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Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Complex Divorce Blog

Marriage complications that can endanger your separate property

In most Florida divorces, the courts will help the couple split their marital assets in a fair and reasonable manner while allowing each individual spouse to maintain their personal property as separate property. Separate property often includes items you owned outright prior to marriage, gifts you received from someone other than your spouse and an inheritance.

However, there are circumstances in which assets that would typically remain your separate property end up vulnerable to division in a Florida divorce. If something happens to change an asset from separate property to shared or marital property, the courts may split it.

Florida businessman files for divorce after wife's arrest

A Tampa area businessman has filed for divorce less than six months into their marriage after accusing her of a number of crimes, with which she's been charged.

The man is 77 and his wife is 26. He owns a medical supply business in Tampa, and they married in August in Sarasota.

5 considerations for a child custody schedule

One of the best things about divorce mediation is that the court does not tell you what your custody schedule will be. Yes, they still have to approve it, but you and your ex get to work together to create the best schedule for your family. You retain that control over your and your children's lives.

Now, creating a custody schedule that you both agree to isn't always easy. Here are five things you want to consider when you do it:

  1. Any scheduling obligations for the children, such as sports teams or commitments for lessons, after-school jobs, etc.
  2. Your children's unique personalities and their ages. Remember that all children may not benefit from the same schedule. What works for one may not work for another.
  3. Any of your children's academic endeavors. This could be as simple as factoring in their school schedules or more complex when it involves extracurricular activities.
  4. Your own work schedule and any social commitments you have outside of work. It's tempting to think about this first, but you need to balance it with your children's lives.
  5. The distance between your home and your ex's home, along with your child care arrangements. If you're going to be driving the children back and forth over a long distance, you may want them to stay in each house for a longer stretch than if you just have a short drive and can bring them back and forth frequently.

Collaborative law in a divorce? Sure! We'll show you how it works

If you're a Fort Lauderdale resident who finds yourself in the midst of divorce, it can be very demoralizing to keep slinging and dodging barbs in court. If the two of you have children — even adult children — these acrimonious proceedings can destroy family ties, perhaps even permanently.

That's why we often recommend collaborative law options for our divorcing clients. Don't think of it as limiting your options. Instead, it enhances the possibility that the two of you can meet on common ground — at least for some of your issues.

How long can you expect divorce mediation to last?

With so many benefits of divorce mediation, you should give this your full and undivided attention before taking your case to the court room. This approach provides more control over the process, which allows you and your soon-to-be ex to negotiate and compromise on your way to reaching a divorce settlement.

You're sure to have many questions about divorce mediation, with how long it takes at the top of your list. While this varies from one situation to the next, here is how the process typically unfolds:

  • First meeting: This is when both individuals and the mediator sit down to identify the issues, such as those associated with property division, child custody and child support. This is your time to share anything and everything that you want to discuss in mediation, so don't be shy about speaking your mind.
  • Future meetings: With the foundation in place, future meetings are designed to move the process forward. While the mediator can help with this, it's up to the divorcing couple to negotiate and compromise.
  • The final agreement: If you're successful in reaching terms on all issues, your mediator can draft a final agreement for you and your legal team to review. If it checks out, it will be sent to a family law judge for final approval.

Don't get stiffed on assets in a gray divorce

If you're a baby boomer, it might seem like everyone you know has divorced or is in the midst of a split. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2017 indicated that in the quarter century from 1990 to 2015, the divorce rate among couples over 50 jumped up 109%.

The president of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts stated that the reasons for so many gray divorces are varied. One commonality appears to be the increase in spousal longevity.

2 key elements of an uncontested divorce

In many ways, an uncontested divorce is easier for you and your family. You can move smoothly through the process of dissolving your marriage. Rather than "fighting it out" in court, you may just end up using mediation to decide on an agreement that you both support.

There are two key elements that have to be in place for an uncontested divorce, however. They are:

  • You both agree to split up. If you agree and your spouse refuses to go to court, they also look at that as an agreement. To disagree, your spouse has to show up and do so in person.
  • You do not have any monetary disputes. These could include things like child support or alimony. You also have to agree on child custody, which is not strictly a monetary issue.

How many people are unhappy and married?

Do you ever feel unhappy with your marriage? Do you wish you were single or that you hadn't gotten married in the first place?

If you do feel like this from time to time, you are not alone. Different experts have put different numbers on it, but they all tend to agree that a large number of couples are unhappily married. For instance:

  • One writer claimed that a mere 17% of married couples were actually happy with the person they married.
  • Another journalist said that about 60% of people who are married are also unhappy in those marriages.
  • That same journalist said that about 40% of married individuals had thought about divorce and seriously considered it.
  • A survey looked at the long-term trends and determined that married couples tend to be less happy with each other, year after year.

What's so great about a collaborative divorce?

The collaborative law field has grown in popularity in Fort Lauderdale and other parts of Florida in recent years. One of the reasons that it's become so popular here is because it's an interdisciplinary approach to resolving conflict and settling a divorce. This multipronged approach to conflict resolution tends to help divorcing couples reach agreements that they're more comfortable with than what they can achieve by litigating their divorces.

Lawyers often wear many hats in jurisdictions where collaborative law isn't the norm. Attorneys in these areas often serve the role of advisor on a variety of matters including finances and child custody when guiding their clients in making certain choices. This isn't what happens in those states where collaborative law is the norm though.

How does your schedule fit with child custody?

One of the big benefits of divorce mediation is that you get to sit down and work with your spouse to find a solution that will fit both of your lives. With a contested divorce, the court may simply make a ruling that you have to abide by. Mediation keeps the power on your side and gives you a chance to design a solution that works with your life.

With that in mind, you want to really think about how the child custody agreement is going to fit with the rest of your schedule. You have a lot of different options, such as exchanging the children every other week, setting up mid-week overnight visits, using a 2-2-3 rotation or using a 3-3-4-4 rotation that gives you each every other weekend off.

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