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Author: Grant Gisondo

Home > Articles posted by Grant Gisondo

Modification or Termination of Alimony

In the state of Florida, certain types of alimony can be modified or changed after a judgment is handed down and there are some instances when alimony can be terminated or stopped altogether. In all cases, there must be proven a material, substantial, and unanticipated (prior to final judgment) change before a case can even be considered. In other words, cause for modification must be serious enough such as a critical illness, winning the lottery, an unavoidable job loss; must have a specific time and or monetary value; must not have known to occur prior to the judge’s decree such...

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How to Impeach a Trial Witness

Definition of “impeachment of a witness” from Black’s Law Library: “where the believability of a witness is questioned that is based on the testimony of other witnesses.” Believability in a courtroom refers to whether a witness is speaking the truth. While most persons will be truthful, there are exceptions and if it can be proven by any party that the witness is not likely telling the truth, the witness will be impeached and their testimony will not be admissible in the court proceedings. The key word is “proven” and both the defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney have the right to...

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Appraisals and How They Are Useful in Valuing Marital Property and Assets

An appraisal is determining the accurate value of something. This is done by using a person who is trained and qualified to appraise and is licensed to carry the title “appraiser”. Probably the most common use of an appraiser is to determine the value of a home or piece of property for someone hoping to buy or sell. Other items such as high-end electronics and furniture, valuable jewelry, antiques, used vehicles, boats, and planes, and old memorabilia are also frequently brought to an appraiser to determine their value for sale or for insurance purposes. Another important use of an appraisal...

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Buyer’s Remorse After Signing a Settlement Agreement

Buyer’s remorse, as defined by Wikipedia: “Buyer’s remorse (or buyer’s regret) is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagances, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.” While buyer’s remorse is usually associated with the purchase of material goods, it can, in the case of a marital settlement, refer to the agreement signed by both parties following mediation. (In Florida mediation is mandatory before a court date can be set for dissolution of marriage or post judgment modifications) This agreement is put in...

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Reunification Therapy

Definition of “reunification” as found in the online Dictionary: “To cause (a group, party, state, or sect) to become unified again after being divided.” Definition of “therapy” by the American Psychological Association” “Therapy is a treatment for psychological problems in which the therapist and clients work together to understand problems and come up with plans for fixing them.” When the two words, “reunification” and “therapy” are put together in the legal sense, an interesting process is becoming more and more useful, especially in Family law involving cases of dissolution of marriage where there are minor children involved. Reunification therapy, known as RT...

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Judges and Magistrates: What’s The Difference?

For many people the terms judge and magistrate are thought to mean the same thing. This is by no means correct. While it is true both terms denote jurisdictional functions, there are a variety of differences between a judge and a magistrate including how they arrive at their title, how long they will hold the title and what functions they are expected to perform once they accept their respective position. There are both state and federal judges and magistrates, all of which handle a variety of cases, depending on their title and, in the case of state appointments or elections,...

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Is Trial The End of The Road? What About Appeals?

To begin this blog a definition of “legal appeal” is necessary. Online Legalzoom states the following: “An appeal is a request made to a higher court to review a decision made by a lower court. It is not a rehearing of the case you presented” No, a trial is not the mandatory end of the road in a Family Law case decision in Florida. However, as judges usually have wide latitude in making decisions, especially in dissolution of marriage, it is not likely an appellate court will reverse the judge’s decision unless there has been judicial error or the misuse of...

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Attorney Client Privilege, What Does It Mean?

To be brief, the attorney client privilege is the protecting, that is keeping confidential, of information, documents, and evidence given by a client to his or her attorney, much the same as when giving such details to a religious minister, a doctor, or a mental health counselor. This information can be given verbally or in writing and cannot be shared by the professional without permission of the client. In other words, the aspect of “privilege” is on behalf of the client, not the attorney. There is, however, an exception to the attorney client privilege when the intention of the information is...

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Why You Shouldn’t Text Your Attorney

As time moves more and more into the age of technology, the use of cellphones with the capability of texting is becoming almost as common as the use of what is now termed a “land line”. Particularly with the younger age group, they use cell phones almost exclusively, and studies show that many senior citizens are learning and liking the use and convenience of modern phone technology as well. While this makes for amazing speed of information gathering and communicating with others, there are some definite drawbacks when it comes to communicating with one’s attorney, especially in the area of...

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Hold Them or Fold Them, When is it Time For a Divorce?

“Until death do us part”, recited for many years by most couples that are seeking wedded bliss. And, at the time of the ceremony each party (there are sometimes exceptions) sincerely believes he or she will be able to honor this statement, as surely their love will stand the test of time. Unfortunately, if you live in the United States your chance of “happily ever after” has barely a 50% chance of making it even l0 years. And, in the case of a second or more marriage the percentage rate of failure is even higher. In the world of Family...

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