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The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is pleased to announce that Sandy T. Fox, Esquire of the law firm, Sandy T. Fox, P.A. has successfully achieved Board Certification as a family trial advocate. The NBTA was formed out of a strong conviction that both the law profession and its clients would benefit from an organization designed specifically to create an objective set of standards illustrating an attorney’s experience and expertise in the practice of trial law.

Sandy T. Fox, Esquire joins a growing number of trial attorneys that have illustrated their commitment to bettering the legal profession by successfully completing a rigorous application process and providing the consumer of legal services with an objective measure by which to choose qualified and experienced legal counsel.

The elaborate screening of credentials that all NBTA board certified attorneys must successfully complete includes: demonstration of substantial trial experience, submission of judicial and peer references to attest to their competency, attendance of continuing legal education courses, submission of legal writing documents, proof of good standing and passing of an examination.

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Commonly known as DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act was partly overturned by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013. 336862_rainbow_flag_in_san_francisco.jpg

DOMA was originally enacted in 1996 under President Clinton. One component of the statute permits states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states. President Clinton, later in 2009, admitted that he supported same-sex marriage but ultimately did not feel it was a federal issue. The other part of the statute defines marriage, for federal purposes, as between one man and one woman, effectively precluding married same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits. It was this federal definition (“Section 3”) that the Supreme Court struck down.

In 2011, the Obama administration proclaimed that although it is their belief that the Section 3 is unconstitutional, they would continue to enforce the bill but refused to defend it in court. Prior to the historic Supreme Court ruling, Section 3 was struck down as unconstitutional in the Court of Appeals for eight federal circuits.

The case that made it to the Supreme Court which ultimately led to its overturning is United States v. Windsor. The case followed Edith Windsor who had married her spouse Thea Spyer in Canada in 2007. The couple moved to New York and New York state recognized their same-sex marriage. When Thea died, she left her entire estate to Spyer. Historically, when a spouse dies in the US, the spouse, and only the spouse, will be exempt from federal estate taxes; if the estate is left to anyone but a spouse then the limit is $3.2 million dollars before estate taxes apply. In Edith’s case, the IRS did not recognize Edith as a legitimate spouse under DOMA leaving Edith with an estate tax bill totaling over $300k.

Windsor proceeded to sue for a refund of the money she did eventually pay. The grounds were that such a tax under DOMA’s non-recognition was a violation of her Fifth Amendment right of equal protection. The two federal courts ruled in favor of Edith and the case made it to the Supreme Court; oral arguments were heard in March 2013. The court found Section 3 unconstitutional as “a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment”.

Governor Scott and Senator Marco Rubio disagreed with the SCOTUS decision but identified that it won’t affect Florida ban. The Florida state ban on gay marriage was introduced in 2008. The Florida ban would need to be repealed by either an act of legislature, which is slow and the bill was introduced based voted on by the citizens of Florida (62%), or by a petition requiring nearly 700,000 signatures. Equality Florida, a gay-rights group, announced it will campaign in 2014 for a bill to challenge the Florida ban.

Although the focus is on same-sex marriage, an interesting effect of this case is same-sex divorce. Historically, upon a divorce, ex-spouses could transfer unlimited money between them in settling property distribution. Same-sex couples now can settle divorces without imposing large tax fees. Additionally, federal gift taxes would not apply to same-sex spouses.
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Often parents do not know what to expect during their divorce. Wifes tend to believe that their divorce lawyer in Miami are their emotional therapists. Husbands tend to treat their divorce as a business transaction. If child custody, time-sharing or a parenting plan is at issue, mothers often exhibit anxiety and outrage which inhibits their ability to think clearly.

Unfortunately, some South Florida divorce litigants have difficulty compromising. If your case involves a violent or abusive spouse or one who is intentionally impoverishing his or her family by not providing alimony or child support, you should considering hiring an attorney to handle the complex legal issues involved in your divorce in Fort Lauderdale.

In some cases, a husband can take the wife’s jewelry, pictures and inherited gifts. He can cancel a credit card so when the wife attempts to buy groceries the transaction is declined. Even worse, the husband can take all of the financial data prior to the filing of a divorce.

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Many divorce lawyers in Fort Lauderdale often wonder why long term marriages with history and commitment, children and grandchildren often wind up in the marital and family law court. One half of all divorces take place during the first eight years of a marriage. When considering data compiled from the US Census Bureau from 1955 to 1994, 25% of parties have been married for at least 20 years and 4% of the divorced couples have been married at least 40 years.

Couples who enter into their 60’s no longer view themselves as old. They are often optimistic about their future and are willing to change a situation that makes them unhappy. Sometimes a long term marriage runs its course because there is not enough attention, time, empathy and play. Other times people look at each other and wonder who the other person is since they remained married until their children entered university. However, married couples in Broward who wait to hire a divorce attorney to file often find themselves in a highly contested divorce since they have had time to build up their assets.

Women in long term marriages tend to be the party that initiates a divorce. Men often hesitate because they are comfortable with their wife. In a long term marriage you must stay connected, keep things fresh and remain interested in your partner. However, this is sometimes easier said then done.

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In part 1 of How To Survive Your Fort Lauderdale Divorce, I discussed ways that you can take care of yourself and your job during a dissolution of marriage. Let’s face it, divorce litigation in Broward County related to alimony, child support, and custody issues such as a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule can become overwhelming. The stress and personal problems during this difficult time in your life should be controlled to prevent your job from being sabotaged.

You should not speak to your Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney during work unless it is a true emergency. When you speak to your marital and family lawyer, you should be in a private place where you can concentrate.

You should not speak to your spouse during work unless it is a true emergency. These conversations can be volatile. You can also become emotional. Your concentration and work product should not be negatively impacted by your pending Broward divorce and the heated conversations with your spouse related to alimony and child support.

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Personal problems such as a divorce, alimony or child support case in Broward or a troubled marriage can be so overwhelming that they can threaten your career. During your custody, parenting plan and time-sharing litigation in your marital and family law case, your Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney can help you to control the litigation. However, you must help yourself and control your personal problems. To maintain your professional life during a divorce, there are several tips that you may want to consider.

You should keep your divorce private. Avoid discussing your case at work unless it is completely necessary for reasons such as a court appearance. This will help you keep the stress outside of your job.

Try to talk about your problems with people outside of your job. While it can be expensive to talk to your Broward divorce lawyer, you can speak to a friend, family member or your therapist. They can help calm you down. Your divorce and child support attorney in Hollywood, Plantation or Pembroke Pines can help you handle yourself in front of the mediator or judge.

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Your divorce in Broward can become overwhelming. It can threaten to sabotage all aspects of life, including your career. Your Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer may require you to appear in court so that you can receive temporary child support, alimony or attorney’s fees and costs. In order to maintain your professional career, you should consider the following 8 tips:

Keep Your Divorce Private: Avoid telling your coworkers unless they need to know for business reasons.

Separate Work Life From Home Life: When you get in your car to leave for the office, allow the drive to work to become an escape from your divorce. This will allow you some relief so that your problems do not overlap.

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Getting divorced in Broward County can be a daunting experience. You are not just breaking up with your spouse, but you are dividing your assets and liabilities and creating a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule with your children. Whether you live in Cooper City, Coral Springs, Plantation or Southwest Ranches, a divorce can be a long and expensive process. By hiring a divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, you can avoid some of the most common and costly mistakes.

Here are the top five mistakes:

Being Unprepared