Discovery in a family law case can be voluminous. An attorney can ask for anything. Well, not exactly anything. The discovery request must lead to relevant admissible evidence. There are so many times that I have had a client come to me and can’t understand why the opposing party is asking for something. And if I tell the client that the opposing party is allowed to ask that, then all of a sudden the client gets mad at me for not being aggressive enough. We certainly fight for every inch that we can. When representing men and in family law, our firm truly believes that you need to be over prepared and over aggressive. But when it comes to discovery most fighting is simply unnecessary and only benefits the attorneys by enabling them (us) to charge for fighting.
Many people believe that there is only one form of alimony. They think you have to pay alimony for the rest of your life if you get a divorce. That is not true. There are many forms of alimony. There is permanent alimony, which I consider to be the worst. That is alimony that continues until the other person remarries or until there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as differences in income or cohabitation, etc. Another form of alimony is rehabilitative alimony. This is alimony that comes with a plan. Basically the spouse of the payee has to do something. Whether it be needing time to finish a college degree, nursing degree or just get on their feet.
Grandparents’ rights in the state of Florida is a somewhat tricky matter. There is language in the law that allows for grandparents’ rights and visitation and even custody, but many times people believe that grandparents have more rights than they actually do. Many years ago, there was a statute that actually gave grandparents visitation. It simply stated in a divorce or if one parent was dead the deceased child’s parents could seek visitation of their offspring. Basically, the Supreme Court of Florida knocked that down saying that parents had a right to raise their own children, and grandparents do not have a right to interfere with the raising of your children. Think about it, it does make sense. It was ruled unconstitutional. Let’s say you had a falling out with your parent, do you want that parent to be able to petition the court to see your children against your will? So it completely makes sense that grandparents’ rights are limited.
When preparing alimony agreements, one must be very careful with the language. The language in any type of agreement does not have to be overly intelligent. Many times lawyers like to use big words and Latin phrases to try to prove how smart they are. Any alimony agreement, or any legal agreement for that matter, needs to be extremely clear and unambiguous by any reader. The more words to clear things up, the better. I like even giving examples sometimes of what I mean when I prepare an agreement. Sometimes lawyers like to act too smart and it actually can come back to haunt them by leaving a lot of grey area in an agreement.