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Punta Gorda Family Law Blog

Social media and its impact on how people approach divorce

When a Florida couple decides to end their marriage, it requires that they divide marital property and address other important issues, such as child custody. In the age of social media, however, divorce may also mean an intentional extrication of two digital lives. Through Facebook and other social media platforms, a couple may find their lives entangled through tagged pictures, old status updates and mutual friends. This can add a new level of complexity to the process of divorce.

In many situations, divorce is not just a legal and financial transaction. It often requires an intentional decoupling process on Facebook. While the number of millennials getting divorced is lower than other demographics, many of them do find that social media often makes it difficult because of constant reminders online. As a result, some may find it necessary to unfriend people or even create a new profile.

Emotions can lead to irrational family law decisions

When a Florida couple is walking through the process of divorce, it means they will have to address many important issues, including child custody, visitation schedules and more. These are complicated family law issues, and sometimes, it is difficult to set strong emotions to the side in order to pursue a reasonable agreement. When a person allows his or her emotions to drive the decisions made in a divorce, it can lead to lopsided or irrational agreements.

One of the things that a person can do to decrease the complications of a divorce is to remember that the children belong to both parents. They will adjust better if allowed to have strong relationships with both parents and not made to feel like they are pawns in their parents' custody battle. Making it a goal to have everything or nothing is not a great way to secure a fair, sustainable agreement that will truly work for the kids.

Could Florida federal workers face child support enforcement?

Many federal workers are happy to be back on the job, but worried that another shutdown might be looming on the horizon. Going without a paycheck is difficult, and workers are coming out of a stressful couple of months. Many have yet to receive their back pay, and some federal contractors may not be paid at all. For Florida parents tasked with making child support payments, this series of events may have placed them at risk of child support enforcement actions. 

Some parents have their child support taken directly from their paycheck, either through a direct deposit arrangement or a garnishment. That process falls apart, however, when the amount in one's paycheck is zero or is not enough to cover the payment. That can trigger a number of processes, including the loss of professional and/or driver's licenses, court action and other enforcement issues. 

Why are older Florida spouses seriously considering divorce?

Divorce rates in general seem to be leveling off or even declining, but within one demographic, divorce is on the rise. Older Americans are making moves to end their marriages at more than twice the rate of 25 years ago. For many in Florida, there are a number of reasons behind this trend. 

To begin, people are living longer than ever before. Many are looking to their 60s, 70s and beyond with hopes of continued good health and vigor. Staying in a marriage that no longer works for decades to come can be a daunting prospect.

Child custody: Tips for co-parenting a special needs child

Parents of a special needs child have the same parenting issues as other divorcing couples—and then some. Unique challenges can shatter the most amicable divorce intentions.

Pre-divorce, parents may want to ask their respective attorneys to set up a plan for contingencies that exceed issues on the usual custody arrangement spectrum.

How Florida parents can work together re child custody issues

When Florida parents who are married decide to end their relationship, their decisions automatically affect their children's lives. If parents happen to disagree about child custody issues, the divorce process can become quite stressful and complicated. If parents can stay focused on their children's best interests as opposed to a desire to "best" each other in court, it may be possible to use alternative dispute resolution to iron out differences and devise a successful co-parenting plan.

A traditional court setting is often more adversarial than direct negotiations that take place outside a courtroom. For instance, mediation may be used to discuss important topics, such as physical custody, visitation or even child support issues. Parents who use this form of dispute resolution must be willing to talk to each other in an noncontentious manner.

Florida spouses will watch Amazon's Jeff Bezos no-prenup divorce

Jeff Bezos, founder of online shopping giant Amazon, is headed for divorce from his wife of many years. With an estimated fortune of more than $136 billion, the division of wealth between the spouses will be of interest to readers in Florida and elsewhere. That's especially true because Bezos doesn't have a prenuptial agreement in place, and it's unclear whether the couple ever signed a postnuptial agreement outlining how their assets would be divided in the event of divorce.

The couple wed before Amazon was founded, and in a state that holds that all property acquired during a marriage is community property and subject to division in a divorce. That means that Bezos could emerge from the process with significantly less wealth. Currently, the couple is putting a friendly face on the matter, releasing a joint statement on Twitter to say that they will be moving forward with an amicable divorce. 

Not all Florida child custody issues follow the same pattern

When you mention child custody, most people envision two parents pitted against one another in a battle to "win" parenting time and rights. In reality, however, some child custody issues in Florida follow a very different pattern. There are certain cases in which parents have to make incredibly difficult choices to do what is best for their kids, even if that means relinquishing custody to the state. 

When a child is adopted, the parents are often unaware of the challenges the child faced prior to placement, or even while in utero. That can lead to unexpected behavioral issues, some of which can be almost unbearable. When parents are faced with a child who is violent, abusive or dangerous to other members of the family, there are often few options that can make things better. 

Judge rules in property division of vast art collection

Even an amicable divorce in Florida may quickly become contentious when asset division begins in earnest. One partner may have a sentimental attachment to some items, or both parties may each simply feel they have a right to ownership of certain assets. One couple is currently in a property division battle over an art collection believed to be worth more than $700 million.

The collection of 165 masterpieces includes works by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Picasso. Warhol's "Nine Marilyns," a silkscreen painting of Marilyn Monroe, is valued at $50 million. The couple hired separate appraisers for the collection, but the two professionals could not agree on a total value for the artworks. Because the couple could not decide how to divide the art collection, a judge ruled that many of the precious works would be sold at auctions and others split between the couple.

How to prepare your finances for an upcoming divorce

Divorce is a tough process, both emotionally and financially. Florida lawyers saw a rush of people trying to finalize divorces before the end of 2018 to take advantage of certain tax benefits. 

Heading into 2019, you need to be cautious of spending too much money on the divorce. Some expenses are unavoidable, but you can save money by following some helpful tips. Here are ways to save money and protect your assets when going into a divorce