Child Custody 101

The laws regarding child custody vary from state to state, but in Florida, child custody is determined by the courts through their analysis of what is in the best interests of the child in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Child custody laws in Florida help to determine which parent gets legal and physical custody. The parent with legal custody can make important decisions for the child such as educational, religious, or medical decisions. The parent with physical custody can decide where the child will live and makes day-to-day living decisions regarding the child.

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The “What If” of Alimony Reform

Supporters of Florida alimony reform contend that current alimony laws are old-fashioned and unfairly reward former spouses. These laws were written at a time when most women did not work outside the home, and they had little economic bargaining power.

The Alimony Reform Bill, sponsored by Representative Mitch Workman, R-Melbourne, and Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, would have eliminated permanent alimony. The bill also included a provision that would have capped alimony payments based on length of marriage. Although the bill would have eliminated permanent alimony, other forms such as bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational alimony would have remained available. Additionally, the bill would have allowed couples to retroactively renegotiate their divorce settlements to comply with the new caps.

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Disestablishing Paternity

What would you do if it turned out that you were not the biological father of a child that you had loved and financially supported for years? Well, you may be able to disestablish paternity and terminate all child support obligations under Florida law — if you want to.

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