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Don’t record your spouse without consent

It is very tempting to record conversations a spouse is having with someone who can demonstrate that a particular fact is indeed true in regards to a certain situation in a case such as a dissolution of marriage (divorce). For example, in Florida, you might believe your spouse is funneling important marital assets, that are property, real or personal, that were acquired during the marriage and will be part of the equitable distribution following final judgment. The phone rings and as you quietly picks it up the party on the other end, not realizing you are listening outlines plans to...

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What is Domestic Violence?

Definition as given by The Department of Justice in June of 2017: “We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.” To further expand this definition under Florida law: “Domestic Violence Battery is defined as any actual and intentional touching or the intentional causing of bodily harm to another person when the person is a ‘family or household Member’.” A...

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Effective Depositions

First, before determining what an effective deposition looks like, it is important to understand just what a deposition is. In legal terms, as described on the online legal dictionary, a deposition is “The testimony of a party or witness in a civil or criminal proceeding taken before trial, usually at an attorney’s office.” The testimony is taken orally, often under oath, and recorded by a court recorder or tape recorder. When the deposition is finished, the participant will sign an affidavit stating the truth of the information given by the party being questioned by the attorneys asking questions. This information...

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Post Settlement Final Hearing – What to Expect

Before looking at what to expect at a post settlement final hearing it is important to understand when parties would be using a post settlement final hearing. Post settlement means after a settlement has been finalized by the parties in question for their case being adjudicated. In other words, for example, in dissolution of marriage (divorce) when there are no minor children, no jointly owned real property, and all issues including equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities and alimony have been worked out and the proper paperwork filled out, signed by both parties, notarized and witnessed the action can...

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Professionalism in the Practice of Law

Professionalism: The conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.” Merriam-Webster In many ways, professionalism is the key to determining if a person in the legal profession is truly committed to their client's goals and needs. When looking for an attorney to represent you in any type of legal matter, in addition to the cost, education, and experience, there are a number of things to look for, most of which come under the definition of professionalism. Here are ten of the most important keys to an attorney’s ability to be the legal professional you are...

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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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