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Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Law Blog

Complications with art collections in a divorce

Division of property in some Florida divorces can be complex. For example, some couples may have art collections to split, and this could lead to complications in determining the value of the collection and who purchased the artwork. Others may have prenuptial agreements, but if they do not specifically address the art collection, these complications could remain.

In one divorce case, a woman who was a trustee for two major art museums and her husband, a real estate developer, owned works by Rothko, Warhol and other major artists. However, appraisals of the collection estimated its value from $1 billion to hundreds of millions dollar less. Furthermore, despite the woman's position in the art world, her husband claimed to have paid for at least some of the art.

Shared parenting on the rise in child custody agreements

In 2016, Florida became one of several states that passed a bill that would designate equal parenting time the default in child custody plans. However, the governor vetoed the bill. Despite this failure to get the bill passed, shared parenting is a growing trend throughout the country. However, some legal associations and women's groups oppose legislation, arguing that it may reduce protections for women from domestic abuse. They also say laws may reduce the likelihood that mothers will receive child support, which is an important tool for reducing income inequity between men and women.

The legislation and shared parenting, in general, has had support from fathers' rights groups that oppose the traditional model of divorced parents, where the father has a small amount of visitation time with the children, who live with their mother most of the time. Studies across 15 countries show that children benefit emotionally, physically and behaviorally from shared parenting situations. However, opponents of legislation argue that these studies are based on situations in which the parents get along and that in those situations, there is typically shared parenting without the need for legislation.

Company sues Mel Gibson's ex in child support-related dispute

Florida fans of actor Mel Gibson may be aware that he has a child by his former partner, Oksana Grigorieva. She had hired a forensic accounting firm to investigate Gibson and get an increase in her child support payments to more than $22,000 monthly for their daughter.

However, Grigorieva filed for bankruptcy in 2015 before hiring the company. The company alleges that since she hired them after the filing, she must pay it the full fee. Gibson has paid the bulk of it, but there is an outstanding balance of more than $108,000.

How to sell a home during a divorce

Some estranged Florida couples might need to sell their home before their marriage legally comes to an end. One real estate website found that this is the case in almost two-thirds of divorces. Selling a home can be stressful at the best of times, but during a divorce it may be particularly difficult. However, there are steps a couple can take to make the process go more smoothly.

The couple should choose an agent they are comfortable with and who is sympathetic to the emotional difficulty of the situation. The couple should discuss their responsibilities and goals for the sale with the agent. However, it may be best for only one spouse to handle communications with the agent after this point. This person can also communicate back to the other spouse. Neither spouse should try to get the agent to take sides or try to involve the agent in their personal turmoil.

What are your rights as a Florida dad?

As a Florida father, you know how important it is to maintain to a strong relationship with your children. However, there are times when it can be difficult to do so, especially if you are not married to the mother of your children or there is a dispute about paternity.

You would be wise to know your rights as a father. The first step in protecting yourself can be to make the effort to know your entitlements then fight for your rightful role in the life of your kids. It may take time and legal guidance, but you can pursue your rightful role as a present, active and loving father.

What to do when a co-parent is a narcissist

Florida residents with a narcissistic ex-spouse might have to deal with how that person's actions affect their children. They can respond with unconditional love and support, and eventually, their children will probably understand that the other parent was not truthful with them. People in this situation should make sure they have documentation of a child custody agreement because they may need to turn to law enforcement for help in maintaining it.

One woman's narcissistic ex-spouse informed her over email that their children no longer wanted to come to her house because they were afraid of her. Initially, she brushed this off with the assumption that he was reacting to an upcoming court action about his failure to pay support. However, he went on to tell several parties, including child protective services and the children's school, that she was abusing the children.

Kodak Black ordered to pay child support to Florida woman

Rap star Kodak Black was recently ordered to pay a Florida woman $4,200 per month in child support for the son that they share. The order ends a lengthy battle over child support during which the woman claimed that Black was hiding a portion of his income.

Black and the woman have been embroiled in a child support battle over the 2-year-old boy. The woman alleged that Black was being dishonest about the amount of money that he made and asked the court to jail him for allegedly failing to disclose his financial information to her. The court named Black as the father of the baby in its order. He will be required to pay $4,200 until his son turns 18. In addition, the court ordered Black to pay for the boy's medical insurance as well as any dental and medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.

Advantages of refinancing a mortgage after marriage

It may be a good idea for Florida residents and other individuals who are getting a divorce to either sell their homes or refinance their mortgages. Failing to account for a mortgage in a divorce may hurt a person's credit score. A lender doesn't care if a marriage has ended when it comes to getting the money it is owed. A lender can still come after a person listed on a loan until it is paid off or refinanced.

Refinancing a mortgage may provide flexibility as it relates to a person's finances. For instance, it may make it possible to convert a loan with an adjustable rate to one with a fixed rate. This may be advantageous because interest rates can rise in the future. Cashing out equity also may make it easier to pay bills or consolidate debt at a lower interest rate.

Celebrities to head back to court in ongoing child support battle

In Florida, reports indicate that American actress and television personality Jodie Sweetin may be prepared to contest ex-husband Morty Coyle's petition for more child support. Sweetin reportedly filed an income and expense declaration to the Superior Court of Los Angeles on Nov. 8 in advance of a Nov. 16 court date. That hearing has since been rescheduled for Dec. 15.

According to media sources, Coyle, who wants additional support for child care, claims that Sweetin's annual income is $700,000. However, the court documents show that the 35-year-old actress's gross income was $437,349 in 2016. Sweetin's monthly income of $43,614 includes $31,614 in self-employment income and $12,000 in wages. Sweetin reportedly has $15,262 in total monthly expenses with the balance of $28,352 in discretionary income.

The purpose of supervised visitation

During some divorce and custody cases, courts must make decisions about which parent will watch over the children and how visitation time will be divided. While most parents are able to work out a custody plan that works for their family, some cases are brought to a judge. In Florida, there is no presumption that parents should share joint custody.

In some cases, a judge will order that the non-custodial parent should have supervised visitation. The point of supervised visitation is to make sure that the non-custodial parent is able to see their child in a structured environment under observation by another individual such as a social worker or a family member. Judges generally order supervised visitation when there is a question about the parent's fitness. For example, allegations of domestic violence or substance abuse could lead to supervised visitation.

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