Family Law FAQs

What If I Didn’t Request Alimony During the Divorce and I Later Decide that I Need It?

You cannot reopen the case because you forgot or didn’t want to ask for alimony at the time of the divorce. In Florida, a marital settlement agreement can be set aside because of fraud, duress, coercion or unconscionability. These defenses are not easy and you must have clear and convincing evidence to prove the case. If fraud is asserted, the motion must be filed not more than 1 year after the judgment was entered, except in cases where the financial affidavit was fraudulent, there is no time limit.

Do I Have to Pay Taxes on Alimony Payments?

Final Judgments of Dissolution of Marriage entered into on or after January 1, 2019 are subject to a new federal tax law. In these cases, the receiving spouse does not pay taxes on alimony payments but the payor spouse does. Under the old tax law the recipient spouse pays the income taxes and the payor spouse may claim the payments as a tax deduction. This law still applies to orders entered on or before December 31, 2018.

Why Would a Name Change Petition be Denied?

A name change petition could be denied if your reasons for doing so are:

  • To avoid creditors;
  • To invade the property rights of others, whether partnership, patent, good will, privacy, or trademark;
  • For an illegal purpose or ulterior motive; or
  • To avoid arrests

Can Individuals Object to My Petition for a Name Change?

Yes. There is no requirement to publish notice of a pending name change petition, so persons with an objection may not be aware of the case. The court has an independent duty to decide whether a name change is consistent with public interest and a reasonable objection may influence the court’s decision.

How Does a Stepparent Qualify to Adopt?

Most individuals qualify. You are eligible to adopt your stepchild, in Florida if: (1) you are married to the child’s legal parent and; (2) you are physically capable of caring for the child. If you have a disability or medical condition that impairs your ability to understand or react to your surroundings, this will negatively impact your case and could prevent the adoption.

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