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Friday, February 10, 2012

Modification of Timesharing

            For couples with children in Orlando, Florida, a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage (or Divorce) will include a parenting plan and timesharing schedule.  This will detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the children; the timesharing arrangement with each parent; a designation of who will be responsible for healthcare, school-related matters, etc.; and the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the children.
            Modification of a parenting plan and timesharing schedule (or visitation) requires a showing of substantial, material and unanticipated change of circumstances.  The party seeking modification has the burden of proof of this change.  The change must have occurred since entry of the final judgment and be in the children’s best interests.  As for the determination of the children’s best interests, it is the public policy of the state of Florida that each of the minor children has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys of childrearing. 

            The Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. has extensive experience with developing parenting plans and timesharing schedules as well as modification issues.  We are conveniently located in Baldwin Park.  If your are looking for help from an experienced family law attorney determining if your circumstances are substantial enough to warrant a modification of your current timesharing schedule, please call our office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What is Marital Property?

            It is important to understand what property is considered marital when filing for divorce in Orlando, Florida.  The state of Florida defines marital assets and liabilities as:

            1.         Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually and by either spouse or jointly by them;
            2.         The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage or from the contribution to or expenditure of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both;
            3.         Gifts given from one spouse to the other during the marriage; and
            4.         All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.

            The court must make a determination of marital and non-marital assets.  Once determined, the court must set aside the nonmarital assets.  The marital assets are then subject to equitable distribution.  It is important to seek help from an experienced family law attorney to protect your property during a divorce.  For more information, please call our office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Bridge-the-Gap" (Transitional) Alimony in Orlando, Florida

             Alimony is one of the most complicated issues to resolve in a divorce.  There is no specific formula used to calculate alimony in Florida.  It is based on one spouse’s need for financial support, the other spouse’s ability to pay and the standard of living of the parties during their marriage. 

            Transitional, or Bridge-the-Gap, Alimony is one of several different types of alimony.  It is most often awarded after a short term marriage.  In Florida, a marriage of less than seven years is considered short term.  The purpose of transitional alimony is to help one spouse make the transition from married to single life.  This type of alimony can be ordered for a maximum of two years.

            Either spouse may receive alimony.  However, it is not awarded in every case.  There are a number of complicated issues a judge must take into consideration when awarding alimony.  The amount of alimony you pay or receive will have a profound impact on your financial future.  Mr. Luther is an experienced Orlando divorce attorney with extensive knowledge in issues regarding alimony.  He can determine the correct amount of alimony for your particular situation.  If you would like more information or to set up a consultation with Mr. Luther, please call our office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What is a Deposition?

            If you are involved in an Orlando, Florida Divorce (or Dissolution of Marriage,) you may be asked to give a deposition.  A deposition is part of the discovery process.  This is the process through which both parties gather facts about the case.  During the deposition, your spouse’s attorney will ask you questions related to the case.  You will be put under oath and your answers will be recorded by a court reporter. 

            At some depositions, the party being deposed may be asked to bring specific documents or records.  This is called a Deposition Duces Tecum.  You are required to produce documents that are in your possession or that are easily obtainable by you. For example, if you are able to obtain financial records from the internet, you must do so.

            The party being deposed has the right and would be well advised to bring an attorney to represent them.  The attorney asking the questions is preparing their case for trial.  At trial, the deponent will be held to any answers they have given during the deposition.  If you are looking for an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer to protect your best interests in a deposition or any other phase of your divorce, please call our office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Friday, January 27, 2012

When is an Asset No Longer Marital?

An asset is real or personal property.  Many Orlando, Florida couples think if they have kept their accounts separate during their marriage they have no marital assets.  Couples who have been separated for a time before their divorce may also think they have assets that are non-marital.  In fact, any asset acquired during the marriage by either party is considered marital.  This includes gifts from one spouse to the other and property titled in only one spouse’s name.  Some property acquired prior to the marriage may also be considered marital if it was co-mingled with marital property or it increased in value due to the effort of either party during the marriage.

Assets, as well as liabilities become classified as non-marital as of the date the parties enter into a valid separation agreement, such other date as may be expressly established by such agreement, or the date of filing a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage.  This can be a very important fact for some spouses.  An experienced Orlando divorce attorney can help you understand your rights concerning your assets.  For more information, please call our office today at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Long Will Child Support Last?

            Generally speaking, in Orlando, Florida divorce and paternity cases, child support will end when the dependent child reaches age 18.  This is considered the age of majority.  If the child is still in high school at age 18 and there is a reasonable expectation that the child will graduate by the age of 19, support will usually be awarded until the child graduates, but no later than age 19.  As well, if the child is declared legally dependent due to a physical or mental disability, child support may also continue past the age of 18 and into adulthood. However, it is important to establish child support prior to the dependent child turning 18.

            There are also conditions under which child support may end before the child turns 18.   Florida law assumes that the child is no longer being supported by his or her parents if they marry, enter the armed services or become emancipated.  Also, in the unfortunate event that a child dies before their 18th birthday, child support would end.

            If the primary residence of the child changes from one parent to the other, a new child support guideline worksheet should be completed and filed with the court to determine the change in child support from the non-custodial parent to the parent with whom the child is now residing.

            If you feel your circumstances may necessitate a change in child support, our experienced family practice attorney can answer your questions and guide you through the process.  Please contact the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 for assistance or visit our website at:

Friday, January 20, 2012

How Permanent is Permanent Alimony in Orlando, Florida

             In awarding alimony, the court will consider the needs of the receiving spouse as well as the financial ability of the paying spouse.   Modification of permanent alimony is possible under certain conditions.  The court may modify alimony if there has been a change in circumstances or financial ability.  The change can involve either party and must be considered substantial.  Also, it must be shown that the change was not contemplated by either of the parties at the time alimony was awarded. 
            The court may also consider modifying permanent alimony if the payee is living with and receiving support from another person, for instance a boyfriend or girlfriend.  The payer of alimony will have the burden of proof in this situation.  The law requires a preponderance of evidence that a supportive relationship exists.
            Any modification to alimony must be petitioned through the court which ordered the alimony.   The amount of alimony you pay or receive can have a profound effect on your financial future.  A qualified family practice attorney can evaluate your situation to determine if it is one in which permanent alimony should be modified.  If you would like more information regarding alimony, please call the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Does an Uncontested Divorce in Orlando, Florida Mean?

              An uncontested divorce means that both parties in a divorce or dissolution of marriage agree on major issues such as custody of their minor children and the division of their property.  This type of divorce will typically be less costly than one in which all issues between the parties are contested.  A Marital Settlement Agreement will define the terms of the agreement that the parties have reached. 
              An experienced Orlando divorce attorney can play an important role in ensuring that the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage is filed properly to begin the divorce.  The paperwork required by the court can be overwhelming and confusing.  If initial pleadings are not filed correctly, it may prolong the procedure or affect your rights. 
            Once the petition and initial pleadings have been filed, the details of the Marital Settlement Agreement must be worked out.  It is at this point that each party must take care to see that their rights and obligations are properly defined.  Each party would be wise to have an attorney of their choosing review the agreement to be certain that their individual interests are protected.  Once an agreement has been reached, it can be incorporated into a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.  This document must also be filed with the court.
            At the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A., we’re committed to helping Orlando area residents resolve their divorce issues as quickly and cost effectively as possible.  To set up an initial consultation with Mr. Luther, please call our office at (407) 835-9900 or for more information, visit our website at

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Equal Timesharing in Child Custody

            Recently in Orlando there has been a trend toward couples choosing to share custody with their minor children more equally.  Both Husbands and Wives are seeking to be more actively involved in their children’s lives by spending more than every other weekend with them.  In many cases this may result in a request for equal timesharing, also called rotating custody.

            Courts must consider the best interest of the child when deciding timesharing and custody issues in Florida divorce or paternity cases.  Prior to 2008, the court was required to designate one parent the “primary” residential parent with the other parent being the “secondary” residential parent.  However, new legislation that year did away with that designation for child custody.  Today many judges, especially in Orlando, start with the presumption that there should be equal time sharing.   If your children are older or more mature, if you live close to the custodial parent, or if you live in the same school district as the custodial parent, your likelihood of being granted equal timesharing with your children may be greater.

            Getting advice from an experienced Orlando child custody attorney can help you be certain you will be granted the parenting plan that is best for you and your child.  If you would like help with a custody issue, please call our office at (407) 835-9900 or visit our website at

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What is an Administrative Order?

           Your spouse has filed for divorce, and you were served with an overwhelming amount of information.  If you live in Orange, Osceola or Seminole County and have children, there is one document you’ll want to review carefully.  Each of these counties has an Administrative Order that has been written to guide your behavior as you proceed through the divorce process. 

            This document has been developed to help reduce conflict among the parties in a Dissolution of Marriage or Paternity action and to help ensure that the best interest of your children is upheld.  Simply put, it is a list of do’s and don’ts for each party.  Some of the issues dealt with in an Administrative Order are contact between the children and both parents, relocation of the children, child support, conduct of the parties, parenting class requirements, communication between the parties, property, insurance and debt.

            It is important to be aware of the requirements of the Administrative Order for your specific county as failure to abide by them can result in sanctions by the Court.  An experienced Orlando family practice attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations as they pertain to the Administrative Order in your particular county.  If you would like more detailed information on how these rules apply to your divorce or paternity action, please contact the Law Office of Wade P. Luther, P.A. or visit our website at