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Florida General Practice Law Blog

Cringe at a prenuptial agreement? You're looking at it wrong

Getting engaged is an exciting life event for Florida couples, and most are eager to begin planning their nuptials as quickly as possible. However, between choosing venues, designing centerpieces and selecting the perfect outfits, couples tend to overlook an essential marital planning tool -- the prenuptial agreement. When done correctly, this document can be a powerful tool for both marriage and divorce, should one occur subsequently.

Due to many negative connotations in TV shows and movies, many people cringe at the thought of asking their loved one for a prenuptial agreement. Prenups are not the divorce fertilizer that they have been painted as, and instead provide considerable protections for people with important assets. Business owners, for instance, have a lot to lose if they divorce. Rather than put their business interests on the line, they can preserve their business and all of its assets as personal property in a prenuptial agreement, effectively keeping it out of the asset division process.

Who keeps the show dog after divorce?

While any animal can become a point of contention during divorce, show dogs are more than a typical pet. A show dog can cost you thousands of dollars and become a major focus of your life. Losing a show dog to your ex-spouse would be more than losing a companion; it would be losing a valuable asset. Do you know how Florida's courts would determine ownership?

 

Did you suffer a slip-and-fall accident at a convention?

Conventions happen all over the country. Many groups consider Florida as a place to hold conventions for reasons obvious to those who live here. Accidents could happen at these conventions, and determining liability in a slip-and-fall accident could be as simple as looking to the host venue, among others.

This is what a woman who attended a conference in another state is doing. She was on her way in to set up a booth for the conference when police stopped her. She was told that her high heels were not allowed, so she purchased a pair of tennis shoes to wear.

Show animal ownership disputes over false AKC registrations

A primary purpose of the American Kennel Club is to keep accurate records. When someone here in Florida or elsewhere applies to have their purebred animal registered, it is the job of the AKC to ensure that the animal in question is, in fact, purebred. When it turns out that is not true, the AKC does not get involved in the show animal ownership disputes that may follow.

For some people, finding out that their dog was not really eligible for AKC registration may not be a big deal. However, if you intended to show your animal, it could cause you major financial losses. If you entered into a breeding contract, that would be the first place to begin dealing with the breeder.

Rear-end collision involving commercial truck ends in 1 death

Distractions, impairment and speed are just some of the factors that lead to collisions on Florida's highways. It is largely up to law enforcement officials to figure out which factors led to a certain crash. This is the task before investigators after a recent rear-end collision that ultimately involved four vehicles and killed one man.

Sometime after 9 a.m. on a recent Wednesday morning, troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol were called to the scene of a chain reaction crash in the northbound lanes of Florida's Turnpike. Upon arrival, it was discovered that a commercial truck failed to slow for traffic and ran into the back of one pickup truck. Two more pickup trucks were also struck before the four vehicles came to a rest.

What should I consider when hiring a handler?

The dream of achieving Best in Show can consume some dog owners, especially those who have a purebred, show-ready dog. And why not? The Best in Show title carries a lot of clout in the showing world. It can mean big prize winnings, a boost to your reputation, and it can bring credibility to a breeder or kennel. This can be incredibly tempting, especially if a dog has a number of quality years ahead of them.

Being a successful show handler isn't for every owner, however. It can be an incredibly labor-intensive job that requires a certain level of professionalism and training to be successful. Handlers with clout, however, can change the mind of a judge, explains one Modern Dog Magazine article. If this can mean the difference between Best in Show and fifth place, it's worth considering hiring a quality dog handler, right?

Is adopting a stepchild possible under Florida law?

The short answer to that question is, yes, Florida does allow it. However, a process must be followed before officially adopting a stepchild and considering him or her to be your own. Most people find that the most challenging part of the process is obtaining the consent of the other biological parent. 

In order for you to adopt your stepchild, both biological parents must be afforded the opportunity to object. More than likely, your spouse will not be an issue, so you may believe that the noncustodial parent holds the key to whether you can move forward with the process. In consenting to the adoption, that parent is giving up all rights and responsibilities to his or her biological child. This may not be an easy decision.

3 teens injured in car accident while on the way to a party

Police in Florida are in the process of investigating a single-vehicle crash that left three teenagers injured. The car accident occurred in the Pembroke Pines area on Sunday, Oct. 29. According to the driver's parent, the teens were on their way to a party when the crash occurred.

It was a stormy night when an 18-year-old West Broward High School student told his mother he was going to a party. He took his car, loaded it with two of his friends -- both males ages 16 and 18 -- and went on his way. The roads were wet, and the young driver is said to have lost control of his car on South Dykes Road. The vehicle crossed over the median and came to a stop after hitting a tree.

Were you harmed by negligent security? We can help

Far too often, victims of violent crimes face criticism for being injured. Many are accused of bringing such violence upon themselves by being in an unlit or perceived unsafe area, and few stop to ask if property in which a person was attacked could have been made safer by the owner. Negligent security is a real and serious problem in Florida, and it puts an untold number of individuals at risk for attack.

Property owners must be aware of the potential dangers on their property, and most people understand that this means they must implement proper safety precautions. This includes warning of wet floors, fixing faulty pavement and posting warning signs where necessary. It also means that they must take necessary steps to create a secure location. Those that skip over this aspect create opportunities for crimes to occur.

Was the danger that caused your injuries 'open and obvious?'

Far too many people in Florida get hurt at grocery stores, malls and restaurants, among other public or private establishments, due to some danger on the premises. If those injuries result in the filing of a premises liability claim, the party or parties believed to be responsible for them through some form of negligence may claim that the danger was "open and obvious," which means that any reasonable person would have taken steps to avoid it. The question is whether that fact absolves the establishment's owners, managers or others from legal responsibility.

Under ordinary circumstances, an establishment is required to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of those lawfully on the property (invitees). Any dangers to that safety that are either discovered by owners, managers or employees or reported to them should be fixed as soon as is practicable, and warnings should be provided to invitees regarding the hazard if it cannot be dealt with quickly. When a defendant claims that any reasonable person would have noticed and avoided the hazard, the injured party may need to show that did not matter.

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