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Fort Myers Divorce Law Blog

What's an uncontested divorce and who can file for it?

Not all divorces have to be contentious. In fact, there are some couples that are able to move forward with an uncontested divorce largely because they're able to work out their differences in terms of property distribution, alimony and child support among themselves.

Uncontested divorces often begin just like a contested divorce does; one spouse initiates the process. There's a more streamlined version of paperwork that the petitioner files when when initiating uncontested divorce proceedings. At least one section of those documents is dedicated to having you describe the situation that led to the breakdown of your marriage.

Why mediation can work in some of the most complex divorce cases

Divorce mediation has gained in popularity over the past few years because it's been shown to be a cost-effective way for couples with complex custody or property division issues to work out their differences.

Studies show that couples who negotiate their own divorce settlement with the help of a mediator are generally more satisfied with the outcome than when a judge makes decisions instead. This is believed to be the case because mediators often take time to get each spouses' perspective and broker an amenable solution that encompasses a combination of both ideas.

What's the difference between joint physical and legal custody?

Child custody disputes are generally resolved one of three different ways: the parents may work out a parenting plan among themselves, they may have an attorney or mediator step in to help them resolve their differences or when negotiations break down, they let a judge decide. In the case of the latter, the judge's responsibility is to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child.

Given that many recent studies have shown that a child getting to spend time with both parents is better for his or her overall well-being, it's likely that he or she will rule that you two should share joint custody of your child. If the judge decides this , then the terminology "joint custody" is generally utilized to refer to either one of the following arrangements: joint legal custody or a combination of both joint physical and legal custody.

What becomes of pensions and Social Security during a divorce?

Each year, some 1.2 million American couples file for divorce. If your retirement is nearing, then you might wonder what will become of your hard-earned pension and Social Security (SS) in all of this.

If you have investment accounts like a 401(k), money market, or Roth IRA, then you'll want to first assess what value each of those has now. You'll then want to compare that to what it would have if you were to equitably divide it between you and your ex.

Factors that may decrease your spousal support payments

If you've been ordered to pay your ex alimony, then you may feel as if your obligation to pay is never going to end. This may especially be the case if you find yourself incapacitated by illness, newly remarried or unemployed.

Situations like this may make you feel as if the amount of alimony you were originally ordered to pay is burdensome. Fortunately, though, if you've successfully made payments as ordered for a certain period of time, then it's quite possible to get your alimony payments reduced or eliminated.

How to talk to a fiance about a prenup

A surprising number of married couples lack a prenuptial agreement. However, it does seem as though the gap is closing. In fact, a report from CNBC shows Millennials are more likely to obtain prenups than previous generations. 

One reason why couples go without prenups is that it can be an awkward conversation. The whole point of a prenup is that it lays out what happens in the event the couple divorces. A couple that has not even married yet probably does not want to think about divorce. However, it is vital to plan ahead just in case. Here are some ways to bring up the topic. 

How to ensure that assets are split up equitably in a divorce

Divorces not only take a mental toll on spouses, but can take a financial one as well. This is especially the case when the spouses share high value assets like homes, pensions or investment accounts. If you're not cautious in dividing up these types of assets, it's possible that you may either lose valuable assets or not gain rightful access to ones you deserve.

In addition to hiring an attorney to represent their interests, couples with assets such as these can also benefit from having a valuation expert working on their case. This type of professional, who's often accountant with specialized credentials or expertise, is well-skilled in providing accurate assessments of a couple's joint property.

Why mediation may be better than litigation when you divorce

Once a marriage has run its course, it's not all that uncommon for spouses to become less patient with one another than they once were. As a husband or wife starts to see money, time with the kids, the house, or some other assets slipping through the cracks, things can quickly become contentious between the two.

It's in situations like this that one spouse may threaten the other with taking them to court to resolve their differences. While this may sound simple to do, it's not the only option nor is it necessarily the best one. Mediation may actually be a more effective option for you and your spouse to resolve your differences, help you reach agreements more quickly, be less stressful on the two of you, and cost less.

The pros and cons of agreeing to a nesting custody agreement

Many couples will repeatedly try to save their marriage before ultimately deciding to divorce. This is particularly true of couples who have kids.

According to a recent study, parents seem willing to even compromise their own comfort to ensure they protect their kids from the impact of a divorce as much as they can. That's one of the reasons more of them are choosing a "nesting" custodial agreement than ever before.

How to uncover your spouse's hidden assets before you divorce

Unless a prenuptial agreement is in place, high-net worth individuals put at risk their high-performing investments, pensions or stock brokerage accounts when property is divided up in a divorce. This is why, despite being illegal, spouses sensing a divorce filing is looming quickly transfer their assets to friends, family members or offshore accounts for safekeeping.

Doing so, though, is not as easy as it once was.The use of electronic records has made it difficult for spouses to keep things "secret."

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Thompson Family Law, P.A.
3949 Evans Avenue, Suite 206
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Toll Free: 888-550-6071
Phone: 239-243-9297
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