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Tampa Florida Family Law Blog

Ways that a prenup may be challenged in court

Like other contracts, prenuptial agreements must be reviewed and agreed to by both of the parties who sign off on their terms. Tampa couples may enter into prenuptial agreements before getting married to spell out their financial expectations during their marriages as well as in the event of their divorces. However, not every prenuptial agreement that is created will stand up in court. Many of the ways that a prenuptial agreement may be invalidated arise from one of the parties to it facing significant hardships.

For example, if a party is asked to sign a prenup before reading it, that may be grounds for dismissing the contract. A person must have time to review and reflect on what they will sign as contracts bind individuals to specific performances and duties. The failure of a party to have time to read a contract may relieve them from the agreement's terms.

Tips on discussing divorce with your children

Divorce rocks the foundation of a family held together by both parents. Children are the most susceptible to the negative consequences of divorce. The reason for this is because they naturally lack the understanding and maturity to see a permanent separation in a healthy way.

It is important as parents to approach the conversation of divorce, new living arrangements, and how life will be expected to look afterwards with your children in a calm and considerate manner. If possible, come together in agreement on the reality they will face and remain open to hearing their questions and being emotionally authentic in response to the news.

Amicability makes divorce process easier in Florida

Divorce can be a stressful and emotional undertaking, but it does not always have to be an adversarial process. In Florida - a "no-fault" state in which wrongdoing need not be alleged by either party - remaining amicable can make the process smoother, quicker and easier to handle from a emotional/mental perspective. The first step to a good working relationship during divorce is maintaining open lines of communication.

If you and your spouse or partner have children, reaching an informal agreement regarding support, visitation and custodial rights will to reduce stress, while saving time and money. The agreement can then be drawn up, signed and formalized by the court. Such an agreement can typically be modified later with the agreement of both parties.

Is legal separation available in Florida?

Many states offer an alternative to divorce that is commonly known as "legal separation." Legal separation allows spouse to live apart but to not actually file for divorce. Where available, legal separation may be preferable to divorce for any number of reasons, ranging from health care coverage to income tax savings. Usually in a legal separation, the rights, duties and obligations of each spouse, as well as how property will be divided is laid out in a legal document.

The document is then ratified by a court and filed with the county. The separation agreement is a contract that can then be enforced in the courts in the event the event one spouse fails to live up to his or her end of the deal. For better or worse, however, legal separation is not currently recognized by statute or case law in the state of Florida. The Sunshine State is one of only eight states in the U.S. that does not recognize some form of legal separation.

Who needs a prenuptial agreement?

While no couple actually needs a prenuptial agreement to satisfy the requirements of the state's marriage statute, many couples can benefit from having these important documents in place prior to formalizing their relationships through marriage. To that end, any couple, from the very rich to those of modest means, may benefit from signing a prenuptial agreement before entering into a marital union.

This is because a prenup can create and provide security regarding individuals' financial expectations and needs during and after the marriages, if a divorce occurs. For example, if a person was previously married and wants to protect some of their wealth for their children of their first marriage, they may be able to use their prenup as a means of establishing with their new spouse their expectations for sharing their money with their kids.

How an inheritance may be treated in a high asset divorce

Throughout Tampa, individuals attempt to prepare themselves and their family members by preparing estate plans that outline how their assets should be divided up when they are no longer alive to manage them. Through their estate planning documents, they may leave sizable inheritances to their children, spouses and friends.

Receiving an inheritance can be a special experience for a person, but that experience can quickly become a headache if their inheritance becomes a point of contention during a divorce. As with other financial matters related to high asset divorces, courts will look carefully at how the recipients of the inheritances came into possession of their inherited assets to decide if and how they should be divided.

What are the requirements of a valid prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are contracts and, as such, they must follow certain rules in order to be valid. This post will touch on some of the important requirements that Florida residents must follow in order to keep their prenups valid, but, as with all legal matters, it is imperative that readers seek their own legal guidance on matters specific to their family law needs.

Although other types of agreements may not require this component, prenuptial agreements must be written contracts. They cannot be oral agreements and when a prenup is put to paper the parties to it must both sign their names to it to demonstrate their consent and agreement to the terms. Both of the parties to the prenup must also have the time and opportunity to read it over before signing.

What grounds for divorce are available in Florida?

Readers of this Tampa-based family law blog may be familiar with the terms "fault" and "no-fault" when it comes to preparing a pleading for divorce. Generally, if a divorce is based on fault then one of the parties is considered responsible for the failure of the marriage and is at fault for the dissolution. If a divorce is based upon discord between the parties without a specific element of fault then the divorce is considered a no-fault proceeding.

Florida does not recognize fault-based divorces; if a person wants to pursue a divorce, called dissolution of marriage, in the civil courts of the state then they must use the recognized no-fault grounds for ending their marriage. They do this by claiming that their marriage is irretrievably broken and meeting the other filing requirements of divorce.

Valid reasons for alimony modification in Florida

In the state of Florida, judges make careful decisions regarding alimony, and must have significant reason to issue an alimony modification. The state has created a formula by which they must abide. Alimony is almost never modified immediately following a divorce, and can be modified later only when specific circumstances are present.

One point which must be proven is that there has been a substantial change in circumstance. A substantial change is one in which there has been an unplanned, involuntary, and permanent change that will affect one party's financial status. Disabling health issues, sudden loss of a job, retirement, death, criminal charges, or winning the lottery are all examples of such a change.

Child custody: understanding Florida time-sharing rights

Parents facing divorce are often concerned about how much time they will be able to spend with their child. The Florida courts system uses the term “time-sharing” when referring to child visitation and contact. Time-sharing is a visitation arrangement wherein one parent is awarded majority time-sharing and the other parent is awarded visitation. The courts generally determine that each child should have frequent and continued contact with both parents after a divorce.

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