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Is He Ludacris? Rapper Initiates Legal Action to Gain Custody of His Child

It looks like rapper Ludacris is fighting to gain custody of his 2 month old daughter. In court papers Ludacris assertd that he is a “fit and capable parent” and should get full physical custody of the daughter. In support of his argument, Ludacris points out that he has been “an active father” to his 12-year old daughter.

At this point, some may have that skeptical grin, thinking Ludacris is seeking custody to get out of paying child support. By the way, the last time Ludacris was in court, the judge awarded Tamika Fuller a/k/a Ludacris’ baby mama, $7,000 in child support. Put yourself in his position. Do you blame him for trying to get custody of the child?

Realistically, there are men out there who want to play a role in a child’s life, although the child may have been born outside of wedlock. I have even seen a grown man cry because he got in an argument with a girl friend and she denied him access to his child. When that happens, the father will need to go to court to establish a time sharing plan or visitation schedule. This is the best way for the father to ensure that he has access to the child. Unfortunately, without a court order the father of a child born outside of wedlock has very few rights. To preserve those rights, the father will need to initiate a paternity action.

Ludacris will not gain full custody of his 2-month old daughter. Depending on Georgia law, the judge may establish a time sharing plan that will be fair to him and Ms. Fuller. More importantly, the judge’s ruling will be in the best interests of their 2-month old daughter.   Also, Ludacris’ child support obligation probably will not go away.

While Ludacris is a well-known celebrity, cases similar to his occur all the time. If you have questions regarding visitation, time sharing, or parenting plans, call Rich Bradford at (813) 413-2402 to schedule a meeting to discuss your case.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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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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Family Law – On Cruise-Holmes Divorce Writer Offers Interesting Thoughts

The author of the Custody Calculations blog has interesting thoughts on the pending Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorce.  The author notes that Ms. Holmes is aggressively seeking sole custody of the children because with respect to Tom Cruise, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  The author claims that in Cruise’s divorce from Nicole Kidman, he managed to gain the upper hand in the custody battle and effectively keep Kidman from seeing the children.  Now that the Cruise-Kidman children are adults, the author notes that you will not find the children photographed with their mother.  The author suggests that Holmes’ aggressive stance is necessary if she wants to have a future with her children.

A link to the Custody Calculations blog can be found here: Everyone is Going To Have Something to Say; TomKat Divorce.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Family Law: Tampa Judge Denies Mother and Step-Dad’s Request to Relocate Family to England

A couple of days ago, the Tampa Bay Times highlighted an interesting story regarding child custody and visitation.  This story begins with the divorce of a couple.  The children are in their early teens and living with their mom.  Although the mom has primary custody (or in today’s terminology majority time-sharing parent) the dad is very active in the lives of his children.

Next, the mom marries a man who is in the military.  This man turns out to be a really great step-dad.  He even has a cordial relationship with the children’s father.   Professionally, the step-dad is really good at what he does.  He is a Green Beret colonel assigned to Special Operations Command.  The Army wants to send him to a coveted assignment for three years in England.  There is one problem.  He will not go to England without his new family.

In Florida, when relocation becomes an issue, the first step is to see whether the parents can reach an agreement on the relocation.  In this case, the proposal advanced to the dad was the kids would spend school time in England with their mom and step-dad and summers with their dad.  Their dad was not willing to concede.  He felt that he would miss significant portions of his children’s lives.

Because the families could not agree, they took their dispute to court.  Some of the factors that a court would consider in a request for relocation include the following:  1) The relative strength, nature, quality, extent of involvement and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent, siblings and other significant people; 2) Any prior agreements between the parents; 3) The intent and good faith of each person in seeking or opposing the move; 4) Whether there’s a pattern of conduct by the relocating parent that’s meant to improve or harm the non-relocating parent’s relationship with the child; 5) The child’s age, maturity and needs; 6) How much moving, or not moving, will impact the child’s physical, educational and emotional development and relationships with both parents; 7) The quality of life, resources and opportunities available to the child and the relocating parent in the current and new locations; 8) Any alternative arrangements that would help the child maintain a relationship with the other parent; 9) Whether it’s possible and desirable for the other parent to relocate at the same time; 10) The financial impact and logistics of allowing or stopping the relocation; 11)The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child

Tampa Judge Daniel Sleet denied the petition to relocate.  Judge Sleet ruled that “The evidence demonstrates that both children are very comfortable in their present environment . . .The idea of moving to Europe may be appealing to adolescents, but the reality of uprooting to another continent can be traumatic.”

Confronted with this decision, the colonel declined the assignment to England.  You have to admire someone who decided to put his new family ahead of advancing his career.

While there are circumstances that will allow for the relocation of children with the majority time-sharing parent, this ruling highlights the difficulty involved in persuading a court that relocation could be in the best interest of a child.

Source: Judge Says SOCOM Officer Can’t Take Step-kids to London

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Child Support Problems in the State of Florida

Today, the Tampa Tribune reported that the there are problems with delays in child support payments for many recipients in the State ofFlorida.  This problem is affecting both those who are waiting for the payments, usually the mother, and those making the payments, usually the father.  For example, a father may have made $1000 payments in child support within the last month or so. The mother, however, may have received only $25.00 from the State. This harms both parties because the father in this situation looks like a deadbeat dad and the mother will experience difficulty paying her bills.  The Tampa Tribune story reads as follows:

Bonnie Step hadn’t received a child-support payment for months.

But she wasn’t angry at her ex-husband over the $2,300 she was owed. Instead, she blamed the state ofFlorida, which is collecting $684 from him every month.

The Florida Department of Revenue has heard similar complaints from others since the child-support disbursement unit began revamping its computer system, which keeps track of more than $1 billion in payments and payouts.

Department officials say the complaints represent less than 1 percent of the child-support cases it handles. But that means little to those who aren’t getting their payments even though ex-spouses are holding up their ends of the court-ordered agreements.

(Story Continued Here)

For answers to your child support or family law questions, please call Rich Bradford at (813) 413-2402.

 

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 March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Arrest Warrant Issued for Tampa Millionaire for Failing to Pay Alimony and Child Support

Circuit Judge Caroline Tesche issued a warrant for the arrest of a Bay area businessman for failure to pay child support and alimony.   According to a story reported in the Tampa Tribune , John Stanton owes his ex-wife and son $6.5 million in alimony and child support.   A hearing was held on Thursday, December 15, 2011, and Stanton failed to appear.
The paper reported that Stanton recently filed for bankruptcy protection, listing $10-50 million in liabilities and $100-500 million in assets.  His attorney argued that he is unable to pay alimony and child support because his assets are not liquid and cannot be converted to cash quickly.
Finding that Stanton has the ability to pay, Judge Tesche sentenced him to 5 months and 29 days for contempt of court.
This case is an example of the enforcement powers that courts possess when a party fails to honor their alimony and child support obligations.  The circumstances in this case were extreme resulting in the sentence.  If you have questions regarding alimony or child support, do not hesitate to call at (813) 413-2402.
 
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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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