Florida Legal Blog2019-02-20T17:22:02+00:00

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Guardian Ad Litem 101: An Introduction to Florida’s Guardian Ad Litem Role

A guardian ad litem (GAL) serves a very important role in Florida courts. They advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. GALs are especially important in family law cases. Read on to learn the basics of the guardian ad litem role in Florida’s court. Definitions Guardian ad litem (GAL) A guardian ad litem acts as a voice for an individual in court. A judge may decide that a guardian is needed for a few reasons. The most common reason to appoint or call in a GAL is because there are minors involved. Unfortunately, many times family law cases boil [...]

October 9th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

Why Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce?

Legal separation in Florida is a tricky subject. Unlike other states, Florida does not have an official process of legal separation. However, there are steps that a couple can take to replicate the legal results of a separation. Read on to learn why separation is a viable option for many situations. There are many valid reasons to choose a separation over divorce. A couple’s decisions can be impacted by many variables. Children Parents generally want what is best for their children, and sometimes that means avoiding a divorce. Needing to split from your partner is entirely valid, but it can [...]

October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

IEPs vs. 504 Plans: What’s The Difference?

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans can both offer immense amounts of aid to disabled students and their families. They also open up communication between the student, their family, the school, and disability experts. If you are a parent to a child with disabilities, you are probably curious about IEPs and 504 plans. Read on to learn more about IEPs vs. 504 plans, and find out what will work best for your family. Where Does It Come From? 504 plans are established via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 while Individualized Education Programs originate from Individuals with [...]

September 25th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , , , , |

Breach of Contract 101

Even people not familiar with business law know that breach of contract is not a good thing. What exactly is it? Is it possible to be in breach of contract without knowing it? Join us as we explain breach of contract 101. What Is A Breach of Contract? To define it simply, a breach of contract occurs when one person involved in the contract fails to meet or fulfill at least one of the conditions of the contract. Although, there can be a breach of contract on multiple levels The breach may occur on either side, but common examples include [...]

September 18th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , , |

Employment Contracts in Florida

Employment agreements are contractual relationships, whether or not there is a signed paper contract. In this day and age, however, it is smart to put together an employment contract. Most of the time, a contract simply ensures that everybody is on the same page. Read on to learn all you need to know about employment contracts. What Are Employment Contracts? Contracts are agreements between two or more parties that set out the conditions of that agreement. Employment contracts do just that, with a job or employment arrangement.  The employer and the employee sit down and outline the terms of employment. [...]

September 11th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

DCF 101: What Is The Department of Children & Families? (Part Two)

The Department of Children & Families, also known as the DCF, provides many services for the residents of Florida. Last week we broke down many of the services offered, but there are still more to get through. This week, continue reading the various services that the DCF provides to the state. Foster Care Foster care can be a tumultuous process for everyone involved, which is why the DCF provides a number of resources about fostering for both potential and current foster parents. These resources include instructions on how to become a foster parent as well as ways that individuals can [...]

DCF 101: What Is The Department of Children & Families? (Part One)

The DCF is the Department of Children & Families; every state has one, and they work on a number of goals. The Florida DCF lists its mission as “protecting the vulnerable, promoting strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advancing personal and family recovery and resiliency.” In this post, we break down what exactly the Department of Children & Families does by reviewing the various services they provide, as well as examining how these services help Floridians. Abuse Hotlines The state of Florida has a toll-free number that you can call (1-800-962-2873) or fax (1-800-914-0004), as well as an online reporting [...]

IDEA: What Every Parent Needs To Know

IDEA stands for The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. It is designed to ensure that children with disabilities have access to a quality education and that the education is appropriate to their disability. Read on to learn what exactly IDEA is and the rights it affords you and your child. IDEA helps schools build increasingly diverse classrooms. What is IDEA? Congress passed IDEA in 1975. They designed the legislation to give free appropriate public education to children with disabilities. The act covers children from birth all the way until high school graduation or age 21, whichever comes [...]

August 13th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , , |

How to Handle School-Related Issues as a Divorced Parent

Trying to co-parent with an ex-spouse can be challenging, especially when it comes to school for the children involved. The best way to deal with school issues, as with any co-parenting considerations, is through communication. Read on to learn the best ways handle school-related issues as a divorced parent. Pick-Up & Drop-Off It is important that your child, their teacher, and administration know what the pick-up and drop-off schedule is. This is especially important if your child is in elementary or middle school. Make sure to discuss the schedule with your ex-partner and work out something that is both workable [...]

August 6th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , , , , |

5 FAQs for International Adoption

    *Please note - Thompson Law does not offer international adoption services. However, we often get questions regarding this topic, and the article below is provided for informational purposes. Intercountry adoptions, or international adoption, is quite simply the process of adopting a child from another country. In 2018, according to the U.S. Department of State, there were 4,059 intercountry adoptions to the United States. Since 1999, international adoption has experienced a steady decline. This decline (mostly in China) is the result of an improvement in economic circumstances and a desire to create permanent domestic programs for orphaned children to [...]

July 28th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

Vacationing With Your Ex-Spouse: A Do or a Don’t?

Summer is on the horizon and vacation planning is in full swing. When you’re divorced or separated, family vacations get complicated. At one point or another, you may have asked yourself “Should my Ex and I take our children on a vacation together?” It’s a fair question and honorable that you’re trying to keep some normalcy for the children. It does feel as if every divorced celebrity couple is taking to social media to profess their good-naturedness about their demise of their marriage with “vacation selfies.” As blended families become more commonplace, many dynamics are changing and creating a new [...]

July 21st, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: |

The Benefits and Risks of Starting a Joint Venture

If you own a business, big or small, you might come across an opportunity for a joint venture (JV). Businesses can use joint ventures to strengthen long-term relationships or to collaborate on short-term projects. A famous and very successful JV was with Google and NASA and their development of Google Earth. However, as with all business dealings, joint ventures do come with some risks. Let’s review the pros and cons of embarking on a JV. The benefits of joint ventures Access to new markets and distribution networks Increased capacity Sharing of risks and costs with a partner Access to greater [...]

July 15th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

What is an Emotional Divorce and Why It’s a Bad Idea

There’s nothing more sentimental than to witness the love between two people on their wedding day. Intentions and promises, however, are not enough keep a marriage together. Soon, the complexities that come with personality differences, child rearing, or financial issues can quickly chip away at newlywed bliss. In fact, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. However, some couples are turning to a new arrangement of sorts – an “emotional divorce.” Types of Separation Marital separation is either legal, which involves the court system, housing and financial changes, and custody arrangements if children are [...]

July 8th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: |

What To Know Before You Sign A Non-Compete

  Think noncompetition agreements are just for top executives? Think again. Though non-competes are often found in high-skill, high-paying jobs, they are now standard practice across industries. From coffee shops to technology recruitment, companies are finding it more critical to protect their market share and intellectual property. According to a survey in 2014, 1 in 5 employees were bound by non-competes, and nearly 40% had signed at least one non-compete in the past. The world is only moving faster so you can imagine that number now is likely much higher. Fortunately, as an employee, you have rights, too. Keep reading [...]

June 24th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , , |

8 Resources for Adoption Funding

You know you want to adopt, but you’re quickly finding that adoption comes at a high cost. There are plenty of financial hurdles in the adoption process, and sometimes the funds don’t come easy. In fact, many people have had to face the devastating truth that they may not be able to afford adoption. Though this can be crushing, you shouldn’t despair if this happens to you. There are plenty of adoption loans and grants in place that help people cover the high costs of adoption. With the help of different foundations and organizations, you can be one step closer [...]

June 17th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , , |

When is a Guardian ad Litem Needed?

A guardian ad litem, or "GAL" serves as a voice for the most vulnerable.  Their primary goal is to find a permanent, loving, and most of all safe home for children in crisis. For instance, children that have been abused, neglected, abandoned, or sometimes trapped in the middle of a brutal custody battle. In a child custody case, a guardian ad litem investigates the parties’ parenting-related allegations and makes recommendations to the judge, such as recommending which party should receive custody (primary care). The judge usually follows the recommendations. Because of this, a GAL can drastically change the dynamic of [...]

June 10th, 2019|Categories: child custody, Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

5 Tips For Visitation After Divorce

Divorce is a confusing time fraught with uncertainty and upheaval. Sadly, it can be especially difficult when children are involved. In order to make it easier on them, divorced parents must collaborate in order to make the visitation process positive. Show a united front for the children so that they will feel confident and comfortable during this difficult time. Just like air travel, when turbulence happens in flight, we look to the pilot and flight attendants for reassurance. Here are some thoughts and ideas to ensure that your visits are pleasant for everyone. Stay positive. Be upbeat when discussing the [...]

May 21st, 2019|Categories: child custody, Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

Florida Resources for Children on the Spectrum

Are you wearing your blue this month? April is World Autism Month and, at Thompson Law, we pledge to help increase understanding and acceptance of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We understand the struggles Florida parents face when their children have genuine obstacles that make it difficult for them to grow and learn. Here are some resources that are available to families with a child on the spectrum. Early Screening 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), according to the 2018 CDC research. More specifically, 1 in 37 boys and 1 in [...]

April 5th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: |

6 Steps To Start A Small Business

We are a country of dreamers. Great ideas (and lots of not so great ideas) are abundant. Have you ever watched an episode of Shark Tank? So how many of these “great ideas” actually succeed as a business in the long-run? Not many. In fact, only one out of every 10 startups will succeed. That number is bleak and could be discouraging to some bright entrepreneurs, but it’s important to know the statistics and learn from other people’s failures. And while 90% of businesses fail for a whole spectrum of reasons out of their control, we’ve compiled some simple steps [...]

March 28th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: |

What You Should Know about Marital Property Division

The law recognizes any property or assets accumulated during the marriage as shared or marital. If it comes to divorce, the shared property should be divided fairly and equitably (that doesn’t apply to properties and assets in your ownership before the marriage). You might be wondering about the best way to divide accumulated assets and shared properties. Any reliable and experienced lawyer will tell you that an honest and fair approach is the smartest strategy you can have. The other party may hire a forensic accountant who can track all your hidden assets easily. That may disrupt the chances for [...]

March 20th, 2019|Categories: Florida Legal Blog|Tags: , |

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