When Should We Tell Our Kids We're Getting Divorced?

Posted on Thu, Jan 31, 2013

“When and how can you break such devastating news about divorce to an impressionable child?  Here are some notes on how to handle the situation tactfully.

If you are going through divorce in Daytona, and attorneys are being called and consulted on a regular basis, it can be a trying time for everyone involved. As if divorce isn't soul wrenching enough for us sentimental guys, once we realize the effect it can have on our children, it's devastating.  Therefore, it's important that you have a strategy and a plan in mind when it's time to break the news. Improvising this sort of thing is a bad idea and can make matters even worse if your child senses confusion, inappropriate happiness, excessive guilt and so on.  Straight off the bat, it's important to make time to discuss this with your children and to deliver the news well before you separate from your spouse.
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Evading Service of Process and Venue

Posted on Wed, Jan 30, 2013

Caselaw reflects that evasion of process tends to be used as justification for using alternatives to personal service pursuant to Florida Statutes 48.031.  To establish evasion of process and move on to other means of service, a deputy or process server must affirmatively identify that the person to be served is in the residence while they are attempting service.  Cullimore v. Barnett Bank of Jacksonville, 386 So. 2d 894 (1DCA).  

Hearing noises inside a house is insufficient evidence to establish evasion of service if there is no evidence to show that the process server or deputy knows the person to be served, or another person over the age of fifteen who resides at the residence, is inside.  Id.   No found cases where evading service was directly linked to establishing proper venue.  However, equitable estoppel under Florida Statutes 47.122 has been held to apply to venue decisions.  Triad Discount Buying Services, Inc. v. Special Data Processing Corporation, 761 So. 2d 1181 (4DCA).  Where one party is ready to file suit and is delayed by deliberate tactics of the opposing party  so that the other party may effect service first and  establish venue, transfer of venue is proper in the interest of justice.  Id.

By Kenny Leigh

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Kenny Leigh and Associates Chief Operating Officer - Stephen Chesney

Posted on Wed, Jan 30, 2013

Sometimes in a family law matter, it is extremely beneficial to have a forensic accountant on your side.  Our firm’s Chief Financial Officer, Stephen Chesney, is just that person.  Whether it is a spouse trying to hide money or an alimony or business evaluation, Mr. Chesney can research, analyze and search for money from all different angles.  Frequently, there needs to be an accounting done for a potential child support arrearage or a child support credit.  The same is the case with alimony.  Our Chief Financial Officer can analyze all of the financial issues in any type of family law matter. 
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Enforcement of Divorce Decree and Final Order

Posted on Sun, Jan 27, 2013

Enforcement of a divorce decree, or any other final order in family law, is by a motion for contempt.  If a parent is not allowing the proper timesharing, or restricting it in any way, a motion for contempt is used to stop this.  If a court finds that a parent is guilty of unreasonably interrupting visitation or time-sharing or contact, a court could make the offending party pay attorneys fees or even put the person in jail.  Another little known power the court has is to make the offending party do public service such as feed the homeless or pick up trash on the side of the road.  If the interruption in contact is significant and consistent enough, a court can even change full custody through a contempt proceeding.  For more information on child custody and enforcement of divorce decree contact our attorneys in Jacksonville, Fleming Island, Daytona or Gainesville, Florida.

By Kenny Leigh

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What Are the Actual Facts on Divorce Rates?

Posted on Mon, Jan 21, 2013

“Curious about how the US is fairing against the rest of the world in terms of divorce rates? What about the old 50/50 rule?  Find out some interesting information on divorce statistics.”

If you're living in Daytona and divorce attorney-searching for answers to legal questions, then this statistical report might be of interest to you.  You've probably heard that divorce rates are as high as 50% in America.  However, have you actually studied divorce statistics for 2012?  Doing so will give you an interesting glimpse into our society, that of our neighbors, and a world view.

For instance, the highest divorce rate in the world is actually in Russia, followed by Belarus, the Ukraine, Moldova and the Cayman Islands.  The United States had the highest divorce rate for an English world power, as the UK wasn't even ranked on the top 10.

The latest developments indicate that the overall rate of divorce dropped in 2012—perhaps we were all waiting to see if the world truly ended?  The US's much reported “50/50” chance of a marriage working out is not entirely accurate—it really depends on the demographic one is analyzing.  According to the Americans for Divorce Reform the actual percentage of failed marriages is closer to 40% or slightly higher in the US.  There are also major differences when analyzing different age groups.  For instance, women under the age of 20 have a 27% rate of divorce, while men have an 11.7% rate.  However, 36.6% of women divorce by age 20-24, whereas only 8.5% of women ages 30-34 divorce—at least according to the latest 2011 and 2012 figures.

The divorce rate also increases for second and third marriages, as 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, as shown by data compiled by the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

What about the baby band-aid solution, aka choosing to not get divorced because of the children?  It's still a fact, as couples with children tend to have lower rate of divorce than childless couples.  Some researchers go so far as to say that childless marriages can actually cause divorce, as the absence of children leads to loneliness and boredom faster.  Statistically speaking, they may have something there since 66% of all divorces are coming from childless couples.

Lastly, what about the overall population?  As of 2011 and 2012, an estimated 68.8% of the population in the US is married while 65% are single, 59.7% are divorced and 55.9% are currently legally separated.  Overall, at least for the time being, the happily married folks are still the higher population.

Fortunately, there are laws in Daytona and throughout the US that can protect men from outlandish divorce settlements.  If you are looking for legal advice, don't hesitate to contact a Daytona attorney and ask about your options.

By Kenny Leigh

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Questions You Should Ask Before Getting a Divorce

Posted on Wed, Jan 16, 2013

“Before making an impulsive decision it is important to think about the future and the past.  Ask yourself some serious questions about love, marriage and passion before you say 'I don't.'”

Have you really thought a divorce through...or is this going to to be a Homer Simpson “D'oh!” moment years later, when you reflect?  In marriage, it's so easy to make rash or even hasty decisions when we're angry.  However, a man can often underestimate or lose focus of the real things that matter in life when he is emotional or feeling stressed.

And sure, sometimes a man just makes a huge mistake and marries the Mrs. Wrong.  The bottom line is only you can decide if you made a mistake and if divorce is the best answer, or if this is indeed just a troubled year, and you really do want to make things work with your spouse.  Before announcing any plans to divorce, and seeking a Daytona attorney, and before fantasizing about your new life as a single man, be sure to consider all of the details.  For example:

Some Tough Questions to Consider

1. Is it just about sex or are you incompatible in everything else?

It's quite common to become bored sexually and to suffer from a lack of chemical attraction—the stuff that was so fun during dating.  However, your sex life can probably be repaired, and besides, some relationships survive sexual woes year after year.  Ask yourself if your imminent divorce is just about sex or is it everything else?

2. Are you still friends?

One of the surest signs of imminent divorce is if you truly have no friendly feelings left for your spouse, and vice versa.  A marriage is not built on excitement and passion, but on companionship, on shared interests and on mutual respect.  If you are not able to talk to your mate honestly, enjoy life together and enjoy the human experience then it is likely the friendship is dead, and the marriage is a skeleton.

3. Have you become a prisoner in your own home?

This doesn't merely apply to abusive relationships, but also relationships in which you are truly unhappy—just going through the motions and completely miserable in life.  This is not normal, and a sad state of affairs.  Of course, there is a big difference between being bored occasionally and dreading your life, as if you were a “prisoner” stuck in a bad marriage.  Remember, there is always downtime with every partner you're ever going to meet.  You don't want constant excitement in life...you want a partner that appreciates all of your moods, just as you appreciate all of her quirks.  Marriage should be about inner peace and sometimes even beautiful quiet; and if you don't have that then maybe it's time to ask some hard questions.

4. Do you share any passions?

We're not talking about passion or lust, but life passion.  The most in-love couples tend to do things together, to have shared values and common interests.  These aren't just hobbies but life pursuits.  The closer you match your spouse, the better you will get along.  A lack of sexual passion is one thing...a lack of life passion is something far more importance.

5. How much do you miss things?

And by things, we mean “familiarity”...routines...and the “stuff” that has defined your marriage.  This is not merely a materialistic outlook (although, yes, you should consider how much stuff and cash you're going to lose before you think of filing) but a lifestyle issue, and perhaps even a sentimental issue.  What about losing your comfortable lifestyle?  What about losing your nostalgic collectibles or beloved family pets?  Sometimes in a blaze of anger or passion, we forget to think about the “stuff”- the little things in life that do make us happy.

For more information on divorce law, settlements and financial obligations, talk to a Daytona attorney and get the facts.

By Kenny Leigh

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Newly Divorced and Dating

Posted on Sun, Jan 13, 2013

“How can you get your 'groove' back when you are divorced and ready to date?  For starters, make sure you're really ready and aren't moving on too soon!”

While it's always easy to fantasize about being single again...it's quite a different thing to actually go out and date.  Even as a middle aged or young man, full of testosterone and virility, you may start to feel shy or even inadequate when you're going out there and once again looking for love.  This time, things may be different.  Maybe you've undergone some major physical changes.  Maybe you have a lot of emotional baggage to drag behind you.
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Is Alimony Taxable?

Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013

“Is alimony tax-deductible?  The answer may surprise you, especially if you're feeling frustrated over all that lost income.”

It's what every divorced man wonders, as he is driven to much frustration year in and year out, as alimony payments never seem to stop coming.  And sure, it's hard to like the idea of forced alimony, since unlike child support that money is not really going towards your extended family or towards your future investment.  Let's consider this issue from the point of view of a Daytona attorney.

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How to Prepare for the Divorce Process

Posted on Sun, Jan 06, 2013

“Nothing in school readies you for how to prepare for the divorce process.  However, here is a little guy to guy advice on the best course of action to take.”

Divorce—they never teach you this stuff in school!  And yet this is the sort of thing that can destroy your life instantly.  The key to living through divorce and not letting it eat you from the inside out is to prepare for the event, the legal aspects, the financial aspects and the emotional aspects that will be hard.
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Am I Liable for my Child's Car Accident?

Posted on Tue, Jan 01, 2013

“Be careful when you give Junior your car.  Parents can be held accountable for auto accidents in some cases.”

What's a father's worst fear?  Let's see...how about his son or daughter dating for the first time?  Or maybe retiring a few years too early?  Nah, a father's absolute worst fear is being held accountable for his child's crazy driving!  And of the reasons this is such a legitimate fear is that in some cases, a parent may be held legally accountable for a child's auto accidents and all related damages and injuries.
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