Author: Andrew D. Wheeler

Ashley Madison in Florida Divorce Cases

If you are a Florida resident, and you or your spouse are found among the lists of people who were utilizing Ashley Madison’s services, what does that mean if you or your spouse file for divorce?

How to Qualify for Medicaid (and keep your property): Part II

The asset and income restrictions on Medicaid benefits are what bring a great many people to an elder law attorney.  The applicant meets the age, citizenship and other basic requirements for Medicaid benefits, but they nevertheless can’t be immediately qualified because of the limitations on what an applicant can own or earn while receiving Medicaid benefits.  So, what are these limitations? Asset Limits Generally, Medicaid applicants are limited to $2,000 in countable assets. Moreover, if the applicant is married, the applicant’s spouse (who may not be going to live in a long-term care facility) is limited to $119,220 in countable assets for the year 2015. If both spouses need Medicaid, their asset limit is $3,000 total or $1,500 each. And there’s another problem.  With certain exceptions, if the applicant has transferred property or funds in the past five years, that property or those funds are counted in the Medicaid application. The idea of the look-back period is to prevent people from hiding assets or income in order to qualify for Medicaid (in other words, to ensure that Medicaid is …

Financial Disclosure in High Net Worth Divorce

A diligent and experienced attorney, and a concerned client, are the keys to overcoming financial issues in a divorce case. The key to finding hidden assets is to spot inconsistencies in financial disclosures or patterns in financial dealings that do not coincide with other available information.

Is it legally improper, or just bad etiquette to serve divorce papers through Facebook?

In order to obtain a divorce, the defendant spouse must first be served with a copy of the divorce complaint. Traditionally, this has been accomplished by a sheriff or private process server.  In some cases, this can be completed by certified mail. However, like everything else, the legal system has evolved with the proliferation of email as a preferred method of communication. Now, with the advancement of social media, things may be changing again. A New York judge has apparently ruled that service of a divorce complaint can be provided through Facebook. And let me be clear: I like the idea! Seems harsh to use a social media platform to accomplish something that certainly will not be “liked”, but this is the method by which many people communicate these days. Indeed, I’ve seen several divorces that were caused due to a spouse’s inappropriate activities on Facebook, so why not serve that spouse with a divorce complaint through Facebook? To be effective, service should reasonably apprise the defendant of the action that is pending against them.  A Facebook message can accomplish this …

Adopting a Foster Child

Adoptive children come from many sources. Some come from within a family, some from foreign countries on the other side of the world and others come from state protective agencies such as the Department of Children and Families in Florida, or the Department of Human Resources in Alabama. Children are placed in foster care due to some set of circumstances that usually stems from the parents’ inability or unwillingness to provide adequate for the child.  Foster parents open their homes, and their hearts, to children who otherwise have nowhere else to go. Thousands of children are in foster care around the country, including Florida and Alabama, and they are awaiting one of two results.  The first option is for their parents to get it together and regain custody. The law of every state prefers this option due to the fundamental rights parents enjoy with respect to their children.  The second option is for the court to determine that reunification with a parent is not possible and to terminate the parents’ rights, and set the stage …

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems (sort of)

Originally posted on Borrowed Genes:
Today I talked to two different adoption consultant companies, Laura at?Faithful Adoption Consultants and Shannon at?Christian Adoption Consultants. I wasn’t looking exclusively for Christian organizations but these two had the best reputations by far for adoption consultants, (please note, consultants are not the same as facilitators, which are illegal in many states) and it was easy to see why. After speaking with both these ladies my heart sort of sank into my stomach because I realized that this is what our adoption journey could have looked like if I had chosen better. I didn’t know there were different ways you could expect to be treated by an agency. Now I do.? I enjoyed speaking with them both because they both validated what I knew to be true, that this journey the hubs and I have been in is abnormal, and not a good representation of what adoption looks like. I pulled my punches big time in describing what had happened, both in speaking with them and on my last blog…

Elder Law: Florida Legislature Reins in Guardians

Elder abuse can take many forms, but those forms are never open or obvious.  Incidents of financial abuse almost always begin with relatives or friends who claim to have good intentions to help elderly individuals who are in poor mental or physical condition.  The following article is a good look at the issue, and some steps the Florida legislature is taking to help avoid misconduct by court appointed guardians.  Click the link below… Legislature takes steps to rein in guardians.