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Family Law Archives | Farah & Farah

What Is No Fault Divorce in Florida?

By armitchell on June 22, 2015

Jacksonville Family Law

There are a few states where fault matters in a divorce. Florida, however, is a “no fault” divorce state. This means that neither party needs a reason or excuse for wanting a divorce. All that has to happen is for one spouse to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This relieves the court of having to decide who is at fault and both spouses from having to discuss personal reasons for separating.

However, adultery can have an impact on a divorce on a number of other ways. For example, adultery can affect the following:

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Understanding Florida's Paternity Statutes

By armitchell on March 19, 2015

Florida Paternity Laws

When a child is born out of wedlock, it can lead to complex paternity issues. Paternity statutes in Florida help mothers prove who the father of their children is and help fathers claim parental rights. When a father’s name is not on a birth certificate, it is important to establish paternity in a timely manner. Otherwise, the child will not have a legal father.

In the state of Florida, a child does not have a legal father if the mother is not married at the time of birth. Legal paternity must be established for the child. In some cases, the father and mother can sign an acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital. When this does not happen, the process of determining paternity can become more complicated.

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We’ve Been Assigned a Parenting Coordinator: What Does That Mean?

By armitchell on September 22, 2014

Sometimes in contentious divorce cases where parents cannot agree on a parenting plan for their children, a family law court in Florida will assign a parenting coordinator to help a couple resolve disputes regarding parenting decisions.

A parenting plan is required for parents who are going to share joint legal custody of their children. The plan covers decisions in areas of visitation, vacation, education and other activities.

A parenting coordinator must be qualified under Florida state statute and is held to strict standards as to what their roles are. A parenting coordinator essentially is a neutral third-party that has been assigned to assist a couple in forming a parenting plan. All parent coordinators in Florida are Supreme Court Certified Mediators.

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Florida Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

By armitchell on July 21, 2014

In a previous blog, the family law attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville reported about a battle brewing in a Miami-Dade courthouse concerning the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Since the writing of that blog, a Monroe County judge has ruled Florida’s constitutional ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution and has ordered the Monroe County Clerk’s Office to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Although this ruling only affects Monroe County, many have touted this ruling as the “beginning of the end” of Florida’s gay marriage ban. The same-sex marriage ban was voted into the Florida state constitution in 2008.

Chief Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia stated, “The court is aware that a majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country’s proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority.” Read the rest »

Posted in: Family Law

Things Heating Up In Florida Gay Marriage Battle

By armitchell on July 7, 2014

Both pro and anti-gay marriage advocates gathered at a Miami-Dade Courthouse where a lawsuit brought by gay couples is attempting to overturn Florida’s same-sex marriage ban that was voted into the state constitution in 2008.

Attorneys for the same-sex couples claim that the ban is discriminatory and violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. An attorney representing six of the same-sex couples that brought the suit asked the judge to throw out the ban, claiming that it makes same-sex couples second-class citizens.

“It’s the right of a person to choose who they love and who they make their future with,” the attorney told the court.

The State of Florida has taken the position that recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act gave states sole power to define marriage. The State contends that the citizens of Florida voted that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman and the federal government should respect that vote. Read the rest »

Posted in: Family Law

Same Sex Couple’s Divorce May Challenge Florida’s Ban on Gay Marriage

By armitchell on April 21, 2014

The divorce attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville have been following an interesting story concerning a same-sex couple’s attempt to get a divorce in Florida — a case that has the potential to upend Florida’s current constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Some background: the lesbian couple was married in Massachusetts in 2010, where gay marriage is legal, and then moved to Florida, where same sex marriage is not recognized.

The couple is now seeking a divorce in Florida, which raises some very interesting questions. How can the state of Florida grant the divorce to the couple when it doesn’t recognize their marriage in the first place?

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Posted in: Family Law

My Spouse is Abusive, Can I Get An Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence?

By armitchell on February 24, 2014

Restraining OrderThe family law attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville urge those who are experiencing domestic violence to seek help immediately. This may be in the form of leaving an abusive relationship or seeking an injunction for protection against domestic violence.

So what exactly does this entail?

First, a brief explanation of what an injunction (sometimes called a restraining order) is: it is a document from the court that orders an abuser to immediately stop harassing you, by requiring that the abuser stop abusing you (physically or emotionally), contacting you or coming near you. An injunction may also require an abusive spouse to leave your home and in some cases, pay temporary child support.

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Posted in: Family Law

DCF Wants To Take Away My Kids. What Do I Do?

By armitchell on February 10, 2014

How do I fight DFC against custody issues.While its intentions may be good, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Florida sometimes gets it wrong and tries to take away a child or children from a parent or parents who have been falsely accused of child neglect or abuse.

The media is rife with nightmare scenarios in which children have been taken away from parents for months while child service entities try to determine if neglect or abuse has even taken place. If you find yourself in a situation where DCF is investigating you and may be trying to gain custody of your children, what can you do?

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Posted in: Family Law

January is National Stalking Awareness Month

By armitchell on January 7, 2014

Florida Stalking LawIt is a crime that affects more than 6.5 million adults each year and yet it often goes unreported. One in six American women are victims and it is a crime that can lead to physical violence, psychological damage, and even death.

We are talking about the crime of stalking.

Recently, President Obama proclaimed the month of January as “National Stalking Awareness Month.” He urged Americans to recognize the signs of stalking and also urged those who are victims to speak out and ask for help.

“Many victims suffer from anxiety, depression and insomnia, and in some cases are forced to move or change jobs,” Mr. Obama stated. “Stalking all too often goes unreported, yet it also tends to escalate over time, putting victims at risk of sexual assault, physical abuse or homicide.”

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The U.S. Supreme Court Has Ruled on DOMA: Now What?

By armitchell on August 28, 2013

Florida Same Sex MarriageIn late June, the United States Supreme Court threw out provisions of the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Prop 8. But, what does that mean in the state of Florida, which passed a constitutional amendment in 2008 barring same-sex marriage?

In a legal sense, very little, which leaves many gay couples in limbo in the state of Florida.

The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of DOMA’s section 2, which does allow states to not recognize gay marriages performed in other states where it is legal.

In other words, a gay marriage that is legal in California or New York will not be recognized in the state of Florida. Proponents of gay marriage say that obstacles to overturning Florida’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will be tough to overcome given the high bar set in the Florida legislature and the perceived conservatism of the 11th Circuit court, which covers Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

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The attorneys of Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida have experience with personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, social security, injury and negligence lawsuits, family law and criminal defense. Eddie Farah and our team of Jacksonville attorneys are proud to represent working people and families throughout the country.

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