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Miami Divorce Law Blog

The benefits of a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements are sometimes viewed negatively because a significant amount of misunderstanding surrounds them. There are a variety of benefits associated with a prenuptial agreement. It is important to keep in mind that without a prenuptial agreement, state laws determine how property is divided upon divorce so couples seeking to retain control of possible asset division should they ever divorce can be better protected by a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements can protect assets and spouses from the debts of the other; clarify rights and responsibilities during a marriage; determine how property will be handled in the event of the death of one of the spouses; and avoid long, costly and drawn out property division disputes if the couple ever divorces. Without a prenuptial agreement, spouses share in property and debts acquired during the marriage and there are other potential consequences of failing to have a prenuptial agreement as well.

Collaborative Law Process Act may make divorce process easier

Divorce can cause a great deal of emotional distress and financial turmoil for Florida couples. With so many factors to consider, high asset divorces in particular can involve a number of complex issues that can leave soon-to-be exes at each other's throats. The Florida Supreme Court is hoping to make things easier for divorcing couples by enacting the Collaborative Law Process Act, effective as of July 1, 2017.

The Collaborative Process is a cost-effective way for couples to work through their divorce issues calmly outside of the courtroom instead of battling in front of a judge. Each party will have access to attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health counselors to assist them with every step of the process. The Collaborative Process method allows couples to keep their issues private and encourages spouses to be respectful of each other. If the couple has children, the focus will be on doing what is in the children's best interests.

Good planning helps kids adjust to life in two households

Your divorce probably came as a shock to your children, and you must help them make as smooth an adjustment as possible. One of the first priorities for you and the other parent is to help the kids get used to transitioning between two homes.

No matter how you and your ex-spouse feel about one another, the welfare of your children should always be at the top of your minds. A well-thought-out plan will make moving back and forth between households easier for everyone to manage.

How to seek a modification of a divorce settlement

Life does not stay the same following a divorce and as a divorcing couples looks to their future and life following divorce, the need for divorce settlement-related modifications may arise. In recognition of this, and the impact life changes may have on a divorce settlement, the family law process provides important resources to help when a modification is needed.

Modifications related to a divorce settlement may come up related to child support, child custody and alimony concerns. Based on a significant change in circumstances, it may be possible to seek a post-divorce modification. In certain situations, such as when a child support modification is sought, a change in circumstances for either the parent or the child may make it possible to obtain a modification.

"Gray" divorce can threaten retirement accounts

Love can last a lifetime, but that isn't always the case. In fact, many Florida couples who have been married for a long time suddenly find themselves falling out of love and longing for a fresh start in life. For this reason, divorce in later life is becoming more common. Studies indicate that the rate of divorce for people 50 years of age and older has almost doubled since the 1990s. This means that for every 1,000 individuals in that age group, approximately 10 are divorced.

Although divorce is nothing new, getting divorced later in life can have a dramatic impact on an individual's finances. This is because marital assets will need to be divided, which, at this point in life, can be quite challenging. Not only have many older couples accumulated a significant amount of wealth, but their property may be entangled in ways that are confusing and hard to separate.

Child custody and Florida's law on parental relocation

Nowadays, people are much more mobile than they used to be. Social media and cell phones have made individuals more accessible, and the Internet has created job markets that are competitive amongst individuals across the country. Because of this, many people move in and out Florida on a yearly basis. While a move in and of itself can be fraught with frustration and challenges, an individual who is party to a child custody agreement or court order can find moving may be even more difficult.

Under Florida law, a custodial parent who is subject to a child custody arrangement cannot move out-of-state without either agreement from the child's other parent or a court order allowing such a move. The law is so strict, in fact, that this rule holds true if a custodial parent seeks to relocate 50 miles or more from his or her current location.

How to have a discussion about a prenuptial agreement

Over the last several weeks previous posts here have discussed prenuptial agreements and how they can be beneficial for individuals and couples who are looking to protect their financial interests in the event of divorce. If you've read our previous posts, then you probably get a sense that crafting one of these agreements can be crucial. But, how does one go about talking about a prenuptial agreement with a soon-to-be-spouse? Won't it worry them?

These are legitimate concerns. After all, many individuals struggle to talk about money and divorce when they are separate issues. The matter becomes even more challenging when the two are combined. While it is true that discussing a prenuptial agreement can be awkward at first, many find that once the idea has settled it proves beneficial. First, individuals should be sure their partner understands that a prenuptial agreement isn't about one party's behaviors or a judgment of their financial health. Instead, it should be portrayed as a tool that can be useful to both parties.

Types of Florida alimony

Alimony, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, may be awarded in a divorce to help a spouse who would otherwise suffer financially from the divorce. The court may order the spouse with the greater income or other resources to make payments to the other spouse.

Florida law intends alimony to provide a stop-gap measure and allow a spouse support while he or she regains financial independence. Courts consider several factors when awarding alimony, including the spouses' relative financial positions and future prospects, health conditions and length of the marriage. Judges also consider the reason for one spouse making less money; frequently, it is because that spouse gave up career or education opportunities in order to support the other spouse and raise the couple's children.

The right approach to crafting a prenuptial agreement

A previous post here discussed ways to ease the financial strain of divorce. There are many steps that can be taken, including temporarily freezing discretionary spending and paying down debt. However, there are also legal steps that an individual can take to help curtail the potential financial impact of divorce. For example, an individual may be able to successfully argue for alimony, child support and a significant share of marital property.

Yet, negotiating and litigating these issues can be tiresome, stressful and expensive. This is why many Florida residents seek to prevent the issues from coming up in the first place by creating a prenuptial agreement. These agreements can settle many divorce legal issues in the event that marriage dissolution occurs at some time in the future.

How do I avoid post-divorce financial stress?

It can be extremely stressful to go through a divorce under any circumstances. Your emotions can run on high and you may find yourself angry, sad and disappointed. But, if you are party to a high-asset divorce, then you may be concerned about your financial well-being, and for good reason. Property division, child support and alimony can all take a toll if not properly handled. However, even in the aftermath of a contentious divorce, there are steps you can take to help ease your financial strain.

First, consider freezing your discretionary spending and setting small goals. Whether it is to save a minimal amount within a certain time frame or stop eating out, cutting discretionary spending and aiming at chipping away at debt and building savings can put you on the road to post-divorce financial success. One way to approach these issues and hold yourself accountable is to keep a financial journal. By doing this, you may be able to see where your money is going, motivate yourself to do better and congratulate yourself on your financial successes.

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