Articles Posted in Adultery


Affairs during the marriage matter in a Florida divorce, another common myth tackled by a Jacksonville divorce lawyer. Yesterday, the counseling myth in divorces was discussed. Today, the myth that the affair will bring justice to the innocent spouse will be tackled. This week we will be focusing on the following myths and discuss the truth behind the myths:

1. Is counseling needed before you can get divorced.

2. It matters if I or my spouse had an affair.

Florida divorce myths and realities can be difficult to separate when emotions are involved. This week on this blog we will be looking into them and what the truth is behind the myth. The myths we most commonly hear as divorce lawyers are the following:

1. Divorce counseling is needed before you can get divorced.

2. It matters if I or my spouse had an affair.

Shopping for a Jacksonville divorce attorney can be challenging. The first concern people often have is the price of a family law attorney. However, the legal ramifications of a divorce are just as important, if not more so, than those that involve actually getting married. So, why do we choose to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress, but want to count pennies on the divorce?

First, you should know that the cost of your divorce is determined by the complexity of your case and the issues that will need to be taken care of throughout the process. Also, attorneys that practice family law a.k.a. divorce law, charge by the hour. So, a retainer secures a certain amount of hours of their time and saves you from being billed once per week for the hours they have worked. Knowing your bills makes them easier to manage. Also, you have a right to know and you should know what your attorney charges per hour and how they bill that time.

The reality is that we, as a socially, are more willing to spend money on the “fun” things in life than the “necessary” things. Women spend thousands on their dress and men spend thousands on the engagement ring because we are excited about the end result. Divorce does not hold the same excitement, so neither does paying the bill. If you are in a position where divorce has become a necessity, do not start your search for a lawyer based on the negative and worrying about the cost, but try focusing on the outcome, which will ultimately place you in a position not to worry about the next argument every time you open your eyes in the morning.

In a Florida divorce, only marital assets can be divided. Nonmarital assets remain the property of the individual that brought them into the marriage. If you are the beneficiary of funds from a personal injury claim that you had, then the money you get from the claim is yours, unless it has been co-mingled in a marital fund.

Personal injury claims are brought by an individual for individual injuries suffered. A spouse has a right to a claim against the same “at fault” party for what is a consortium claim, meaning the spouse is without the full benefit of his/her spouse as s/he was prior to the injuries. However, this too is an individual claim brought by the spouse.

In Florida divorces, nonmarital assets are those collected as an individual, from an inheritance or claim from outside source (personal injury). The only way the inheritance or the money from your personal injury claim are considered marital is if the money you received was placed into a joint account and/or used in the advancement of the marriage (house repairs, paying off joint debt, etc.).

1125087_person_jail.jpg As a Jacksonville, Florida divorce attorney, I recognize the reality that most divorces are never final. If the divorce has the following components: alimony, child support, debt distribution, marital home division, etc., it is likely an issue will arise after the divorce is “over”. Your options, if any of the above payments or ordered actions stop, is to file a Motion for Contempt against the other party. However, if you are the payor or the offending party and the reason you have ceased action per the court order is for reasons outside your control (loss of employment, injury, etc.), then you have the option to file a Supplemental Petition to Modify the prior order.

Contempt is when one is voluntarily not complying with a court order. If the individual is found in contempt, the non-offending party can ask for attorney fees and costs be paid by the one in contempt. Also, if the party is held in contempt fines can be assessed and, depending on the severity, jail time can be ordered.

Modification of an order is when one’s circumstances have involuntarily and substantially changed. In today’s economy modifications are prevalent. In Florida, child support is simply a statutory calculation based on the incomes of the parties. If the income of one party has been decreased or increased by more than 15%, then that is a substantial change and a petition for modification should be filed.

Florida has not recognized Common Law Marriage since 1968. In 1960, only 460,000 couples identified themselves as living together without marriage, according to CBS News. In 2007, USA Today reported that 6.4 million people were living as a couple out of wedlock.
In Florida, if you are living with your significant other and share a house payment, vehicles and debt, then there are options for you. The best thing to do is speak with a lawyer about protecting yourself from what could be a disaster if things do not end-up happily ever after.
If you previously lived in a state that recognizes Common Law Marriage, of which there are only 11, then Florida still recognizes your status as “married.” However, for those of you entering into a “moving in together” portion of your relationship, be certain to speak with someone about protecting yourself and your partner from future disaster. None of us want to think the worse of our partners, but at least if a marriage does not work you have the law to protect you from all debt falling on you. Until the State of Florida decides this is a growing matter that needs to be addressed, options are the key to your future success and your present comfort.

Larry King filed for his eighth divorce last week. In his petition for divorce, he requested joint custody of the children. Wife, Shaun Southwick, filed a counter-petition requesting full custody of the children, child support and alimony.

A petition for divorce is one that lays out the reasons for the divorce, which are often summarized as “irreconcilable differences.” The petition is also where one addresses their needs from the outcome of the divorce: alimony, child support, division of property. In order for both parties to have their needs heard by the Court, often, the party originally served with the petition will file a counter-petition, which lays out their needs and wants. That is how the Larry King divorce has two filings in one case.

In their upcoming battle, the Court and the parties will have to determine the basis for all of the requests made in both of their petitions. Simply by asking for the sun, moon and stars does not equal delivery of the same. Shawn Southwick will be required to show evidence as to why Larry King does not deserve equal timesharing with their children. She will also have to show why she is entitled to alimony and whether that should be offset by the alimony she is requesting. Typically, alimony is considered an income and child support is based on the incomes of the parties.


The question of alimony has no easy answer. In Florida, alimony depends on a number of factors. In a Florida divorce the court may grant alimony that is rehabilitative or permanent in nature. Alimony payments may be in the form of lump sum, periodic payments, or a combination of both. The adultery of either spouse in a divorce may be considered if marital assets were dissipated in furtherance of that realtionship.

Some of the factors to be considered by the court in awarding alimony are:

1) The standard of living established during the marriage;


World famous broadcaster and renowned interviewer Larry King and his wife Shawn Southwick each filed for divorce on Wednesday, April 14. The couple has been married for over 10 years and have two young children. Larry King, 75, has been married 8 times to seven different women. He married one of his ex-wives a second time.

The couple has reportedly had ongoing problems in their marriage including an allegation that King had an affair with Shawn’s sister Shannon Engemann, although King and Engemann both deny the affair. King has told the press that he did not sign a prenuptial agreement with Southwick. King is reportedly worth over $100 million. In California married couples split earnings acquired during the marriage.

In Florida, the equitable distribution of marital property is one of the most litigated aspects of divorce. There are a number of laws you need to know about if you are getting divorced in Florida. A Florida Family Law Attorney can help you preserve your rights and protect your property. Navigating the Florida Family law statute by yourself can be a dangerous proposition. Final divorce judgments can have adverse, long-lasting consequences. If you have questions about a divorce contact a Florida Family Law Attorney.

Miami.jpgShaquille O’Neal and his wife Shaunie have reportedly finalized their divorce in a Florida family law court, and it will soon be finalized. Ms. O’Neal is speaking to reporters about the breakup of her marriage, and she doesn’t have anything nice to say about Miami, Florida.

According to Ms. O’Neal, the basketball “groupies” in Miami are much worse than those she was used to dealing with in LA. After Shaq got traded to the Miami Heat, Ms. O’Neal says it was hard to deal with the women in the stands, who were scantily clad and trying to meet her husband. She says she now realizes that she and O’Neal didn’t “have a strong enough foundation” to withstand the temptation and the alleged incidents of cheating that took place in Florida.

Ms. O’Neal was also accused of cheating on O’Neal with her personal trainer, a charge that she denies. She will be featured in an upcoming VH1 reality TV show that will follow the lives of the wives, girl-friends, and exes of NBA stars. Ms. O’Neal reports that now that the divorce is final, she and her soon to be ex husband are working on becoming friends again.

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