Thursday, April 28, 2022

Debunking Family Law Myths

In other blogs, I have written about myths that you may encounter in the practice areas that Marcie specializes in. Today, I wanted to focus on some common Family Law myths and debunk them for you so that you are not misled by what you see on the internet or have been told by family and friends.

1.) MYTH: Florida courts favor mothers

Reality: Florida courts decide cases like this based on the parent’s ability to support the child’s best interests. There is no preference for mother over father or father over mother. Ultimately, the child’s well-being is what controls the decision.

2.) MYTH: If a parent pays alimony they don’t have to pay child support

Reality: Alimony and child support are not the same thing. Alimony is for the spouse, whereas child support is for the children. To learn more about the differences, and what you could be required to pay, check out a previous blog post here.

3.) MYTH: Permanent alimony is guaranteed

Reality: Courts measure each spouse's needs against their ability to pay. While longer marriages allow for permanent alimony to be considered, the court could ultimately decide to award alimony in the form of durational or rehabilitative, rather than permanent.

               4.) MYTH: The parents decide the amount of child support Reality: Child support is determined based on Florida Statutes. See more at this link.

5.) MYTH: Declaring bankruptcy negates child support

Reality: Declaring bankruptcy in Florida, or anywhere else in the United States does not stop the parental obligation of child support

6.) MYTH: Children 13 or older may decide where they want to live

Reality: While the court does consider the child’s best interests and preferences, regardless of the age of the child it is up to the court to decide where the child will primarily live. Many factors play into this decision and children have to wait until they are 18 to have complete control over where they live.

7.) MYTH: A parent can choose not to receive child support

Reality: Courts do not allow a parent to waive this right. Children have the legal right to receive financial support from their parents and any agreement by the parents otherwise will not be upheld by the courts, absent an Order on a Motion for Deviation from the amount owed.

8.) MYTH: You don’t need an attorney for your divorce

Although having an attorney to proceed with a divorce is not a requirement, it is ALWAYS in your best interest to have someone who can navigate the maze of legal documents, child support, alimony, and division of property matters that you will encounter. An attorney can help you find the best resolution for both parties and get the matter resolved much more efficiently than if you attempted to do so yourself.

I hope debunking these myths has provided some clarity for whatever family law matters you may be dealing with. As always, please feel free to reach out to our office to schedule your free consultation with Marcie Baker.

***This blog is informational and in no way constitutes legal advice. Should you have any family law questions please do not hesitate to contact our office and we would be happy to assist you. 


Thursday, April 21, 2022

What are Nuptial Agreements?

Today is dedicated to all things Family Law! I am sure you have heard of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. We hear about celebrities in the media, see them on TV shows and perhaps even know family members that entered into them.

Did you know that there are differences and which one you choose could impact your Family Law case differently? Today I want to offer a brief explanation of nuptial agreements in Florida so you have a better understanding when dealing with your Family Law case.

Generally, people enter into nuptial agreements to address the division of non-marital and marital property rights. IN many cases, the nuptial agreement is meant to protect property of children from previous marriages. Before I delve into the differences, allow me to offer a definition of both types of nuptial agreements.

Prenuptial = an agreement by two individuals before they legally marry. These agreements are typically entered into because one of the spouses has a significant amount of assets that he or she would like to keep in the event of a subsequent divorce.

Postnuptial = A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement except that in the case of the former, the couple is already married. It is a legal document that details how the couples wishes to divide their assets should they divorce in the future. A postnuptial agreement can include how a couple wants to divide their savings and investments, who keeps the home, alimony arrangements, division of debts, and even who keeps the family dog.

Below, I have highlighted some of the requirements for both types of agreements for you.

Prenuptial requirements

· The agreement must be in writing to be enforceable

· There must be no force or coercion and any agreement should be executed well before the planned wedding

· The agreement must be signed by both parties

· To be effective it must be followed by a valid marriage

· Florida statutes require that provisions made are permissible under Florida law. If an agreement is made that is in violation of Florida statutes, it will be disregarded by the court.

· Topics in the agreement may include:

o What happens to property

o Rights and obligations regarding property

o Spousal support

o Rights and disposition of life insurance policies

o Rights regarding claims against the estates of the other party in the event of death

Postnuptial requirements

· This agreement must also be in writing

· Both spouses also must freely and willingly sign

· The agreement must be fair

Regardless of whether there it a Pre-Nuptial or a Post-Nuptial agreement, both spouses are required to make a complete and truthful financial disclosure. This includes all sources of income, assets, property, and debts. If the couple divorces and a spouse can prove that the other spouse withheld any financial information, then the agreement will not be upheld.

I hope this has helped with any confusion you may have had regarding the various forms of nuptial agreements. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions or clarifications!

***The thoughts, facts, and opinions in this blog are meant to be informational and in no way constitute legal advice of any form. If you have family law questions, please reach out to our office to schedule your free consultation.


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Not All Judges Are the Same

We’ve all seen judges on Law and Order, the People’s Court, and in famous movies like A Few Good Men. However, did you know that not all judges are the same or play the same role in the course of a legal case? Especially in the practice areas that Marcie Baker specializes in, the judges who work on the claims all play very different roles in Work Comp., Bankruptcy, and Family Law.

Today, I would like to take some time to highlight these differences so that you can have a better understanding as to what to expect if and when your case ends up before a judge.

Work Comp.

Judges in Work Comp. cases come from the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims, or (OJCC). If an employee and employer cannot come to an agreement regarding their claim/injury, then the OJCC steps in to help navigate the claim. Florida has 32 of these judges that practice across 17 different districts. OJCC judges can request records, reports, and anything pertaining to your injury claim so that they can be as well informed as possible.

Although proceeding before an OJCC is called a trial, there is no jury in Florida Work Comp. trials. Rather, evidence and information will be presented before the judge. The OJCC will then evaluate the claim and make a final decision about the benefits that you are requesting.

Family Law

Florida’s family law court handles all kinds of cases dealing with children and families. These judges are either elected or appointed and specialize in handling all of the types of cases that fall under the area of family law. From name changes, to divorce, adoption, and even juvenile delinquency cases, the goal of the family law judge is to resolve such disputes in an efficient, fair, and timely fashion.

In divorce proceedings, family law judges always lookout for the best interest of the children, if there are any. Additionally, they seek to honor mutual agreements between spouses about the divorce, and if an agreement hasn’t been made, they try to rule in a way that will be beneficial and equitable to both parties involved.


Bankruptcy judges are extremely important. While they have the general role that other judges do when it comes to hearing arguments and evidence and deciding, they also have many other roles and responsibilities that are expected of them.

As the primary administrator of the rules in bankruptcy court before debtors and creditors can transfer money between one another the judge will have to sign off on motions made during the process for this to occur. Judges also have the role of deciding if the petitioners qualify for the section of the Bankruptcy Code, they are seeking relief under. Since Marcie Baker specializes in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, this would be the area judges for her cases would be looking to see if the petitioners qualified.

To better understand Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, please see my previous blogs under the Bankruptcy tab located in the top right corner of the blog.

I hope you found this blog informative and helpful. Judges play an important role in the legal system, but they can’t do it all. It is also important to understand how they can impact your specific case. If you have any more questions or would like to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

**The thoughts and ideas in this blog are meant to be informational ONLY and do not constitute any form of legal advice. Should you have questions about a potential claim you have, please reach out to our office to set up your free consultation with Marcie Baker. 


Thursday, April 7, 2022

Important Things to Think About!

Happy Thursday, y’all! In a world where all we seem to get is bad news, I wanted to take this week to offer a lighter perspective from our blog. Here are some facts to make you pause and step back from the craziness of the world for a bit.

1. The inventor of the treadmill died at the age of 54

2. The inventor of gymnastics died at the age of 57

3. The world bodybuilding champion died at the age of 41

4. The best footballer in the world, Maradona, died at the age of 60

5. James Fuller Fixx credited with helping start America’s fitness revolution by popularizing the sport of running died of a heart attack while jogging at 52 years of age.


6. The KFC Inventor died at 94

7. Inventor of Nutella brand died at the age of 88

8. Imagine, cigarette maker Winston died at the age of 102

9. The inventor of opium died at the age of 116 in an earthquake

10. And the Hennessey Liquor inventor died at 98

How did these doctors come to the conclusion that exercise prolongs life? The rabbit is always jumping up and down but it lives for only 2 years and the turtle that doesn’t exercise at all lives 400 years.

So, take some rest, chill, stay cool, eat, drink, and enjoy your life!!! And after a round of golf (or not) go to happy hour!

**Author Unknown**

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that we only have one life, so we might as well spend it making memories and having a good time. This weekend, do something that makes you happy! Not because you have to, but because you WANT to.


Time to Say Goodbye

Happy Thursday, all! Enjoy this upcoming long weekend and the unofficial start to summer! Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and to...