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DeFuniak Springs

Walton County, Florida Grounds for Divorce: “Irretrievably Broken”

Florida is a “no fault” state when determining grounds for a divorce.  In other words, either party is not require to prove that his or her spouse is at fault and the basis for a divorce(e.g. adultery).  Instead, all the party seeking the divorce (dissolution of marriage) must allege is that the marriage is now “irretrievably broken”.  This is a low burden for the party to prove.  In fact, the Court does not even need corroborating evidence to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

When the parties have no children and the other spouse does not deny that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then the judge typically enters a judgment dissolving the marriage if he agrees.  However, in cases where eh other party denies the marriage is irretrievably broken or when the parties have minor children, the court can order one or both of the parties to counseling, continue the case for a period no longer than three months to see if the parties can reconcile, or take any other action that the court finds may be in the best interest of the child. (One occurring theme in family law cases involving minor children is that the child’s best interest is paramount in the resolution of the case.)

Jeremy S. Keich is a Walton County Divorce Attorney  representing clients in matters involving divorce, child custody, child support and paternity issues.  None of the information contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice nor shall the communication be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship.  For more information about Jeremy S. Keich or to contact him about a Walton County or Okaloosa County Family Law Matter please visit www.keichlaw.com or call (850) 460-2989.

Walton County, Florida Basic Child Support Calculation

In Walton County  family law cases where minor children are involved, one of the most  litigated issues is the calculation  of child support to be paid on behalf of the minor child(ren).  In Florida, the legislature has passed a child support guideline that presumptively establishes the amount due based on the combined monthly net income of the parents (See: Section 61.30, Florida Statutes).   Each parent’s percentage share of child support shall be determined by dividing each parent’s net monthly income by the combined net monthly income. (The dollar value shall be determined by multiplying the child support amount by each parent’s percentage share of the combined net monthly income.)   The gross monthly income for each parents shall be determined by:

– Salary or Wages;

– Bonuses, Commissions, Allowances or Tips;

– Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, or independent contracts;

– Disability Benefits;

– Workers’ Compensation Benefits or Settlements;

– Unemployment Compensation;

– Pension, Retirement, or Annuity Payments;

– Social Security Benefits;

– Spousal Support received in a previous marriage or the marriage before the court;

– Rental Income;

– Income from Royalties, Trusts, or Estates;

– Reimbursed Expenses or In Kind Expenses;

– Gains from Property Dealings

Generally, child care costs and health care costs that are prepaid by a parent shall be deducted from that parent’s percentage share of child support.  Retroactive child support may be ordered for a period not to exceed twenty-four months where the parents were not residing together witht he child.

This demonstrates the basic formula used to calculate child support in Walton County, Florida.  As with any legal issues, there are exceptions and/or variances that for the basic child support calculation that will be discussed in greater detail in a later post, which are laid out in Florida Statute 31.30.

Jeremy S. Keich is a Walton County Divorce Attorney  representing clients in matters involving divorce, child custody, child support and paternity issues.  None of the information contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice nor shall the communication be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship.  For more information about Jeremy S. Keich or to contact him about a Walton County or Okaloosa County Family Law Matter please visit www.keichlaw.com or call (850) 460-2989.

Destin/Fort Walton Beach Assault and Battery

As a criminal defense attorney I often have clients from Okaloosa or Walton County who have been arrested for assault or battery.  Both of these offenses are misdemeanors.  Each however has a felony counter part (i.e. aggravated assault, felony battery, battery by strangulation, and aggravated battery).

In Florida an assault is defined as: “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”  ( See Section 784.011, Florida Statutes).

A Battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm. (See Section 784.03, Florida Statutes).

In Florida a battery constitutes a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to  no more than a year in jail or twelve months probation.  While jail time may not be required, the prosecutor will likely ask for probation,  fines/court costs and attend anger management if convicted in Okaloosa or Walton County as charged.  A domestic violence battery may entail more severe punishment.

Further, a person who is convicted of battery may face further implications as it is considered a violent criminal offense and could impact his or her employment status.

One of the most common defenses to a charge of battery is self-defense or justifiable use of non-deadly force.  Often the person who is arrested for battery may not be the initial aggressor but simply the person who caused the most injury or “threw the last punch”.

If you have been charged with battery in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, DeFuniank Springs, Crestview or anywhere else in Okaloosa County or Walton County I recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about your case.

About the author: Jeremy S. Keich is a practicing criminal defense lawyer with offices in Destin and DeFuniak Springs who has handled assault and battery cases during his tenure as a criminal defense lawyer.  To contact Mr. Keich please call (850) 460-2989 or visit his  professional website at http://www.keichlaw.com for more information.

WARNING: No information in this blog should be construed as legal advise nor as an attorney-client relationship.

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