaborative law allows couples to reach their own divorce agreement through methods such as mediation. However, collaborative law is not the right choice for everyone.

Here are 4 conditions that could indicate a collaborative divorce is a good choice for you:

Handling an HSA during divorce may be confusing

Property division is one of the most challenging aspects of the dissolution of a marriage in Florida. This is the case no matter how many assets a couple may have. One asset that may cause confusion during the divorce process is the health savings account, or HSA.

An HSA is a custodial account that allows one to make a tax-deductible contribution that does not exceed a certain annual amount. The benefit of such an account is that it does not feature any income restrictions when it comes to making a contribution. This type of account is used in tandem with a high-deductible insurance plan for health care.

Children need help coping with divorce

In a marriage that is filled with discord, getting divorced can offer much-needed relief for both spouses and even for the children. Unfortunately, the process of getting divorced in Florida can still be emotionally traumatizing during the divorce proceeding and even for several years thereafter for the children. A couple of tips may be helpful for making a divorce proceeding easier for the children to endure.

In some cases, the children think that they are the ones responsible for their parents' divorce. These children would benefit from having their parents clear up this misconception. For instance, parents can provide the children with a clear reason for why they agreed to separate. Being patient with the children and reassuring them that both parents love them and will continue to love them after the divorce is paramount.

Uncovering hidden assets, debts important during divorce

Debt can be problematic in any marriage as well as when the marriage ends. However, in some divorce situations resulting from irreconcilable differences, one spouse may have never even known about the other party's debt. Either way, debt is a critical matter to address during a divorce proceeding in Florida.

During a divorce proceeding, debts are considered to be marital even if one spouse might not know about them. For instance, in extreme cases, one spouse may be unaware of a loan taken out by the other party, who had been leading a totally different lifestyle than anticipated. For this reason, scrutinizing debts carefully is important.

3 factors that go into child custody determinations

There is a reason why many people refer to child custody cases as battles: they typically involve two parents willing to do whatever they can to "win" parenting time with their child. However, custody is not about winning or losing; it is about protecting a child's best interests and securing a plan that allows a child to receive maximum love and support.

That being said, custody is not necessarily awarded to parents based on who serves the healthiest meals, makes the most money or attends to the most soccer games and band concerts. There are several factors used to determine custody. Below, we break them out into three different groups.

The Importance of Estate Planning

1220310-FI-002280730.jpgEstate planning is something everyone should do, regardless of income level. While it's something many like to avoid, it's important to have a plan in place to determine who will receive your assets after you die. The following list shows the reasons to consider estate planning:

Understanding Business Litigation

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When it comes to legal disputes, without the help of an attorney, it can be difficult to know what kind of disputes to look out for how they are handled. If you're curious about business litigation but aren't sure what kinds of cases might concern a business, here are three types to help you understand.

When to Hire a Divorce Attorney

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If you are looking into a divorce, you may wonder if hiring a divorce attorney is necessary. Perhaps you want to save money, or you think you and your spouse are amicable enough not to involve lawyers. However, the answer to when to hire a divorce attorney is almost always.

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