Divorce and The Residency Requirement

By Lindsay B. Haber 

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 5.34.45 PMWhen you file for a divorce in Florida, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of this fine state for the last six (6) months. But why is this?

Well, Florida, just like many other states, has a compelling interest to avoid interference by another state that may have ties to either you or your spouse (and kids) or your assets and liabilities.

Take, for example, a Wife who wants to file for divorce. She and her husband live together in Virginia where they own a marital residence and her husband operates his own dental practice. This Wife tells her husband she wants a divorce on Monday, flies to her parents in Florida on Tuesday, and files for divorce in Florida on Wednesday. I think we can all agree that with this example Florida is not the state for this divorce. Unless and until this Wife truly creates her own residency in Florida, the Virginia Courts would be deemed the state to help this family through their dissolution of marriage.

So what would it take for this Wife in the example above to meet Florida’s six (6) month residency requirement? While Florida Courts will look to both law and fact to make this determination, here are a few examples of when Florida Courts have found the residency requirement met when living in Florida for six months:

A PARTY LIVED IN FLORIDA FOR SIX MONTHS AND:
  • Obtained a Florida License;
  • Obtained a Florida Voter registration card;
  • Registered a Florida Automobile tag;
  • Obtained employment in Florida;
  • Had utility bills in that person’s name;
  • Had minor children living with you and attending school in Florida; and/or
  • Claimed Homestead exemption.
Now, this list is just a sample and is not definitive of whether or not a Court will find that this Wife in the example above, or you for that matter, have met the residency requirement after six months in Florida. For more information regarding the Florida Residency Requirement or to address your family law matters, please contact Kluger Kaplan.

 

Same-Sex Marriages, Same Family Law Issues Apply

Richard I SegalIt is a proud moment to see the Supreme Court of the United States recognize same sex marriage and further equality for all. This was a long time coming and is a day to celebrate. However the celebration and joy for many same sex couples of finally being able to get married should not overshadow the fact that marriage still has very real legal ramifications for all newlywed couples.  For those same sex couples who have been together for a very long time and marriage now is simply a legal recognition for their already long established loving relationship, many of these legal family law principles such as equitable distribution and alimony might be novel concepts to consider and should spark new and open conversations with a spouse before deciding to run to the alter.  Many same sex couples are well established in their careers and are walking into the marriage with love and joy, but also with a lot of assets.

As a family law practitioner I would advise any potential couples, young or old, gay or straight, that a prenuptial agreement is a wonderful tool to lay out from the outset before getting married what each spouse would receive if the marriage unfortunately came to an end.  As I explain to potential clients, my firm would never advise potential business partners to go into a lifelong deal, invest all of their assets, but not document the deal and enter into a clear partnership agreement.  Thinking from a practical standpoint, and unfortunately having to recognize the divorce rate in the United States, there is nothing faux pas about considering entering into a prenuptial agreement.  If the marriage is strong and forever lasting, which we all go into marriage firmly believing, then a prenuptial agreement entered into will always remain simply a document stashed away in a vanilla folder and never have an impact on the relationship.  I fully envision seeing an uptick in business, and am happy to now be able to protect all couples assets before marriage.

Continue reading

A Year of Social Media: A Look Back

By Abbey Kaplan

On July 1, 2012, Kluger Kaplan launched a blog and revamped its social media presence. A year later, I took a few moments to reflect on how the ever-changing landscape of social media has helped our firm grow its business.

Although Kluger Kaplan opened its doors in 2009 as a new firm focusing on complex commercial litigation disputes, our membership is composed primarily of veteran lawyers who began practicing law long before the days of Facebook, Twitter and WestlawNext.  But building the Kluger Kaplan brand was a new experience for many of us who had found legal success through grassroots marketing efforts.

Continue reading