Dana Hankins - Family Law


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Frequently Asked Questions




Legal Trivia - Things that Might Surprise You

The word "custody" no longer appears in the Florida laws that govern parental responsibilities for children.

There is no common law marriage in the State of Florida. So, if you choose to live together without benefit of marriage, your legal rights are limited.

Grandparents' rights regarding their grandchildren are limited in Florida dissolution of marriage proceedings. The parents of the children must determine what is best for the children.

Marriage automatically gives your spouse numerous legal rights upon your death. You cannot exclude a spouse's inheritance, in most cases, with a Will.

To decide a dispute involving children, a Florida Court must determine what is in the best interests of a child. Two of the factors considered by the Court involve the willingness of a parent to allow the other parent contact with the child, and to facilitate a meaningful relationship with the other parent.

A parent who does not receive child support from the other parent may not use that failure as a reason to deny the other parent contact with a child.

The State of Florida requires both parents to attend a parenting class early in dissolution of marriage and other child time-sharing proceedings.

The starting point for a Florida Court to distribute marital assets and liabilities is equally. Marital assets are assets acquired during the marriage by the parties. Retirement benefits accrued during a marriage by one of the parties are marital assets.

A Florida attorney cannot ethically represent both parties to a dissolution of marriage. You should have separate, independent legal counsel.

Child support is based on the income of both parents and the number of children. It is not a flat percentage of one parent's income.

There is no Florida law that states parents must have equal time-sharing with their children.

In family law cases, a party is automatically required to provide copies of his or her last three years' tax returns to the opposing party, as well as other relevant financial information. The other party may also request a party to provide copies of additional relevant financial documentation.

Alimony (spousal support) is based on one party's need and the other party's ability to pay, as well as other factors such as the length of the marriage.

You should consult a qualified tax advisor such as an accountant or tax attorney concerning potential tax consequences of transfers of property and income in your divorce. A marital lawyer cannot give tax advice.

A paralegal cannot give you legal advice; only an attorney is qualified to give legal advice.

Verbal agreements are not binding.

The information provided at this site is not, and is not intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual legal advice regarding your situation.

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Dana H. Hankins, P.A. - 2510 E. Jackson Street, Orlando, FL 32803-6312 - Phone (407) 896-9650

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