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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Law Blog

Modifying a child custody agreement or order to relocate

When a Florida couple with children gets a divorce, the couple either comes to an agreement or the court enters an order outlining custody and visitation with the children. However, a child custody order can never account for all of the changes that can take place in the family. There could come a time when the existing order or agreement needs to be modified.

One of the main reasons why parents seek a modification to child custody is because one of them wants to relocate with the children. If the both parents come to an agreement regarding the relocation and create a new visitation schedule, it should not be difficult to obtain the court's approval. However, if the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the children does not agree to the relocation, it will be necessary to take the matter to court.

Dealing with retirement accounts during property division

Many Florida residents who are married contribute to retirements accounts through their employment or on their own. If those individuals divorce, part of the property division process will include dealing with those accounts. Once the parties agree on a method of division, executing it often depends on the type of account.

Pensions, 401Ks and other retirement accounts sponsored by an employer will require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). These orders allow the distribution of funds to an ex-spouse free from the taxes or penalties that normally accompany an early withdrawal. It should be noted that a QDRO is necessary for each account if there is more than one. Individual retirement accounts such as Roth IRAs often require a transfer incident, which functions much like a QDRO.

Knowledge is power when it comes to property division

In many Florida marriages, there is one person who handles the majority of the finances. If the marriage ends, this could put the spouse who was not as intimately involved in the family's finances at a disadvantage when it comes to property division. Before going any further into the divorce process, it is necessary to become familiar with the marital debts and assets.

Knowledge is power when it comes to negotiating a divorce settlement. The first order of business is to gather as much information as possible. However, since a good portion of most couples financial lives is electronic these days, caution needs to be exercised when gathering data from electronic devices.

Nearly every couple could benefit from a prenuptial agreement

Getting engaged is an exciting time for many Florida residents. Some people may not want to ruin the mood by asking for a prenuptial agreement. However, the fact of the matter is that although nearly every couple can benefit from one, a prenup should be seriously considered under some circumstances.

If a Florida resident owns a business or wants to stay home with the kids during the marriage, having a prenuptial agreement becomes more important. In addition, neither party would want to be saddled with the other person's separate debts if the marriage ends in divorce. Under any of these circumstances, a prenup should be a priority.

Protecting assets in any relationship should be a priority

News articles about celebrity divorces are everywhere. Some Florida residents read the stories for their own amusement, while others read them with genuine concern for the couple whose marriage is ending. No matter who is reading these stories, people could walk away with one vital piece of information -- protecting assets in any relationship needs to be a priority for every couple.

More and more Florida couples are coming to the realization that prenuptial (before marriage) and post-nuptial (after marriage) agreements are not just for celebrities and other wealthy people. They are contracts between two people who intend to marry -- or are already married -- that prearrange how the parties' assets will be distributed in the event of a divorce. Certain elements must be present in order for the agreement to be considered legal and valid if it is needed.

A Florida divorce involving children will need a parenting plan

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you are most likely already beginning to discuss how time with the children will be divided. Even though you and your spouse will no longer be a couple, you will always be parents. One of the most crucial parts of a Florida divorce under these circumstances is the creation of a parenting plan that works for the entire family.

When it comes to what is in the best interest of your children, you and your soon-to-be ex may not see eye to eye. An attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, which could help in the formation of an effective parenting plan. When Florida courts are determining custody and visitation issues, they begin with certain criteria, such as each party's home and each parent's relationship with the children, along with which parent will provide the most stability and continuity for the children.

Filing for divorce? Make a checklist for property division.

Other than issues surrounding children, the biggest issue in Florida divorces is usually money. Neither party wants to leave the negotiating table or courtroom feeling as though a fair and equitable settlement was not achieved. One way to help prevent that from happening is to make a checklist before discussing property division.

The first item on that checklist needs to be the gathering of financial information. This includes any paperwork connected to the debts and assets of the individual, his or her spouse and the marriage. Without a clear picture of the current financial situation, it is nearly impossible to achieve a fair settlement. Once this list and documentation are compiled, a second list needs to be made that projects expenses over the upcoming year to two years. It is not enough to only know where the parties have been, but they also need to know where they are going.

Some Florida children might need help when parents divorce

Most parents, in Florida and beyond, keep their children's best interests at heart when making life-changing decisions that will affect the whole family. For most, the overall well-being and care of their children remains a priority, no matter what types of extenuating circumstances they might face. For those who choose to divorce, they might find their children needing a little extra care and attention as they adapt to their new lifestyles and learn to function in a healthy way when their family is no longer intact.

A child therapist recently stated that it is good for parents who divorce to discuss the matter with their children, while keeping the information simple and on point. She advises parents to speak in direct terms, not sugar coating the issues at-hand by trying to tell their kids that nothing is going to change after they are not living as a married couple. It is best to prepare children for the reality of the future lives they will share with each parent after divorce.

Asset division can be difficult when a couple co-owns a business

Married couples in Florida who decide to go into business together often do so when times are good between them. If a couple ends up deciding to end a marriage, and the parties did not execute a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, the future of their business is, undoubtedly, uncertain. Therefore, asset division during divorce can be a challenge when a couple co-owned a business during marriage.

It is possible for a business to survive a divorce. Parties can take certain steps from the time the decision to end their marriage is made to work toward a resolution. First, however, the parties need to find a way to keep their emotions out of the settlement negotiations.

Putting children first during and after divorce is possible

It is not necessary for Florida couples to have a friendship after ending their marriages in order to continue to be loving parents. All that is necessary is that parents find a way to put their feelings for each other -- and any future spouses -- aside in order to put their children first. Even years after a couple has gone their separate ways, laying the groundwork to continue to be good parents at the time of the divorce will benefit the children.

Many Florida residents may be aware of a father who recently surprised everyone at his daughter's wedding. Despite the fact that he and his ex-wife's new husband had not always seen eye-to-eye, he stopped the wedding and went up to his daughter's stepfather. He told the man to join him in walking his daughter down the aisle.