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

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

Tuesday
October 9
2018

Benefits of Prenup

prenup agreement floridaGetting married is a joyous occasion that takes a lot of preplanning to make sure the day is perfect. On top of setting up things for the guests, finding a venue, and the perfect dress; there’s also the legal side of it. A marriage license is a must, but something most people don’t always think of is getting a prenuptial agreement.

It seems like typically when someone hears the word “prenup"; they give off the impression that it’s only for celebrities, or the very wealthy. While a prenuptial agreement may not be for everyone, it is more widespread than one would assume. So what exactly is a prenup and what are some of the benefits of having one? Search no more; we have the right answers for you!

A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between two people before they are wed. It lists properties and possessions owned by the individuals getting married, as well as debts owed individually. If any of the following pertain to your situation, you may want to look into preparing a prenup agreement;

  • If you own rental properties, various homes, acres of land, etc. that were purchased before the engagement/marriage, you can list this in the contract to keep said property separate from your spouse’s property.
  • Every situation is different; a prenup can also include any unique terms that pertain to a specific situation in the relationship.
  • Debts can be treated the same as wealth when it comes to prenuptial agreements. If a spouse holds a high amount of debt that was pre-existing to the marriage, it can be included in the contract and not required to be split between both parties.
  • It can secure any messy legal fees being tossed back and forth in case of a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements have the reputation of being cast in a negative light that the thought of bringing it up could lead to arguments about trust. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as it can  help build a relationship. It makes both parties talk about serious issues like those to do with money (and let’s be honest, almost everything costs money nowadays). Communication is critical ina marriage and putting it all out on the table with a prenup contract can lay out a strong foundation for years to come.

Source 1, 2

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

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...

Becoming a guardian due to dementia or Alzheimer's disease

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Caring 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. 

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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