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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Blog

A Florida couple could benefit from a prenuptial agreement

Even though they are gaining popularity, some people still believe that prenups are only for the rich. In reality, most Florida couples could benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Anyone who is going into a marriage with assets and/or debts might want to consider such an agreement.

Under some circumstances, however, a prenuptial agreement is more of a necessity than a desire. Owning a small business prior to marriage does not necessarily mean that a spouse will not be entitled to a portion of it in the event of a divorce. In fact, some businesses require their partners to have prenups to protect the businesses.

A well thought out parenting plan helps children through divorce

Every day, some Florida parents struggle to find a way to tell their children that they are ending their marriage. Making their children understand that just because their parents are not going to be together anymore does not mean that they will not continue to be loving and attentive parents to their children can be a challenge. In many cases, actions speak louder than words, and a well thought out parenting plan can help children understand that their relationship with each parent is not ending.

As parents go through the divorce process, they will need to devise a parenting plan that covers as many eventualities as is practicable. For instance, each parent needs to have as much access to the children as possible. Holidays, birthdays and other events need to be discussed in order to either divide them up or spend them together, depending on the circumstances.

Alimony can be a contentious subject for many divorcing couples

Few divorcing couples here in Florida -- or elsewhere for that matter -- are able to avoid making some sort of financial adjustments due to a divorce. The mere fact that the parties will be living in separate households going forward often makes an impact on finances. This is where the question of alimony often arises, and the topic can get quite heated.

Broken down to its basic definition, alimony (also called spousal support) is determined by the court on the basis of two primary considerations. The first is the financial needs of the receiving spouse, and the second is the other spouse's ability to pay. In many cases, this is where the simplicity ends.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner avoided a complex divorce

Many Florida couples who are contemplating divorce are disenchanted with the traditional adversarial system. Courtroom battles drain resources, time and can cause emotional harm to a couple's children. This is why couples like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are being heralded for avoiding a complex divorce for the sake of their children.

The use of mediation is gaining popularity with celebrities, but many still use it for the privacy aspect. Ending a marriage peacefully and privately has more benefits than just privacy. Affleck and Garner wanted to protect their children from a public spectacle and give their family the best possible chance at co-parenting after the divorce. It can be difficult to forge an amicable post-divorce relationship after a contentious court battle no matter how much the parties love their children.

The use of social media in a Florida complex divorce

Nowadays, most Florida residents who are contemplating or have already initiated a divorce are cautioned to steer clear of social media. This is because posts and pictures garnered from social media are being used more and more often in complex divorce cases. Many family law commentators say that it is typically best not to delete any content from any social media sites from the time divorce becomes a real possibility because it might create the appearance of impropriety to the court.

It's possible that one spouse may be taking lavish vacations or buying expensive items and posting about it. A Florida judge may review evidence from social media and determine that party is spending marital assets. This could significantly affect how the judge decides to distribute the marital assets, and one spouse may be given additional assets in order to make up for the shortfall. Social media content is also increasingly used in child custody battles.

Do not try to navigate a complex divorce alone

Family and friends are wonderful resources for support during a divorce. However, in the majority of cases, following the advice of a friend or family member when it comes to how to handle the issues between the parties could prove disastrous. For instance, a party could be told that he or she does not need an attorney to get through the process. Attempting to go through a complex divorce alone could cost that party a more secure financial future.

Many of the issues in a divorce revolve around money and assets. For example, Florida law often guides the calculation of child support. However, in some cases, a deviation from the guidelines may be appropriate. An individual attempting to prove to a judge that the amount should be higher or lower may not understand what is involved. The same could be said for deviating from the alimony laws.

Florida man accused of not paying child support almost jailed

A Florida man was recently forced to appear before a judge to prove that he was not trying to avoid making his child support payments. Court records showed that he had not made a payment in some time, and the child support payments coming out of his pay checks each month have apparently not been received. Fortunately, he retained his pay stubs and showed them to the judge. Had he not been able to produce the evidence, he may have been taken to jail.

The father of three is wondering what happened to all that money. An investigation revealed that the man's former employer, which is where the error occurred, sent the money to the state, but the checks were returned. The owner of the Church's Chicken franchise reported that he attempted to send the money to the state. However, the Florida father never received credit for the payments.

Prenups are helpful to any couple, not just the rich

It does not matter whether a Florida couple is wealthy, older and established or young and starting out, there will be financial issues with which the parties will need to deal. Prenups do not only deal with the situation on the day of the marriage. They also deal with what it could look like on the day of the divorce.

It is important to provide each other with full disclosure regarding assets and liabilities at the time of the marriage. This is the time to deal with separate property and debts. However, the agreement will also deal with the assets and debts that will be acquired during the marriage, and it may be subject to division if the marriage ends. Therefore, how much each party has in his or her bank account when the agreement is executed is not as relevant as people might believe.

A complex divorce is not always necessary for Florida couples

More than two million people get married every year in the United States, and many of them live here in Florida. Unfortunately, the divorce rate begins just under 50 percent for a first marriage and rises to 70 percent by the third marriage. With all of those divorces, society has changed the way it ends marriages, and a complex divorce battle is no longer the norm.

If a Florida couple does decide to end their marriage, they are being smarter about it than in decades past. Many people now recognize that the divorce is more about finances than emotions. Therefore, they are getting organized before the proceedings begin so that they are aware of the family's financial situation and property.

Does child support enforcement effort invade privacy?

Numerous collection efforts are available in the state of Florida when a noncustodial parent falls behind on payments. Most states have similar means of enforcement. One state, however, uses a passive method of enforcement that one man says is an invasion of his privacy.

Like many parents here in Florida, the out-of-state man pays his monthly support obligation without hesitation. He receives monthly postcards from the state reminding him of his duty to pay child support. Apparently, even parents who are up-to-date and diligent with their payments receive the notices.

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