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Friday, December 16, 2011

Name Change After Divorce

One of the many difficult decisions to be made during a divorce is whether or not to keep your married name.  Although, traditionally, women were the ones to make a name change at the time of marriage, some men may have also chosen to do so.  Our name is our identity.  It is how people recognize us and identify us.  Many people with children will choose to keep their married name because of the children. However, there are some who choose to return to their former name or birth name after their divorce despite their parental status.

In Florida, the law allows a woman to change her name as part of the divorce.  The divorce petition or counter-petition will request the change.  It will then be incorporated into the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.  The process is relatively simple, the decision is more difficult.

If the name change is not done when the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is entered, then a completely separate suite must be filed. The petition for name change must meet certain statutory requirements. Once all of the appropriate pleadings and paperwork are filed, a short hearing before a circuit court judge is required.

At The Law Office of Wade P. Luther, we understand there are many difficult decisions during the process of divorce.  Our experienced family practice attorney can help guide you through that process and make sure your rights are protected.  When you’re ready to begin tackling these difficult decisions, please call our Orlando office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Can I get my child support increased?

The state of Florida has established child support guidelines for the settlement of support issues between parents.  An Orlando attorney experienced in child support can help you determine if you are eligible for a change in the support amount you are currently receiving or paying.
There are certain events which may enable one of the parents to request a modification of the amount of child support being paid.  These events must constitute a substantial change in circumstances. The loss of a job without fault or a substantial change in income by either party is one circumstance which may enable a modification.  However, the difference between the existing monthly child support obligation and the amount provided for under the child support guidelines must be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.  Keep in mind that any change in circumstances should be long-term and/or continuing in nature. This would not include a one time bonus, judgment, or award.
A Substantial change in daycare or health insurance expenses for the children or a child graduating from high school or turning 18 would also be considered substantial changes in circumstances.  If you’d like help from an experienced Orlando divorce attorney to determine if you may qualify for a modification to child support, please call the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Establishing Paternity in Orlando, Florida

There are many important reasons to establish paternity for your child.  These rights are important for the child as well as both parents.  Most basically, paternity will allow the child to know who their father is.  As well, establishing paternity will allow the child to have information on family medical history, obtain health or life insurance benefits and child support, and possibly veterans and social security benefits.  For the parents, establishing paternity will give both parents the legal right to child support, timesharing and a voice in making decisions regarding the child.

In Florida, paternity will be established in one of five ways.  Paternity is established if the parents are married when the child is born.  If the couple is unmarried, paternity may be established at the time the child is born by signing a legal document at the hospital.  If the document is not signed at that time, and a genetic test proves fatherhood, an Administrative Order Based on Genetic Testing will establish paternity.  Lastly, if the parents of the child marry each other after the child’s birth, they may establish paternity by updating the birth record with the Florida Office of Vital Statistics.
If you are in need of an Orlando Family Practice attorney with experience in the area of paternity, please call the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Will I Get Alimony?

Florida law provides for several relevant factors to be taken into consideration by the Court when awarding alimony to one of the parties. The court will consider the parties’ prior standard of living; length of the marriage; age and physical and emotional condition of both spouses; each spouse’s financial resources and income-producing capacity of the assets they receive; the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment; and the services rendered in homemaking, child rearing, and education and career building of the other spouse.

The court may grant alimony to either party.  There are different types of alimony that may be granted.  Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a temporary time period to allow one party to redevelop skills and financial independence.  Durational alimony is awarded for a fixed number of years. Permanent alimony continues until the remarriage of the receiving partner or the death of either partner.  Permanent, durational and rehabilitative alimony are usually paid on a periodic basis.  The Court may also consider lump-sum alimony in which one partner pays a lump-sum payment of money or property to the other partner.

If you’re looking for an experienced Orlando divorce attorney to explain your rights concerning alimony and the likelihood of you receiving an award of alimony, please call the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Child Support

Because child support is complicated, seeking counsel from an Orlando divorce attorney experienced in child custody and child support issues is an important decision.  A knowledgeable lawyer will help you sort through the issues and aide you in providing financially for your children. 
In Orlando, Florida, the amount of child support paid by the non-custodial parent will be calculated using the guidelines in Florida Statue 61.30.  Both parents have a responsibility to support their children based on their financial ability.  This ability will be determined by income as well as earning potential.  A recent change in Florida law allows for income to be imputed or credited to any parent who is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed. 
            Another consideration in the calculation of child support is the number of overnights the children have with the non-custodial parent.  Previously, the non-custodial parent had to have at least 40 percent of overnights with the child in order to qualify for a departure from standard child support.  Another recent change in the law now requires a departure when the parent with fewer overnights has overnights with the children 20 percent of the time or more.
            Attorney Wade P. Luther can help you make sense of all these complicated rules and changes.  Please contact our office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Cost of an Orlando Divorce

When considering the cost of an Orlando Divorce Attorney, keep in mind that the more complex the issues, the more expensive the cost.  When the two parties can come to an agreement regarding all matters in a Dissolution of Marriage, the cost will be substantially less than if issues are contested.  However, in most divorce situations, there are issues on which the parties do not agree.  It is in these divorces that it is particularly important to have your rights protected by an experienced Family Law Attorney.

There are several factors on which attorneys fees are based.  The complexities of the issues, the amount of time involved and the experience and skill the attorney has in the area of Family Law.  Your attorney will spend time drafting pleadings, communicating with the attorney representing the other party, researching and preparing, and appearing in court on your behalf.  You may also incur direct costs such as postage, copy fees and court filing fees. 

Once you’ve provided your attorney with the information regarding your particular situation, he or she will advise you regarding any retainer required as well as their hourly fee.  Keep in mind that if complications arise in your case, it may affect your fees.  If you’d like to meet with and experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney to discuss your case, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Who Gets What?

Deciding how to divide marital assets and liabilities in a Florida divorce can be extremely complicated.  In Florida, statistics show that more hearing time is devoted to property division than any other issue related to the Dissolution of Marriage.  Subject to a few exceptions, all property and income obtained by one or both of the spouses during the marriage is considered martial.  As such, according to Florida law, it is subject to Equitable Distribution.  You may also have assets that were obtained prior to the marriage (or debt obtained by your spouse) that would be considered non-marital.  Protect yourself and your assets by getting advice from an experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney.

The simplest way to divide marital assets and liabilities is for the parties to reach an agreement amongst themselves after they’ve been advised by their attorneys.  If the agreement is reasonable, it will be accepted by the court.  If the parties cannot agree on how to fairly and equitably divide the marital property, it will be decided by a judge after a trial. 

Several factors will be taken into consideration by the judge when deciding equitable distribution.  These include but may not be limited to the duration of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each partner and the contribution of each partner to the marriage.  It’s important to remember that the court will begin with the assumption that distribution will be equal.  Attorney Wade P. Luther can help you make sure you get was is legally yours.  Please contact our office today at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Friday, November 4, 2011

No-Fault Divorce

Florida is one of many states in which fault is no longer considered a ground for divorce.  The dissolution of marriage does not require either party to show cause or prove that a breach of the marital contract has been committed. Those breaches may include: adultery, desertion/abandonment or cruelty.  In Florida, the spouse seeking the divorce needs only to prove that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”  This is a much easier standard to prove as it only takes one spouse to testify that he/she does not love his/her spouse and is not willing to remain in the marriage. This change in divorce law has lessened the potential effect that blame may have on the divorcing couple.  In addition, the parties are spared what can be a contentious battle in court when fault must be established.
Under Florida law, either party may file for divorce.  However, many couples find they are not fully aware of their legal rights and obligations.  There are very specific statutory and court rules which must be followed.  If they are not, your rights may be lost forever.  It is important to be certain that you are protected.  Seeking counsel from an experienced Orlando divorce attorney will provide you with the information and advice you need.
Even within a no-fault divorce, there may be contested issues.  Spouses often do not agree about the division of assets, liabilities or property.  One or both partners may seek alimony.  Of course, if there are children, timesharing and support will need to be determined.  The Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. has significant experience in the area of family law.  We focus exclusively on these issues.  If you would like to benefit from the experience of an Orlando Divorce Lawyer, please contact our office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time with the Children after the Divorce is Final

When there are minor children in a marriage that’s ending, they become the most important concern.  The children’s ability to adjust is greatly effected by the level of cooperation between the parents, especially regarding the time each parent spends with the children. Historically, kids spent the majority of time at the home of one parent. This occurred as a result of the parents’ agreement or the judge’s order. However, the evolving trend is that many couples choose to share time with minor children more equally. A recent change in the child custody statute is resulting in more judges ordering equal timesharing between the parents.  Under both circumstances, a well thought out Parenting Plan established with the help of an experienced Orlando family law attorney will guarantee that the kids maintain the best possible relationship with both parents.

Consistent and frequent contact with both parents is in the best interest of the children.  Each parent must do their utmost to maintain this contact.  Coordinating schedules, informing each other of special events, and keeping in mind the normal routine of the children are ways in which to accomplish this.  When changes need to be made to an established schedule, each parent has a responsibility to notify the other as quickly as possible.  Cooperation in these and all matters regarding the children becomes paramount.  Kids are able to sense any anger or resentment between the parents, even unspoken.

The experience of a skilled Orlando child custody attorney is essential when parents are not able to agree to a Parenting Plan.  Even when parents have established a proposed plan, it’s important to have an attorney who is knowledgeable in family law review the plan to protect your parental rights.  Mr. Luther will ensure you are establishing a plan that’s in the best interest of both your children and you. Please contact the Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Importance of a Marital Settlement Agreement

A well-prepared Marital Settlement Agreement is a vital tool in protecting your financial assets as well as your rights after your divorce is finalized.  You may have the misconception that a judge will decide how your property is divided or your time with the children will be shared.  However, these terms are usually negotiated between the parties.  An Orlando Divorce attorney knowledgeable in family law can guide you through the negotiating process to ensure your best interests.

There are important elements that should be included in every Marital Settlement Agreement (sometimes referred to as a Property Settlement Agreement.)  When applicable, the amount and length of spousal support will be addressed.  Another major consideration is the division of assets and property.  Included will be any financial accounts, property owned by the parties, vehicles, as well as any marital debt. When there are children involved, a Parenting Plan will include custody, timesharing, support and all other issues involved in raising the minor children.  The Agreement will also address how any future disputes between the parties will be resolved.

Because this written contract will be attached to and incorporated into the Final Divorce Decree, it’s imperative that you are certain your legal rights are protected now and in the future.  If you would like guidance from an experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney in preparing this crucial document, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is a Prenuptial Agreement a Good Idea?

What do you do when a good-intentioned family member encourages you to ask your fiancĂ© for a prenuptial agreement?  This is a common occurrence.  Your loved one is looking out for your best interest.  But will the suggestion alienate your future spouse and cause them to lose trust in you and your relationship?

Prenuptial or premarital agreements have gained popularity recently.  This is seen by some as a direct result of no-fault divorce laws which allow the dissolution of marriage with no requirement of wrong doing by either spouse.  As well, current divorce laws warrant a fair and equitable distribution of assets.  Issues such as children from a previous marriage, a business or professional practice owned by one partner, or significant debt by one partner are some of the contributing factors that cause people to consider a prenuptial agreement.

Money issues can cause a great deal of stress in a marriage.  A pre-nup prepared by an experienced family law attorney forces the couple to consider these critical issues before they begin their married life together.   It can provide an outline for solving problems before they begin.  It can also cause them to more closely consider their actions during the course of the marriage. In addition, an agreement can address issues other than money. 

If you’d like more information about how a prenuptial agreement can protect you in your future relationship, please contact the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is Mediation in an Orlando Divorce?

Mediation is a meeting where both parties, their attorney’s and a mediator meet in order to attempt to settle a divorce case. In Orlando, Seminole and Osceola, you and your divorce attorney will be required to attend mediation prior to obtaining a final divorce trial.

All offers and counter offers at mediation are confidential. This allows both parties and the attorney’s in a divorce case to speak freely and to offer the best settlement position. If the divorce case does not settle in mediation, both parties are prevented from telling the divorce judge what was offered. Many times divorce parties and the attorneys are willing to give better settlement offers in mediation so that they can forgo the time and considerable expense of a contested divorce trial.

Although there are no clear statistics, Orlando divorce attorneys settle a great number of cases in mediation. This saves their clients considerable money and time.

If you have questions regarding a family law matter,  please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Is my Spouse hiding money during the divorce?

As an Orlando divorce attorney, I often see marital relationships where one spouse handles the finances. This can cause a real problem if the relationship heads into divorce. If you suspect that you may be headed towards divorce or separation, protect yourself by obtaining as much financial information as possible. Prior to separating, make copies of any bank statements, tax returns, paystubs or other financial documents that you can find. Even if the documents are older, they may lead you to the financial institution where other accounts are held. For example, all banks are required to issue 1099 forms to all account holders that earn interest. When going through a divorce or separation, your spouse may not disclose all of the financial accounts. However, even if you do not find actual statements, a 1099 from a particular financial institution likely means that accounts are held at that bank. With this information, your family law attorney will know what banks to target with document subpoenas.

As an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer, I see many cases where spouses will attempt to conceal accounts or other assets during a divorce action. In those instances, you need an attorney that has experience in tracing the financial transactions and uncovering hidden assets.

If you have questions regarding a family law matter,  please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can I Reduce my Alimony Payment?

With these tough economic times, many people’s income is reduced, or they have no job at all. If you were ordered to pay alimony in your divorce order, continuing to make the spousal support payment can make it impossible to meet your own living expenses. This is especially true if the alimony is being deducted from your pay before you get your check.

Under Florida law, most orders of alimony are modifiable where there is a significant change in circumstances. Most times, the change in circumstance is the paying ex-spouse’s reduced income. However, it may be that the receiving ex-spouse is earning more and no longer needs the alimony. It may also be that the receiving spouse is now living with someone and sharing expenses. Ultimately, it is up to the judge’s discretion whether circumstances have changed enough to modify your alimony.

Many times, the receiving ex-spouse vigorously fights reducing the spousal support that was award in the divorce order. Perhaps rightly so, the ex-spouse feels that she “paid her dues” and is entitled to the alimony. Whether true or not, ex-spouses receiving alimony do not often voluntarily agree to reduce or terminate the support.

What they often overlook is that, if you were still married, she would of course suffer the reduction of your earnings. However, since you are now divorced, I often see the attitude that the paying spouse is more like an insurance policy to guarantee her income.

In order to modify alimony in Florida, you must file a supplemental petition to modify. You don’t want to wait, because typically you are only entitled to modify back to the date that you file your petition. If you wait a year after your income is reduced to file, most times, the Court is powerless to relieve you from the increased alimony obligation for that year.

 If you have questions regarding a family law matter,  please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Keep her away from my kids!

I am often presented with issues from my clients that are in the midst of a divorce for which there are no easy answers. The most common and most frustrating non-legal issue is dealing with the husband or wife introducing the children to the new girlfriend or boyfriend. Unfortunately, unless the new person is a violent criminal or sex offender, there is little that can legally be done to stop the introduction. This can be extremely difficult for parents to accept.  Although the judge typically will not enter an order prohibiting the contact absent extraordinary circumstances, it can influence the judge’s ultimate decision if one of the parents is not using good common sense. Aside from the stress that it can cause the other parent, the judges understand that it is not good for the children to have new people in their lives too early, or worse yet, to have several new people in and out of their lives in the span of a short time.

If you are faced with this situation, try to remember to focus on whether the new boyfriend or girlfriend interacts with your children in a positive way or whether it is detrimental. Do not let your anger guide those feelings. What you must understand is that there is no bond stronger that that between a parent and child, and no new person will threaten that bond.

If you have questions regarding your family law matter, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do I need a divorce lawyer?

Many people facing a separation or divorce ask themselves if they need a divorce attorney. Many factors must be considered to determine if you can maneuver the legal maze and obtain a favorable result for yourself.

Often people underestimate the complexity of filing and completing their own divorce. Many times people think that they will simply be able to “explain” everything to the judge. Unfortunately, the rules of evidence can be quite complicated. Many times litigants become frustrated in court when the other side successfully objects to what is being said. They often leave court feeling like the judge would not listen, even though the judge was simply following the rules of evidence.

Generally, most people agree that if custody, support and/or significant assets are an issue, it is always best to have a divorce lawyer represent you. Of course, in those cases where a litigant simply cannot afford to hire an attorney, filing for divorce on your own may be your only option.

If you need an experienced Orlando Divorce Lawyer to assist you with your divorce or family law matter, please contact: The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900, or visit:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How Can I Move Out of Florida with my Child?

More and more in today's society, parents either want or need to Relocate from Florida with the child. Whether it is a job transfer, educational opportunity, remarriage or other reason, Relocation is a prevalent issue. Florida's Child Relocation Statute is very technical, places specific responsibilities on the Relocating parent and provides for specific and somewhat harsh penalties for failing to comply with the Statute. Very specific petitions and notices must be filed prior to the Relocation with the child. If you are the non-relocating parent, a specific and timely objection must be filed to prevent your child from being relocated without a court hearing.
Although there are many specific statutory factors that the judge must consider, the overall standard is the "best interests of the child". Too many times I see parents who attempt to focus on the benefits or detriment to them of the Child Relocating. The Florida Relocation Statutes are clear that the parents who want to Relocate must show how the move will benefit or harm the child, not the parent.
Relocation cases often have lifelong consequences for the child and the parents. If you have a Relocation issue, it is important to have an Experienced Family Law Lawyer on your side who understands the legal standard required and who has the skills and experience to present your Relocation case to the judge.
If you have questions regarding whether a prenuptial agreement would be beneficial for you, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How to Find a Good Orlando Divorce Lawyer

Having an experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney to assist you through a divorce can make a world of difference. With today’s economy, many attorneys who previously had no divorce or family law experience are taking those cases to try to supplement their revenues until the economy picks up.

Although a recommendation from a friend is often the best way to find a good attorney, that is sometimes hard to obtain. Most times, people do not really want to discuss their marital issues with too many people. If a personal recommendation for a divorce attorney is not available, then do some internet research.

When looking for a family law attorney, look to see how many practice areas that the attorney lists. Many times, the lawyer’s website will list practice areas such as: “personal injury”, “bankruptcy” “criminal law”, and then “family law” stuck at the bottom of the list. This may indicate a lack of dedication to family law and support the fact that they only take family law/divorce cases to fill the void of a slow month. Look for attorneys that dedicate their entire practice to the area of family law and divorce. Family law is actually a very complicated group of laws. As many people say: “Jack of all trades, master of none”.

There is really no area of law that is more important to the parties than family law. The outcome can have lasting effects throughout their lifetimes and those of the children. If you are facing a family law or divorce situation, take the time to research prospective Orlando Divorce Lawyers so that you find the best fit for you.

If you have questions regarding your family law issues, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900, or visit the website at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How Long Does a Florida Divorce Take?

The length of time that it takes to get divorced can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Realistically, even in a best case scenario, it will take approximately 45 days to be divorced. If the case in contested, it can take up to a year. Some divorces in Orlando have been known to last up to two years.

The main issue that determines how long a Florida Divorce will take is whether you and your spouse are able to resolve the issues through a Marital Settlement Agreement. The Agreement is simply a contract between you and your spouse. However, a well written Marital Settlement Agreement has the ability to resolve all of the issues between you and your spouse including custody, alimony/spousal support, child support, property division and all other issues that the judge would have resolved for you. A Marital Settlement Agreement is an excellent tool that will save both parties a significant amount of money. Once the Agreement is signed, it is filed with the Court and essentially becomes part of the divorce order.

If you are unable to reach a Marital Settlement Agreement with your spouse, then you have no choice but to proceed with the contested divorce process. This includes obtaining financial and other evidentiary disclosure; potentially taking depositions; attending various hearings to resolve temporary matters; attending mediation; preparing for trial; and then attending the trial. All of these matters can be very time consuming which translates into expensive.

If both spouses are being reasonable, then it is always better to reach a Marital Settlement Agreement. However, if the other spouse is not being reasonable, then it is often times better to go through the contested litigation process so that you may receive a better result.

Having an experienced Orlando Family Law Attorney can greatly assist you in first, determining what is a reasonable settlement, and second, preparing a comprehensive Marital Settlement Agreement. If a reasonable settlement is not available, it is even more important to have an experienced lawyer to assist you through the litigation process.

If you have questions regarding your family law issues, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900, or visit the website at

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Property Division in a Florida Divorce Case

When a spouse files for divorce, the judge then has authority of divide the assets and liabilities of the couple. Florida uses the term “Equitable Distribution”. Under Florida divorce law, the judge “must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal”. Some of the factors that the judge must consider to decide whether the division should be equal include:

 (a)The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
 (b)The economic circumstances of the parties.
 (c)The duration of the marriage.
 (d)Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
 (e)The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
 (f)The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
 (g)The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the nonmarital assets of the parties.
 (h)The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and, if not, whether other equities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the marital home.
 (i)The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
 (j)Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

The division of marital assets can often times be more complicated than first thought. Many times, there are disputes over the value of the assets, who will keep certain assets, and whether the assets are marital or separate.

If you need an Orlando Lawyer who does Property Division, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. (407) 835-9900, or visit the website at:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Short Sale Considerations in Divorce

In today’s economy, many couples are forced to consider a “short sale” with regard to their home. This is especially true when the parties are facing separation and/or divorce. The financial strain of divorce on the family unit creates a situation in which the mortgage or mortgages simply cannot be paid.

If you are in this situation, be sure to consult with your divorce lawyer or a real estate lawyer for advice. If you cooperate with the bank in short selling the property, it is important to try to negotiate terms that prevent the bank from seeking an excess judgment Without negotiating these terms, the bank will potentially sue you personally for the difference between what is owed on the property and what the bank collects on the short sale.

Many banks would prefer that you cooperate so that they do not have to file a foreclosure action. With your cooperation, the bank may agree to accept the property proceeds as full payment of the mortgage balance.

If you are facing a divorce or separation from your spouse and need legal advice, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900, or visit the firm at:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Florida Supreme Court Family Law Changes

A recent Florida Supreme Court family law case changes the way that many judges divide real property in Florida divorce cases. Under Florida divorce law, your spouse may have a claim to a house that was owned by you prior to the marriage, even when the house is only titled in your name. Previously, there were two different methods to determine your spouse’s share of the appreciation of the market value of the house, and the amount that the mortgage was reduced.

Since there was a split among the districts in Florida, the Supreme Court has now resolved the issue. Unfortunately, the formula that the Supreme Court accepted is somewhat complicated for the average person. In addition, most people do not even realize that a spouse may have a claim to a premarital house until they are facing a divorce action.

The fairly simple solution to this issue is to enter into a premarital agreement (aka “prenup”) to establish how assets and liabilities will be divided should the marriage end. Of course, the key is to understand the need and benefits of a prenuptial agreement before entering into the marriage.

If you have questions regarding whether a prenuptial agreement would be beneficial for you, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit