Four Myths and Truths About Men’s Rights in Divorce

Getting a divorce is not only stressful, it can also be confusing. If you’re a man going through a divorce or custody battle, you might read a lot of conflicting information. Some say it’s OK to deny visitation when you’re late on a child support payment or that the mother automatically gets primary custody. That’s why it pays to retain the services of a lawyer like Jeffrey Feulner, men’s divorce lawyer. Learn the truth about common myths surrounding a man’s rights in divorce.

1. You Can Lose Visitation If You Fall Behind on Child Support

If you fail to pay child support, many believe the mother can block your visitation rights, viewing your payments as a condition for you to see your children. However, this is not true, as the court’s view visitation and child support as different issues. To actually block visitation, the mother must take you to court again. To understand how this affects you, talk with Jeffrey Feulner, Orlando divorce lawyer.

2. You Lose Everything When You Commit Adultery

In many jurisdictions, a marriage serves as an economic partnership, one that divorce dissolves. These jurisdictions view adultery as bad conduct outside of the partnership and ignore such things in deciding how to split marital estates. Only a transfer of marital estate in the adulterous relationship allows the issue to appear in the case.

3. You Can Deny Your Spouse a Divorce

Before the advent of the no-fault divorce, one spouse had the power to block the dissolution of the marital relationship, concocting ingenious ways to keep the relationship together, most often because of money. That changed in 1970 when California stripped that power away and gave a spouse the freedom to leave a marriage without assigning fault. Now, a spouse may stall the process but not block it. Abuse in a marriage may be discussed as a quick resolution to fault, and a Jeffrey Feulner’s domestic violence cases have borne out innocence in many situations.

4. You Will Always Lose Custody to the Mother

While it is true that over 90% of divorces end with a custodial mother and a father paying support, this does not make the outcome automatic. A majority of those cases resulted in such an arrangement because of mutual agreement between the couple. You can fight for custody if you feel like it’s in the best interests of your children.

Three Common Divorce Mistakes Men Make – And What to Do Instead

Unfortunately, there are two words that never describe any divorce – “cheap” and “simple.” Because of this, there are several financial mistakes men may make throughout the course of the divorce that they may up regretting later. Jeffrey Feulner, an Orlando divorce lawyer who specializes in men’s rights in a divorce, lists these common blunders men making during divorce proceedings and ways to avoid them. Leverage this information to make the divorce process as easy as possible.

Mistake 1: Not Keeping Proper Records

Make sure you keep track of all financial assets, including all bank accounts, future interest assets like pensions and stock options, and income earned prior to filing for divorce but received after, like work incentives and retirement fund contributions. If you aren’t already active in your finances, get involved so you aren’t caught off guard as the divorce unfolds. Finally, make sure you hire a certified public accountant to help you go through all your assets. Jeffrey Feulner, Men’s divorce lawyer Jeffrey Feulner, knows that money is one of the most difficult aspects to control during a dissolution, but proper bookkeeping can be a lifesaver.

Mistake 2: Messing Up Taxes

When determining assets’ values, don’t forget to keep track of how taxes affect that final total. Mixing categories of taxes means staying on top of how each category is applied. Taxes on the sale of land or a home, work differently than taxes taken from a traditional IRA account for example.

Mistake 3: Failing to Disconnect

Married couples often share accounts, house deeds, car titles, credit cards, debt, and more. Once you decide to divorce, begin to separate all those joint ownership assets as soon as possible. If you don’t, your ex can drain joint bank accounts or fail to pay mortgage payments for which you will be held liable. Check your credit report to identify all potential joint debts.

Don’t be caught unaware of financial traps and pitfalls a divorce sets in your path. Jeffrey Feulner tackles domestic violence charges, financial disparity cases, and all other divorce problems for men who aren’t always treated fairly in the system. Bring in the right experts to help you navigate this tough, emotionally charged time. The most important part is to be involved as the divorce unfolds and understand what your financial situation really looks like to avoid being taken advantage of.

The Most Surprising Celebrity Divorces of 2017

In Hollywood, it seems that a new couple is announcing divorce almost daily. Though we’ve become accustomed to the drama of Hollywood romance, even Jeffrey Feulner, Orlando divorce lawyer, was surprised by some of these cases. Learn about some of the most unexpected splits of 2017.

1. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

This stalwart couple of Hollywood, referred to as “Brangelina” by fans and the media, shocked the world when they announced late last year that the marriage was ending because of serious parental differences. The pair have three biological children, while Jolie adopted three other children.

Pitt got dragged through the press; Jeffrey Feulner, a men’s divorce lawyer, is proactive when dealing with divorces involving known participants.

2. Anna Faris and Chris Pratt

After eight years of marriage and one son, Jack, the couple announced via Facebook that they had decided to divorce. They met on the “Take Me Home Tonight” set in 2007, and many viewed them one of Hollywood’s most down-to-earth couples.

3. Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor

This couple, who got together in 2000, announced in May the marriage was ending. They have two children, Ella (15) and Quinlen (12), whom they will jointly raise.

4. Carmelo and La La Anthony

In early April of this year, La La moved out of the couple’s home and moved into her own place in New York City. They started dating in 2004, married in 2010, and had one child.

5. Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix

This pair married in 2006 and brought two boys into the world, Indiana and Atticus. Summer filed divorce papers in July.

6. David Schwimmer and Zoe Buckman

The former Friends star and the British artist and photographer married in 2010 and gave birth to one child together. In April, the couple announced their separation.

7. Fergie and Josh Duhamel

After meeting in 2004, this couple spent the next 13 years together, including getting married in 2009. They had one son, Axl, who is now four years old.

8. Janet Jackson and Wissam Al Mana

This pair secretly married in 2012, and she gave birth to a child in January of 2017. They agreed to separate, but not divorce, in April.

Though many of these cases were amicable, advice from Jeffrey Feulner, domestic violence and divorce attorney, can ease the burden of any dissolution.

Two Fathers Who Fought for Equality in Divorce

Divorce isn’t always fair to men, especially when it comes to custody. That’s why Orlando divorce lawyer Jeffrey Feulner, a men’s divorce lawyer, has dedicated his practice to helping them. There are a few famous cases, however, in which the man prevailed, paving the way for fairer settlements in divorce. Learn about a few of the most famous men to do this, and stay the course if you are concerned about custody during a divorce.

1. Jason Patric
The actor made famous by his role in the films, The Lost Boys and Rush, among others, want to make more waves, this time in the courtroom as a father of a non-traditionally conceived child. Patric and his former girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child, Danielle Schreiber, conceived Gus, the child in question, using in-vitro fertilization. During a controversial legal battle, Schreiber maintained that Patric gave up all parental rights as a condition of his donation. Patric sees things differently, stating he never gave up his rights in a legal manner. For him, this fight was bigger than just his case. He saw the situation as an opportunity to give sperm-donor fathers the right to maintain parental rights outside of legal agreements or anonymous donations. In 2014, the courts agreed that Patric still had parental rights – thought it took the reversal of a lower court’s decision.

2. Bode Miller

Bode Miller met Sara McKenna through an online dating site, and, just before their short dating relationship ended, she became pregnant. She moved to New York, while Miller married someone else. When he did this, he filed for custody of the child McKenna later gave birth to in New York; he wanted to be involved with the raising of his son. California awarded him full custody, and a judge in New York agreed, forcing McKenna to send the baby to Miller. Later, New York ruled on appeal that the custody must be decided in the state owing to where the child was actually born, but California courts refused to release their rights to the case, placing the mother, the father, and the child in this unusual dilemma. The two eventually reached a settlement.

These cases present unique circumstances in which fathers who want to be involved are facing legal challenges, and each makes sense to someone who understands the complications of divorce for men, like Jeffrey Feulner. Domestic violence, custody battles, or amicable divorces – he has seen them all.

Both these cases have the potential to blaze a new trail for future fathers confronted with similar custody fights. The underlying lesson to take away from these cases is to document everything regarding your future child so you can avoid similar problems. Jeffrey Feulner, Orlando divorce lawyer, specializes in defending men’s rights in divorce proceedings.

Father’s Day Commercial Features Lonzo Ball Roasting His Dad

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s a reminder of the important bond that dads have and should have with their children. It’s also an opportunity for more fun and creative marketing and advertising for Foot Locker.

Remember those hilarious commercials from Foot Locker with athletes Manny Pacquiao, Rob Gronkowski, Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Rodgers, and John Cena with comedian Tracy Morgan? Well they’ve done it again, this time with 2017’s top NBA prospects featuring Lonzo Ball (UCLA), De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky), Jayson Tatum (Duke) and Jonathan Isaac (Florida State). The commercial begins with Jonathan Isaac explaining that since Father’s Day (Sunday, June 18th) and the NBA draft (Thursday, June 22nd) are so close together this year, each athlete has been asked by Foot Locker to reflect on everything their Dads have done to support them on their basketball journey.

Isaac starts with commenting on how dads are special and all the memories. De’Aaron Fox remembers how he used to play one on one with his father in the driveway, and how his dad used to let him win. Jayson Tatum fondly recalls how his father never missed his games. But Lonzo Ball, he goes a different and pokes some fun at his father’s antics by mentioning how he berated Lonzo’s high school coach in front of a crowd because coach didn’t get the ball into Ball’s hands enough times during the game. Isaac chimes in again, about how his dad woke up early to drive him to many tournaments. But Ball continues on with a long list of less than fatherly moments by his dad LaVar Ball.

One of these notable moments was when LaVar started a shouting match with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take about how his son was already a better basketball player than Stephen Curry, then MVP of the NBA. Nevertheless, Smith was not excited about the new Foot Locker commercial. Not because of the argument he had with LaVar. Not because of his other antics that Lonzo listed during the ad. Rather, Smith questioned that viewers may overlook the point that these athletes, including Lonzo, have fathers that care about their families and have been a positive presence in their lives.

Smith says, “We don’t take time to step back and say: he’s a good man, good father, loves his kids, believes in his kids. And there’s a lot of kids out there, who wish they had a father that believed in them, the way that LaVar Ball believes in his son.”

“The NBA Draft is a milestone I’ve been working toward for a long time and it’s exciting to celebrate it with a Foot Locker commercial,” Lonzo said via press release. “I loved last year’s spot with Ben Simmons and D’Angelo Russell and I love how they give us players the opportunity to make light out of things. It’s been a big year for my family, and I know we’re just getting started. My dad and I both love the humor of the spot and I’m glad I got to have a little fun around the topic before going to the league.”

The spot will air nationally on ESPN during the live broadcast of the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22nd.

If you are a dad separated from his children, and you want a legal team who aggressively represents husbands and fathers, please contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm today. Our Orlando family lawyers can help you with child custody, visitation and time-sharing as well as paternity and fathers’ rights.

How to Establish Paternity in Florida

Every child deserves to have a legal dad, and fathers have rights to be a legal parent to their children. Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child’s father. Contrary to common belief, when a man’s name is on a child’s birth certificate as the father, this doesn’t establish paternity. In fact, a mother may list anyone whom she believes is, or wants to be, the father. Also contrary to popular belief, a DNA test is not the only way paternity can be established. Paternity can be established through several means. Paternity gives rights and benefits to the mother, the father and the child. The Florida Department of Revenue provides the following information when establishing paternity.

Some of the rights and benefits for the child are:

  • Information on family medical history
  • The child will know the identity of his or her father
  • The father’s name is on the birth certificate
  • Health or life insurance from either parent, if available
  • Support from both parents, like child support and medical support
  • Get Social Security or veteran’s benefits, military allowances and inheritances

Paternity gives both parents the legal right to:

  • Get a child support order
  • Get a court order for shared time with the child
  • Have a say in decisions about the child

Does Your Child Have a Legal Father?

  • A child born to parents that are married to each other has a legal father. Married parents and their child get all the rights and benefits listed above.
  • A child does not have a legal father if the mother is not married when the child is born. Paternity has to be established for the child.

How Do I Establish Paternity for My Child?

At birth in the hospital:

If the mother is married, the mother’s husband at birth is the legal father of the child. Neither parent needs to do anything to establish paternity. This paperwork is completed by the hospital. If the mother is married but does not list her husband’s name on the child’s birth certificate, paternity must be addressed in court.

If the mother and father are not married when the child is born, the child’s father can fill out and sign the Paternity Acknowledgment form (also called the DH-511) in the hospital. Both parents must fill out and sign the form in the presence of a notary public provided by the hospital. This is the quickest and easiest way to establish paternity when the mother and father are not married.

The man that signs the DH-511 form is the legal father as soon as the form is complete. The hospital will send the form to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics so they can record the birth. The legal father’s name will also be on the birth certificate when it is recorded. Note: This option cannot be used if the mother is married when the child is born.

Age 0-18 years by legitimation or acknowledgement:

If the mother is unmarried when the child is born, but later marries the child’s father, the husband becomes the legal father. When this happens, the father’s name is not automatically added to the child’s birth certificate.

To add the father’s name to the birth certificate, the parents can complete The Affirmation of Common Child(ren) Born in Florida form (DH-743A) or provide a written statement under oath to the Clerk of Court when they apply for their marriage license. The DH-743A form will be provided to the parents by the Clerk of Court when the parents return the completed marriage license. The Clerk of Court will send the completed form or written statement to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics so the father’s name can be added to the birth certificate.

After the child’s birth and any time until the child reaches age 18, the mother and child’s father can establish paternity if they fill out and sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity form (Form DH-432) *. Both parents must fill out and sign this form in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public. This form is also available by visiting your local Florida Health Department, the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville, or one of the Florida Department of Children and Families offices. Mail the completed form to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics and they will change the birth certificate to add the legal father’s name. Note: This option cannot be used if the mother was married when the child was born.

Age 0-18 years by order:

Paternity is determined by a judge in court

Paternity can be established by filing a civil action in circuit court. A judge can establish paternity by court order. We will ask the court to hear the case and then a judge decides whether or not paternity is established. Until paternity is legally established the man is referred to as the “alleged father.” Based on the evidence, the judge may issue an order that says the man is the child’s father. A judge can also establish paternity in other kinds of court actions, such as divorce or dependency.

In court cases:

  • The party who files the action must be served.
  • If both parents agree to legal paternity before the actual day of the court hearing they can sign a consent order that is adopted by the court as the final order.
  • Both parents must appear for the court hearing as scheduled.
  • If the alleged father was served, but does not show up for court, the judge may choose to “default” the alleged father and make him the legal father without him being there.
  • The court may order a genetic test.
  • One or both parents may be ordered to pay for the genetic test and any other court costs.

Paternity is determined by the Child Support Program in a Final Order

The Florida Department of Revenue can help parents determine paternity without going to court. To do this:

  • the mother,
  • the man believed to be the father, and
  • the child(ren)

must provide genetic samples that are tested. If the test results prove that the man believed to be the father is the biological father, the Department will issue an Administrative Order of Paternity and tell the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics to add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate.

Please note: The Florida Department of Revenue will review cases to see which order method listed above is the best option for each individual case.

If you are a father being denied paternity or time with your children, please contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm in Orlando, Florida for informative counsel and representation in paternity matters. Our caring legal team is ready to help you.

Court Rules in Favor of Man Appealing Florida Alimony

The 5th District Court of Appeals in Daytona Beach recently ruled partially in favor of a man who raised concerns about Florida alimony payments and loans in a divorce case. Charmaine Little reports for Florida Record.

The Appeal:

Matthew Wayne appealed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Brevard County for himself and his estranged wife, Susan Einspar. Wayne had several concerns about how the circuit court ruled.

According to the motion filed in April, “Wayne has raised ten issues, contending that the trial court erred in: 1) distributing certain assets and debts between the parties, including their son’s school and automobile loans; 2) failing to credit Wayne for temporary alimony payments made to Einspar between August 2011 and April 2 2013; 3) awarding retroactive alimony to Einspar; 4) awarding permanent alimony to Einspar; 5) determining the amount of permanent alimony; 6) placing undue emphasis on the “lifestyle” factor in determining the amount of permanent alimony; 7) declining to impute income to Einspar; 8) calculating Wayne’s net monthly income; 9) requiring Wayne to carry a life insurance policy with Einspar as the beneficiary to secure his alimony obligation; and 10) excessively delaying the entry of the final judgment following the conclusion of trial.”

Both parties agreed that Einspar and the son cosigned on the car while Wayne took responsibility for the student loans, according to court records. The appeals court said it’s not certain how many temporary alimony payments were made, as well as the amounts for the months in question.

Other issues Wayne addressed in the appeals court included ordering Einspar to be the beneficiary in Wayne’s life insurance policy, how his net income will be calculated and “excessively delaying” the final judgment after the trial ended.

Considering all of these potential issues, Einspar took legal action and filed two cross-appeals suggesting that the trial court was incorrect when it came to “awarding credits to Wayne for payments he made towards the parties’ property after the petition for dissolution of marriage was filed” and “including a particular promissory note in equitable distribution.”

The Court’s Decision:

The appeals court decided to reverse and remanded the circuit court’s decision for the loans and temporary Florida alimony payments so the details can be determined.

About Florida Alimony:

No one receives an award of spousal support absent a demonstrated need, no matter the income of the other party. Likewise, there is often need on the part of one spouse for additional income to cover monthly expenses, but no ability to pay on the part of the other spouse. Both elements must be met before an award is made. Additionally, it is not the parties who determine their need, or their ability to pay, but rather the law that defines the critical elements of need, income, ability, duration, etc. The application of the law of alimony begins with a Florida Statute. The facts of an individual case are applied to each of these economic factors:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  • The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
  • When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
  • All sources of income available to either party.
  • The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

Case law is then applied to further define the meaning and intent of each of the factors, specifically, how the court has previously ruled on a given set of facts and circumstances.

For Example:

Duration of the marriage. There is no bright line rule as to how long a marriage must be before a court will award alimony. There is a legal “presumption” in favor of permanent alimony following a long-term marriage. Long-term is not clearly defined, but is more often than not, in excess of fifteen years. This factor alone is not determinative, and long-term marriage does not insure permanent alimony or any alimony at all. The economic factors must be considered as a whole.

Income available to the parties. Note the law does not state, the parties actual income. Income can be imputed, or attributed, to a spouse based on prior earnings, potential earning, continuous gifts from third parties or family members, or any variety of sources. Imputation of income plays a significant role in both the need and ability to pay analyses.

If you have questions about spousal support, or you’re considering appealing Florida alimony, please contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm today.

Paid Parental Leave Plan Included in Trump’s 2018 Budget Proposal

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would create the first federal plan for paid parental leave, including fathers, in the U.S. Dan Merica reports for CNN and Danielle Kurtzleben reports for NPR.

President Trump’s 2018 budget will push for the creation of a federal paid parental leave program that will provide mothers and fathers after the birth or adoption of a child with six weeks of paid leave, a Trump administration official told CNN.

Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and top aide, was the force behind the new parental leave proposal, the official said. The Trump administration officially rolled out their 2018 budget on May 23rd. The paid family leave program will likely face stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have opposed any such program.

“For many families in our country, childcare is now the single largest expense — even more than housing,” Trump has said. “Our [parental leave] plan will bring relief to working and middle class families.”

Ivanka Trump has added that, “As a society we need to create policies that champion all parents, enabling the American family to thrive.”

When President Barack Obama pushed for paid family leave in 2015, both moderate and conservative Republicans criticized the plan.

Here’s the broad outline of what the budget says about the parental leave plan:

  • It’s a departure from what President Trump proposed on the campaign trail — back then, he called for paid maternity leave. This parental leave plan would also cover fathers and new adoptive parents.
  • Parental leave would be mandatory, but not uniform: “States would be required to provide six weeks of parental leave and the proposal gives states broad latitude to design and finance the program,” the administration wrote in its budget.
  • The program would cost about $8.5 billion over 10 years, and according to the budget would be entirely paid for — but that could require some states to raise taxes. Under the plan, the government would set minimum levels for states to maintain in their unemployment trust funds. And if they don’t hit that? “States that are currently below this minimum standard are expected to increase their State UI taxes to build up their trust fund balances,” the budget says. Applying these minimum levels to trust funds would pay for $12.9 billion of the plan, according to the administration.
  • The budget includes other savings: Eliminating improper unemployment insurance payments and implementing programs to get people back to work more quickly could potentially pay for $6.2 billion, which could offset some unemployment insurance taxes.
  • Still, there are a lot of blanks to fill in if this is really to be viable. The Trump administration has said that the details will still have to be negotiated, according to The New York Times, and that states will design their individual programs.

If you are a father with questions regarding your paternal rights or paternity leave, contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm today. Our caring team is standing by ready to help.