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Tampa Florida Family Law Blog

What does a simplified divorce mean in Florida?

Of the many misconceptions people have about getting a divorce, automatically assuming the worst will happen ranks high on the list. Many divorces in the Tampa region are indeed difficult or even hostile, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. In Florida, it is even possible to pursue a simplified divorce.

For eligible couples, this way of ending a marriage offers several benefits. Two examples of these benefits include significantly fewer complications and savings on the amount of money it takes to complete the divorce. In some simplified divorces, couples feel that they don't need an attorney. However, it still wise to acquire legal representation to make sure your final settlement is fair and balanced.

How can you protect your property in a high-asset divorce?

Getting a high-asset divorce in Florida is typically more complicated than divorcing without many assets. Worsening the situation for many, a lot of people with wealth get married without putting a prenuptial agreement into place. While no one wants to think about a possible divorce when they get married, taking precautions can save couples from a great deal of stress and anxiety later.

When a legal split seems imminent, many Florida spouses wonder if a high-asset divorce will put their property at risk. A simple answer to such a question is, "Probably." So, what can couples do to protect the assets they consider personal if divorce is looming on the horizon?

Co-parenting after divorce: Make it work for the whole family

Divorce is hard, and the difficult emotions and personal struggles you will go through during this process do not automatically disappear just because the process is final. These feelings can linger, especially if you have to work closely with your former spouse to co-parent together. While co-parenting does work well for many families, it does not necessarily mean that you will not face some difficulties as well.

One of the main reasons why parents choose to co-parent together is because it offers the kids a way to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce. This provides stability and security for the youngest members of the family, but the parents will have to commit to working together. If you choose this parenting plan, it can help to consider ways to make it work smoothly and peacefully for the entire family.

Find out what a fair and effective prenup looks like

Entering into a legally binding prenuptial agreement before marriage doesn't exactly form an image of everlasting love. Still, more and more couples in Tampa are taking this logical approach to building a successful and long-lasting relationship. The problem for many is that they don't know how to draft an effective prenup that is fair to both spouses.

Unless you are a legal professional, you probably have no idea what fair prenuptial agreements look like. You can do a lot of research about prenups online, but you run the risk of emulating an agreement that does little to benefit you and your spouse. Even using very high-quality web resources grounded in the law (e.g. FindLaw) may not meet every one of your specific needs.

Should you decline to accept alimony? Some Florida residents do

We live in a much more modern world than our parents and grandparents once did. More women have careers outside the home and many fathers take on the role of staying at home with the kids. Living in a modern way also means divorcing in a more contemporary manner. For some, this means declining to accept an offer of spousal support.

As attorneys serving Tampa families, we think it is wonderful when a spouse chooses not to punish the other spouse by demanding alimony out of spite. However, we also feel concerned about this trend in some divorce cases. For example, it is unwise to turn down spousal support when you have even the smallest concern about your financial situation in the wake of your Florida divorce.

Searching for hidden assets in your Florida divorce

You have probably heard the following phrase many times: Divorce brings out the worst in people. This is certainly the case in many situations, especially when a large amount of property or money is at stake. High-asset divorces occur frequently in Florida with each spouse typically harboring concerns about the fairness of the property settlement.

Sometimes, these concerns are so strong that one spouse will attempt to hide assets from the other spouse. This is both morally wrong and unlawful, but it happens all the same in high-asset divorces. If you are planning a divorce with valuable assets at stake, it is probably worth the effort to do some investigating.

Consider this alternative if it is too late for a prenup

When you find love, it is often a head-spinning experience. Most people on the path to matrimony do not stop to think about future financial matters. As such, they do not have prenuptial agreements in place when they get married. If trouble comes along after the wedding, they may regret not taking steps to protect their assets.

Fortunately, there is a highly effective alternative when it is too late to draft a prenuptial agreement. This alternative -- a postnuptial agreement -- works in much the same way as a prenup in terms of protecting your personal assets. As its name suggests, postnuptial agreements are put in place after a couple is already married.

Will divorce filings spike in January in Florida?

Anyone in Florida who has ever gone through a divorce probably knows that there isn't exactly a right time to begin the process. In many cases, the divorce simply occurs whenever it becomes obviously that the marriage in question cannot be saved, and that the spouses would be better off without each other. However, a recent report noted a trend that, based on some statistical studies, seems to have merit: divorce filings oftentimes spike in January.

The report noted that in certain states, including Florida, the month-to-month comparison between divorce filings in December and January does indeed show an increase in the number of divorce filings in the first month of the year. There could be any number of reasons why states throughout the country see this increase in January. The recent article noted that, for some people, the start of the new year is a time when they reflect and believe that they will be better off with a new start, and that includes with their relationship.

What do you need to know about prenuptial agreements?

Not many people in Florida would think that a discussion about a prenuptial agreement would be an easy conversation to have, but the fact is that these agreements can be vital for those who take a pragmatic approach to marriage. After all, the common refrain is that about half of all marriages end in divorce, although that may not be as true as it once was with changing societal norms. But, divorce is still incredibly common, so many people in Florida would probably like to know how a prenuptial agreement might help them with their relationships.

So, what do our readers need to know about prenuptial agreements? Well, for starters, it is important to understand what these agreements can legally address, and what they cannot. Prenups are primarily intended to protect one party from the other in financial terms. For example, one spouse may be entering the marriage having already accumulated wealth and assets, and that spouse wants to ensure that those assets remain outside of the marital assets that might be accumulated during the marriage. Or, one spouse may have significant debts prior to the marriage, and the other spouse wants to ensure that those debts do not become jointly-owed debts.

Addressing visitation issues in a divorce case in Florida

Couples who have minor children and who are going through a divorce have many different concerns as the case proceeds through the family law court system. Both soon-to-be ex-spouses may be worried about how long the divorce case might take -- which is usually longer when children are involved. They may also both be worried about the costs involved in the divorce. But, primarily, the parents, despite their own disagreements, usually want what is best for the children. The problem is, the parents oftentimes do not agree on what that is.

Visitation issues, in particular, can be difficult to address. Unless the divorcing spouses work out some type of arrangement on their own that they both feel is mutually beneficial, it will be up to the family court judge to decide child custody and visitation issues. While joint custody is the preference, that is not always possible. Sometimes, one parent will get primary custody and the other will get visitation rights.

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