Child support, custody and alimony at heart of Mase divorce

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For some people, getting rid of the stereotypes associated with the life they formerly lived can be very difficult. When most people think of the rap music genre and the artists associated with the genre, they usually don’t think about Christian pastors. One rapper, Mase, had tried to break the stereotype associated with him from his rapping days. Florida readers might find it interesting how this divorce is going from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Mase and his wife are co-pastors at a church. They wrote a book series entitled “What Do You Do After I Do?” that was aimed at helping couples to build a strong marriage. Now, the couple whose entire empire was based on the solidity of their marriage is now facing divorce. Reportedly, the couple has been separated since May 2012, which might shock some of their church members.

The couple has been married for 12 years. In January, Mase filed for a divorce from his wife. Rumors were swirling that the couple was working things out. The day before Valentine’s Day, Mase filed to dismiss the divorce petition in Atlanta.

At some point, his wife filed for a legal separation in San Diego. Now, the rapper wants a divorce. She is asking for full spousal support and full physical custody of the children. He is also asking for full physical custody of the children, as well as child support.

Going through a high-profile divorce isn’t easy. When child support and child custody are added in, things can get ugly quickly. Anyone who is facing a divorce should make sure that their interests and the children’s interests are protected during the process.

Source: Vibe, “Mase Is Still Getting Divorced” Samantha Kennedy, Apr. 07, 2014

What drives the cost of divorce?

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Making the decision to get divorced is never easy. However, if a couple decides that their marriage is irretrievably broken, in Orlando and the rest of the state of Florida, a divorce can be settled quickly. How quickly will depend on several factors.

A couple that agrees that a divorce is the best solution for everyone involved can resolve things more quickly than a couple that has a spouse who wants to fight ending the marriage. An extended court battle will drive up the costs of the divorce. Also, parents who can craft a parenting plan that details child support obligations can avoid one of the most contentious portions of a divorce and keep costs down.

The key word to a quick and inexpensive divorce is communication and agreement. If the couple agrees on all of the above-mentioned facts, as well as issues such as alimony and asset division, both may walk away from the marriage without emptying their bank accounts for attorney’s fees.

Even a couple that has some issues to work through before the final decree can make the process move faster with the help of legal professionals. Getting divorced is an emotional experience; using the advice of counsel can take the emotions out of the experience so that the divorcing couple can focus on the math of the divorce. Anyone who is considering a divorce should consider seeking the advice of a legal professional so that a fair and equitable settlement can be reached that will satisfy the needs of everyone involved in a difficult and complex life situation.

Source: Florida Times-Union, “How Much Does Divorce Cost?” Rusty Collins, Mar. 04, 2014

Florida laws protect sperm donors from child support claims

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A recent case in another state made headlines when a sperm donor was required by a court to make child support payments. Sperm donation is one way that women or couples achieve pregnancy when they cannot conceive their own. With questions of child support hanging over donors, however, sperm donation may sound like a risky business.

Luckily for Florida residents, Florida law and court precedents protect sperm donors in the state from such situations. The case in the other state involved a man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple. One of the women was then inseminated through an at-home process. According to that state’s court, insemination must be done in a medical setting for child support responsibility to be waved.

Florida law dictates otherwise. Specifically, the law says that a woman donating an egg or a man donating sperm to another couple or person waives all parental rights. This means the person does not have any parental responsibilities in the eyes of the state unless paperwork was prepared ahead of time to establish parental rights over the child.

Florida law has been upheld in court cases regarding sperm donation. In 2002, a court denied a father parental rights after the fact. The man was seeking rights to twins that were born using his sperm, but he had not established appropriate paperwork before the donation and birth. According to the Florida court, a person donating sperm is not necessarily a parent.

Florida couples can continue with insemination practices without worrying about future claims on their children from an outsider. Men and women in Florida can also donate viable sperm and eggs to assist others in having children without worrying about future financial responsibility.

Source: The Print Well, “Kansas sperm donor child support case unlikely to have Florida copycat” Meredith Rutland, Jan. 28, 2014

Former football star in hot water over child support payments

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Many football fans in Orlando known the name Andre Rison; if not for his plaudits on the field, then for his eventful life off of it. Rison was a star wide receiver in the National Football League for a number of teams. He was also involved in one of the more remarkable off-field moments in recent football history: in 1994, Rison was in a dispute with his girlfriend, the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Lopes burned some of his possessions during the dispute, which resulted in his home being destroyed.

Rison is in the news again, after he failed to pay more than $330,000 in child support, which was agreed to in court. Rison narrowly avoided prison, instead suffering a year-long extension of his five-year probation, and being reordered to pay the back child support.

This story is a reminder that failing to pay your child support is very serious. Not only could it hurt you in a variety of ways (wage garnishment, jail time and many other penalties are possible), but ultimately, it also hurts your child. Those support payments are meant to pay for things that your child will need to grow and develop.

However, there are many cases where the paying spouse experiences a dramatic change in his or her life circumstances, necessitating a change in the support plan. In order to earn a modification to your divorce agreement or your child support payments, you’ll need to consult an experienced family law attorney to help you build your case.

Source: MLive.com, “Andre Rison dodges prison sentence after more failed child support payments,” Ross Maghielse, Aug. 16, 2013

Ex-MLB All Star Danny Tartabull involved in child support dispute

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Last night, millions of people around the world gathered to watch Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game as the American League defeated the National League 3-0. But at the same time, a former American League All Star has been facing a child support dispute that could result in jail time.

Danny Tartabull, who represented the AL in 1991, allegedly owes more than $276,000 in unpaid child support intended to provide for his two sons.

Much of the news coverage on this story has focused on the amount of money Tartabull made during in his 14-year baseball career while expressing some incredulity that someone who earned as much money as Tartabull made could fail to pay his child support obligations. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Tartabull’s peak salary was $5.3 million per year. However, Tartabull is not alone among professional athletes who have had difficulties obeying financial judgments from family law courts. Here is the reason why.

Professional athletes have very high incomes, but have relatively short careers. Often, a child support order is entered at the peak of an athlete’s career and earning capacity. Because courts determine child support awards based on a parent’s income at the time, many pro athletes have child support obligations based on their peak incomes. However, a professional athlete’s income is subject to wild fluctuations. Upon retirement, pro athletes often see their income fall to a small fraction of what they had been earning, but their child support obligations do not automatically reduce themselves.

Whenever there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a reduction in income, a parent who owes child support has the right to work with an attorney and request that payments be reduced. All too often, parents who owe high child support payments they can no longer afford fail to seek a child support modification and eventually fall behind in payments.

Source: NBCLosAngeles.com, “Ex-Major League Baseball Player Tops Child Support “Most Wanted” List,” Dan Stamm, July 12, 2013