Thompson Family Law, P.A.
Toll Free: 888-550-6071
Local: 239-243-9297

Fort Myers Divorce Law Blog

There is hope if you want to save your business from your ex

If you've spent a long time growing your Fort Myers business and rely on it for your livelihood, it's likely that you don't want to jeopardize it in a divorce. If you and your spouse are headed for splitsville, then you may very well lose it unless you have a prenuptial agreement in place.

Your spouse may not be able to claim ownership of your business if you owned it before you got married or included it as part of a pre- or postnuptial agreement either before you got married or at some later point. You should know that even if it was listed in the prenup, it doesn't mean that you're completely in the clear.

What are some alternatives to alimony payments?

The new tax code that went into effect at the beginning of this year affected the long-standing way in which alimony payments have historically been handled. Former spouses who make alimony payments no longer qualify for tax deductions. Their recipient ex is now required to pay income taxes on what they receive. This approach to taxing alimony is significantly different from how it's historically been for the past few decades.

Both paying and recipient spouses have found themselves with less money to their names ever since this new tax code went into effect at the beginning of this year. Many payors find themselves falling into higher tax brackets than they previously did because they're no longer able to take income deductions for the spousal support as they used to be able to. Recipient spouses face much the same plight as their taxable income is now higher than it used to be.

Do not let divorce myths keep you from doing what is right

Divorce can be hard on anyone. After all, when you married your spouse, you likely believed you would spend many years with him or her. Now that your marriage is coming to an end, you may have some trouble adjusting to a new reality. You should not, however, let some common divorce misconceptions dissuade you from doing what is best for you and your family. 

Some marriage dissolutions are straightforward while others are decidedly not. Perhaps the best thing you can do to prepare for your divorce, though, is to have accurate information. Here are three divorce myths you should not believe: 

What is the collaborative law process in Florida like?

If you've started to explore the idea of divorcing your spouse here in Fort Myers, then you've likely uncovered that there are two ways of going about that. You can either use the collaborative law process or litigate. There are many positives associated with negotiating the end of your marriage via a collaborative process.

You're already likely aware that litigation involves you and your ex and your respective attorneys hashing out any lingering matters in front of a judge inside of a courtroom. If you and your spouse can't agree on certain matters, then the judge presiding over your case will ultimately decide such matters for you.

Be careful not to engage in parental alienation

Just last month, a George Washington University (GWU) Law School professor authored a report in which she outlined how fathers are often awarded custody of their children despite being accused of abuse.

During her research, the GWU professor discovered how judges often don't allow evidence of abuse documented by social workers to be introduced as evidence in custody hearings. This is especially the case if a third-party child custody evaluator that is assigned to review the case decides that some degree of parental alienation occurred.

What are some tax strategies I can agree to speed up our divorce?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changed how it handles alimony at the start of the year. Paying spouses can no longer take tax deductions for their payments. Recipient husbands and wives must now claim any monies that they receive as income. These changes have made it increasingly difficult for spouses to reach settlements in their divorces. This has motivated many couples to pursue different tax strategies in hopes of quickly settling their cases.

Divorcing spouses are increasingly looking to sell their homes as a way to quickly settle their cases. This is especially the case in jurisdictions in which couples lose their tax break when they split up. The property tax rate may be too high for the lower income-earning spouse to afford on their own if the value of the home is high. If that's the case in your situation, then you and your spouse may benefit from agreeing to sell the home and split the proceeds.

When may a lump-sum alimony payment be an ideal option for you?

In Florida, judges may award either temporary or permanent alimony. The former is the most common. It's intended to give the recipient enough time to complete their education or professional training and restart their career. While most recipient spouses agree to receive monthly support payments, others receive a lump-sum payment.

Lump-sum alimony settlements are ideal for divorcing spouses if they have husbands or wives that have the necessary means to make such a payment. It's also an option worth considering if you as the potential recipient have limited legal exposure and good financial management skills.

Debunking misconceptions about alimony

The fight over alimony is typically one of the most contentious in any divorce. Many men in Florida grow angry over "permanent alimony" to the point where the Florida legislature has seen bills come through that aim to do away with permanent alimony and drastically limit the amount of money a spouse receives after a divorce. 

The divorce process is confusing enough as is. As a result, numerous myths and misconceptions have come up surrounding alimony over the years. These are some of the biggest misconceptions that persist. With the proper knowledge, you can go into your divorce knowing precisely what you need to do. 

What should you discuss with your ex during a gray divorce?

Most couples marry because they share a magic spark. Some never let that flame burn out. Others watch it do so as children are introduced into the mix or as they age. If you notice that the spark between you and your spouse is becoming extinguished and you're resolved to ending your marriage, then you should prepare yourself for the discussion of financial matters that's sure to ensue.

Any couple that has been married for decades is sure to have their finances quite intertwined with each other. If that's the case with you, then you may find it in your best interest to give divorce mediation a try as opposed to trying to hash things out with each other in the courtroom. This will give you the best chance of having a say in the settlement of your divorce.

Why divorce rates are highest in late August

The fall season is only a few weeks away. Most Fort Myers kids have already returned to school or will be doing so within the next week. It's soon after this occurs that divorce season begins.

A recent University of Washington study revealed that most attorneys see an increase in clients contacting them about divorcing their spouses in August more than any other month of the year.

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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
Fax: 239-936-2542
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