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Fort Myers Divorce Law Blog

A Florida group seeks to end to permanent alimony awards

The Florida Family Law Reform (FFLR) Political Action Committee (PAC) announced on March 22 that they're throwing their support behind House Bill 1325 and Senate Bill 1596. If passed, both laws would help do away with permanent alimony awards.

Although Fort Myers judges seldom order it, laws still exist on the books in Florida that allow them to award lifetime alimony. Generally, the paying spouse can only stop paying if either them or their ex dies or the recipient remarries.

Divorce litigation is sometimes better than mediation

If you ask most couples why they chose to settle their divorces via mediation, they'll often give three different reasons why they did. They're likely to tell you that they heard that mediation is far less costly than litigation. They may tell you that they expected to get a more equitable settlement or to keep drama at bay by pursuing mediation. While some may have had positive outcomes in their cases, not everyone does.

Mediation isn't appropriate for every type of divorce. Sometimes, litigation is best.

Can you control who watches your kids after your divorce?

While collaborative divorces are on the rise in Florida, ending a marriage is usually neither stress-free nor simple. If you share children with your former spouse, though, you may worry about losing control over who watches your kids after your divorce. 

A comprehensive custody agreement or parenting plan may help address your concerns. If you plan to share custody of your kids with your former spouse, though, you likely must defer to his or her parenting decisions. Still, you may be able to keep some control by including a right of first refusal clause in your custody agreement. 

Significant financial changes can impact child support

If you're ordered to pay child support in a divorce, it is based on your income and ability to pay at the moment. The idea is that your wealth will likely stay at or near that level, so the payments are both fair and affordable.

Naturally, the court has no way to project exactly what is going to happen to you in the future, but we all know that life comes at you fast. Things change. Your financial future may not be as stable as you hope, and that can have a drastic impact on your ability to pay. This is especially true in high asset divorce cases, where the support payments may be substantial.

Divorcing spouses may desperately need alimony as costs increase

A study published in Motherly magazine in late January captured how, despite that many women have joined the workforce during the past 100 years, many still considered it to be optional whether to have a career or stay home with the kids. The authors note that they're slowly realizing though that a single income doesn't stretch as far as it once did though.

Many millennials in Fort Myers were fortunate enough to grow up with moms who could still choose to stay home. Many had kids in recent years and expected to be able to have the same choices as their own moms. Many financial planners find themselves advising them that their money woes are caused by not bringing in enough income to cover their expenses.

What paperwork should you gather when a divorce is near?

An end to a marriage rarely comes as a surprise. Instead, most spouses generally see signs that their relationship is turning sour months (if not years) before they get served with divorce papers. It's when your marriage first shows signs of breaking down that it's time for you to start making financial plans.

One of the best steps that you can take when a divorce is coming is to start closely monitoring your household's mail.

Gaining access to Bitcoin during a divorce isn't easy

The use of Bitcoin has grown in popularity in Florida and across the rest of the United States in recent years. Many have been drawn to exchange their cash for this global digital currency because of the lack of government oversight. The emergence of Bitcoin has made things more difficult for government agencies and divorce attorneys alike who are seeking to uncover a person's potential hidden assets.

A study recently published by the Global Blockchain Business Council shows that as many as five percent of Americans may have invested in cryptocurrencies in recent years. Most who have bought Bitcoin are men who are under 30-years-old. Interestingly, this is around the same average age Americans are when they get divorced for their first time.

Must you be wealthy to benefit from a prenuptial agreement?

Some people think that a prenuptial agreement only works for celebrities and other wealthy couples.

On the contrary. A prenup exists to set forth the solutions for potential problems that could crop up for couples at any income level, not just for the Hollywood crowd and not just for millionaires.

Why should I use a safe center to exchange custody of my kids?

In recent years, an increasing number of safety centers have popped up across Florida where parents can exchange their kids during custody changeovers or meet with buyers to give them the products that they purchased online. While many moms and dads who have fallen victim to domestic violence at their ex's hands use them because it makes them feel safer, some say that they give parents a false sense of security.

Many moms or dads choose to use these safe exchange sites to exchange their kids because they feel comfort in knowing that they're monitored by security cameras and they're located by police stations. Those parents who have exes that have threatened to or previously committed domestic violence against them feel that these may deter them from physically harming them. They don't always have the expected impact though.

What can you do so you and your ex remain friends post-divorce?

When many couples decide to divorce, one thing that gives them the most anxiety is envisioning fighting about sharing custody of the kids or finances. If you go into divorce negotiations with realistic expectations and a game plan in mind, then it's possible to resolve your differences in a relatively amicable fashion.

If you have kids, then first and foremost you should never talk badly about your ex in front of them. Your children aren't your girlfriends or your referee. You, therefore, shouldn't share your personal thoughts with them and you shouldn't place the burden on them of choosing sides between one parent or the other.

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

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