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Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Complex Divorce Blog

A child-focused approach to divorce

Divorce mediation seems right to you because of your children. You think it will be easier on them than a court case. This is not a contentious divorce, and you both want to put the kids first. They are more important than your own relationship, so you're willing to work together if it helps them.

It's important to take this child-focused approach and apply it to the entire process. Things to consider include:

Should you divide your bank account before divorce?

You know you're going to have to divide your bank account during a divorce, as part of the property division process. But what about before you technically split up? Maybe you and your spouse just decided to get divorced yesterday, and you're wondering what steps to take.

Many financial experts do suggest that you and your spouse get your own bank accounts and divide your money between them. This is especially true if you are going to physically separate before the divorce and/or if you both work and have your own income.

A third of divorcees miss a huge financial benefit

What do you think your most valuable asset is? Your home? The vacation house on the coast? The money you have in your bank account?

All of those things can be incredibly valuable. If you're getting divorced, though, you may have an even more valuable asset that a lot of people overlook: your spouse's pension.

6 tips to help you and your ex get along

One of the keys to divorce mediation is simple: You and your spouse, who will soon be your ex, need to cooperate. You need to get along. You need to be civil and work together.

You do not have to be in love. You do not even have to be friends. But you need to know how to put your differences aside and work together toward a divorce resolution.

3 tips for successful co-parenting after divorce

Divorce is hard enough to bear on its own, and adding co-parenting into the mix can often complicate matters further. Learning how to coexist with your former significant other can make all the difference in the lives of any children you share, however, so the sooner you learn to successfully co-parent, the better off your family will likely be in the long run.

So, if you are embarking on a new co-parenting relationship with your former spouse or partner, it may benefit your family if you make strides to do the following:

What are the benefits of mediation for children?

Divorce mediation isn't just helpful for you and your ex as you divide your assets. The process can also help you come up with a viable custody arrangement and parenting plan for the children.

If you're considering mediation in your custody case, below are a few of the benefits for kids:

  • Children do not feel like they are coming between their parents. Remember, they're going to have a relationship with you and with your ex after the divorce, so a contentious divorce with a lot of conflict can really strain those relationships.
  • You focus on cooperation, rather than blame. You put all of your time and emotional energy into finding the best solution for the children, rather than battling your spouse in court.
  • You are not as stressed out during the process, specifically because conflict gets reduced and you do not feel like the final solution is out of your hands. Without mediation, there's the constant worry that the judge will rule against you and in favor of your ex.
  • Since you are not as stressed out, neither are your children. They still get to relax and enjoy their time with both parents. There's not as much turmoil. In general, the whole process goes more smoothly and is easier on them.
  • The final result is a compromise that really works. You're not forced into following the judge's plan. You make the plan and it focuses on what your family really needs.

Can divorce kill your career?

Divorce changes your life significantly. It can impact your retirement plans, income levels, time with your children and much more. But what about the impact on your career? Some people worry that a promising career may grind to a halt.

This can happen in some situations, but one woman found that it was really her decisions during the marriage that made the divorce have such a drastic impact.

6 reasons to choose divorce mediation

Rather than going to court to find out how a judge thinks your marriage should end, you and your spouse are considering mediation. This process allows a neutral third party to guide you in a legal sense, but it plays out far differently than a court case.

Below are six of the main advantages:

  1. You and your spouse retain the decision-making power, rather than handing that over to a judge, so you really are in control of your own life.
  2. You and your ex, after the divorce, are more likely to remain civil with one another since you did not have to go through a traditional court battle.
  3. If you have children, this more peaceful divorce process may be easier for them.
  4. Mediation can cut back on the total cost of a divorce, and it tends to be faster than going to court.
  5. The whole mediation process remains private from start to finish, protecting your personal life, whereas a case decided in court is technically public information.
  6. You can really push for the things that are most important to you. Since you are making the decisions, and not a judge, you can work through the process with a set list of goals you hope to accomplish. These could include things like spending the most possible time with your children or protecting your retirement savings.

Financial mistakes people make during divorce

Your divorce is going to have a big financial impact on the rest of your life. As such, it's very important to step back, take the emotions out of the process and think about the realistic financial ramifications of every decision you make. This may sound clinical and calculating, and that's exactly how you need to approach it.

As you do, here are a handful of common mistakes to avoid:

  • Having no access to money when the divorce begins. Don't just assume access will be easy after you tell your spouse you want a divorce. Do you have credit cards and bank accounts in your own name?
  • Not gathering important documents in advance. Examples include your will, your estate plan, your tax returns, paperwork from your investments, copies of insurance policies and more.
  • Not understanding your debts. Remember, dividing assets is only half of it. You also have to divide many types of debt.
  • Not taking stock of significant assets. This process can take longer than you think, especially with things like art, real estate and family-owned companies. Official valuations may need to be done, as the value could be vastly different than what was invested.
  • Failing to understand what assets are really worth. For instance, perhaps your home is worth $1,000,000. You may get to keep it in the divorce, but can you afford the taxes? What about upkeep? What about insurance? You have to factor in all of these costs to understand the true value and your financial position.

3 ways you can make divorce easier for your kids

It is no surprise that your divorce will be hard for your children to deal with. But while your kids may have a tough time getting through the breakup, you can make it easier on them. Your divorce does not need to completely devastate your kids.

While you cannot take away all the pain your children are feeling, you can help them cope with the divorce. Here are some tips you should keep in mind.

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