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Punta Gorda Family Law Blog

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.

Important things to consider when facing divorce

Making the choice to end a Florida marriage is not easy. This decision likely comes after careful thought and consideration, and no matter how amicable the two parties may be, divorce is never easy. Before moving forward with divorce, it makes sense to take the time to prepare for what is ahead. Preparation can help a person avoid having unreasonable expectations regarding divorce and avoid unnecessary legal disputes. 

Divorce is especially complicated when it involves valuable assets. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and worth billions of dollars, and his wife just finalized their divorce, demonstrating that it is possible to reduce the complexity of a high asset divorce. One way to do this is to develop a plan for how to deal with the divorce publicly. This can set divorce proceedings off on the right foot, and it can make it easier for kids to adjust to the idea.

Millennials more likely than others to draft prenuptial agreement

There is no way to predict the future, but there are certain steps a person can take to protect his or her interests before walking down the aisle. A Florida couple may find it beneficial to draft a prenuptial agreement in order to reduce the chance of complications in the event of a divorce in the future. Even more than previous generations, many millennials prefer to draft this type of contract before getting married. 

Statistics indicate a growing number of couples are seeking to draft prenups, especially younger couples who fall into the category of millennials. People of this generation are particularly cautious when preparing to marry, regarding issues such as debt, property holdings and the potential for divorce in the future. Perhaps more than other demographics, this group takes a practical approach to the serious decision of getting married. 

Divorce and how it will impact ownership of the family home

The end of a marriage involves many complex decisions, including addressing valuable assets jointly owned by both spouses. This includes the family home, which can be a difficult and emotional issue for many Florida families. Divorce means that a couple will have to decide who stays and who moves out or whether it is most prudent to sell.

The family home is likely the most significant and valuable asset a couple will have to address during the property division process. One option for dealing with the house is to sell, allowing both spouses to share the proceeds and start fresh. Another option includes one spouse offering the other a certain amount of money to buy out his or her share, allowing the buyer to remain in the home. This may be an attractive option for a custodial parent who wants the kids to remain in their house.

Looking at the benefits and drawbacks of divorce mediation

For some divorcing couples, sitting down together to work out a settlement agreement is a viable option. For other couples, mediation simply will not work.

Here is a look at both the benefits and drawbacks of divorce mediation.

Child custody involves choosing the right future for the children

One of the most complex aspects of many Florida divorces is wondering what will happen to the children. Parents are rightfully concerned with how they can protect the interests of their kids while also protecting their parental rights in a manner that enables them to secure a fair and reasonable child custody order. In doing so it's helpful to understand the various custody options, what types of parenting plans are available and what the courts look at in deciding these family law issues.

There are multiple types of child custody options. Family law courts now recognize the importance of allowing children to have strong relationships with both parents, and parents also have the right craft a custody order that works for every member of a Florida family. There are many options available, and parents would be wise to look at all options before agreeing to a final custody plan. 

How will the property division process affect a small business?

For a Florida business owner, the end of a marriage can be a frightening prospect. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding what will happen to a small business. It can help to understand how equitable distribution of assets works, as well as options for negotiating a property division settlement and the various possibilities regarding business assets. 

Addressing business assets in a divorce is complex. One of the first steps is to seek an appraisal of the Florida business in order to have an accurate current value. After this, there are three main scenarios for what could happen, starting with the possibility that one spouse could retain ownership of the business in exchange for buying out the other spouse's interest or an appropriate financial settlement.

Make sure property division is fair in a Florida divorce

The process of dividing marital property is one of the most complex and emotionally charged aspects of a divorce. Property division can be especially difficult in a Florida divorce when one spouse attempts to deceive the other by hiding assets. This can lead to settlements and final orders that are unfair and unsustainable for one party.

When a person suspects that his or her spouse is hiding assets in a divorce, it is beneficial to take immediate action to address these concerns. Both sides are supposed to provide a financial disclosure in a divorce. However, it may be necessary to take legal action to demand all of the information on every marital asset, including properties, retirement accounts, bank accounts and more. 

Steps to reducing complications in the property division process

When a Florida couple is facing the prospect of divorce, they may believe they are in for a contentious, complex process of fighting over and dividing their marital property. In reality, there may be ways to reduce the complications involved in the property division process. One way to do this is by making the effort to prepare for divorce. 

Organization of financial matters and all important paperwork is a crucial part of preparing for divorce. The end of a marriage will bring changes in everything from insurance policies to estate plans. Having the right documents on hand for easy access can allow a Florida reader to carefully review them and move forward in a way that protects their financial interests. Information that a person may need for a divorce includes account information, retirement documents, real estate deeds and more.

Carefully handling business assets before and after divorce

When walking through the process of ending a marriage, a Florida business owner may have significant concerns about how it will affect his or her company and future success. The division of business assets is often one of the most complex aspects of walking through divorce, and it can lead to stressful and costly disputes and the need for litigation. Many business owners find it beneficial to learn how they can legal protect their company in case of a divorce. 

One of the most practical ways a person can protect a business is to draft a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle. Through this type of contract, a person can specify that all business assets are separate; therefore, the other party cannot claim a share in a divorce. A prenuptial agreement also allows a person to decide whether or not the spouse will get a settlement for the amount the company increased in value since the marriage.