Michael E. Golub, P.A.

Tavares Family Law Blog

The most effective divorces are calm and quiet

We often find that people start their divorce with an idea that it will be a dramatic and emotional process. It is half true — emotions do tend to run high for our clients. However, at the office of Michael E. Golub, P.A., we sometimes get some confusion as to when the action should start to happen — when they will have their day in the Florida courts.

The fact is that divorces are often far less animated than fictional accounts might have you believe. Even the real-world news stories of high-profile divorces tend to condense days, if not weeks, of back-and-forth communications, courtroom proceedings, negotiation sessions and various time-consuming events. 

What if I cannot afford to pay child support anymore?

When it comes to child custody in Tavares, some parents think they can sweeten their divorce settlement by agreeing to joint/50-50 custody. Though there are many advantages to shared custody, it is not uncommon for some people to use it in an attempt to pay less in child support. When the courts establish child custody and support, one of the most important factors they consider is each parent’s financial profile. In other words, if you are the higher-earning spouse, you will probably end up paying more in child support than you might think or like. 

One question you may have on your mind is what happens if you cannot afford to pay child support after the divorce is final or your income takes a slight dive. No matter what your circumstances are, the law has provisions to help you stay in compliance and ensure your child does not miss out on the financial support she or he deserves. 

What's the intention of divorce mediation?

Floridian residents like you who are getting a divorce may want some outside help while you're going through this difficult period. One potential option to look into is divorce mediation, which can offer stability and assistance in a turbulent time.

But what is divorce mediation, exactly? FindLaw provides a helpful frequently asked questions page all focused on what divorce mediation can do for you. For example, many people falsely believe that the goal of divorce mediation is to get you and your spouse back together again by "mediating" issues you might have and trying to "fix" them somehow. That isn't true at all, though. Divorce mediators are actually just there to facilitate discussion of the details of your divorce such as who gets what, where the money goes, and custody issues. Since couples tend to argue over those things, mediators help referee those arguments and provide an outsider's point of view.

Confidentiality in divorce mediation

Settling a divorce in Florida through mediation offers you several potential advantages over a traditional divorce proceeding in court. We at the law office of Michael E. Golub have found that mediation typically proceeds more quickly than a court case, is less expensive, fosters a cooperative atmosphere to avoid an adversarial environment and preserves communication on all sides.

Because divorce involves the end of an intimate relationship, there are personal matters that may arise which you may prefer to keep confidential, even from your spouse. While a divorce mediator works with both parties at the same time, it is not always necessary or desired for both parties to be in the same room during the mediation. If it is the case that your spouse and his or her representative are not in the same room and you give information to the mediator that you do not want the other party to know, you would need to inform the mediator that the information is to remain confidential. Be aware, however, that any information included in the final agreement will become part of the public record once filed with the court.

What is the best way to tell kids about divorce?

Despite the best of intentions upon getting married, many spouses in Florida find themselves making the decision to get divorced. If you are in this situation and have children still at home, you may understandably be concerned about the best way to break the news to your kids. Your thoughts are reflective of your concern for your children and their needs and this is a conversation that requires preparation.

In fact, Today's Parent indicates that one conversation may not be all that is involved in telling kids about a divorce or helping them through it. Also important to know is that what you tell your children will to a large degree depend on their ages. If you have multiple children, having an initial conversation with all of the kids together is recommended. This prevents a situation where one or more children learn about the divorce first and then are forced into keeping a secret until their siblings have been told. This can be a big burden on children.

Options for establishing paternity

If you are a man in Florida who wants to make sure that you are legally recognized as the father of your biological child, there are a few ways that you might achieve this. Having this legal recognition is important for a variety of reasons including ensuring that you enjoy as much time with your child as possible and that is reasonable if you do not live with your child's mother. Even if you do live with your child's mother, you can benefit from having legal paternity established.

As explained by the Florida Department of Revenue, there are typically three avenues to establishing paternity. One of these is via court order, one is referred to as acknowledgement or legitimization and the third is at birth in a hospital. If a court order is to be used, you will need to undergo genetic testing to confirm that you are the father of your child.

Who pays child support and how much in a Florida divorce?

Divorce is full of emotional and financial challenges, one of which is child support. The obligor does not want to have to give more than he or she can afford, and the obligee does not want to receive less than he or she needs for the children. It is a complex matter that often leaves one or both parties feeling displeased.

What can help the process go more smoothly and cooperatively is understanding how child support works in Florida. This can give you an idea of who will have to pay and where the payment amount comes from.

Pets and divorce

Many residents in Florida love their pets dearly so it comes as no surprise that when couples get divorced, there can be quite a bit of discord over which spouse will keep the family pet or pets. The New York Times reported that in a 2014 survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, respondents indicated they had seen a jump by as much as 27 percent in the number of divorce cases involving pet custody since 2009.

For a lot time, most courts simply considered Fido, Kitty or other pets to be just like any other piece of property or asset. However, there is a growing push to evaluate the needs of the pet as a living creature to identify the best home for it. In some cases, this might even mean some type of joint custody where both spouses have time with their pet.

How to navigate divorce and financial problems

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage in Florida, you may well be concerned about your financial health. In fact, many couples who get divorced find themselves under serious financial stress and this stress may even have contributed to the failures of the marriages. Depending on the severity of your money problems, you might want to think about filing for bankruptcy. But, before you do anything you should carefully evaluate the timing and how a bankruptcy might impact your divorce.

As explained by My Horizon Today, there are two primary types of consumer bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7, debts are completely eliminated but this may also mean that some assets such as homes are lost. This is because in a Chapter 7, secured assets are subject to seizure in an effort to repay at least some of the debt owed. In a Chapter 13, you may be able to keep your home but your bankruptcy could last as long as five years, keeping you tied to your spouse longer than you wished.

Understanding custody arrangements

When Florida parents divorce, one of the things they need to discuss is their custody arrangement. People may have different parental rights depending on the custody arrangement they choose, so it is important to understand the differences between each type of custody.

Some parents may decide that a joint custody arrangement is best for their family. FindLaw says that in this situation, parents usually make decisions about their children together and the kids may also live with both parents. Sometimes people may share legal custody of their children. This means that both parents can make decisions about the types of medical treatments their kids receive and where their kids will go to school. Additionally, people can have a physical custody arrangement. Physical custody means that children can legally live with a parent. Sometimes someone might have sole custody of the children if the other parent is not fit to take care of the kids.

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