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Richard David West
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Richard West’s Answers

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  • Crazy Ex Fiance and Engagement Ring Orlando,FL

    First of all,I broke up with my ex fiance 3 months ago,he came yesterday to my house trying to break in to forcefully try to get back together.And pretty much said to call the cops to get him out,so i called the cops because i said "No,i don't wan...

    Richard’s Answer

    He has the right to ask for the ring back. Florida follows the minority rule. In Gill v. Shively, 320 So.2d 415 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975), the court recognized that the Florida "Heart Balm" statute, now section 771.01, Florida Statutes (1991), does not preclude an action for replevin of an engagement ring. The decision was premised on the idea that an engagement ring is a conditional gift, one that is dependent, as Judge Downey noted, on a voyage on the sea of matrimony. If the voyage never gets underway, then the gift is never perfected, and the jilted suitor may seek its return by the traditional legal remedy of replevin. (It should be unnecessary to note that replevin is a legal remedy and, in any event, failure of replevin does not as such establish the failure also of money damages.

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  • JUST FOUND OUT SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILD ISN'T MY HUSBAND'S.

    My husband is in the military. He just found out that his seven year old son isn't biologically his. His ex wife has manipulated him out of THOUSANDS of dollars over the last several years. Is there any legal action that can be taken?

    Richard’s Answer

    Your husband needs to speak with an experienced and hopefully board certified family lawyer. There is a legal presumption that a child born during a valid marriage is the child of the husband. He would in all likelihood need to prove fraud. That is his ex knew he was not the father and deliberately mislead him.

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  • I owned a IRA prior to marriage worth 80k, I have recently gotten divorced. How will it be treated?

    I had been married for 6 ½ years and she left me 6 months ago. I have bought and sold positions inside the account,but have only contributed $50 dollars to the account in 2010. The account market value is now 180k and I am getting divorced. ...

    Richard’s Answer

    Both might be right. Your account is a non-marital asset. Appreciation of a non-marital asset is non-marital if it is passive, i.e. only market driven. If the appreciation is active, i.e. due to the contribution of marital funds or labor, the appreciated value is marital. The issue then becomes how much of the increase was due to your trading activities and how much just increase in value of securities held. A sophisticated and experienced divorce lawyer would rely on a forensic CPA to help make the determination and offer proof in court if needed. The law is clear the facts are not.

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  • I have a final judgement, but now my ex says the judge may amend it? Is that possible?

    The judge awarded me items and my ex thinks he should have gotten them. I asked for alimony after 18 years of marriage, including 12 being a stay at home mom and didn't get anything. The judge wrote I didn't ask for any, but I did. Can I appea...

    Richard’s Answer

    You can appeal but you must do it within 30 days of the divorce decree or you lose your right to appeal.

    18 years is a long term marriage that creates a presumption in favor of permanent alimony. If there is a substantial disparity between your income and your ex-husband's you should have received alimony.

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  • I have been legally separated for 25 years. The legal separation took place in Stamford, Ct. Do I need to divorce?

    After 25 years legally separated is there a possibility that the divorce is automatic and I don't need to do anything?

    Richard’s Answer

    There is no such thing as an automatic divorce. From the standpoint of Florida law you may be faced with a situation that would classify all of the assets you acquired in the last 25 years as marital. Without seeing the separation agreement there is no way to tell. I would not be too concerned with the above possibility if there is a legal document, but stranger things have happened.

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