Andrew D. Washor P.A. attorney and counselor at law
Local 954-769-0685
Toll Free 877-709-9701

Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Blog

Child custody issues require undivided attention to the details

When a Florida couple decides to divorce, life can often be chaotic. Finding the ability to focus on one issue can seem elusive. However, because parents love their children, they often find the strength to put aside everything else and focus on figuring out the best course of action for their children. This is needed because child custody issues require the parents' undivided attention in order to cover as many eventualities and details as possible.

These days, parents are much more sensitive to how a divorce affects the children. They strive to make the inevitable transition as smooth as possible. Children need security and stability, and parents try to achieve this as they negotiate their parenting plans.

Start your marriage with a prenuptial agreement

One of the biggest issues in many marriages is money. In order to reduce the impact finances have on parties during a marriage, many Florida couples are considering executing prenuptial agreements. Not only does this force the parties to discuss this often-contentious issue prior to their nuptials, but a prenuptial agreement can also take the pressure off the parties since this is one less issue to be dealt with if the marriage ends.

There are any number of reasons why a prenup would benefit a couple. If either party owns a business, the fate of that business, if the marriage ends, can be outlined in the agreement. Many Florida residents have been married before and have children from those relationships. Making sure that there are assets available for those children to inherit can be addressed in the prenuptial agreement as well. Some people anticipate that they will receive inheritances during marriage, and stipulating in the agreement that an inheritance will remain separate property is essential.

Pets and dividing property in a divorce

These days, many people around the country, including many here in Florida, consider their pets to be part of the family. During divorce proceedings, couples might wish to have the court determine custody of the pet, but few courts will entertain this request since animals are considered to be property. Therefore, if the court is making the decisions about dividing property in a divorce, the fate of the pet will be determined as part of that process.

Pets are surprisingly empathetic creatures and can sense tension in their household. They might already be aware that something is amiss and will act out much like a child will under the same circumstances. The loss of one member of its family often brings on feelings of separation anxiety and confusion. Many sources encourage pet parents to be kind during these times and enjoy the love and silent support that a pet can provide.

Hidden assets in a high asset divorce lead doctor to prison

Divorce can cause otherwise rational people here in Florida and across the country to do things that they would not do otherwise. For instance, in a high asset divorce in which millions of dollars are at stake, one party could be tempted to hide assets from the other party and the court in lieu of having to share them. Those individuals should be aware that hidden assets are often found, as is illustrated by the cautionary tale of a doctor from another state.

The doctor and his wife were married for approximately 28 years before a divorce was filed in the latter part of 2007. Shortly thereafter, the doctor disappeared for nearly six months. It was later discovered that he secreted away millions of dollars in cash and gold.

Protecting yourself and family members with restraining orders

Several professional football players have helped to keep the problem of domestic violence in the news. Sadly, many of the NFL players accused of spousal abuse are still not being brought to justice quickly enough to protect their victims, which could be the case for many abusers here in Florida and elsewhere. Therefore, many people need restraining orders to help keep their abusers away.

A restraining order, which is also called an injunction for protection here in Florida, is often the first line of defense for a victim who has gathered up the courage to leave an abuser. After getting somewhere safe, a call to a family law attorney who deals with domestic violence issues should be made. Obtaining a restraining order as quickly as possible will alert the court that the other party might have a violent history and provides legal consequences to the abuser if he or she violates the injunction.

Mediation could make property division easier

Just the thought of having to battle it out in court could be enough for many Florida residents to seek an alternative way to handle their divorce issues. Many couples are turning to mediation to resolve their property division, support and custody issues. In most cases, the parties are able to save time, money and unnecessary stress and confrontation.

In fact, many judges here in Florida and across the country encourage couples to work out a settlement outside of the courtroom. One judge from upper Midwest says that couples go into the divorce process without first understanding what it entails and how decisions will be made. This can lead to one or both parties being dissatisfied with the outcome, which could result in more litigation down the road.

Setting up the future in a high asset divorce

It is normal for Florida residents who are ending their marriages to experience a type of mourning period. If left unchecked, however, these emotions could bleed into a high asset divorce. This could cause the parties to make strategic errors when negotiating a settlement that could adversely affect their futures.

Only when an individual realizes that it is okay to let go of the past and look forward to the future can he or she begin to negotiate a settlement that might help provide a secure financial start to a new life. Starting over can be daunting, but it can also be exciting. It is okay to be optimistic about the future. 

A judge's perceptions can affect the outcome of a complex divorce

The judges who preside over Florida's courtrooms are tasked with making decisions that potentially affect the rest of people's lives. Most people see them as unbiased and impartial, and for the most part, they are. However, a judge's perceptions about the parties involved in the case can affect the outcome of a complex divorce.

For example, if an individual walks into the courtroom and fails to respect the judge, his staff and even the other party, the judge could develop a conscious or unconscious dislike for that party. Even though it should not influence the judge's rulings, it might. After all, judges are human as well.

Consider a prenuptial agreement if getting remarried

Many Florida residents who are contemplating getting remarried are wary of doing so without first resolving some financial issues with their intended spouses. Maybe having gone through at least one divorce already, they are aware of the financial losses, contentious court battles and emotional upheaval that a divorce can cause if the parties are unable to come to an agreement on their own. Entering into a prenuptial agreement could allow both parties some peace of mind that they -- and any children from prior marriages -- are protected in the event of a divorce.

When Florida residents remarry, they are each entitled to receive anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the other spouse's estate upon death. Spouses might also be entitled to each other's personal property and the marital home despite what the deceased spouse would have wanted. For those who have children from a prior marriage, obtaining a waiver from a new spouse in a prenup could ensure that the children will receive their intended inheritance.

A family business can make asset division a challenge

When times are good, owning a business together can be a wonderful experience. However, when a Florida couple ends a marriage, the future of a business is generally called into question. Under these circumstances, dealing with the family business can make asset division a challenge.

The first decision the parties will need to make is whether they are going to continue running the business together. Some Florida couples work well together as business partners, but they are not well suited as marital partners. Recognizing their strengths and weaknesses could help maintain continuity of the business. The parties can also avoid having the business valued, which can be a significant expense during the divorce.