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Tampa Family Law Law Blog

Same-sex couples face legal property division challenges

Divorce for same-sex couples can be a particularly complicated issue. This is because many states, including Florida, only recognized these marriages starting in 2015. The starting date of a marriage is very important for establishing issues like property division and alimony, but many may find there are legal roadblocks in establishing the length of a same-sex marital relationship.

The length of a relationship is important in establishing shared property, although there are a few factors that are considered when defining property division and alimony. For example, courts will consider how each spouse contributed financially to one another and their family. They will also look at whether property is "commingled" to establish a marital home.

Surprising things that do not usually impact a divorce settlement

When a marriage ends, many people wrongly believe that painting their soon-to-be ex in a bad light will help them in a divorce settlement. For most Florida breakups, most of these accusations will have little impact on the property distribution in the divorce. Here are a few things that people are often surprised to learn do not impact divorce settlements in most cases.

When one spouse works while the other is a homemaker or stay-at-home parent, the working party will often think he or se is is entitled to more property because that individual "earned" most of it. In most cases, settlements are designed to be equitable and assets from the marriage are shared, regardless of who worked and did not work. A stay-at-home parent may think they have more of a right to custody, but again, this may not be relevant if both parents are considered fit to share custody.

New tax laws motivatee some couples to finalize divorce in 2018

Most people hope to finalize their divorces as quickly as possible, but in 2018, there may be some additional incentives to speed up a divorce. Changes to the tax code could impact multiple aspects of a Florida divorce, including alimony payments, property taxes for the marital home and deductions related to children. In some cases, this could impact pre- and post-nuptial agreements that were drafted under the pretenses of previous tax laws.

How alimony payments are treated may be the biggest change that might make it beneficial to finalize a divorce in 2018. Currently, alimony payments are deductible for the paying spouse. Any couple who finalizes their divorce in the current year will be able to take advantage of this deduction, while those finalizing after January 2019 will not. This might make it difficult to negotiate alimony from a high-wage earner to a lower-paying recipient. 

The value and importance of financial disclosure in divorce

For most Florida couples, the end of a marriage will signal the beginning of significant financial adjustments in their lives. You understand the significance of the financial ramifications of a divorce, and you are aware of the critical importance of having a fair and equitable property division agreement and final order.

One of the most important steps in securing a fair financial agreement is the cooperation and honesty of both spouses. During the divorce process, both spouses will have to disclose their finances, including income, assets and various accounts. This is a major factor in ensuring there is an equitable distribution of all marital assets.

Florida grants more 50/50 child custody than other states

Disputes over the amount of time one spends with his or her children following divorce can be a challenge in any state, but certain places make it easier than others. According to a recent study from child custody scheduling software Custody X Change, fathers in Florida are more likely to get 50/50 custody than those living in other states. Several other states were also cited. Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware and several others also have a tendency to give fathers 50 percent custody.

Fathers who want equal time may have a harder time in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Illinois and Georgia. In fact, children in Tennessee spend less than 22 percent of their time with their fathers per year. Nationally, fathers typically receive about 35 percent of child custody time on average. 

Divorce can be a success of personal growth

Individuals considering ending a marriage may be reluctant to do so because of fear of failure. However, some experts say that divorce can be an indicator of personal success. Whether a person has made a decision to stop suffering or whether his or her personal growth leads them to move on, ending a marriage no longer has to bear the sting of failure. Individuals in Florida may find this a refreshing perspective when contemplating the end of their marriages. 

The marriage itself can still be considered successful even if it ends in divorce, experts say. A partnership like a marriage is designed to help people grow, and sometimes, therapists say, individuals grow out of a marriage. When people learn to embrace change, rather than fear it, outcomes are typically better. 

Child custody plan may take breastfeeding into equation

In the early years of a child's life, many mothers choose to breastfeed instead of offering formula to the child. In the event of a divorce, joint child custody may affect a woman's ability to breastfeed the child. Florida parents may be wondering, does my child's breastfeeding affect how child custody will be decided? 

In the past, when parents separated and the child was under 3 years of age, the physical custody typically went to the mother. These days, courts prefer that the parents decide together how custody will be shared. In some states, courts must consider breastfeeding in the child custody equation, but in other locations, it may or may not affect the court's decision. 

Property division takes precedence in gray divorce

Older couples are choosing to end their marriages in increasing numbers. Some individuals with knowledge in this area say that it is a rapidly growing age group for divorces. Florida couples over the age of 50 who are considering divorce should know that they are not alone. Older individuals seeking divorce typically have unique needs, and careful property division is one of them. 

Some experts say that the number of divorces in this age group is rising and has gone up from 25 percent to 30 percent of all marriages of individuals over 50 in just a few short years. Many of the people who are seeking divorce have spent many years and even decades together. For one reason or another, they have grown apart and are looking for a way to move on.

Men and women cope with divorce differently

The end of a marriage can be a trying time for any person. The process can come with a period of grief along with the common negotiations of support, property and custody issues. One psychologist has found that men and women tend to face a marital breakup in different ways. Her findings may be of interest to individuals in Florida who may be considering divorce

She claims that women rely on their social networks before and during the divorce. Many women, she says, express their feelings to friends and family before and during the divorce and are able to work through difficult emotions at that time. Women tend to notice marital problems and feel relief when those problems are ended by dissolving the marriage. 

Behind the increase in gray divorce in the United States

As many Florida readers know, the divorce rate for older Americans has rapidly increased over the last decades. There are many reasons why this specific demographic is experiencing a higher rate of divorce, and the statistics may surprise you. If you are considering divorce at an older age, careful preparation can be beneficial. 

When a couple chooses to divorce later in life, it can have a significant financial impact. Whether the couple has been married for decades or it is a second or third marriage, it is beneficial to consider the impact of ending a marriage near retirement age. With guidance, you can seek a positive and stable financial post-divorce future.

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