Family Law and Divorce Attorney serving Tavares, Leesburg, Eustis, Mt. Dora, The Villages® community and surrounding areas

(352) 343-0091 500 W. Caroline St., Tavares, FL 32778

Monday
February 25
2019

How does divorce work in Florida?

If you and your spouse have reached the decision that your marriage cannot be saved divorce is the final option. Divorce in Florida. Legally ending a marriage is different in every state. Florida has its own set of rules on divorce proceedings.

The legal term for a divorce in Florida a "dissolution of marriage." Florida, just like many other states, has removed fault as a reason for a divorce. The only requirement is that one side needs to provide a reason that the marriage cannot be salvaged. Either party can file for divorce in the state of Florida and must prove there was a marriage, to begin with, and one spouse has to have been a Florida resident for at least six months.

The circumstances for every divorce is unique with different considerations. Depending on assets and if there are children involved, there are two ways to file for a dissolution of marriage. Most couples go with a "Regular Dissolution of Marriage," but there is also the "Simplified Dissolution of Marriage." Your legal counsel will advise you on which one is right for your case.

Divorce proceedings can last for several months depending on the unique aspects of each case. It can be emotional for both parties and especially hard on children involved.

Benjamin J. Cox has many years of experience helping families through this challenging time. Contact our office today for a consultation.

Tuesday
January 22
2019

I think my child’s other parent may be unfit, how do I prove it?

Being involved in custody battles for your child is difficult all on its own. I think my child’s other parent may be unfit, how do I prove it? But what if you suspect the parent that has primary custody may be unfit, negligent, or even abusive to the child? Every state is different when it comes to court hearings of custody. Proving the other parent is unsuitable in the eyes of the law is not always easy but can be done. However, the child's wellbeing is the most crucial issue in any state in the country.

  • A parent can be deemed unfit if they are neglectful, have a mental illness, abuse drugs or alcohol, or are incarcerated. It is best to research what your state considers unfit. You can visit your state court online to find out more.
  • Gather evidence. Admissible evidence includes pictures, videos, audio files, and medical documentation of abuse and neglect. Evidence has to be solid concrete. Courts always try to protect the parent-child relationship if all possible.
  • Have your child examined by a medical and mental health professional? This will establish to record any signs of psychological and physical abuse.
  • You will need a Petition for Custody form or Motion to Modify Child Custody. You can download these forms from you state court website or online documentation provider.
  • Complete the forms in complete detail including the child's living arrangement and the reason why you are modifying. Include all evidence of why you think the other parent is unfit.
  • File forms with the court. You will need to check to determine if you file with family or juvenile court. You will be assigned a case number.
  • You will then serve the papers to your child's other parent. Usually, the documents will need to be served by law enforcement or a private process server. Then return proof of service to the court clerk.
  • Next, you will attend the hearing. Provide all original documentarians and evidence of why the other party is unfit. This could be school records, medical records and eyewitness testimony of abuse and neglect. After the hearing, the judge may rule or order a child custody evaluation which includes an extensive review of both parents.
The well being of the child is the most critical factor in any custody hearing. Benjamin J. Cox knows the laws and can help you if you think your child is in danger. Contact us today at (352) 343-0091 for more information.

Wednesday
December 19
2018

Becoming a guardian due to dementia or Alzheimer's disease

guardianship FloridaCaring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is difficult. Often, loved ones with these conditions reach the point where they’re no longer able to make informed or rational decisions. If these conditions are coupled with a stubborn refusal of assistance, the situation can even become dangerous. 

Guardianship is an essential tool for families dealing with these conditions. Guardianship gives the caregiver the same kind of authority a parent has over a minor child. Guardianship is usually required when someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is no longer able to sign documents due to their mental incapacitation legally. 

When a caregiver is granted guardianship, the family Caton assures that their mentally incapacitated loved one is:

  • Living in a safe and dignified environment
  • Safe from elder financial scams and exploitation
  • Able to receive competent, necessary long-term or nursing home care
  • Able to receive proper medical treatment and care.

The person seeking guardianship need to be able to demonstrate to the court that a care plan is in place and that the guardian will appropriately handle the finances. If the court decides the petitioner for guardianship is appropriate and that the older adult person is genuinely incapacitated, the court will grant guardianship.

With the assistance of an attorney, even in the absence of an established estate plan and power of attorney, you’ll likely have time still to create a satisfactory successful care plan and choose health care and financial planning representatives.

Tuesday
November 13
2018

Do You Suspect Your Ex is Hiding Assets?

ex hiding assetsIt’s never nice knowing that someone is hiding something from you. It’s an issue brought into courthouses all over; someone knows something they’re not telling. This is an especially familiar situation when it comes to divorce proceedings. Is there anything a person can do if they know their ex is hiding assets? What is the procedure to get them to unveil them (if there’s one)? Or is a lost cause if they keep concealing their wages and debts?

First and foremost, it should be said that withholding information or being dishonest when it comes to financial disclosures is illegal. But some ex-husbands or wives want to make sure they keep a secret stash or source of money secret in hopes of not having to share it with said ex. Punishment for this type of action is all up to the jurisdiction and can result in fees and various fines to be paid or even jail time for contempt of court or even perjury. Along with this sort of sentence, if the ex in question is found guilty of hiding financial information, they may be ordered to pay the court costs and lawyer fees for the other party.

In some more severe cases, if an ex is found guilty of withholding this financial information, a judge can dismiss the claims of the ex entirely. Although this may be extreme, there have been quite a few cases in where the judge ordered the other party to obtain all the assets instead of splitting them. All because of a lie, so is it worth it?

If you suspect an ex of withholding assets from you, it may be time to contact an attorney to get everything done the right and legal way.

Wednesday
October 24
2018

Remembering you with gratitude

Remembering you with gratitude

A year or so ago, I was called for jury selection in a Hartford murder case. In Connecticut, the attorneys for both sides can question prospective jurors individually. When it was my turn, the prosecuting attorney, noting my answers to the questionnaire I completed, state that it was unusual for someone to be involved in the number of lawsuits I've participated in (i.e., Florida, an age discrimination suit against Aetna, a real property dispute). She speculated that I must have a negative opinion about lawyers.

"Oh, no," I said. "I've liked all my lawyers." That was absolutely true, but you, Ben, are my favorite. You are a thinker and a strategist who thinks of all the angles. You are very good at analyzing people and relationships. While continually showing restraint in stating what positive outcomes we could expect, you nonetheless kept encouraging me to "stay in the game," which was so important. And you were always well prepared. I grew to know that I could trust you to do an excellent job on my behalf, and that you certainly did.

Many thanks for your good work, and thanks also to your staff for their part!

With best regards,
Anne Morris

Original

Take the first step.

You don’t have to do this alone.

If you need help getting through the divorce, custody or support process, then contact the offices of Benjamin J. Cox and we will be glad to help.

Or, you can call our office at (352) 343-0091.

Or, you can stop by our office in downtown Tavares, just steps from the Lake County Courthouse.

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Latest Blog Posts

How does divorce work in Florida?

Monday, February 25, 2019

If you and your spouse have reached the decision that your marriage cannot be saved divorce is the final option.  Legally ending a marriage is different in every state. Florida has its own set of rules on divorce proceedings.

Read more...

I think my child’s other parent may be unfit, how do I prove it?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Being involved in custody battles for your child is difficult all on its own.  But what if you suspect the parent that has primary custody may be unfit, negligent, or even abusive to the child? Every state is different when it comes to court hearings of custody. Proving the other parent is unsuitable in the eyes of the law is not always easy but can be done. However, the child's wellbeing is the most crucial issue in any state in the country.

Read more...

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Our Office

Benjamin J. Cox, Attorney at Law
500 W. Caroline St.
Tavares, FL 32778

(352) 343-0091 (phone)
Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday 9am to 12pm
Special appointment times by request

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