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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Child Support: Are You a Florida Deadbeat Dad

This morning I received a headline about a “Florida Deadbeat Dad.”  I thought it was about child support, but as I read the article I realized it was a addressing certain issues regarding Florida politics.  I really do not want to get into political issues on this forum. There are a lot of political bloggers who can provide you with their opinion on Florida politics.  Instead, I want to address the legal implications of being labeled deadbeat dad.

The more common use of the label appears in child support cases.  Men, you do not want to wear that title.  You may be a great dad, but if you are not paying your child support, no matter what your opinion of your child’s mom may be, your child needs her/his child support.  (occasionally this apply to mothers who have to pay child support, but more times than not it applies to the fathers).

That said, there are instances where circumstances may cause a drop in income and you can no longer pay child support in the amount set by the court.  For example, a few years ago there was a man who was considered a superstar in the NFL.  Some may even have viewed him as a prima donna.  While I am not naming names, he changed his name to a number.   During the 2012 season no longer playing football and the multimillionaire, could no longer pay child support.  (See Baby Mama on Missed Child Support).

Similar to the football player, the current state of the economy has caused many men who had high 5-figure or even 6 figure incomes to be out of work or have their incomes cut in half.  They either stop paying child support or pay substantially less child support.  Unfortunately, no one tells them what they need to do.  The courts do not provide guidance.  Child Support Enforcement will not help.  In fact in many cases, the mothers will come after these men and try to compel payment.  A wide range of options are available to judges in these enforcement proceedings – pay the child support by a certain date, pay the mother’s attorneys’ fees, suspension of the father’s driver’s license, or even incarceration.

In situations like these, fathers need to seek a modification.  Further, the best thing for fathers in these cases is to seek legal counsel.  Again, no one is helping the fathers (or the mother if she has the child support obligation).    Even if a father tries to do it himself, a mistake in the court filing will delay the process and the child support obligation will continue to add up.  Legal counsel will make sure that the correct procedures are followed and the child support reduced consistent with your income.

If you have experienced a significant change in circumstances, Rich Bradford at (813) 413-2402 can guide you through the proper legal procedures to modify your child support payments accordingly, as well as answer other family law questions.

 

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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Race Discrimination Claims Against Paula Deen Dismissed

This probably will not be my last post on the Paula Deen case.  In an interesting, if not predictable, development, U.S. District Judge William T. Moore dismissed the racial discrimination portion of Lisa Jackson’s lawsuit.

In case you missed it, the Paula Deen story was a hot topic in the news and internet during June and July. In the spring of 2012, a former manager at one of Deen’s restaurants brought a lawsuit against the restaurant, Paula Deen and her brother Bubba.  Jackson alleged that she was the victim of sexual harassment by Bubba.  In addition to harassment claims, Jackson, who is white, brought claims of racial discrimination against the defendants who allegedly made racial slurs about African Americans.  Fast forward to May 2013, and Paula Deen has her deposition taken.  Paula Deen admits using the “N-word” in the past, approximately 25-30 years ago.  She also admits that jokes were told at work – black jokes, Jewish jokes, redneck jokes.  To be fair to Paula, there was no indication that she told the jokes.  See Paula’s deposition transcript here.

Sometime in June 2013, Deen’s deposition transcript hits the press.  Many labeled Paula Deen a racist and threatened to boycott the Food Network.  The Food Network decided not to renew Deen’s contract, which was due to expire June 30, 2013.  Deen’s fans are upset and have decided to boycott the Food Network.  Later, Wal Mart released Paula Deen and K-Mart, and Smithfield Foods, Home Depot, etc. etc. all released Paula Deen.    Some guess that the impact of these severed relationships is in the neighborhood of $12 million.  By the way, in the last week of June, Paula Deen was bigger news than the Supreme Court’s decisions on DOMA and Proposition 8.

When Jackson filed her lawsuit it was reported that she was seeking $1.2 million.  Understand that I am not trying to play Monday morning QB, but if Deen’s attorneys had convinced her to settle for $750-900k, she probably would not have lost her $12 million empire.  Remember this all started when Jackson quit because she alleged sexual harassment by Bubba.  Moreover, the sexual harassment claim is viable.  Paula testified that Bubba would look at porn at work.   Because the case did not settle, Deen’s deposition became public, Deen has been labeled a racist, and Corporate America has decided to distance itself from her.

Ironically, the judge dismissed the race discrimination case.  Near the end of a twenty page decision on race discrimination, Judge Moore ruled:

Plaintiff is not an aggrieved party under Title VII because her interests are not arguably sought to be protected by that statute.  At best, Plaintiff is an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination.  There are no allegations that Defendant Hier’s racially offensive comments were either directed toward Plaintiff or made with the intent to harass her.

See Judge Moore’s August 12, Order.

For whatever its worth, the lawyers on both sides are working very hard on this case.   There is little doubt that the next move by either side will generate further interest in the Paula Deen saga.

If you have questions about employment discrimination or labor and employment law, give Rich Bradford a call at (813) 413-2402.

Legal Stuff:   The information on this blog is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an attorney if you have specific legal questions. Hiring an attorney is an important, personal decision which should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, contact us and we will send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Preachers Being Prosecuted for Preaching

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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