Calculating Child Support in a Florida Divorce

Whenever a divorcing couple shares minor children, the court will require the parties to submit child support guidelines before finalizing their divorce.  This issue can often become a sore spot, which is unfortunate, because Florida law is very clear on child support, and it is calculated based on a statutory schedule that is mandatory absent exceptionally rare circumstances.   There are only two essential factors at play in calculating child support, together with a handful of other factors that may or may

In these troubled times, pre-suit divorce mediation is needed more than ever.

We live in troubled times, and no matter what your opinions may be on the issues facing our country and world today, we can all agree that society has radically changed for the worse.  America used to be the great marketplace of ideas, and we prided ourselves on the fact that we had the freedom to agree to disagree with our government, family, friends and neighbors.  We could vigorously debate a point with family and friends, and afterward still gather

Issues to be determined in a Florida divorce

When I meet with couples for an initial consultation to discuss pre-suit divorce mediation and explain why that process is healthier and more affordable than traditional contested divorce litigation in the courts, one of the first things they want to know is what issues need to be addressed and resolved in connection with their divorce.  While it goes without saying that every couple’s factual circumstances are unique, the issues can be boiled down to a few categories that are generally

Pre-suit Mediation Gives Most People the Opportunity to Avoid Costly Legal Fees When Divorcing

Although I was a trial lawyer for more than 20 years, I have completely stopped practicing law, and have turned my focus exclusively to pre-suit divorce mediation.  The pre-suit mediation process allows couples to avoid the adversarial, attorney-driven system that is so typical, and to focus on the issues in a more cooperative manner.   As a mediator, I am ethically precluded from providing either party with legal advice.  However, I am very familiar with Florida law governing divorces, having formerly practiced

Florida law requires divorcing parents with minor children to complete an approved parenting class before the divorce can be finalized.

Many parents with minor children that meet with me to discuss pre-suit divorce mediation are surprised and annoyed when they hear that attending a parenting class is required before the court can finalize the divorce.  When the rationale underlying this requirement is explained, however, it becomes clear that a mandatory parenting class is a good idea that can only benefit the children.   The Florida Legislature has set forth the specific reasons for this requirement directly in Section 61.21 of the Florida

Mediation is generally required at some point in a traditional contested divorce, so it makes sense to attempt a settlement before the divorce is even filed.

In most cases, the judge presiding over a traditional contested divorce will require the parties to attempt a settlement through mediation before they are even given a trial date.  Court dockets are more crowded than ever, and as a result courts will generally refuse to resolve disputed issues through trial until the parties have made a good faith effort to address those issues themselves.   The facts of each case are different, but in general, most people go

Divorcing? For a healthier option, consider pre-suit mediation instead of a traditional adversarial divorce.

It is well-known that stress and physical ailments often go hand in hand, and that we should all strive to reduce the stress in our daily lives. One of the most stressful and traumatic life events is divorce. Unfortunately, the typical adversarial divorce only makes things worse, continually reopening wounds over an extended period, and preventing the healing from occurring in a healthy, natural and affordable manner. I have dedicated my career to providing an alternative, namely pre-suit mediation, which