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Punta Gorda Family Law Blog

Income structure affects how property division will work

Divorce is a remarkably complicated process of untangling two financial lives. This process can be emotionally challenging and there is a lot at stake, as the terms of the final property division order will impact a Florida resident for years to come. One important factor to consider during divorce is how the pay structure of each party could affect financial support and other aspects of the final settlement.

Income can come in many different forms, and it's important to consider the frequency, type of pay, amount of pay and other income-related factors when negotiating the terms of a divorce. A person may want to consider how to protect projected income, like future bonuses and potential commission, during financial and property negotiations. A straightforward paycheck every two weeks is not complicated to address, but prepaid bonuses, future bonuses, stock options and other things may be.

Financial security during and after divorce

It is common to have concerns regarding what the end of a marriage will mean for one's finances. Divorce will bring financial changes for both spouses, and sometimes, these changes can have a negative impact on long-term savings, retirement, lifestyle and more. It's worthwhile to take steps to protect one's well-being during and after a Florida divorce is final.

It makes good sense to approach divorce with a practical perspective. It's not likely that a person will get everything he or she wants, and it's often most beneficial to think long term. This may mean setting aside temporary feelings in discussions and negotiations. Another financially prudent step is to carefully monitor spending and finances during divorce. 

The reasons why many people choose divorce

When people choose to move forward with the process of ending their marriage, they may feel a sense of shame or embarrassment. While every situation is different, there are a few common reasons that play a role in a significant number of Florida divorces. A reader may feel alone during this process, but understanding frequently cited reasons for divorce can help a person to feel more confident in his or her choice to pursue future happiness and security.

One common reason for divorce is a lack of communication between spouses. When two people are no longer communicating about important things, it leads to a sense of isolation and loneliness. Communication is the foundation for good relationships, and marriage is no exception to this. When two people don't talk, they will quickly grow apart, which is also one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce.

Reducing child custody conflict when it's back-to-school time

The time of year when summer break is over and kids head back to school is stressful for many Florida families. It can be especially difficult for high-conflict parents who are sharing child custody. There are a few things that parents can do, even before their divorce is final, to reduce conflict and make these times of transition easier for every member of the family. 

One important step is to focus on communication. There are a few apps that allow parents to do this, and some even allow parents to share dates and exchange important information without communicating directly. Another step for high-conflict families is to discuss early on how parents will share the costs associated with the kids going back to school. This includes expenses pertaining to clothing, school supplies, fees and more.

The property division process can negatively impact retirement

Divorce requires the division of all assets and property accumulated over the course of the marriage, including long-term savings and retirement accounts. No matter the age of a Florida couple or how much they've been able to save for their golden years, the end of a marriage can be detrimental for retirement. It's especially critical for a person to strive for a fair property division order for both physical assets and financial accounts. 

Since 1990, the rate of divorce for people over the age of 50 has doubled. These couples are closer to retirement age, and dividing retirement savings can be financially devastating, even for wealthy couples. In addition to divorce affecting long-term savings and overall financial health, it can impact a person's physical well-being as well. Studies have found that divorce can actually lead to higher blood pressure and weight gain.

Important considerations when divorcing after 50

Getting a divorce is never easy, no matter your age. But if you are over 50 and ending your marriage, you face unique hurdles. A late-life divorce comes with particular challenges to your finances and emotions. 

Ending your marriage when you are older can be much more complex because your finances and families are so intertwined. Here are some important things to consider when getting a gray divorce.

How the property division process affects retirement savings

When a Florida couple makes the decision to move forward with divorce, it will eventually lead to financial adjustments that will impact various areas of their lives. This includes retirement savings. Money and assets earned acquired over the course of the marriage is likely considered marital property, which means it is subject to equitable division. A person may want to learn more about what the property division process will entail for one’s specific situation.

Divorce brings new financial challenges to a person's life, even years down the road at the time of retirement. One of the aspects that divorce can affect includes Social Security. In certain circumstances, it may be possible to claim benefits off an ex-spouse's work history, but many people do not know this. It depends on factors such as the length of the marriage, current marital status and the ages of both parties.

Never assume ownership in property division proceedings

When a Florida couple files for divorce, they must resolve numerous issues before the judge overseeing the case can issue a final decree. If the couple has children, matters of custody, child support and visitation may be in question. In all divorce cases, property division proceedings take place to determine who gets what and who will be held financially responsible for any debts in existence at the time.

Many spouses mistakenly assume that if they have a separate bank account, the funds in it when they divorce belong to them. However, this is often not the case at all. While Florida is an equitable property state, there are still issues that could complicate property proceedings regarding bank accounts in divorce. 

How prenuptial agreements may benefit couples of all ages

When a Florida couple walks down the aisle, it is with the expectation they will live happily ever after. In many cases, however, this couple will divorce at some point in the future, and it is possible that a costly and stressful battle over marital property will ensure. This is one reason why many couples, regardless of income level or age, will find it beneficial to draft prenuptial agreements.

Millennials are a generation that have changed many things about marriage. In this demographic, there are fewer divorces because they wait longer to marry or choose to cohabitate. They also are more likely to keep their finances separate because they think this will make it easier in a divorce. Contrary to what many might think, this is not necessarily true. Regardless of whose name many assets are in, they may still be considered marital property, and thus eligible for division in a divorce.

Laying the foundation for smart family law choices

Summer is a time when things slow down and kids are out of school, and for many Florida couples, it is a often a time to decide to move forward with divorce. There is much more to ending a marriage than simply making the decision and then filing the papers. It is smart to take each step of this process thoughtfully and carefully, taking the time to prepare for well-informed family law choices down the road. 

One way that a person can start to get ready for the divorce process is to think about potential decisions and how they could impact his or her future. It may be useful to talk with a financial expert and a legal advocate to understand options and start considering the smartest outcome to various divorce-related decisions. Preparing well for this process is a critical step toward better, more sustainable decisions.