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Lakeland Family Law Blog

Get an attorney who understands military divorce

You and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. It is okay -- it happens to a lot of couples in Florida and elsewhere. There is light at the end of the tunnel; you can get through it. If you or your spouse is a member of the armed forces, you may find some aspects of divorce a little different than a traditional marital dissolution. Getting an attorney who gets military divorce may help. 

In many ways, military divorce is just like traditional divorce. Couples have to figure out who gets to keeps what, custody arrangements and financial support -- if applicable. This they can do through private negotiations, mediation or litigation. How is military divorce different, then? 

Charitable contributions follow Heard's high asset divorce

Some Florida readers will remember the highly contentious divorce between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The couple made headlines amid accusations of domestic violence and blackmail. After a brief period of very public turmoil, the parties reached a settlement in their high asset divorce. After multiple accusations that she was trying to profit from her brief marriage, Amber Heard announced that she would be donating the proceeds from her settlement to charity. 

That seems to be the case after the Children's Hospital Los Angeles recently released a list of donors who gave more than $1 million in 2017. Amber Heard's name was on that list, although the exact amount of her contribution remains unknown. Heard has also worked as a volunteer at the hospital, and pledged to use her divorce proceeds to assist charities that support and assist children and victims of domestic violence. 

Is bird nesting a viable option for you?

Some people adapt to change quite easily. As a member of the U.S. military, you are likely used to rearranging your schedule or changing situations on a dime. The ability to quickly adapt to unexpected change may come in handy as you help your children through divorce. While you've already explained to your kids that some things will change, you also want to try to help them maintain a sense of routine and structure in their daily lives, also common attributes of military life.

You understand that children fare best when disruption is kept to a bare minimum. Some Florida parents determine that the best way to achieve this goal is to create a bird nesting plan with their former spouse. This type of co-parenting allows kids to stay in their same house while parents develop a rotating schedule and take turns living with them.

Child custody case focuses on rights of Florida Native tribe

From time to time, a custody fight involving a Native American tribe makes headlines across the nation. Tribes have their own courts and law enforcement, but their jurisdiction is strictly limited to tribal lands. When a child custody fight involves a child of Native American descent, a legal battle sometimes erupts between parties, tribal courts and state courts. An example is found in a current case in Kendall, Florida.

A member of the Miccosukee tribe recently gave birth to a baby girl. While still in the hospital, tribal law enforcement officers brought in a court order granting custody of the newborn to her maternal grandmother. The officers were accompanied by officers from the Miami-Dade County Police Department, and hospital officials complied with the order, allowing the newborn to be removed from her mother's care. 

Facebook could play a central role in a military divorce

According to family law attorneys, Facebook is becoming an almost standard part of many Florida divorce cases. The social media site is nothing less than a gold mine of information about a spouse's social connections, whereabouts and spending habits. Facebook is also, sadly, the beginning of many affairs, leading to many military divorce cases.

Most people are unaware that Facebook tracks and stores virtually everything that is posted, linked or liked. That includes private messaging and things that users delete from their accounts. While a divorce court may not be focused on the graphic details of an extramarital affair, issues related to how that affair was supported can certainly become a focus. 

Florida parents lose child custody of baby through tribal court

A custody battle is never a simple or easy thing to navigate. For one Florida couple, however, their child custody struggle is even more distressing than the norm. The couple lost custody of their infant daughter just days after her birth, based on a tribal court proceeding that they were unaware was even taking place. 

The maternal grandmother did not want the child's father to be involved in the child's life. The reasons for that position are unclear. She approached a Miccosukee tribal court to gain custody, and authorities went to the hospital and removed the infant against the wishes of both parents. They claim that there was no paperwork provided to show the basis or validity of that action. 

Husband of television actress seeking alimony

When a Florida couple decides to file for divorce, financial decisions are usually some of the most contentious topics. If spousal support, also known as alimony, comes into play, the discussions between the former couple may tend to become slightly more heated. This would be true for most couples, regardless of their jobs or financial status. It is certainly the case for one celebrity couple in another state.

Julie Bowen, one of the stars of the ABC comedy, Modern Family, had filed for divorce from her husband, Scott Phillips, in Feb. 2018. Recently, Phillips, a real estate developer, has asked for spousal support from Bowen. Court documents show that Phillips has also requested joint physical and legal custody of the couple's children. They have three sons together, one 10-year-old and twins who are 8 years old.

Have your assets gone missing in divorce?

In a perfect world, spouses who decide to divorce would always be able to do so in a swift, amicable manner. In reality, more times than not, various problems or disagreements arise in divorce that cause a delayed settlement. If you are well aware of your rights and also what options may be available in a particular situation to help you resolve a problem issue, you may be able to get things back on track before they get too out of hand.

Are you currently facing a problem where you suspect something is not right regarding assets to which you believe you'll have rightful ownership when the court conducts property division proceedings? If you think your spouse is up to no good and may be trying to keep certain assets from becoming subject to division, you would definitely not be the first person in Florida to encounter such obstacles in divorce. This type of behavior is illegal and there are definite steps you can take to protect your rights.

The role of art in a high asset divorce

Many wealthy couples purchase art, expensive furnishings or other one-of-a-kind items during their marriage. In fact, art is often viewed as a way to not only establish one's position in the highest levels of society, but also as a means of sheltering money from taxes. When a Florida couple is headed for a high asset divorce, art can also serve as a vehicle for concealing wealth.

In many cases, only one spouse is actively involved in amassing the couple's art collection. Families with homes outside of the United States could have various works of art spread in locations around the globe. That can make it difficult to create a thorough accounting of all family assets. In fact, unscrupulous spouses looking to shield assets from property division may have intentionally invested significant wealth into art for that very purpose.

Spousal support alone cannot help build a retirement fund

A significant number of divorces in Florida involve stay-at-home parents who typically lose their financial independence and have minimal opportunity to build retirement funds. Even if the other spouse is ordered to pay spousal support, the amount is generally based on living expenses. Alimony is often limited to a specific period to allow that person to prepare for re-entry into the job market.

Many divorcing spouses are unaware of the Social Security benefit to which they will be entitled. The government recognizes parents who give up paying jobs to take round-the-clock care of their families, despite financial losses. A divorced spouse is entitled to 50 percent of the ex-spouse's retirement fund at the age of 65 to 67 years. Full retirement age depends on the year of birth, but a reduced amount may be drawn at the earlier age of 62.

Law Office of Amanda Salcido
206 Easton Drive
Suite 206
Lakeland, FL 33803

Phone: 863-266-4122
Fax: 863-680-2641
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Attorney Amanda Salcido has served her country as a member of the U.S. Army JAG Corp for more than 10 years. Her military experience spans over twenty years. Ms. Salcido provides professional legal guidance for service members and non-service members alike.

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