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Santa Rosa Beach Law Blog

Divorce, bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative alimony

In a Florida divorce, whether it is a high conflict divorce, a high asset divorce or has other circumstances surrounding it, the topic of alimony - also referred to as spousal support - will come to the forefront. Both parties will have reasonable positions on how much should be paid, how long payments should last, and if there should be conditions linked to the payments. While there are many factors in the discussion, two subsets of alimony are bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative. Understanding how these are determined is key to a case for the prospective paying party and the receiving party.

With bridge-the-gap alimony, the description is apt. It is meant to help the person who is receiving alimony to transition to their new life as a single person and meet their financial needs. It is for assistance with the short-term issues associated with no longer living with a breadwinner. With bridge-the-gap, there is a time limit of two years. When bridge-the-gap is awarded, it will end if the paying party dies or if the person who is receiving support remarries. This award cannot be modified in any way by the amount of time for which it is paid for its amount.

What rights do you have during corrupt HOA dealings?

Properly zoned, planned and organized neighborhoods benefit residents greatly. There is much to be said about uniform enforcement of appearance standards and maintenance requirements. They can help contribute to overall property values. They can also make it simple for people to know the standards for any given community.

Homeowners associations (HOAs) often serve as an intermediary between individuals and the rest of their community. People who live in an HOA community will pay monthly fees to the association. In return, the HOA will set and maintain standards for the whole community. They may also maintain certain communal amenities, such as playground, community pools or shared spaces.

Durable powers of attorney can be beneficial to Floridians

When Floridians are crafting an estate plan, they will frequently consider the basic and obvious devices like wills and trusts. For many, however, there are other concerns that they want to address. That includes what will happen if they have medical issues, become incapacitated or are on life support as the only means to keep them alive and they cannot make decisions on their own. It is in these cases that durable powers of attorney can be useful.

Understanding state law in relation to these arrangements is a foundational part of the decision-making process as to whether it is necessary and desirable or not. With the durable power of attorney, a surrogate will be named to determine if the person - the principal - should stay on life support. This is often used as part of a person's living will. When the durable power of attorney is created, to be valid it must be signed with two adult witnesses.

Real estate litigation centers around bond deal for country club

Florida real estate is lucrative and complex. When developers are seeking to build, expand or reconstruct a property, there are often concerns on the part of current residents of the specific area where the work is to take place. Construction disputes, disagreements over how the sale is handled, reluctance over the role of the state government and more can result in the need for real estate litigation. For people who are embroiled in this situation, a law firm that handles cases related to real estate can help.

A lawsuit has been filed to stop a referendum over a bond issue to purchase a country club. One homeowner has filed the case. The man is asking that the court prevent the referendum from moving forward and to stop the purchase from being closed until it is decided whether the sale is of fair-market value. The lawsuit asserts that an appraiser who did not have a valid license inflated the assessment of the property. It also says there was pressure, harassment and owners were misled so they would agree to sign petitions that would support the new district.

Assistance navigating a high-asset divorce

Florida is a state where many people of significant means like to congregate. This is no surprise given the agreeable climate, abundant outdoor activities and lavish homes for them to choose from. However, a state that has so many people who are wealthy will also have its share of divorces. A high asset divorce must be handled differently than one of more modest means. A major part of that is having legal help to go through the assets and property that are part of a high asset divorce and to seek a fair settlement. When facing the litany of issues in such a case, having legal assistance is a must.

With a high asset divorce, there is a good chance that it will also become a high conflict divorce with the parties in dispute over residences, jewelry, automobiles, bank accounts and more. Often, there is a business at stake and both sides either want part of it or they want to be compensated based on its worth. If there are children in the marriage, the parties will likely battle over custody and visitation. Once that is determined, they will then disagree about how much support will be paid to the custodial parent. This too requires qualified legal advice.

After divorce, written agreements help with back child arrears

After a Florida divorce, child support is a hot-button issue that affects many couples as well as their children. If it was a high conflict divorce, the likelihood is that the parting of the ways will not eliminate all the issues that were evident when the divorce took place. That can sometimes impact child support and lead to disagreements, including the failure on the part of the supporting parent to make the child support payments on time and in full.

Although there are many viable reasons why a supporting parent might fall behind on the child support, it still must be paid. Rather than deal with the penalties that the state can use to compel the parent to pay, such as a driver license suspension, the suspension of a professional license, passport denial and more, it could be beneficial for the supporting parent to sign a written agreement. Understanding the written agreement and how it is useful is imperative before signing.

How Florida law differs from most others regarding last wills

The Sunshine State remains one of the most popular destinations for retirees from all over the United States. Florida's warm, humid climate can drastically improve the quality of life for those suffering from the pains of aging, such as arthritis.

Additionally, Florida has many active retirement communities and activities for older adults looking to divert themselves during retirement. From golfing to aquatic adventure opportunities, there are many benefits to moving to Florida for one's golden years. However, those who stay in Florida until they die may encounter an unexpected complication.

What should I know about a Florida living will?

Floridians who are vigilant about their estate planning needs will want to cover all the bases as efficiently as possible. For many, that includes detailing how they want any potential end-of-life issues handled. This is where a living will is important. Many will understand the basics of estate planning with wills, trusts, asset protection and more. They might not understand what a living will is and, more critically, what it does. Knowing the law for this is a key factor in having a fully comprehensive document that addresses the person's goals. Also essential is legal assistance.

The living will states such requests as how the person wants his or her medical care handled if, for example, it is necessary that they have artificial life-support. Some do not want that and this can be stated in the document. This is not a "will," per se. However, it allows the person's desires to be adhered to if these circumstances arise. Knowing the basic elements of a living will can help in deciding on how it should be formulated.

How does a court decide on questions of alimony?

When a Florida marriage ends, one spouse will often seek spousal support, also referred to as alimony, as part of the case. This is true whether it is a high asset divorce or a divorce of more modest means. Simply because there is a request on the part of one spouse to receive alimony does not mean it must be a high conflict divorce. However, even while some cases are relatively amicable and one spouse does not have a major issue paying alimony to the other, there are many cases where the situation is contentious and a dispute is likely. No matter what, knowing what factors will be considered is something everyone should understand.

The court will make factual assessments regarding the need for alimony and the other party's ability to pay. Once it is decided that there is the need and the ability to pay, there are many factors that will go into how much it will be. The marriage will have had a certain standard at which the couple lived. That must be maintained when determining alimony. The length of the marriage will be a factor. The spouses' ages and their physical and mental conditions will be weighed.

Top Florida Insurance Firm and Northwest Litigation Firm Partner to Help Victims of Hurricane Michael

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Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle on October 10, 2018 as a Category 4 - the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the continental US since 1992. The total estimate of insured losses has reached $3.4 Billion and 125,356 insurance claims have already been filed. According to a recent report, less than 60% of them have been closed.

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