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The Similarities Between the Kavanaugh Confirmation Process and What Divorce Attorneys and Judges Do is Striking

Recently, all the news channels and headlines in the United States have been filled with status updates and debates about the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. As I listened to the testimony of Judge Kavanagh and his accuser Dr. Ford I could not help but think about how much this process mirrors the job that divorce attorneys and judges do every day across the United States.

Regardless of what side of the aisle the Senators presiding over the confirmation hearing sat on, none of them would ever be able to deny that this was a very difficult situation. When the dust settled and the smoke cleared some senators from both sides of the aisle were hailed as heroes championing their political parties’ best interests. However, divorce lawyers and judges receive little praise for the time they spend every day in the trenches litigating almost the same types of issues day in and day out. Granted, it is not every day that we are discussing who the next Supreme Court justice will be, but, they are trying to wade through a mire of allegations in order to figure out how to keep children safe. At the end of the day, this is every bit as important an endeavor as any other.

Typically, in contested divorce litigation allegations are made by one party to the case against the other that have very little evidence to corroborate them and Orlando family court judges are left with the enormous task of trying to figure out who is telling the truth and who is not.

During the media frenzy that surrounded the Kavanaugh confirmation process, one of the most common phrases that America heard from news media outlets was “uncorroborated allegations”. As frustrating and difficult to understand as this seemed in the Senate confirmation process, Divorce Court judges and attorneys in Orlando Florida have to deal with such allegations on a near constant basis.

Most often, these allegations come about in cases involving child custody issues. The allegations commonly revolve around a core of a few fundamental allegations consisting of domestic violence, substance abuse, alcoholism, and verbal or emotional abuse of the other parent or the children.

As was the case during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, the allegations of this type in divorce litigation often have little or no corroborating evidence to prove whether they are true or made up by one parent trying to get more time with the children in a divorce. Sometimes witnesses are brought in to testify who are close friends or family members of the parent making the allegations. This makes the job of the judge even more challenging because they must decide of the witness is being untruthful for their friend or family member’s benefit.

At the end of the Kavanaugh hearings, both sides stuck to their positions and the Senate was left to just go with their gut and to make a decision based on their instincts. A divorce court must do the very same thing when these types of allegations are made in litigation. As one can imagine, this removes all predictability from the outcome of the case and leaves the final decision to a judge who is a stranger. This is why it is always best to make every effort to settle all disputes in mediation without going to court if at all possible.

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One issue that divorce attorneys deal with in nearly every divorce case is figuring out the best way to address the division of the marital home. The fact is that addressing a home in a divorce can be very simple if both of the parties in the divorce agree on what should happen. However, if the parties disagree on what to do with the house it can become a very big issue in the case.

Can Anyone Really Afford to Keep the House After the Divorce?

When dealing with a home that was recently purchased there would be little equity, if any, which drastically reduces the odds of the parties fighting over the home. However, in cases where the parties have lived in the same home for many years there is not only equity in the home, but, also a lot of emotional attachment to the home for both the parties and their children.

The most important thing to address right from the beginning is to analyze whether you are able to realistically afford the home and related expenses without the help of your spouse. If the answer to that question is no, then you may want to consider an agreement to sell the home.

You do not want to fall into the trap of holding onto a home because of the emotional attachment only to realize later that it is a financial burden. When both parties understand this from the beginning and are agreeable to list the property for sale and to equally divide the proceeds after all fees are paid they can easily dispatch with this issue and focus their efforts in the divorce on other issues of contention.

Pay Attention to Detail!

Oftentimes, one of the parties simply wants nothing to do with the home and has no issue with the other party maintaining exclusive use and possession of the marital home. When this happens, it is extremely important that your divorce attorney include a requirement in your marital settlement agreement that ensures that your name will be removed from the mortgage note. This is critical to ensure that your name is not associated with a major debt after a divorce.

Here is an example to consider: Joe and Susie get divorced. In their divorce agreement, Joe agrees to let Susie keep the house if she is responsible for the mortgage payment. In the divorce agreement, Joe’s attorney forgets to address the fact that Joe’s name is on the loan for the house. The final judgment of divorce is entered, and the parties go on about their business.

Two years later, Joe wants to buy a new home and is told that he cannot qualify for a new home because he already has a mortgage on his old marital residence. As if that was not bad enough, Joe finds out that that mortgage is delinquent and that his credit score has taken a major hit because his former wife has not been paying the mortgage on time.

In this hypothetical situation, Joe is out of luck in a big way. All of this could have been avoided if Joe’s lawyer had included language in Joe’s marital settlement agreement that required the wife to either refinance the home into her soul name within a certain period or if she was unsuccessful in refinancing that the home would need to be placed on the market for sale.

If you are going through a divorce contact our office today to discuss the best strategy for you and your family.

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How Do I Request A Modification Of Custody From My Divorce

After the final judgment is entered in your divorce case and everybody is settled into a routine with a parenting plan many people think that they will never need to deal with the courts again. Unfortunately, it is very common for parents to need a modification to their divorce judgments at some point down the road. The most common type of modification that I see is where a parent wants to modify their custody arrangement.

As divorce attorneys, we receive countless calls from divorced parents who are in need of a modification of their prior court orders. Unfortunately, for many of these people, the facts of their case do not meet the strict criteria necessary to seek a modification. Florida statutes require that in order to modify a custody judgment the person requesting the change must show that there has been a substantial, material, and unforeseen change in circumstances and that the modification would be in the best interests of the children involved in the case.

What Is Substantial Change And Why Do I Need To Show It?

At first glance, the term “substantial change” seems pretty simple. In the minds of litigants, everything that happens in their case is “substantial”. The problem is that the substantial change must meet the legal definition as it is spelled out in the statute and in the appellate case law that exists. Some of the most cited case law on this point describes the substantial change requirement as an extremely high burden to meet meaning that the change in circumstances must be almost life-changing.

There are some instances that will automatically be considered a substantial change when considering a modification of custody. If a parent fails to exercise substantial portions of their contact time and this goes on for some time, then the other parent would be well within their rights to consider a modification of custody and of child support. If there are dangerous conditions that are going on at the other parent’s home that could also open the door for a modification.

The list of events that could trigger a modification is very long, however, you will always want to consult with an experienced family law attorney about the facts in your case to make sure that you have a good claim for a substantial change.

A Very High Burden To Meet For Divorce Lawyers

I have seen many cases where a parent was claiming a substantial change in a modification case, the case litigated for over a year costing the parties thousands, and at trial, the judge found that there was no substantial change and denied the request for a modification. This highlights the importance of making sure that your attorney understands the substantial change requirement and can demonstrate to you that the facts of your case will meet this requirement.

As if that was not enough of a hurdle to jump over for a modification parents must also show that the requested change would be in the children’s best interests. The difficulty here is that in family law the judge is going to have very wide discretion and will be able to use their personal judgment to decide what constitutes “the children’s best interests” in your modification case.

For that reason, it is also critical that you make sure that your divorce attorney understands the statutory factors that determine children’s best interests and applies those factors to the facts in your case.

I have been asked many times by parents why lawmakers have made it so difficult to request a modification of custody. I believe that the reason such a high hurdle was set into place was that the lawmakers wanted to make sure that a parent could not be dragged constantly back into litigation by another parent who may just be unhappy with the order they received in court. Likewise, the lawmakers probably wanted to make sure that just because someone may have “buyer’s remorse” for a settlement that they entered into that they could not drag the other parent, and the children for that matter, back into litigation.

If you are considering a modification of your parenting plan then call our office to schedule an in-depth consultation with an attorney who understands both the substantial change requirement and the statutory factors that the court will use to determine best interests of children.

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These days it is very common to see both Mothers and Fathers and their attorneys in divorce or other family law case end up with equal parenting schedules parenting also referred to as a 50/50 schedule. This means that the children in the case will spend an equal amount of their time with each parent either by agreement or by judicial order. Many people have the mistaken belief that having this type of visitation schedule will result in no child support payment being ordered. This simply is not true unless both parents earn the exact same income and equally divide other child-related expenses such as daycare and the child’s health insurance.

How Is Child Support Calculated in a Divorce and How Can Sean Smallwood, P.A. Help Me?

Child support is calculated based on several different factors including the incomes of both parents. If one parent earns more than the other and there is equal or 50/50 visitation then there is a very good chance that there will be a child support order for the parent who earns the most to pay some amount to the other parent.

In reality when litigants are going through a divorce or other family law issue where child support is an issue it is critically important to make sure that a qualified attorney has sat down with you and run child support guidelines calculations. This is important to ensure that you know ahead of time what child support amount will be attributed to a certain type of time-sharing schedule. You must be armed with this information before you sit down at the negotiating table.

Of course, there are many complicated factors that go into figuring child support and there is no substitute for good legal advice from an experienced attorney.

At the end of the day matters involving children should be resolved based on what is in the child’s best interests, but you need to be informed as to whether or not you will be responsible for paying child support to the other parent prior to signing any agreement.

If you have a child support issue then Sean Smallwood, P.A. can help. Call us today.

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What is the Average Cost for Divorce and Family Attorneys?

There comes a time in the lives of many people when they will have to consider calling a family law attorney in Orlando, FL and for most people, the part they are most afraid of is the thought of how much this will cost. This does not have to be as scary as most people make it out to be.

These days there are several ways that different law firms conduct their billing of retainers.

  1. Flat Fee Retainer: This is a set up where the attorney promises you that for some amount of money he will be on the case until a set point regardless of the time commitment needed to get to that point. Most of the time in family law it is from start to the end of mediation and then from mediation through trial. This type of billing can work very well for the attorney as the flat fee is usually non-refundable meaning that if the case settles early or for whatever reason the case does not move forward, the lawyer will likely try to refuse any sort of refund.

  2. Non-refundable retainer: This is the most popular fee type in Florida family and divorce law. Here the client pays an amount of money, usually between $2,500 to $5,500, which is not refundable. The attorney keeps track of his time devoted to the case and if the amount of work exceeds the retainer amount then an additional non-refundable retainer will be required.

  3. The main problems with this fee structure are that even though the client makes payments less frequently, those payments are much larger and often need to be paid with very little warning to the client. Many lawyers are great in court, but, are terrible at getting client bills out to clients each and every month which often causes a client to believe that they have plenty of funds remaining on their accounts only to be blindsided with a bill showing that their funds have been exhausted and another large non-refundable is needed right away. The final issue with this fee structure the fact that these fees are usually non-refundable and if the case settles early or the client fires the lawyer for not doing a good job they will have a very hard time getting any of their money back from the law firm.

  4. Positive Trust Balance: (this is the fee structure that my firm uses) This is a fee structure that asks clients to make a smaller refundable deposit into the firm’s trust/ escrow account where the funds still belong to the client until they are earned by the law firm a bit at a time. This ensures that the lawyer only keeps funds that they have actually done work to earn.  The average deposit amount that clients are asked to maintain as a refundable deposit by our firm is $1,500.00, however, this amount goes up if the case is more complex or contested.

Is any Attorney Billing Practice Better Than The Others?

In the end, the thing to remember is that the law firm is a business and will make sure they are paid for the work they do. No one billing setup is better than the others since either way the client will have to come up with some funds.

It is no secret that some family law and divorce attorneys are more expensive than others. This can be for several different reasons; high overhead, board certification, extensive experience, etc. Normally there will be a range in price for family attorneys from very low to very high. Usually, the best choice is the firm that is right in the middle. That being said most people can expect to pay between $2500 and $5500 for most cases from start through the end of mediation. Of course, this is heavily dependent on the particular facts of the case. If the case does not settle at mediation then be ready to pay an additional retainer for trial prep. If your attorney is willing to offer you a refundable fee arrangement that will guarantee a refund of any funds that are not used in your case then that is even better.

Remember, no two family cases are the same and there is no way to say what your case will cost until you sit down with a family law attorney and discuss your case in detail.

The Florida Bar has additional information concerning lawyer billing available online for additional information.

If you have a family law or divorce issue then contact Sean Smallwood, P.A.

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Do All Divorce Court Judges Award Equal 50/50 Custody These Days?

A decade ago divorcing parents fighting over custody of their children could expect that the mother would be awarded the majority of the time-sharing with the children with the Father spending every other weekend with the children. This was due in large part to the fact that judges in that era adhered largely to a way of thinking known as the tender years doctrine.

The tender years doctrine essentially stated that a child should spend the majority of their time with the mother until the age of four or above. This old way of thinking stood as an impenetrable wall to fathers who sought more time with their children after a divorce.

As time went on, more and more case studies, authored by physiological experts, began to surface showing that it was better for children to spend as much time with both parents as possible especially at early ages. This new emerging school of thought stood in stark contrast to the tender years doctrine and was quickly embraced by lawmakers and divorce judges.

Here in Florida, the statutory language that addressed child custody litigation began to take on a far more gender neutral and therapeutic appearance with changes such as doing away with the term “custody” and replacing it with “time-sharing”. Other big changes came when judges began interrupting the statute in a more gender-neutral way. An example of this is the statute’s language which gives a custody preference to parents who work to encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent and disfavoring any parent who is not likely to respect the other parent’s awarded time-sharing.

As these changes in thinking took root, parents and divorce lawyers began to see more awards of equal time-sharing to parents in family court cases and today in many cases it almost feels like all a father needs to do is to show up to court on time in order to receive an award of equal custody with their children.

This author has even heard such extreme stories such as a custody case that was brought by the father who was convicted of raping the mother which produced the child in question in the custody case. The story goes that the father served his time in prison for the rape and then petitioned for equal custody of the child of the rape ending with the father being awarded an equal 50/50 time-sharing schedule.

While I cannot verify that this story is 100% factual, it does highlight the fact that the courts are so intensely focused on making sure that children get as much time with both parents as possible that they are willing to overlook many of the types of allegations that two decades ago may have had a substantial impact on the case.

Of course judges will still pay close attention to safety concerns such as domestic violence or substance abuse, however, it seems like these days the courts pay more attention to logistical concerns, such as the distance between the parents’ homes and work schedules, than they do the safety allegations that often fly back and forth in divorce and child custody cases.

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How To Not Go Broke in Divorce Court

In this article I’m going to share with you the average cost of a divorce case and also teach you what you need to know to beat this average and not go broke in Family Court.

What is the Average Cost of a Divorce Case?

The answer is; it depends. The average cost to retain an attorney to litigate a divorce or child custody case can vary so widely that it is difficult for most human brains to comprehend.

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According to a 2006 Forbes article, the average cost of a divorce was between $15,000 and $30,000. This is enough to send most people running to marriage counseling. However, if you can understand why this average is so high you can discover how to beat the average and save a substantial amount in legal fees.

There are attorneys who charge no less than $15,000 upfront just to get started on the case, while at the same time, there are attorneys who will charge $3000 which will carry the case just as far as the $15,000 would take the client of the more expensive firm.

Does that mean that you get what you pay for? Well… not always. Typically, attorneys who charge those large initial retainers got to the point of being able to charge that fee because they’ve been in practice for many years, have gained a lot of name recognition, and picked up a lot of skill and experience along the way to justify those fees.

Most of the time you can expect consistent quality from attorneys who have been in practice for many years, have well managed firms, and charge high rates. The only drawback is the obvious fact that very few people can actually afford those types of fees.

On the other hand, there are plenty of attorneys to choose from at different levels of experience whose fees are going to fall somewhere in the middle of the range. These law firms are usually more within reach to most of us “regular folk”. Though this access to representation is a good thing, it does create a much larger chance that you will retain an attorney who lacks sufficient experience or organization to get the job done at the quality you desire.

Never Chose an Attorney by Rolling the Dice and Always Know the Odds

In any local market there may be two attorneys who charge a $3000 retainer to carry a fairly simple custody case to mediation. The first, we will call him “J” is a highly skilled litigator who pays attention to detail and gets great results for his clients. The second one, we will refer to him as “E”, charges the same fee and is known for submitting subpar pleadings, misses hearings, has lots of negative reviews online, and even has state bar discipline on his record that is easily viewable online by the public.

This is a perfect example of the danger that people face when trying to hire an attorney who charges a more reasonable rate. It is very difficult to know what you are going to get. The simple fact is that the more you pay for your attorney, the lower the chances are that you will end up disappointed with the services they provide. Conversely, the less you pay for an attorney, the higher your chances of ending up disappointed with the services they provide.

It is likely that if you can afford to spend $15,000 on a retainer that you can expect to have phone calls returned promptly, emails responded to quickly, and for the law firm to file as many motions and set up as many hearings without hesitation as needed to satisfy your every desire in the case.

However, because family law attorneys bill their rates according to the amount of time invested in the case, lower income clients may find that the motions and hearings may be limited in number based on what the client is able to pay the lawyer to prepare for.

Does this mean that if I cannot afford the $15,000 retainer that I am doomed to poor representation? This answer is no! The truth is that in most cases there is no need for a high number of hearings and costly litigation. If you have an attorney who has a mind toward strategically working your case toward a settlement that you are happy with then you can substantially reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

If you are blessed enough for the other party to also have hired such an attorney as well then you will have great chances of settling your case outside of court and saving yourselves a ton of money.

The number one factor that affects how much you will pay for your case is not what you think it is.

Believe it or not the biggest factor that will determine how much your case will cost is not the size of the retainer fee your attorney will charges. The number one factor is whether or not the parties can set aside their emotional hurts and work cooperatively together toward a settlement.

I have seen a great many cases that should have settled and cost the parties peanuts that became a fight that cost them tens of thousands of dollars for the simple fact that they let their emotions dictate their handling of the case.

The sad fact of the matter is that in family law if parties intend to use lawyers as weapons to strike at the other side then the case will be extremely expensive regardless of how much the initial retainer cost you.

Attorneys are much better used as legal guides, trusted advisors, and only as a last resort should they be used as courtroom advocates. Most family law attorneys are not only skilled at going to court but they are also pretty good at facilitating favorable settlement for their clients. Sadly, this skill that lawyers possess is typically underutilized.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/2006/11/07/divorce-costs-legal-biz-cx_lh_1107legaldivorce.html

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Most People have no idea how common it is for parties in family law and divorce litigation to hide assets and income. Here is a detailed list of the ways they try this and how to spot them

One very common issue that divorce attorneys deal with in family law litigation is the situation where one spouse believes the other is hiding assets or hiding income. The means by which parties to litigation try to conceal assets and income range from very basic to very sophisticated depending on the facts of the case.

The two most common reasons people have to try to hide assets or income are to avoid splitting an asset in a divorce and to manipulate support payments in their favor. If your attorney is not paying close enough attention to the discovery in your case then you may not realize that the other side is hiding assets or not disclosing income.

This type of dishonesty is very common and I want to be clear that this article is in no way meant to teach people how to hide assets in family law cases in fact I earn a living by spotting these types of behaviors and bringing them to the attention of the court. You should always disclose all assets and income in your case if you don’t you face some harsh treatment by the court.

Hiding Assets

Precious metals. These days you don’t need to watch a lot of T.V. to have noticed that investing in gold and silver is a very hot trend right now especially as investors have very little trust in the stock market. With a few clicks of a mouse investors can purchase gold and silver bars in a wide array of sizes to be delivered right to their door within a day or two.

There are practically no reporting requirements for purchases of gold and silver under $10,000 which means that there may not be much of a paper trail, aside from the original purchase, by which to verify the existence and exact amount of these types of assets.

Another reason precious metals can be easily concealed in a divorce is the ability to hide the physical asset. A safe full of gold and silver bars can be placed at a friend or family member’s home, buried in the back yard, or placed is a safety deposit box and be very difficult to locate and to determine an accurate value. Sometimes the best and only way to show the existence and quantity of this type of asset is to go back through the bank statements and track the original purchase.

Stock certificates. When people own stocks in the traditional manner they are not hard to confirm existence by way of looking at tax returns for capital gains and/or dividends.

Many people do not realize that stock ownership can be done by way of holding a paper certificate which means that there are many ways in which to hide the existence of this asset unless your attorney knows exactly where to look.

Cash in a safe. Another issue that divorce attorneys see very often is the scenario where the parties had a large amount of cash or other valuables in a safe at home or in a safe deposit box. This is far more common than most people think especially in households of affluent, self employed people, and people who distrust banks.

The problem arises here when one of the divorcing parties claims that the other removed the cash from the safe. This will usually devolve into a situation where the parties are each aggressively accusing the other of taking the cash. The frustrating reality of this set of facts is that it is nearly impossible to prove, in most cases, which of the parties actually took the cash.

Even when one of the parties produces a photo of the cash sitting in the safe it only compounds the problem as it causes the other party to argue even more that the party who took the photo was the last one to see the money and that they must have removed the asset.

Real estate owned by business. A tactic sometimes employed by sophisticated self employed parties to divorce occurs where real estate is purchased in the name of the business. For this reason it is very important that attorneys and their clients do proper discovery to obtain and pay close attention to corporate tax returns to determine whether there is evidence contained in the tax return of real estate or any other types of valuable assets that may be concealed in the name of the business.

Unreported or Hidden Income

Cash Employment. This is the most common form of employment where lawyers see people try to hide or understate their incomes. These jobs can be as barbers, waiters, bar tenders, exotic dancers, lawn service providers, handy men, hair dressers, and any job where a substantial portion of pay is in cash.

While common, it can be hard to prove income for these types of jobs and the best way review the persons stated expenses in their financial affidavit such as monthly rent, utilities, car payments, payments to creditors, and other expenses. Total up these monthly expenses and you can typically argue that they at the very least earn enough to pay those bills.

Gift Card Scam. This is a less sophisticated practice where the self employed party seeking to conceal income will go somewhere such as their office supply store and regularly buy up gift cards for personal purchases. This creates the illusion of less personal income and thus reduces the individual’s exposure to child support or other types of support.

Personal Expenses on Business Credit Account. Another less sophisticated approach to hiding self employment income is where the self employed individual makes personal purchases on a business credit account. The goal here is, similar to the gift card scam, to give the appearance of less personal income.

This approach is often effective when these self employed scammers are dealing with the government in avoidance of taxes, however, savvy divorce lawyers can easily shed light on this type of conduct and show the judge the true income level in these cases.

Pay Taxes Forward. Often in divorce cases one of the parties will prepay their taxes making it appear that they have less income than they actually do. This is why it is important to examine pay stubs, W-2 forms, and bank statements to ensure that you have accurate income figures for the other side.

Unusually High Retirement Contributions. Many lawyers make the mistake of thinking that review of an opposing party’s tax return will provide an accurate account of income. The problem with this thinking is that the tax returns will not always show the total income amount earned before retirement contributions came out. This is why it is important to review the W-2 statement and pay stubs very carefully.

Countless other conduct to look for. The list I have provided here is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more ways that crafty divorce litigants try to hide income and assets such as plainly not disclosing assets on financial statements, placing assets in the possession of friends or family members, deferring bonuses until after a divorce, holding onto paper checks until after the divorce, and many others.

One big indicator for someone who is hiding income is where the party claims to have no money or not enough money to survive, but, they have no debt. This is because the fact is that people who are in the habit of hiding assets and income do not like having debt. Further, if someone does not earn enough to survive then there will usually be some measure of debt to go along and if there is not then you should pay very close attention to the items listed here in this article.

The best way to make sure that you do not fall victim to these types of behaviors is to try to maintain a basic awareness of your family finances and make sure that your lawyer knows how to look for these types of manipulative behaviors.

Sean Smallwood is a divorce and family law attorney located at 390 N. Orange Ave. Suite 2300, Orlando, FL 32801 407-574-6155

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The Smallwood Family Law Team Welcomes Its Newest Addition

On July 11, 2017 at 3:19 a.m. we welcomed our newest future Smallwood, P.A. team member Ava Raelyn Penelope Smallwood. She was born at Winter Park Memorial Hospital and, at one day old, her hobbies include sleeping, burping, and snuggling with mom and dad.

We would like to thank the Doctors and staff at Winter Park Memorial Hospital for taking such great care of little Ava and her mom Danielle. Also, thanks to Contemporary Women’s Care in Winter Park for their knowledgeable and  professional care leading up to Ava’s arrival.

Though this is not quite like our other legal articles, we wanted to share this good news with our readers.

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Do you know your city’s divorce statistics? The chart below may surprise you

Orlando is known as one of the happiest cities in the United States thanks to the family-oriented entertainment such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. However, did you know, as of 2013, Orlando has a divorce rate of over 13 percent? That is over three percent higher than the United States average of 10 percent.

How does Orlando stack up against the rest of the state?

In 2010, The Daily Beast ranked the top 50 cities with the highest divorce rates. Out of those 50 cities, 12 of those were in Florida (24 percent). Four of these Florida cities were ranked in the top 10!

Top Florida Cities Divorce Rate (Percent of population who is divorced)

​City​​              2010​​      2013​​    2013 Pop. ​   Divorced Pop.

1. Panama City​         15.5% ​​    16.5% ​​   36,877 ​       6,084
6. Deltona​​            13.5%​​     14.0%​​    86,290​       12,080
8. Palm Bay​​           13.3%​​     13.9%​​    104,898​       14,580
9. Jacksonville​        13.0%​​     13.2%​​    842,584​       111,221
17. Port St. Lucie​     12.2%​​     12.4%.   ​​171,016​       21,205​
26. Miami​​             12.5%​​     13.1%​​    417,650​       54,712
27. Bradenton​         12.9%​​     15.5%​​    51,76.         38,023
29. Orlando​​           11.9%​​     13.4%​​    255,483​       34,234
32. Homosassa S.   12.5%​​     14.8%​​    13,790         12,041
35. Tampa​​             13.5%​​     12.0%​​     352,957​      42,354
42. Cape Coral.      ​ 11.6%​​     12.4%​​    165,831​       20,563
49. Ocala​​             11.5%​​     15.9%​​    57,468         9,137

*Cities in bold are in the Orlando Metropolitan Area*

From 2010 to 2013, the divorce rates in most of the Floridian cities on The Daily Beast’s list increased, with the lone exception being Tampa.

How does Orlando stack up against the rest of the United States?

  • 13.04% of people in Orlando are divorced, 2.29% above the United States average
  • 22.93% of people in Orlando are married with children, 9.6% below the national average
  • 35.05% of people in Orlando are married with no children, 6.09% below the national average
  • 27.50% of people in Orlando are single with children, 10.62% above the national average

What can you take away from these statistics? People in Orlando have a high divorce rate, which means that there are more single people with children. There is a direct correlation between the aforementioned stats and the fact that married people with children is nearly 10% below the national average.

Even though Orlando is nicknamed, “The City of Beautiful” when it comes to its divorce rate, it is somewhat messy.

Sean Smallwood, attorney of Sean Smallwood, P.A., a firm that specializes in divorce and family law, contributed content to this article.

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