Michael E. Golub, P.A.

Tavares Family Law Blog

Should you share custody of the children?

There are so many decisions you have to make following a divorce. It would be easy for you and your former spouse to become overwhelmed figuring out how to split assets, how to divide sentimental possessions and how soon to sell the luxury house in the Florida Keys. 

One decision the Institute for Family Studies is making much simpler is the monumental one about the kids. Whether or not you are splitting amicably or working hard to remain civil toward each other, the IFS says you should plan for joint custody of your children unless - and this is the one exception the IFS points out - the kids need your protection from an abusive parent. In that case, sharing custody may be completely off the table.

How parenting plans work in Florida

If a divorcing couple in Florida has minor children, courts require a parenting plan as part of the divorce process. The plan consists essentially of a custody agreement that covers important practical considerations.

The parents can submit their parenting plan as part of their uncontested divorce. They can also work with a mediator to agree on a plan during an otherwise contested divorce. In either of these cases, the court still has to approve the plan and may order a change in any provisions it deems not in the best interest of the children.

Preparing for a high-asset divorce? Consider this first

One piece of advice many Tavares high-value couples should keep in mind when discussing the topic of divorce is to be cautious. If you are part of a high-value marriage and thinking about leaving your partner, it is best for you to prepare first.

Divorce planning can keep you from making critical mistakes and ending up with a divorce settlement that is more beneficial to your ex-partner than to yourself. Here are a few pointers to keep your high-net-worth divorce on track. 

What happens to my mortgage when I get divorced?

If you live in Florida and are heading into a marital divorce, you may well feel the emotional tug to work hard to keep your family home. This may be especially true if you have small children who still live at home as you may understandably be wanting to retain as much consistency for them as possible. While this is certainly a viable goal, you might do well to step back from the emotional side of things and look at the legal and financial sides of things.

The Mortgage Reports explains that your mortgage and the home that it essentially finances are really considered two separate things, not one. This means that even if you and your spouse agree that you will stay in the home and assume responsibility for it, your former spouse could still end up on the hook for the payments if you miss any. This could happen if your mortgage is in both people's names.

How should I introduce my children to my new partner?

The divorce is over and you’re back in the dating scene. You’ve found someone whose company you enjoy but you aren’t sure how to tell your children. Are they ready to meet a new person in your life? It’s possible that you are worried that your children won't accept your new partner after a divorce.

Is there a right way to tell them?

QDRO may protect against penalties

Divorcing spouses in Florida know that they may well have to part with some of their assets as they work through the process of coming an agreement in their divorce settlement. For many couples today, a 401K account is one of the assets that may be shared between spouses as part of a divorce decree. However, it is important that people who make this agreement understand the need to use a qualified domestic relations order.

A QDRO is a legal order that allows a person to name another person as a payee on the 401K account. The United States Department of Labor explains that this is necessary because these accounts are established in one person's name only. If the account owner were to simply take a distribution from the account and hand the money over to their former spouse, the account owner could end up being assessed a high penalty for withdrawing money for purposes other than retirement. 

2019 divorces may be very different than 2018

Florida residents who have watched the negotiations around and eventual passage of a new tax bill may still be trying to figure out how it will impact them. For some, the changes might be positive. For others, the changes could be dramatically negative. Spouses who get divorced and may have to pay their former partners spousal support could well find themselves in this latter category.

For any divorce agreement that is finalized after January 1, 2019, a person who pays alimony will also pay income tax on that money despite the fact that they are essentially handing that money over to their ex-spouse in the form of income for that person. This is a huge change compared to divorces that have already been finalized or that will be completed in 2018 where the paying spouse not only does not have to pay income tax on this money but actually gets to deduct it from their tax return.

Three important benefits of using mediation in divorce

Divorce can be an incredibly turbulent process. There might be hurt feelings, distrust and a desire to seek revenge. In addition, issues surrounding property division and child custody can add extra stress to an already strained relationship.

Going through acrimonious court proceedings to determine the future of you and your family might be the last thing you’re prepared to handle. Even if your marriage didn’t end on friendly terms, there could still be an opportunity to use mediation for your divorce. Doing so can provide real advantages:

Did he really say, “a good divorce?”

Though you may think the phrase, “I can resist anything except temptation,” may be describing your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, it’s really just an example of an oxymoron. Along the lines of “act naturally,” “same difference” and “old news,” an oxymoron making recent headlines is “good divorce.”

To best define what a good divorce is, let’s begin with what a bad divorce is: Picture a couple returning to the courtroom for the umpteenth time, both dreading the abuse of hurled accusations. Courtroom battles between spouses can be long and bitter as they fight for assets and children. Divorce litigation can be:

Is a prenuptial agreement right for me?

If you are engaged and planning your wedding in Tavares, the one thing you do not want to overlook is a prenuptial agreement. You may think it is a contract that only benefits the wealthy, but it can be a beneficial document if you have children from a previous relationship, a business or assets. 

You might not enjoy the thought of creating a document that helps you to protect your interests in the event of a separation or divorce. However, finances often become a major aspect of marriages. To prevent turmoil, distress and a potential divorce battle if your marriage does not work out, consider the following information about prenuptial contracts

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