What is Baseball’s Paternity List?

Many fans of America’s favorite past time were surprised to hear 
about this when it first surfaced in the news a few months ago – I 
know this author was – but it’s true, Major League baseball has a 
“Paternity List” which allows players to lawfully leave a team when 
their spouse is in the process of delivering birth to a child.

Pursuant to Major League Baseball’s 2011 collective bargaining 
agreement with the Player’s Union, major league baseball players 
are afforded three days of paternity leave. This provision came to 
light when New York Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, 
exercised his right to paternity leave in early April 2014 to join his 
wife and new son.

Murphy’s decision to take paternity leave was not greeted 
enthusiastically by many in the sports world. 
Boomer Esiason 
suggested that Murphy’s wife should have had a “c-section” before 
the season so that Murphy would not miss any games.

Not cool Boomer.

Additionally, New York radio host 
Mike Francesa on WFAN was 
equally upset with Murphy and went as far to say that Murphy’s 
wife really didn’t need him to be there in the first few days 
following birth.

The surfacing of Murphy’s case in the media raises some unique 
questions.

For example, should professional athletes be given paternity leave 
or is the obligation to their teams and fans too great to justify 
paternity leave?

Furthermore, is it time that the country in general starts a 
comprehensive dialogue on the subject of paternity leave for all 
Americans?

In the end, this case is yet another example of how the fields of 
family law and policy have become completely intertwined with 
multiple facets of American society.

It’s difficult to say with certainty how the concept of paternity 
leave will evolve but it seems likely that the topic will remain 
within the public discourse.

One thing is for sure, at least for now, paternity leave is here to 
stay in Major League Baseball.

Prenups: I do or I don’t


Why should we get a prenup?
No one should enter into a marriage anticipating
       failure but premarital agreements (aka prenup) protect both
   parties and their families should something go wrong.
       Advantages include:
       •      Avoiding Litigation Costs
       •      Protecting against Fears of Family Members
       •      Protecting Family Assets
       •      Protecting Business Assets
       •      Protection Against Creditors and debt
       •      Estate planning/Predetermined Disposition of Property

Such agreements also open the door to “full disclosure” 
concerning assets and debt.

What is the difference between a prenuptial agreement 
and a premarital agreement?
Nothing significant…A pre-nuptial, or premarital agreement, is 
an agreement between two prospective spouses made before 
marriage and becomes effective when you and your spouse 
marry.

In Florida the agreement is referred to as a “premarital 
agreement” which means an agreement between prospective 
spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective 
upon marriage.

Are there specific requirements to make a premarital 
agreement valid?
Yes. Under Florida law, among other requirements, a premarital 
agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties and 
enforceable upon marriage. You can speak with William S. 
Foley, PA for other advice on ensuring that you premarital 
agreement is valid.

How does Florida handle premarital agreements?
Florida Statute §61.079 follows a version of the Uniform 
Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) which governs premarital 
agreements entered on or after October 1, 2007. The UPAA 
follows Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.

Can we do it ourselves?
In the eyes of the law, marriage is a contract between two 
people. A premarital agreement is also a contract, and if done 
incorrectly can be invalid or misconstrued to the original intent 
of the parties/couple.
*It is always best to have a professional look over any contract.

Do we both need lawyers?
It is a contract…the drafting attorney is doing what is best for 
his client. It only makes sense to have someone look out for 
your best interest as well.

What makes a premarital agreement unenforceable and 
who decides the enforceability?
An agreement is unenforceable if it was involuntary, the product 
of fraud, duress, coercion, or the agreement was 
unconscionable.

Courts occasionally invalidate premarital agreements, these are 
normally ones prepared without the help of attorneys, or ones 
where there was coercion in getting one partner’s signature.

If you have a properly drafted agreement, and there was no 
duress, there is a better chance that it will stand up in court

What should be included in a premarital agreement?
The specific needs of each couple will vary. But the Florida 
statute recognizes the need to contract on property, spousal 
support (you should speak to an attorney regarding the state of 
the Law in Florida on temporary support, as this is a tricky area 
of the law), creation of a will or trust, benefits from life 
insurance, the choice of law governing the construction of the 
agreement, and any matter including personal rights and 
obligations that does not violate public policy of this state or 
law imposing a criminal penalty.

Does it have to be done before we are married?
A premarital agreement must be completed and signed before 
the marriage to be a “pre-marital” agreement. Only premarital 
agreements fall under the UPAA guidelines.

But a “post-marital” agreement (or Postnuptial Agreement) can 
be drafted at anytime during the marriage and can accomplish
the same objectives as a premarital agreement.

Do you also draft Postnuptial Agreements?
Yes! Postnuptial Agreements are agreements entered into 
AFTER the marriage. We prepare those as well and they can be 
very helpful even if the premarital agreement was not entered 
into prior to the marriage.

How long before the marriage should we make a 
premarital agreement?
Depending on the complexity of the issues and the parties’ 
financial status, drafting the agreement should be done several 
months before the wedding but the signing of the agreement ca 
be done anytime before the ceremony.

Are premarital agreements expensive?
No. Compared to the cost of an average wedding or an average 
divorce, a premarital agreement is a bargain. The best way to 
think about it is like buying insurance: it’s a small one-time cost 
for something you never hope to use, but if you ever need it, 
you’ll be glad you have it, and it will save you a lot of money.

Can a premarital agreement be terminated or modified?
Yes, after marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended, 
revoked, or abandoned only by a written agreement signed by 
both the parties.

Call William S. Foley, a Tampa Prenup Lawyer at (813) 272-
2345 so that wcan set up an initial consultation on
your prenuptial agreement.

IF MY SPOUSE RELOCATES, WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS?

If the Court orders relocation either through agreement of the parties or during a hearing, one of the factors the Court looks into is what the transportation costs are going to be for the non-custodial parent.

 What does this mean in plain English?

 If my spouse is the one that relocates the kids, how much is it going to cost me to see my kids?

One thing that we know is that long distance travel and transportation costs can be extremely expensive in certain situations.  We’ve seen various costs associated with transportation ranging from a small amount of gas money for a trip, to extensive airfare associated with overseas and international travel. 

 The factors for costs of the transportation differ on where the parents live, depending on if it’s a flight situation, whether there is an airport hub or multiple connecting flights and depending on the age of the child if they can fly without an adult. These different factors will all affect the transportation costs associated with the relocation. 

 So when making my long distance agreement, what do I need to take into consideration for the costs?

 Let’s use an example that your child is 2 years old when you agree to a relocation of the other party with the child, that would equal at least 16 years of transportation expenses associated with your time-sharing with the minor child.  Multiple that by each child if you have more than 1 child.

 To start to get an idea of the costs involved, let’s say in the example above the long distance timesharing was limited to:

                - one full month  (30 days) during the summer for the       

                 noncustodial parent, and

                - then some time at Christmas (how about 10 days?), and

                - let’s also include every other thanksgiving and spring break.

             * this is not necessarily a normal schedule, it’s just an example.

Christmas is one of the most expensive times to fly as children are normally out of school at that time and it is a peak travel time; this is usually true for Christmas, Thanksgiving, spring break, and summer break. These breaks all turn into good periods of time to make up time for the noncustodial parent if you live 2,000 miles away from each other; as every other weekend is not likely going to occur.  The transportation costs are going to be higher than a weekend in September, as these periods are the most regularly traveled periods. This has to be factored into the analysis of payment of transportation costs.

So if in the example the noncustodial parent is flying in to pick up the child that would be a roundtrip ticket home and then to bring the child back and then fly back would be another roundtrip ticket plus the child’s roundtrip ticket.  So just for one timesharing break if you bring the child back to the noncustodial’s home that could be a number of roundtrip tickets and if you multiply that over two to four times per year and then multiple that by 16 years, the costs associated with the timesharing could be substantial while the child is a minor. Keep in mind there are a lot of other variables for timesharing, which could necessitate additional costs associated with transportation.  So again this is a very important factor to remember to remember that this may not just be someone paying for a tank of gas for a 3-hour round-trip drive from city to city. 

How do people figure the payment of the transportation costs out?

 Of course we have to give the normal legal answer that every situation is usually different.

 Why is this so? Why can’t it be one size fits all?

Well, there are different situations that necessitate different results:

  • Sometimes parties will split the costs pursuant to a percentage either 50/50, 75/25, 90/10 – dependent on a whole host of factors, or
  • Sometimes one party bears all the costs, again this is based on each parties’ set of unique circumstances
  •  and then again it can be taken into consideration for child support and the Courts can take into consideration for a deviation from the child support guidelines based upon the expenses associated with the noncustodial parent’s timesharing.  Again, we stress the word “can”, the Court is free to Order what they feel is in the best interest of the child and what is fair and just for each situation. The parties can settle out of Court for payment that they deem to be fair as well if the Court will approve it.

What if I want more time?

 In some situations the parties are able to fly in for weekend timesharing or if they lived close they can drive if the financial circumstances allow for this type of timesharing.  Again, flights to and from distant locations for a short weekend are less prevalent. Sometimes we will see flights in to a locale and staying in a hotel or apartment near the other party’s residence for weekend timesharing, but again, the most frequent long distance time-sharing does not include more than about 5-8 weekends out of the year. This is an option to use floating weekends that can occur during the year at the request of the noncustodial parent, so it won’t be 26 every other weekends during the year, but it will be almost monthly contact with the minor child.

Again, this article does NOT suggest that relocations are always granted, but merely that IF the relocation is agreed to or Ordered by the Court, everyone needs to look at the transportation costs as this is a big issue in most cases. The Courts look at many factors in deciding a relocation, but this is not the topic of this article.

In conclusion it’s very important to keep this very potentially expensive factor in mind when you’re agreeing to or formulating a long-distance timesharing schedule, or an agreement based upon a proposed relocation. 

Our office deals with relocations on a regular basis and you can give us a call at (813) 272-2345 to set up a consultation relating to your proposed relocation or if you are the noncustodial parent and you are objecting to a relocation.  Sometimes it’s also helpful to speak to an attorney if either party is thinking about agreeing to the relocation and wishes to have more information or have an attorney assist in the process of negotiating the long distance timesharing and payment of transportation costs

By: William S. Foley, Esq.

Jurisdiction: Florida

Tampa Divorce and Family Law turned 5 today!

Tampa Divorce and Family Law turned 5 today!

(Source: assets)

What if I need support but I don’t want a divorce?

            Sometimes when parties are married they choose for whatever reason not to proceed forward with a divorce but they still separate.  As there is no legal separation in Florida, one method used is to file an action called “support unconnected with a divorce” in order to receive support without filing for the divorce. 

This is only used in certain situations.  Again these cases are not routinely filed but it is another option available for alimony and child support for a party to receive some support prior to a final dissolution of marriage. 

The relevant Florida Statute is 61.09 and reads as follows:

61.09 Alimony and child support unconnected with dissolution.—If a person having the ability to contribute to the maintenance of his or her spouse and support of his or her minor child fails to do so, the spouse who is not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony and for support for the child without seeking dissolution of marriage, and the court shall enter an order as it deems just and proper.”

         61.10 is also another Florida statute which explains the adjudication of the support action:

61.10 Adjudication of obligation to support spouse or minor child unconnected with dissolution; parenting plan.—Except when relief is afforded by some other pending civil action or proceeding, a spouse residing in this state apart from his or her spouse and minor child, whether or not such separation is through his or her fault, may obtain an adjudication of obligation to maintain the spouse and minor child, if any. The court shall adjudicate his or her financial obligations to the spouse and child and shall establish the parenting plan for the parties. Such an action does not preclude either party from maintaining any other proceeding under this chapter for other or additional relief at any time.”

                              - 2013 version of statute

Speak to an attorney about this area of the law as again since it is not filed very often sometimes it can be confused by some parties as being an actual dissolution proceeding rather than just a support unconnected with a dissolution of marriage proceeding.

By: William S. Foley, Esq.

Jurisdiction: Florida

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an opportunity to get things done. 

What we mean by that is that litigation is time consuming, costly and many times results in an outcome that would be more advantageous if the parties were able to come to a settlement as it costs money to get to the judge. 

Mediation is that option to get the case moving in the right direction to come to a settlement. 

It takes a meeting of the minds. 

It takes restraint. 

It takes compromise. 

It also takes reason and sometimes what would seem like a little bit of luck but attorneys know that a lot of times through hard work, preparation and consistent contact with their clients prior to the mediation helps prepare them to better informed and more able to make a decision at the mediation. 

Mediation itself in Florida is confidential and privileged.  In family law and divorce cases, which is the subject of this article, the relevant rules provide for confidentiality of mediation and settlement negotiations that take place at mediation.  So if the parties do not enter into a settlement agreement, offers and counteroffers made in compromise should not be used against them later. 

Confidentiality is very helpful as sometimes parties may be more willing to offer more than they would be willing to offer when they go to court, so then they want to make sure that these offers of compromise and settlement are not used against them later if the mediation does not work out, so it gives a forum for parties to feel comfortable to make their best offer.

A mediator is neutral and works for the agreement. The mediator is NOT the Judge. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties; the mediator helps facilitate an agreement. If you can’t agree, that’s when you turn it over to the Judge for the Judge to decide.

If you are interested in mediation in Tampa, Florida, Saint Petersburg, Florida, Clearwater, Dade City, New Port Richie, Plant City, Sarasota, Bradenton, Bartow, Lakeland, Spring Hill, Hernando, please give our office a call at (813) 272-2345 to speak with a divorce and family law lawyer that deals with mediation and is experienced in settling and litigating divorce and family law issues.

By: William S. Foley, Esq.

Jurisdiction: Florida

 http://www.wfoleylaw.com

we can help… seriously.

We are here to help.

The mantra of our office is we are here to help you.

We believe in The Reasonable Divorce, and what that means is that if both parties are able to be reasonable about their lives, their property, their children, their finances and then we are here to help the parties come to an agreeable resolution.

We do know that some cases are unable to be settled and many times that’s due to one party being unreasonable. Sometimes, it’s just because both parties want the same exact thing, such as primary custody of the children. So we do our best to suggest reasonable behavior, but in some circumstances but parties just want the exact same thing.

The firm firmly believes that the vast majority of cases where both parties are being reasonable that an agreement settlement is imminent. We are here to help in all cases which the parties as well wish to be reasonable.

We feel our office has reasonable fees and reasonable staff to help you through your problems. This does not mean that we work for free as nothing in life is truly for free and again the phrase as everyone has heard a million times - you get what you pay for - we are clearly a proponent in that phrase, that we feel we are worth what we charge and that it’s a reasonable fee.

We feel we can show you as well how we can be of help to you in your family law matter. It can be divorce, paternity, child support or other related family law matter in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee, Orange, Seminole, or Hernando counties.

We are here to help and to be there for you during this time in your life.

We understand it’s hard.

We understand it’s stressful.

We’ve had hundreds of cases that have helped us to be able to know how to deal with your specific situation which is different than everybody else’s situation. We’re finally attuned to that, that we have to approach each situation differently and look it from the context of what our client’s goals are.

Again, if your goals are reasonable and your spouse’s goals are reasonable and there are two reasonable attorneys involved, we feel there’s a good opportunity for settlement so you can move on with your life, save money in the time being and create a better future for your children.

Again, call us today at (813) 272 2345, we’re here to help.

www.wfoleylaw.com

Is Florida a ‘No Fault Divorce’ State?

The concept of no fault divorce is one that has evolved over time as state legislatures attempted to redefine the legal rules surrounding the dissolution of marriages. Historically, states required parties to a divorce to prove ‘fault’ regarding the demise of the marriage. For example, New York required that a party prove cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, confinement, or abandonment, in order to successfully dissolve a marriage. The policy reason behind this was that states wanted to protect the institution of marriage and encourage reconciliation amongst the parties.

So, what happened?

The simple answer is that state legislatures came to the realization that divorces often do not involve ‘fault’ in the traditional statutory sense. Instead, couples may often be incompatible, unhappy, and simply feel that their marriage is broken beyond repair. For this reason, states opted to introduce the concept of ‘no fault divorce.’

What is no fault divorce?

No fault divorce essentially means that the parties to a divorce only have to show that the marriage is irretrievably broken or there are irreconcilable differences between the parties.

How do I file for a no fault divorce in Florida?

In Florida, the process for filing for a no fault divorce is simple. First, a legal marriage must exist. Second, one of the parties must have been a permanent resident of the State of Florida for a minimum of 6 months prior to the initiation of divorce proceedings. Third, the parties must properly allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that irreconcilable differences exist within the marriage.

But what if fault exists?

Often divorces are precipitated through the fault of one of the parties. For example, adultery is a common catalyst for divorces.

So, what role does adultery or other types of fault play in divorce proceedings?

Surprisingly to most clients, adultery is not considered in the decision to grant a dissolution of marriage. However, adultery or other types of fault may play a critical role in the allocation of marital assets through equitable distribution. For example, if your spouse is engaged in an adulterous relationship, and makes expenditures on that relationship, than you may be entitled to receive a share of what your spouse spent on their adulterous relationship. While, adultery may not play a pivotal role in the decision on whether or not to grant a divorce, it can become a crucial factor in determining proper distribution of marital assets.

In Conclusion, Florida is a ‘No Fault’ State and William S. Foley, PA can help you in your divorce. Please call today at (813) 272-2345 to speak to an attorney about your divorce and family law questions.

 Click here to visit the William S. Foley, PA website for more information

What is Stalking?

            Like many things, stalking comes in all shapes and sizes and victimizes a broad range of individuals. Sometimes an act of stalking is easy to point out, but in many cases the behavior in question straddles a fine line between being lawful or constituting stalking. Understanding this distinction in behavior is critical in the law of stalking.

           So, what is stalking?

            In Florida, an individual commits misdemeanor stalking if they “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow, harass, or cyberstalk” another person. In some instances, an individual may commit felony aggravated stalking if they make a “credible threat” to the person they are stalking. Whatever the degree of stalking may be, courts use a fact based inquiry to decide whether or not the legal threshold for stalking has been met.

            When a claim of stalking is based on an individual being repeatedly followed the inquiry is usually simple. Prove that you have been repeatedly followed, with proper documentation, and a court will most likely find that you have been stalked. However, things are different when stalking is based off of harassment.

            Harassment is a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that; 1) Causes substantial emotional distress; and 2) Serves no legitimate purpose. As a practical matter, course of conduct is a series of acts over a period of time that demonstrate a common purpose. Even though, a series of acts is required, courts have held that the time-span between the acts can be as little as hours. So, the classic Hollywood idea that stalking takes place over weeks, months, or even years is not entirely accurate and should never deter someone from seeking legal protection if they are a victim of stalking. Instead, stalking can occur over a matter of a few hours or a few days. It all depends on the circumstances.

            Once a pattern of behavior has been established the next inquiry by the court will be to determine whether the victim suffered substantial emotional distress as a direct result of the harassment. In doing so, a court will use the “reasonable person standard” to judge if a person, under similar circumstances, would suffer substantial emotional distress. If the substantial emotional distress is based off of conduct that enjoys special constitutional protection, like picketing, then a court will rule that there was no stalking.

            As has been said, stalking comes in many ways, but one thing is consistent: the longer it goes on the more severe the behavior becomes. Many people mistakenly think that they are powerless to do anything about their stalker because even though they are fearful and upset over the harassment, they are unsure as to whether they are “legally” being stalked and reluctant to seek help. Never take this risk. First, if you strongly feel as though your life is in immediate danger then call the police. Additionally, a qualified family law attorney can advise you on civil protection such as temporary and permanent injunctions and additional measures to protect yourself from a stalker. 

            To conclude, stalking is an extremely serious offense and should be taken very seriously regardless of the form that it takes place in. It occurs throughout a multitude of places, such as the home and the workplace, and affects a broad range of people. It is important to remember to evaluate the elements of stalking when considering whether conduct amounts to stalking and it is also advisable to seek professional help and consultation.

 By: William S. Foley, PA

http://www.wfoleylaw.com

Why Should I Retain a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer?

Some people think that a collaborative divorce is appropriate for 
their situation, when it may actually not be appropriate. But the 
greater percentage have never even heard of collaborative 
divorce, or if they have don’t know the benefits. So this is an 
article to go over some of the benefits of Collaborative Divorce:

Some benefits of Collaborative Divorce —-

A.        
Humane Divorce —- Some people feel that the normal 
way of litigation is a very impersonal stress-inducing, sometimes 
pretty traumatizing event that occurs in their life.  Collaborative 
divorce is not the easy thing to do and is still challenging, but is a 
much more humane way of dealing with such an emotional time 
in someone’s life.  

B.        Team Approach —- In a collaborative divorce everybody 
in the team, which would be the two attorneys, the two parties 
and two experts, one financial and one mental health expert, work 
together as a team to get to an agreement.  So, during team 
meetings where all six of the team members will sit around the 
table and try to make sure they can figure out what it is the 
parties and their children and their lives best interest.  

C.        No posturing  —- What makes this so much different 
than a normal divorce proceeding is that the aspect of attorneys 
posturing back and forth and other litigation tactics are not 
necessary and are not used as they are working towards a final 
resolution.  

D.        Carrot at the end of the stick —- The carrot at the 
end of the stick the parties to follow through to conclusion is that 
if the parties do not settle during the collaborative process, they 
must fire their attorneys and the experts and start all over to file 
for divorce.  So, this is much different than a normal divorce 
proceeding and it entices people to try to find a way, if at all 
possible, to settle.  There’s different statistics that we’ve seen, but 
it appears that somewhere between 90 to 95 percent of 
collaborative divorce cases ultimately settle and are successful.

http://www.wfoleylaw.com