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Miami Divorce Law Blog

What are the main benefits of a prenuptial agreement?

Believe it or not, prenuptial agreements can often prevent future conflict between married couples if drafted carefully. This is probably one of the top benefits of putting these documents into place. When approached with thoughtfulness on the part of each spouse, they can go a long way towards preventing problems. A prenuptial agreement can also offer a predetermined solution if conflict does occur.

Good prenuptial agreements create specific terms regarding the property rights of each spouse. Commonly-known for their use by the wealthy, prenups can also protect average citizens and are not just for those with great wealth. Here are a few of the benefits a prenuptial agreement can offer to married couples:

Protection from domestic violence through attorney representation

Domestic violence can take many forms, each of them causing life-changing damage to the victim. Some abusive behaviors result in physical damage, which is bad enough on its own. However, other forms of abuse cause even more insidious damage to victims by altering how they view themselves. Typically, this results in low self-esteem, chronic anxiety, depression and other symptoms.

The term domestic violence means any type of abusive or violent behaviors perpetrated on a person in a domestic situation. For example if a husband or wife assaults or intimidates his or her spouse, this is domestic violence. Alternatively, if a domestic partner emotionally abuses the other partner, this is also domestic violence.

Experts say children should pick their own homes

When you go into a child custody battle, you may think that it's you against your spouse; you want the child to live with you, while your spouse wants the child to live with him or her. You are prepared to fight for your rights as a parent, and you're probably thinking about ways to show that you would provide a better home than your spouse-who will soon be your ex.

While it's understandable to think of it this way, many experts agree that this ignores the most important person in the discussion: the child. They say that it's actually best for children to decide where they are going to live on their own.

How is domestic violence defined?

Many people may think that a severe physical assault has to occur for an incident to be considered domestic violence. While it is true that these types of situations occur, there are other behaviors and actions that can also fall under Florida's domestic violence laws. Understanding how domestic violence is defined and dealt with in the state of Florida is an important first step for both victims and those who stand accused.

The relationship between the two parties is one of the most important factors when it comes to determining if an incident qualifies as domestic violence. In Florida, domestic violence can occur between spouses, ex-spouses, parents who are not and have never been married, and relatives by blood or marriage.

4 questions to ask when deciding who gets the apartment

If you and your spouse live in an apartment in Florida, who gets to keep the apartment becomes a crucial point in the divorce process. This is especially true in areas where it's hard to find new apartments and where the property values have been constantly going up. To determine what rights you may have to it, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Did you live in the apartment prior to the marriage? If you lived there alone, it may not count as marital property and you may be able to claim that you alone should get it, as it's yours and does not belong to your spouse. You just let him or her live there.

What kind of resources exist for parents paying child support?

While it can often seem like there are many more agencies and organizations set up to help parents collect child support, there are also several resources that can help those paying. The Florida Department of Revenue is responsible for child support within the state. This department offers services for both those paying and receiving child support.

Some of the resources available specifically to those paying child support in the state of Florida from this department include helping you establish paternity, modifying support orders and making payment arrangements. Establishing paternity is the most important of these if you are a father not married to the mother of your child as a support order cannot go forward until paternity is established.

It can help to think of marriage like a business

Most people don't think of marriage the same way that they think of running a business, primarily because of the involvement of love and related emotions. People think of business in a very professional sense, and it can even come across as cold and calculating. This isn't the way that they want to look at a marriage, which is supposed to be one of the happiest times of their lives.

While the reasons for this seem clear, it's worth noting that many professionals actually say that it's very wise to look at marriage the same way you would look at business matters, seeing as how a marriage contract is a legally binding document.

Does a rapist have any parental rights?

Whether or not a rapist has any automatic parental rights or is able to petition the courts for custody or visitation is a state and not a federal matter. While this may change in the future — as this is one area where legislation is often proposed — for now, Florida does allow for a rapists parental rights to be terminated at the request of the child's mother. Understanding what the law allows for and everything that may come up during the termination process is an important part of being prepared.While some states have laws that only allow for the termination of a rapist's parental rights in part, Florida's guidelines allow for all rights to be terminated. There also does not have to be a conviction for the rape on record for the termination.

The burden of proof is just "clear and convincing evidence" that the rape occurred and the child resulted from that rape. This can be a bit of a gray area and is just one part of the process where an attorney can be of great help in helping you understand what you will need to provide the courts.

Financial tips for domestic violence victims

If you've been victimized by domestic violence in Florida and you're trying to move forward with your life, these tips can help. They all relate to finances, which can be rather problematic when breaking off a relationship.

1. Learn about the community resources that you can use. In some cases, there are shelters where you can stay, places to get meals, benefits that can be paid out, emergency assistance funds and the like. If money is tight, these resources can help tremendously.

Is it possible to get custody after a same-sex divorce?

With same-sex marriage now legal across the United States, LGBT parents are finding that divorcing can create some unique issues. One of the main areas is the problem of who gets custody of the children when the couple divorces because both are not biological parents of the child.

LGBT couples use a variety of avenues to have children, ranging from adoption to a sperm or egg donor and in vitro fertilization. While it's not something the parties are usually thinking about at the time, which method the couple uses can have a serious impact on the custody case later on.

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From our law offices in Miami, Florida, we represent clients in North Miami, Miami-Dade County and throughout the South Beach area.

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