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Tampa Family Law Law Blog

Stay in control with cooperative divorce

The process of ending a marriage is complex and confusing. There is a lot on the line: time with the kids and how to divide finances – to name only a few. These decisions are also coming at a time when emotions are running high. Both about the breakup, but also about the uncertainty of the future and how to best raise the children, together – yet apart.

While there are plenty of couples who simply are not going to be able to sit down and come to agreements and will need to litigate the details in court, there are others who can still be civil toward one another and may even be able to keep their divorce out of the courtroom through a cooperative divorce.

Actress Kate Hudson discusses raising children after divorce

Blended families are a common part of modern life in Florida and around the nation. Though it can be difficult for parents who are not in a romantic relationship to care for shared children, it is not an impossible task. Actress Kate Hudson has three children each with different fathers, and she recently shared her opinion on how to raise children in a healthy environment under similar circumstances. She credits her mother, Goldie Hawn, for setting a example on how to co-parent after divorce or a breakup.

Hudson says that her mother was very careful not to speak negatively about Hudson's father in front of Hudson and her brother. She says that doing so can cause resentment from children who may still care a great deal about their other parent. She stresses that children are paying attention to much more than parents may realize, and they will eventually draw their own conclusions based on how both parents treat one another after going their separate ways.

Getting organized can help with the divorce process

When people in Florida make the decision to end their marriage, it is usually a well-thought-out choice. However, there are still many factors that may be overlooked. Experts say there are several things that one can do in order to be properly prepared before filing for divorce.

Creating an inventory of one's finances is a great starting point, including a list of all assets and accounts. Having documentation for each portion of a financial portfolio is essential, and any documents that pertain to an estate plan need to be included as well. Some examples are bank statements, property inventory, credit card statements, premarital agreements or copies of an existing will. It can be extremely helpful to organize all documentation so that it is easy to locate any that are needed. They can be grouped into different categories, making them easy to access at a moment's notice.

Kids of divorce benefit from use of technology to contact parents

When a divorce occurs, it can be especially difficult on any children in the family. They may feel isolated and upset at their inability to talk to the parent who no longer lives at home as often as they used to do. However, a recent study that Florida parents may find interesting suggests that there is an easy way to combat this -- by utilizing social media and texting to communicate with children of divorce.

In the past, families have likely heard that too much use of social media and cellphones is detrimental to the health of children, teens and adults. The prevailing belief used to be that the most important factor in the well-being of children post-divorce was how much both parents were able to cooperate and get along. This study now claims that that idea is less influential than how often children are able to talk to their noncustodial parent. Cell phones and social media make doing that much easier for both parents and children.

Experts weigh in on how to handle wedding rings after divorce

There are a great deal of issues to contend with during divorce proceedings. The division of property, splitting assets or determining child custody and support are all common concerns for those who are navigating a divorce here in Florida. However, there are some more difficult decisions that will need to be made that many people might not even consider. One such issue is what to do with wedding and engagement rings after a marriage has ended. Experts have different opinions on how to tackle this problem.

One expert recommends consulting the other spouse before making any decisions. An offer to return the ring could be made, particularly by an ex-wife since engagement rings traditionally given to women often have a high monetary value. Though they are generally considered a gift, the sentimental value and potential for them to be worth quite a bit of money means wedding rings are very different than more common, less expensive gifts. However, this may not be the best idea in all scenarios, especially if there is reason for one spouse to have minimal contact with the other.

The less contentious road to divorce

Without a doubt, divorce is fraught with emotions -- some good and some bad. The fact of the matter is that those who allow their negative emotions to take over often end up in court, spending more money and dealing with more stress.

For those who can focus more on the good and set aside their negativity, other options come into play. It is possible to divorce in a manner that allows everyone involved to move toward the future with hope and happiness. This does not mean that the parties must engage in settlement negotiations on their own, however. With the right help, the process can go more smoothly and produce results with which everyone can agree.

Prenuptial agreement can be useful in a second marriage

People who have been through a divorce know just how detailed the process can be. There are many factors that they likely didn't consider beforehand, but it can be a valuable learning experience. For those in Florida who decide to get married a second time, they may wonder how best to protect themselves and their assets should their second marriage dissolve. Experts say that creating a comprehensive prenuptial agreement is a good choice for anyone, not just those who are wealthy.

Most people who marry for a second time do so at a later point in life. This can being special concerns such as how to handle retirement accounts or who will cover certain expenses. All of these choices and more can be specifically designated in a prenuptial agreement. The agreement can also outline how assets will be handled if a divorce happens, which can be particularly useful if one spouse has entered the marriage with little to no property.

Facebook used to shame those overdue on child support

Most Florida parents understand the need to take care of their children. For those kids whose parents are no longer in a relationship, it can be even more important. One income is often not enough to support children, and there are those parents who have difficulty making, or refuse to make, proper child support payments. One out-of-state sheriff's office is cracking down on those who are behind in their child support, and using Facebook to do so.

The new sheriff has been on the job for two months and decided to prioritize overdue child support payments. He has been posting photos of people who are behind on the Facebook page of his office. He is hopeful that the added public scrutiny will spur people to begin making payments or warn them that they could be arrested. Federal law states that those with child support payments that are a year overdue or that exceed $5,000 in arrears can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined or jailed.

Ex-wife says lawmaker owes her unpaid child support

Parenting is difficult enough even in the best of circumstances. If a divorce is part of the picture, it can amplify any negativity. Even so, divorcing is sometimes the best choice for parents here in Florida and around the country. When one parent owes child support to the other, it sometimes results in disagreements over what the paying parent owes to the receiving parent. This is the case for an out-of-state lawmaker, whose ex-wife claims that he owes her several thousand dollars in overdue child support payments.

The man in this case is a state representative who is the Chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. In very simple terms, he is responsible for the management of his state's budget. He and his ex-wife divorced in 2013, and she now says that he owes her over $25,000. The amount is comprised of both child support payments and half of his children's medical expenses.

Special financial considerations for "gray divorce"

Divorce is usually considered an issue for people in their 30s and 40s, though it can affect people of any age. Here in Florida and around the nation, researchers are seeing a rise in the numbers of people who file for divorce after turning 50. Though it is becoming more common, there are particular financial implications for people in this age group of which they need to be aware.

Though divorce rates for other ages have gone down, or at least not increased, statistics show that 25 percent of people getting a divorce are at least 50 years old or more. Many of these couples have been married for a considerable length of time and may have a great deal of assets between them that will need to be divided. Courts may award longer-term alimony in that scenario, whereas in divorces between couples who are younger, alimony -- if any -- may be short-term. A shared home will need to be valued and the party who wants to keep it will need to consider whether that individual can also maintain it.

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