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

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.

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.

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.

There are numerous different scenarios where paternity can create issues that it is difficult pinpoint exactly where changes need to be made. If you question whether you are the father of a child or are attempting to prove your paternity, speak with an experienced family law attorney immediately to discuss your options.

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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.

The plaintiffs in this case, Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong, both of Maine, had pleaded guilty in state court to misdemeanor assault charges after slapping or shoving their romantic partners. Several years later, each man was found to have firearms and ammunition in their possession in violation of a federal law affecting convicted domestic abusers. Both argued that the weapons ban should not apply to them because their misdemeanor cases were for “reckless conduct” rather than intentional abuse.

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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.

Florida has abolished the no-fault – fault distinction in filing the divorce papers. However, fault (i.e. abuse, in the current discussion) comes into play when determining equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities, the award of alimony, and determination of parental responsibility (i.e. custody and time sharing.) If you’re considering divorce, get good legal advice on Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders, property settlements, alimony, child custody and time-sharing, and child support.

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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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