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Hernando County Law Blog

Knowing when your child support obligation ends

Like most parents in Hernando County, you are likely willing to do anything to support your children. Thus, meeting your child support obligation may never even be an issue for you. At the same time, you probably hope to reach a point where you no longer have to pay it. Many come to us here at The Day Law Office wondering when the requirement to pay child support ends. As it is in your case, this question does not come from an unwillingness to pay, but rather the expectation that at some point, their children will be able to support themselves. 

From a legal standpoint, children become adults when they reach the age of 18. Therefore, according to Section 61.13(1)(a) of the Florida state statutes, your obligation to pay child support ends when your child reaches that age. The only exception to this would be if your child suffers from mental or physical disabilities that may prohibit him or her from supporting him or herself even after reaching adulthood. In this case, the court may determine that child support continues to be necessary. 

What about your kids?

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that estate planning on applies to how your assets and property will be dispersed amongst your beneficiaries in Hernando County once you are gone. In reality, there are many more facets to it that you need to consider (especially if you have young children). Perhaps even more important than specifying how your assets will benefit your children is designated who should be responsible for them should both you and your spouse die. 

Consider the impact that yours and your spouse's loss would have on your children's lives. Given all that they would have to deal with, you would no doubt want to try and mitigate that loss by limiting the changes that will already have to face. For this reason, grandparents or immediate family members are typically the first parties considered when naming guardians in a will. However, you should think about how the lives of those parties might change should they become responsible for your kids. Ask yourself whether your parents have the energy to raise young children again, or whether your sibling would be able to devote the time and attention your kids need if he or she already has children in his or her home. 

What happens if I don’t have a will?

Some people in Florida believe that they don’t have enough assets to warrant the creation of a will. While some people can actually get away without any estate plan at all, the fact remains that most people should look into wills and trusts to ensure their estates are well-taken care of after they’re gone. The Huffington Post explains just what can occur if you don’t have an estate plan in place upon your demise.

Conflicts May Arise

Will Chapter 7 discharge your recent credit card debt?

If your Florida credit card debt is so out of hand that you face bankruptcy as your only way out of overwhelming debt, you should stop using your credit cards once you make the decision to file for it. As you likely know, Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges virtually all of your consumer debt, including your credit card debt. However, it may not discharge the credit card debts you incur within 90 days of filing.

Section 523(a)(2)(C)(I) of the Bankruptcy Code includes a presumption against discharge of any credit card debt you acquire on each of your credit cards for consumer goods purchases totaling $675 or more.

Will you have to pay manimony when you divorce?

If you are a woman with a high-paying Florida job, be aware that women are not the only ones who receive spousal support when they divorce. Men likewise sometimes get it. That is why alimony now goes by the name of spousal support. Actually, there is a nickname for when women pay spousal support to their ex-husbands: manimony

If you saw the recently released RBG movie about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, you likely were struck with how different things are today as compared to the 1950s when she began her illustrious legal career. Back then, most women were stay-at-home wives and mothers. If their marriages ultimately ended in divorce, judges almost invariably awarded them alimony.

Tips on talking to your children about divorce

Parents in Hernando County often struggle with telling their children about impending divorce. Doing so in the correct manner is crucial however, for both preserving the well-being of your child as well as ensuring he or she maintains a healthy and loving relationship with your ex. HealthyChildren.org offers the following advice in this case, which is highly useful to parents when breaking the news to their kids.

Emphasize Security

Is it possible to remove a lien with bankruptcy?

Many Florida homeowners take out second, third and even fourth mortgages against their property in order to finance repairs, education or other major expenses. However, as you are probably aware, there are risks associated with this practice. What seems like a manageable leverage strategy at first has the potential to take a turn for the worse if the situation changes. 

These additional mortgages, also known as liens, are different from primary mortgages in that they are secondary financial responsibilities. Because you would generally not have to pay them off first, they would probably have a higher interest rate than the primary mortgage you take on to purchase your home. Additionally, you might be able to use a certain type of debt management strategy with these liens. 

Proving your ex-spouse is in a supportive relationship

Many in Hernando County might view you having to pay alimony to your ex-spouse as some form of punishment. Yet you may be fine with paying it provided that it helps him or her remain financially stable. Plus, you understand that if and when he or she remarries, your obligation will end. Yet what if he or she enters into a relationship yet fails to remarry just so he or she can keep receiving alimony? Such a scenario has faced many of those that we here at Day Law have worked with in the past. 

If you are concerned that your ex-spouse is looking to take advantage of a perceived loophole that forces you to keep paying alimony, not to worry; the law does indeed offer you the chance to prove such an intent. Section 61.14(b) of the Florida state statutes shows that your spousal support obligation can indeed be terminated if your ex-spouse enters into a "supportive relationship" with another, yet does not remarry. Factors considered when defining a relationship as "supportive" include: 

  • The amount of time your ex-spouse and his or her new partner have lived together
  • The extent to which they have presented themselves to others as spouses 
  • The extent to which they have pooled their financial resources
  • Whether they have purchased any property together
  • Whether they have worked together to create or enhance anything of value
  • The extent to which they have supported each other's children (absent a legal obligation to do so)

How can I create a living will?

Among other estate planning documents, living wills are essential. Whereas a conventional will dictates what you’d like done with your assets and property, a living will specifies what kind of end-of-life care you would prefer. The Mayo Clinic explains what living wills can do and why they are so important in the estate planning process.

What Should I Include?

New parents should draft wills

The joy of becoming a parent is hard to match. It is a time filled with excitement as well as many new responsibilities.

One of the tasks that should be an essential part of your list as a new parent is that of thinking about your comprehensive estate plan, especially drafting a will. Even if retirement and end-of-life issues are literally decades away, planning is important to safeguard the best interests of your child.

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