Friday, December 27, 2013

Can I Make the Daddy Pay Child Support If We Were Never Married?

Watch this Movie to Learn About Paternity Actions.

My name is attorney Eric Kay. Some clients have asked me "If I have a child with someone, but we have never been married, am I entitled to anything." The answer to that question is yes, and the legal means to obtain relief is called a paternity action.

A paternity action in Florida is somewhat similar to a divorce, but with some crucial differences. In a divorce, a couple's financial assets and liabilities are analyzed. This is for the purpose of equitable distribution, in other words, dividing the property and debts of the parties to the marriage in a fair but not necessarily equal way. The relative income of the parties is ascertained for the purpose of determining child support amounts, and alimony, or spousal support amounts. If there are children born of the marriage, a parenting plan is also at issue, which specifies the timesharing of the minor children with each parent.

As compared to a divorce, a paternity action is more limited in scope. The primary focus of a paternity action is to establish for legal purposes who the parents of a minor child are, and to set forth legal obligations to make sure that the child at issue is taken care of. Since the parties to a paternity action were not married, alimony or spousal support is not at issue. Equitable distribution is also typically not involved since the two parents involved never became one under the law by getting married.

Thus, a paternity action primarily involves rights of child support and child visitation (or custody as it was previously referred to). The first issue in a paternity case is whether the parties in the action are the actual parents of the minor child or children involved. Typically, one party will allege that he or she is a parent, and that the party who is served with the action is the other natural parent. The party served will either admit or deny that he or she is the natural parent of the child. If the party denies parental status, typically the Court will order that a DNA test is conducted, as this is conclusive evidence to determine the issue.

The next factor that is usually sorted out is child support. In Florida, child support is based upon guidelines, which in turn are based on the relative income of the parties, and who is the primary residential parent. In most cases, child support is a straightforward equation that takes into account the total monthly income of the parties, and what percentage of the total income is attributable to each person. The Florida Child Support Guidelines set forth a monthly child support amount based on the total income and the number of children, and divide this amount by the pro rata share, or percentage share that each parent makes. Only in limited cases and for exceptional circumstances will the Court order different amounts than are calculated by this formula.

Finally the parties or the Court must determine a Parenting Plan to ensure that the parties have certain minimum rights as to visitation and time sharing with the child or children involved. The Parenting Plan can often become a point of argument because it is a very detailed document that specifies how the child or children will split and share time with the parents. Every weekday, every weekend, every holiday, every spring break, and every summer vacation is accounted for. If the parties cannot agree on their own or at mediation, the Court will determine a Parenting Plan I the best interests of the minor child or children involved.

While there are other issues that arise in the course of a Paternity case in Florida, these are the primary ones of concern that typically take the most time. Since equitable distribution and spousal support or alimony are not at issue however, the absence of these key issues make paternity cases easier to resolve in many circumstance than a divorce involving the very same people and issues.

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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Entertainers - Protect Your Rights. Entertainment Laywer in Fort Lauderdale Can Help

If you have entertainment law issues such as agency agreements or performance agreements, watch this video

Over our many years of providing legal service to clients in the entertainment industry, we see production companies, record labels or performers who find themselves in trouble due to poorly drafted agreements. Worse, we often see situations where the agreements are strictly verbal and not even written down.

Whether you are involved in film, music, theater, television, radio, or other entertainment industries, it is critical that you protect your work, and that you are properly paid. We will help you draft contracts including:

•performance agreements
•technical and hospitality riders
•confidentiality agreements
•non-circumvention contracts
•intellectual property agreements
•agency contracts

At the Law Offices of Eric A. Kay, P.A. located in South Florida, we provide legal counsel and services for entertainment matters. Our experienced team of associates represent creative talent and entertainment industry related companies in various fields. Our intent is to help you protect your rights, provide direction on business issues, and proactively address potential pitfalls before they happen.

Our firm has built a strong reputation among our clients. We have represented clients that have performed in Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and elsewhere in America as well as around the world including China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia, to name a few. We have a low volume practice and provide you with personal attention. We understand that you are unique, and that your legal issues require individual analysis. We listen carefully, and then we suggest the best options for resolving your issues. We take a personal interest in your success.

You may already have an issue with someone in the industry. Whether you are a performing artist, providing entertainment, or contracting for talent, if someone has failed to execute on their part of any deal, we can help.

Call us at 954-330-8994 to set up an initial meeting where we can assess your current needs and long term plans, and determine how we may help you. When we are working on your behalf, you have the peace of mind that allows for your time and creative talents to be spent on your craft, instead of wasting your time worrying about business issues, agreements and lawsuits.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Eric A. Kay Accepts Membership into Elite Trial Lawyers Group


The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers Extends Membership to Eric A. Kay

Eric A. Kay continues to receive the accolades of his peers.  Kay has accepted the nomination of The National Trial Lawyers into their Top 100 Trial Lawyers Group.  As noted below, this is no small accomplishment.

According to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Group, invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.
Prospective members of The NTL are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership. The criteria used in the evaluation process include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Reputation among peers, the judiciary, and the public
  • The previous year’s achievements, settlements and verdicts as a trial lawyer
  • Board Certification as a trial lawyer or trial attorney
  • Nominations received from leading trial lawyers, current members and/or our executive committee members
  • Leadership and membership within other national and state trial lawyer organizations
  • Rankings and ratings of the attorney by established organizations.
Membership is not automatically renewed; attorneys are reevaluated annually to determine whether their activities and accomplishments qualify them for continued membership.

If you are in need of the services of an experienced and aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney, you may want to consider Eric A. Kay.  Contact:

The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

12 SE 7th Street Suite 707
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

123 SE 3rd Avenue #252
Miami, FL 33131

Phone:   954-330-8994
Fax:   954-764-8220