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Punta Gorda Family Law Blog

Child custody agreements and summertime complications

The summer months are busy for Florida families. Children are out of school, and they may be busy with things like camp, swim lessons, time with friends and much more. Schedules are hectic, and this can make things complicated for parents who share child custody. When drafting custody orders, it can help to account for potential summertime complications in order to reduce problems and disputes.

Summer can throw things off with even the most thorough child custody plan. Parents may want to expect summer to be busier and more complicated, and they will find benefit in having a system in place so they can communicate well and maintain mutual respect. Adjustments may be necessary, but it is possible to deal with unexpected schedule changes, transportation needs and other issues in a reasonable manner.

Family law trends continue to change

Florida couples make the choice to divorce every day, but overall, number of couples making this choice is drastically lower. Divorce rates are changing, and there are several factors that influence family law trends and the choices that people make regarding marriage. It appears that fewer people are getting divorced, but that may be because there are fewer people getting married. 

Overall, people nowadays have a different perspective on divorce than many people did in the past. There is more cultural acceptance for a person to leave his or her marriage if he or she is unhappy. Despite the fact that divorce is more acceptable than it was, the divorce rate remains low. In fact, statistics indicate the divorce rate fell by 18% between 2008 and 2016. 

Successful co-parenting starts with a strong child custody order

Divorce is a difficult and emotionally challenging process, especially for the younger members of the family. Florida parents understand how important it is to provide stability and security, even long after the process is final. One way to do this is by co-parenting, which requires parents to share responsibilities and allows the children to have regular access to both of them. 

One of the most critical elements to ensuring that co-parenting works well is to maintain mutual respect. Post-divorce parenting will work much better when both parties are keeping the interests of the kids first. Another thing that can be helpful is to review all plans and custody procedures. A thorough review can reveal where there are areas that could lead to complications down the road and where changes could be better for both the parents and the kids. 

What happens to your pension in a divorce?

You spend most of your marriage and career planning for retirement. If you end up divorcing shortly before you are due to cash in on these savings, it is natural to have concerns over how you and your former spouse will divide this sizable figure.

What should you expect going into this disheartening process? Understanding the possibilities can help you regain control over your plan for retirement.

Keeping a handle on finances during the divorce process

It's not easy to get through the process of ending a marriage. The choices that a person makes now will affect him or her for years to come, and it's smart to think carefully before agreeing to a financial or property division settlement. One of the ways that a person can secure his or her future financial interests is to keep a handle on finances during the divorce process. 

It's expensive to get divorced. Between the cost of moving, separating finances and legal fees, it can lead to significant financial adjustments. One practical money management tip during this time is to make a budget and stick to it. It is likely that a person will have an adjustment in lifestyle and spending, A spending plan can help a Florida reader adjust to post-divorce income and expenses. It is also smart to check credit scores and monitor the scores during the divorce.

Property division, a family business and making the best choices

A family-owned business is one of the most important and valuable assets that a Florida couple may own. For one or both parties, it may be the primary source of income. When a couple decides to divorce, one of the main concerns is over what will happen to the business. These types of closely held assets can be the most complex aspect of the property division process in divorce proceedings. 

After a divorce, it is likely that a couple will no longer be able to continue working together. This leaves the option of selling the business entirely or one spouse buying out the other party's interest. A lump sum payment is not always a possibility for a person going through divorce, but there are other ways to make this transaction a reality. Through negotiations and discussions, a couple may agree to a payment plan, a transfer of certain assets or another mutually satisfactory arrangement

Handling child custody with the kids' best interests in mind

Children may struggle when their parents decide to move forward with divorce. Everything about their lives will change, and Florida parents want to do as much as possible to protect their interests and mental well-being during this time. While there are likely disputes and issues to resolve, parents will find it optimal for the kids to make child custody and other related decisions with the best interests of the kids in mind. 

Kids deal with difficult things in different ways. A parent may not be certain how his or her kids will navigate divorce, but it can be helpful to provide them with as much continuity of lifestyle as possible. This may mean allowing them to stay in the same school and keep the same schedule as much as possible. To make this happen, parents may have to set aside their own desires for the benefit of the children

Seeking fair property division in divorce for stay-at-home moms

Divorce leads to changes for virtually every member of the family, and both parties are likely to experience a significant shift in their financial resources. The property division process is high-stakes, as the terms of the final court order will determine a person's financial future for years to come. For Florida stay-at-home moms who do not earn an income, there is a lot on the line during a divorce. 

Women are much more likely to end up staying home with their children than men. When a divorce happens, it often leaves mothers facing a significantly reduced income and fewer job prospects, especially if they have been out of the workforce for years. While a stay-at-home mom has the right to an equitable share of all marital property, it is challenging to place a value on things like her role in the home and where she would be in her career if she had not decided to raise the children full-time.

How cohabitation affects paternity

With divorce such a common way of life, many people have chosen not to marry. According to the United States Census Bureau, marital rates are decreasing among young adults, whereas cohabitation rates are increasing. Reasons are numerous, from changes in social expectations to the desire for a clean break when a relationship ends.

But not all breaks are clean. When your relationship has produced children, the process of splitting up is very much like a divorce due to parental rights. Whether you marry the mother of your children, you are still the father, and as such, you have certain rights. This is why establishing paternity is so important.

Taxes, divorce and pursuing a strong financial future

When a Florida couple decides to end their marriage, there are significant financial decisions they must make or have a court decide for them. The choices made during divorce will have an impact for years to come, and it is prudent for a person to consider how to pursue a strong financial future during this process. There are certain tax strategies that may make it easier to resolve divorce disputes and reach a reasonable settlement.

One strategy may include putting alimony in a trust. With changes in tax laws, this may be a helpful way to encourage negotiations between couples, particularly in high asset divorce situations. It may also be smart to sell the family home. As divorce will bring significant financial changes to both parties, this can help the parties to manage finances and reduce their tax burdens.