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Answers From Respected Florida Attorneys

We know that you likely have questions when it comes to probate, family law, guardianship, estate planning and business law, as these can be complex issues. At Mara Law, P.A., we are here for you, providing you with the answers to all of your questions. Below you will find the answers to some of the common questions we encounter from clients:

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If you have further questions after reviewing these FAQ, please don’t hesitate to contact Mara Law, P.A., by calling 386-868-5170 or by contacting us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Ormond Beach with appointments also scheduled in Palm Coast. We serve people across our region, including Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Seville, New Smyrna Beach, Bunnell, Palm Coast, Flagler Beach and Barberville.


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Can I file a child custody or child support motion in the county where I live even if the current court order is in the county where the child’s mother resides?

Attempting to do so is likely to be unproductive. For example, suppose that you now live in St. Lucie County, but the children live in Brevard County with their mother. If you attempt to file in St. Lucie County, more than likely the mother will file a motion to change the venue. The motion would probably be granted because the original action was filed in Brevard County and the children still reside there. It could end up costing you more time, aggravation and money if you file in St. Lucie County rather than just filing from the start in Brevard County.

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After my divorce, can I still deduct mortgage interest on the marital home?

First of all, it would be better if you were not paying the mortgage any longer. Your settlement agreement should have included language requiring your ex-wife to assume the existing mortgage or refinance the home loan. Assuming such a provision was not included in the original settlement, you may now want to file a petition requesting that the court modify the settlement agreement to require your ex-wife to either assume or modify the mortgage. To get this approved, you would have to show a substantial change in circumstances. The fact that you can’t get a mortgage may qualify as a substantial change in circumstances.

Regarding the mortgage interest, if you are not currently paying on the mortgage and the settlement agreement does not allow you to claim the mortgage interest, you would have a difficult time trying to claim it. If your ex-wife is paying the mortgage and can show that she is doing so, she would be able to argue to the IRS that she — not you — is the only one eligible to claim the interest. If you claim the interest anyway, you could end up paying fines and late fees on your taxes.

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Can I submit a will for probate myself, without legal counsel?

In the state of Florida, you must hire an estate planning attorney to represent you in a formal probate proceeding. However, if your relative’s estate qualifies for disposition of personal property without administration, then you are not required to hire an attorney. You would benefit greatly from having a consultation with an attorney to see what type of probate proceeding applies in your case.

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