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How can you protect your child during divorce?

If you’re getting divorced, you’re probably worried about your child or children. So you’ll be heartened to know that the research shows that kids can cope with a divorce and come out ok.

Unfortunately, though, they sometimes don’t. In fact, many children whose parents make the decision to divorce are emotionally wounded in a way that lingers throughout their lives.

Click the link below for tips on how you can protect your child during divorce.

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Approaching Social Media Before, During, and After Divorce

Social media has become irrevocably tied to modern lifestyle, and most people currently considering or dealing with divorce have at least one active social network account. While there’s nothing wrong with remaining active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other platforms during and following your divorce, if you’re hoping for an easy divorce process, take time to consider a few things related to your online profiles.

Click the link below for tips on approaching social media Before, During and After Divorce.

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Learn Tax Tips for Divorces

If you’re going through a divorce, taxes may be the last thing on your mind. So, here are some tips for you on which filing status to choose after the divorce, who can claim the exemptions for the kids, and how payments to an ex-spouse are treated for tax purposes.

Couples who are splitting up but not yet divorced before the end of the year have the option of filing a joint return. The alternative is to file as married filing separately. It’s the year when your divorce decree becomes final that you lose the joint return option. In other words, your marital status as of December 31 of each year controls your filing status for that entire year.

Click the link below for more information on Exemptions for Dependents, Medical Expenses, Payments to an Ex-Spouse, Asset Transfers, etc.

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Florida’s Stalking Laws

Article provided by: stateless.findlaw.com

What is stalking? Stalking is characterized as a pattern of malicious and willful behavior that occurs over a period of time — and more than once. While we often associate stalking with someone lurking in the bushes outside someone’s house, stalking can also refer to various other forms of harassment, such as: repeatedly calling someone’s home or place of business, vandalizing personal property, or even leaving someone unwanted written notes or gifts.

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How is Alimony Determined in Florida?

Article provided by: divorcenet.com, “Alimony in Florida: Introduction to alimony and the basics in Florida.”

The purpose of alimony is to provide financial assistance to the economically weaker spouse. In order to be entitled to alimony, there has to be a legal marriage, as Florida does not recognize common law marriage; there has to be a need for assistance on the part of the requesting spouse; and the other spouse has to have an ability to pay the alimony. This is typically referred to as “need and ability to pay.”

Unlike child support, there is no mathematical formula to calculate alimony. The amount and type of alimony is determined by your individual situation, is fact sensitive, and often depends on the judge hearing your case – one judge’s order may drastically differ from another judge’s order.

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Walk Down the Aisle Worry Free

Article provided by: divorcesource.com

A prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, (commonly abbreviated to prenup) is a contract entered into prior to marriage, civil union or any other agreement prior to the main agreement of partners intending to marry. The content of a prenuptial agreement varies, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce.

  • The prenuptial agreement protects one spouse from the other’s debts. Without a prenup, creditors can go after the marital property even though only one spouse is the debtor. To avoid this, spouses limit debt liability in a prenuptial agreement.
  • The prenuptial agreement protects children from previous relationships, and keeps family property in the family. A family heirloom, family business, even a future inheritance, or other piece of property can be kept within a birth family in a well-crafted prenup.

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Financial Advice for Divorce: It’s a business deal, so keep emotions out of it 

Written by: Julie Landry Laviolette – www.miamiherald.com

“You always think when you’re newlyweds that the first few years are the peak of the divorce years, and that after 20 years everything is fine and dandy,” but many divorces happen to longtime couples, said Vielka Burey-Jacas, a certified financial planner and certified divorce financial analyst in Kendall.

In the heat of a breakup, divorcing couples tend to make financial mistakes that will haunt them for years. But money advisors say keeping a cool head can lead not only to a peaceful dissolution, but more money in your pocket. “The torrents of rage or injustice you feel towards your ex will do nothing for your bottom line. The first thing you need to do is remove your emotions,” Burey-Jacas said.

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Child Custody and Relocation Laws in Florida 

Written by: Aaron Thomas

After parents divorce, one parent may want to move to another location. But what are the rules for moving when a child is involved? What Constitutes a Relocation?

Florida law defines a relocation as a parent moving 50 miles or more from the current residence, for at least 60 days. A relocation is not a temporary change for the purposes of vacation, education, or providing the child with medical care. In Florida, parents may come to an agreement regarding a relocation by signing a written agreement that spells out the terms of the move and new custody arrangements.

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Are Parents Sabotaging Their Children’s Future Relationships?

Written by: Bill Flangin – www.huffingtonpost.com

If you are trying to make your child happy, rather than teaching them to be happy, then you are raising a child whose happiness depends on somebody else. Let that sink in. Your job as a parent is to raise a child that, as an adult, doesn’t need you anymore. If that’s the case, who is going to make your son or daughter happy when they are adults? When you’re not around anymore, or not around as much anyway, who will make your child happy? Will that job fall to their spouse someday? That’s a tough job to fill. And it’s setting them up for failure.

The best way to raise a happy kid is to be happy yourself. Model a type of meaningful happiness that isn’t dependent on a quick-fix. Wherever your happiness journey takes you and your family, be mindful of how you teach your children about happiness. Your children are watching and learning all about happiness from you.

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Time-Sharing in a Parenting Plan: Easter Sunday v. Easter Weekend

Be sure to double check your Parenting Plan or Mediated Settlement Agreement before signing on the dotted line. You may consider the Easter holiday to be the entire weekend, however, be sure the Parenting Plan states that Friday, Saturday and Sunday are included for the Easter holiday. If your Parenting Plan only lists Easter as your day for time-sharing, you may only be entitled to spend Easter Sunday with your child. It is very important in Family Law for the Parenting Plan to be as clear and specific as possible to avoid any future issues or confusion with time-Sharing.


Pensions, Divorce and the Military Retirement System

Article provided by: divorcesource.com

The Military Retirement System provides benefits to members of the uniformed forces. When a Retired Pay Court Order is drafted, monthly benefits will commence to the Alternate Payee when the Member retires, and will continue for the lifetime of the Member. If the Alternate Payee is entitled to a Survivor Benefit Plan Annuity (SBP), such monthly annuity shall commence upon the Member’s death, and continue for the lifetime of the Alternate Payee.

Some Key Facts to Remember:
To draft an order to effectuate a division of a benefit for purposes of equitable distribution, the parties must have been married for 10 years while the member was in active duty. If they have not been married for 10 years of active duty service, the order must be structured to effectuate support payments.

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Divorcees don’t need to afford lifestyle they were accustomed to in marriage

Article written by: Lydia Willgress

Divorcees do not need to be able to afford the lifestyle they were accustomed to in marriage, a Court of Appeal judge has suggested as he rejected an ex-wife’s bid to increase her settlement.

Katriona MacFarlane claimed that she had not been awarded enough to buy a home similar to the £1million country cottage she shared with Dr James MacFarlane, 74. The 58-year-old also claimed she was owed compensation for “abandoning” her teaching career to be “looked after” by the millionaire. But a Court of Appeal Judge on Monday rejected her claims and said the previous living standards of a couple were only a guide when it came to how much an ex-wife or husband deserves.

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Learn More on Adjusting to Divorce

Article provided by: divorcesource.com
Written by: Dr. Percy Rickets, LMHC, NCC

Divorce, can be a very traumatic experience for many adults. Still, it is the children who usually suffer the most when families break up. In the state of Florida, as is the case in many other areas, divorcing parents with minor children and those who are involved in paternity actions are required to complete special parenting classes before their legal actions can be finalized.

Additionally, children of divorce ages 6-17 years are required to complete special groups like the Sandcastles program in some areas. Parents and children consistently attest to the beneficial nature of these programs in helping them adjust to the life-altering process of divorce.

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Debunking 3 Divorce Myths

Article provided by: divorcesource.com

1. Unless I have “custody”, I will only see my child on the weekend: Regardless of whether there is a primary residence for children, the parties, except under extraordinary circumstances, enjoy shared parental responsibility of their children. This means that both share equally not only in decisions affecting their children, but in their childrens’ lives.

2. Scorched Earth a/k/a I want everything: This happens in many cases where a spouse feels severely wronged by the actions of the other and thinks that he/she will receive the house, children, etc., while the other spouse will be awarded nothing.. This is not the case as Florida is a no fault divorce state.

3. The wife always keeps the house: If the home is the only significant asset, allowing one spouse to keep it is an unlikely outcome. Also, in situations where it is not financially possible for either spouse to maintain the home, the judge will likely order the home to be sold.

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10 Tips for Weathering the Holidays Post-Split

Article provided by: HuffingtonPost.com

1. Create New Traditions: “Every Christmas my girls and I selected the day we would celebrate Christmas. We planned new traditions together while they kept the Christmas Day routine at their dad’s.” – Claire N. Barnes.

2. Keep the Family Intact: “Forget the holiday hype and the pressure to create the “perfect” holiday — whether with decorations, gifts or gatherings — and find more meaningful ways to be together as a family while remaining true to the spirit of the holiday.” – Vicki Larson.

3. Be Flexible: “If you don’t have the kids on Thanksgiving or Christmas days themselves, celebrate on another day. Do it up! Flexibility is the key to successful co-parenting.” – Micki McWade.

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How Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support Affect Veterans’ VA Benefits

Written by: Margaret Wadsworth

Each state has its own laws governing divorce, child support, and alimony. But there are also federal laws governing the distribution of veterans benefits, and state family law courts are required to adhere to these laws. Federal law provides certain protections for veterans benefits. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, VA disability payments are exempt from being treated as marital property and cannot be divided as part of a divorce.

If you fail to make alimony (spousal support) and child support benefits, the state can sometimes order your VA benefits to be garnished. Typically between 20% and 50% of your benefits can be garnished.

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Responsible v. Entitled Parenting

by: Laurie Futterman, www.miamiherald.com

A child learns to be responsible or entitled according to what he or she is rewarded for. To teach responsibility, reward for accomplished behavior. To teach entitlement, reward for something other than accomplished behavior. Divorce also begets entitlement, as warring parents assuage their guilt and vie for their child’s love with material goods.

How do parents create responsible children who learn that their behavior determines their life and that continuous responsible behavior brings positive rewards and freedom? They allow natural consequences to occur as the result of a child being irresponsible. They provide rewards only after repeated consistent behavior rather than after one good deed.

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Problems with Paternity: Fraud to Securing Parental Rights

Written by: Joseph E. Cordell, Huffingtonpost.com, 2/18/16

Paternity fraud as a “National Epidemic”
A major (yet underreported) problem in the United States and much of the Western World is fathers unknowingly — or knowingly in many cases — being required to support children who are not theirs biologically. In fact, studies have found as many as 30 percent of fathers paying child support are not the biological father of the children they are supporting.

Problems for unwed fathers
Unwed fathers are given essentially no legal rights to their children until they formally establish paternity. An unwed mother is assumed to have full physical and legal custody of her children until a father can officially establish paternity; a process that can be convoluted, expensive and time-consuming.

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Psychologist Reveals These 4 Behaviors are the Biggest Predictors of Divorce

The divorce rate for couples in the U.S. is somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, which is why it is important to understand these 4 behaviors that psychologists say are the biggest predictors of divorce:

1. The first sign is a lack of communication.
2. The second sign is exclusively expressing negative feelings.
3. The third warning sign is a noticeable decrease in affection toward your partner.
4. The fourth and final warning sign of divorce is a lack of responsiveness to your partner.

Knowing these 4 behaviors is not the same as fixing the problems that may or may not be present in your marriage, but the article below has some advice on how you can change to avoid the unfortunate ending of what was once a happy beginning.

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Supreme Court Rules Domestic Abusers Can Lose Their Gun-Ownership Rights

Written by Carrie Johnson, npr.org.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-2 vote that domestic abusers convicted of misdemeanors can be barred from owning firearms. The majority opinion, written by Justice Elena Kagan, concludes that misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession.

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Does Spousal Abuse Have Any Effect on a Divorce?

August 12, 2016. Information provided by: divorcenet.com

Of course, spousal abuse affects divorce, especially the emotional aspect of divorce. It’s hard not to feel angry and resentful of your spouse for abusing you and it’s hard not to feel ashamed about being abused and wonder why you put up with it so long. Whether abuse affects the legal aspect of divorce is up to you and your divorce attorney.

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How Pregnant Lawyers in Miami are Responding to Zika

Attorney Megan Wells was interviewed for an article featured on Law.com. Here is an excerpt from the article:

On top of managing litigation caseloads and expanding families, pregnant lawyers in the Miami area are figuring out how to manage the risks of living and working so close to a neighborhood the CDC has warned expectant mothers away from after an outbreak of the Zika virus. For Miami Lakes-based family law solo practitioner Megan Wells, the precaution of choice is wearing multiple mosquito-repellent bracelets on her ankles and wrists whenever outside. Not a look that goes well with a business suit. At 28-weeks pregnant, Wells is just at the time when, according to what she has read, the baby is less at risk of damage if she does contract the Zika virus. But with reports of 14 Zika cases in her area, Wells isn’t taking any chances. She has stopped taking evening walks or sitting out on her balcony.

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Child Custody Evaluations: Do’s and Don’ts for Parents

July 20, 2016. Information Provided by: divorcenet.com

If you’re in the midst of a child custody battle, you may be dealing with a custody evaluation as part of the court process. As you proceed through the evaluation, there are some important dos and don’ts to remember:

Do:

  • Acknowledge both your strengths and your weaknesses as a parent.
  • Follow up promptly and thoroughly if you’re asked to provide paperwork or information.

Don’t:

  • Say negative things about your spouse.
  • Be late or miss appointments with the evaluator.

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Child Custody Procedures

July 20, 2016. Information Provided by: statelaws.findlaws.com

One of the more contentious issues in a divorce can be the battle over who gets custody of the children from the marriage. Oftentimes, parents are able to work out a mutually agreeable solution, known as a “parenting plan,” for the custody of the children. If parents cannot reach an agreement on child custody themselves, a Florida family court can make a decision based on evaluating what is in the best interests of the child.

Ultimately, the court will issue a custody order which will dictate how, when and under what circumstances the parents of the child have custody or visitation rights with their child.

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Thinking about divorce? Pre-divorce steps you can take

June 3, 2016. Information Provided by: FloridaLawHelp.org

1. Get help to try and save your marriage. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, take time to consider whether or not the marriage can be saved.

2. Get a pro to help you talk to your kids. Whether or not you decide to try counseling for your marriage or yourself, you should seriously consider talking to a mental health professional if you have children and are planning to divorce.

3. Get your papers together. Gather information about your finances and belongings before you meet with a lawyer.

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Enforcement of Child Support

June 3, 2016. Information Provided by findlaw.com

The district attorney can impose various consequences for failure to pay child support, some include:

  • Withholding federal tax refunds and using these funds to pay child support
  • Garnishing wages
  • Seizing property
  • Revoking the delinquent payer’s driver’s license

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How Do I Prepare for the Initial Consult with a Divorce Lawyer

Before you see your Florida divorce lawyer for the first time, there are some things that you can commit to writing that will help in the initial consultation. You should start with a list of all marital and non-marital assets, debts and income for both you and your spouse. A history of your marriage would also be helpful. It should include the date and place of marriage, all of the jobs either of you has had, ages and activities of your children, and what your vocational and other plans are for the future.

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How Florida Divorce Lawyers Save Their Clients Money by Using Paralegals

May 16, 2016. Information Provided by: Stann W. Givens, Esq.

Florida divorce lawyers typically charge by the hour for what they do. In order to save their clients money, they make use of paralegals to perform some tasks. One way that expert divorce lawyers use paralegals is to have them perform the initial work in preparing a financial affidavit for use in a dissolution of marriage case. By doing this, the lawyer only reviews the work for accuracy and spends far less time on the task than otherwise would be spent. Since the hourly rates of paralegals is far less than those of lawyers, the savings can be significant.

Bottom Line: Use of paralegals by Florida divorce lawyers can save substantial money in your divorce.

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