Adult Adoptions


Florida Statute permits any person, a minor or an adult to be adopted. The adoption of adults may not be what you first think of when you think of adoptions, but there are a number of reasons why an adult may want to be adopted or another adult may want to adopt an adult. Adult adoptions present an opportunity for people to formalize existing pseudo parent-child relationships, such as those between stepparents and stepchildren and foster parents with their foster children. It can also be used for reinstating a previously existing relationship when an adult reconnects with their birth family.

adoption_certificate

Some utilize adult adoptions as a method of estate or long-term care planning. Once an adult or minor child is adopted they become the heir of their adopted parent. Families without a male heir used to adopt male adults in order to continue their family name. Adult adoptions are not the ideal solution for estate or long-term care planning.

In Florida, the consents of the adult adoptee’s biological parents are not required. The only required consents are that of the adult adoptee and the person wishing to adopt. However, the petitioner is required to notify the biological parents of the final hearing for adoption.

Contact us for more information about adult adoptions, email DLevy@attorneygrossman.com or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?


Working with a Financial Planner During Divorce


One of the biggest mistakes people make when considering a divorce is not understanding their financial picture. In order to correctly determine child support, alimony, and property division, you need to know everything you own, your household income, and your expenses.

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Working with a financial planner during a divorce can make this part of the process easier. A financial planner can help you understand that fighting for the asset with income potential is a better choice than fighting for the house you can’t afford. A financial planner can also help you understand how to negotiate decisions concerning retirement plans, insurance, debt, and other income considerations.

A financial planner can discuss your long term needs and help you focus on more immediate needs, which include covering everyday expenses, health insurance coverage, and expenses related to the custody and care of your children.

Another benefit a financial planner provides is that a financial analysis helps focus on the numbers rather than the emotions. Conversations are easier because they are fact and data driven.

To prepare working with a financial planner, get organized by putting together important documents: inventory of household items, financial records, credit report, car title and registration, etc. Now is the time to know how much you pay for insurance, how to access online bank accounts, and how to access old retirement accounts. It’s also a good time to understand your credit history and how it impacts your ability to get loans, credit cards, etc.

You should also consider establishing a separate bank account. If you are unemployed, you need to start thinking about future employment.

Whether you work with a financial planner or not, you need to consider the different pieces that are part of your financial picture. Having this understanding allows you to make better negotiation decisions. Most people are too overwhelmed by these matters, which is why a financial planner is a smart idea.

For more information on divorce and family law issues, email Keith@AttorneyGrossman.com or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?


Role of Forensic Accountants in Divorce Cases


We all know that divorce can be an emotional experience, but if you look at it closely, it’s merely a matter of ending a contract between two parties. And one of the most contentious parts of a divorce involves money, and which party will end up with the more valuable assets.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Much of this starts with the person that’s handling the checkbook. In many marriages, one spouse typically takes care of the finances. This person is the one that pays the bills, deals with investments, makes donations to charities, etc. Then, when the marriage ends up headed for divorce, this person is the one that also usually knows the most about the couple’s assets and financial health, with the other being left in the dark.

Because of this situation, many of the couple’s assets may end up hidden. Common types of hidden assets include cash, bonds, insurance policies, mutual funds, stocks, and annuities. Some of these assets may be converted into cash and then used to purchase luxury items, such as jewelry, art, antiques, vehicles, and collectible items.

This is why, in many divorce cases, attorneys or private parties will hire a Forensic Accountant. A Forensic Accountant works to uncover assets and to provide expert testimony at the divorce hearing. This person will use several methods for uncovering anything that may be hidden from the other party. He or she may start by asking about the spouse’s habits in order to determine potential locations where assets may be kept. Forensic Accountants may also review tax returns, financial statements, property deeds, and other records.

For more information on divorce and family law issues, and whether you may need a Forensic Accountant, email Keith@AttorneyGrossman.com or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?


Supervised Timesharing and the Family Resource Center of Southwest Florida


For some families supervised parenting time is appropriate due to any number of health and safety concerns for the children involved. There may be a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, substance abuse, or domestic violence that warrants a Court’s order for supervised parenting time. Supervised parenting time is parent/child contact overseen by a third party to ensure they are appropriate. Supervised parenting time includes supervised exchanges.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Supervised parenting time is not a final goal and is not appropriate for most cases. It should be used as a means to reestablish an appropriate healthy relationship between the parents and their children. Supervised parenting time requires the commitment and participation of both the supervised parent and the unsupervised parent. Orders for supervised parenting time outline the conditions of the visits, including, but not limited to, the frequency, length, who will be responsible for the cost of the visits, and location.

Sometimes the parties may agree on a particular family member or friend to supervise visits. There are also trained professionals who offer this more structured service. The Family Resource Center of Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe home-like environment for parents and children in Southwest Florida. The Family Resource Center (FRC) and its qualified supervisors maintain a neutral role, not favoring one parent over the other. The Family Resource Center may provide the court with factual information based on observations made during the supervised timesharing, but it does not make recommendations or opinions about future parenting time schedules or responsibilities. The supervisors use a checklist to log the behaviors of the parents and children. For more information about the Family Resource Center visit http://www.leecountyparenttime.org/index.html.

If you have any additional questions, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with Keith or Danielle. If you are in need of more information on this issue or other family law issues, email Keith@AtorneyGrossman.com, or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?