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Tampa Florida Family Law Blog

What kinds of alimony are available in Florida?

Most people think of alimony as the monthly payment of money from a person to their former spouse. While this is how some alimony arrangements work, alimony can look very different based on the needs of the involved parties. This post will discuss some of the forms that alimony can take on in Florida; however, it does not offer legal advice but provides information about alimony options in Florida. The facts and circumstances of different divorce cases will greatly impact if alimony is awarded and what form it will take on.

Periodic payments of alimony are the most recognizable form of the obligation, and those periodic payments can be established for set durations of time or can be established indefinitely. An alimony agreement or order may state when the payments are to stop or may require the paying party to continue these payments permanently.

Certain provisions are barred from prenuptial agreements

To some, making important financial and personal decisions about how their divorces will proceed even before they are married may seem fatalistic or even depressing. For others, having these and other matters addressed prior to their wedding dates can provide security and peace since they know that they have communicated with their partners about important decisions. Floridians who want to learn more about prenuptial agreements can discuss them with their family law attorneys, but readers should know that some topics cannot be addressed in premarital agreements and contracts.

A prior post on this blog discussed the fact that prenups cannot establish child custody schedules as such matters must be based on the best interests of the children. Since couples may not have kids before they get married these provisions are barred from inclusion in prenuptial agreements. Additionally, couples cannot contract to engage in illegal enterprises or actions through the execution of their prenups.

What readers can learn from Jeff Bezos' divorce

Most people know who Jeff Bezos is. in the last year, he was named the richest man in the world. However, even if his name is not familiar to Tampa residents, the company that he runs is likely something that they have heard of: Amazon. In the last few weeks, Bezos has been in the news for a reason unrelated to his ubiquitous company or alarming wealth.

Bezos and his wife recently filed for divorce and plan to end their 25 year marriage. The two share four children, and between them, they have billions of dollars in assets to divide up as they work to settle or litigate the separation of their lives. While at first glance a reader may not see any similarities between the divorce experience that Bezos and his wife will have and their own family law situations, they are encouraged to use this national news story as a learning opportunity regarding the process of divorce.

Be prepared to disclose all financial assets during divorce

While it is true that no divorce is easy, it is possible to say that some divorces are more complex than others. A divorce between two Tampa residents who have strong careers, no children and minimal property may be emotionally difficult; however, it likely does not present the same challenges as a divorce that involves child custody and support negotiations, spousal support and property division issues and other complex themes.

One factor that can significantly increase the complexity of a divorce is when the couple owns significant assets and financial interests. Though many individuals have retirement accounts, savings and checking accounts and other common financial devices, complex high asset divorce cases may also include the division of business interests, stock options and portfolios, pensions, real property and hidden assets.

Planning for divorce in the New Year

A Tampa resident may resolve to live a happier life once the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. They may make plans to increase the joy that they experience each day, and these plans may involve making small and big changes to the way they approach life. For some, living a happier life may mean slowing down to appreciate what they have. For others, it may mean altering the fundamental relationships that they have with others, putting themselves in a more positive space for living.

Divorce can therefore be a component for some to improve their lives and find greater happiness. The joy a person may have experienced when they were first married can fade as issues and unresolvable problems develop between spouses. Though it is never easy, a divorce can be an important tool to guiding a person back to the positive life they once expected to live.

Considering the benefits of executing a prenuptial agreement

Although some Florida residents may dismiss prenuptial agreements as unnecessary, it is a good idea for anyone who is planning to get married to educate themselves on what prenuptial agreements can and cannot do for their financial interests. There are some considerations people may want to keep in mind to decide if a prenuptial agreement is right for them.

First, a person should look at their premarital wealth and property holdings. If a person plans to enter a marriage with substantial personal wealth and many valuable assets, they may wish to execute a prenup to formalize and document the property that is and will remain theirs in the event that their union ends in divorce. The same should be done with regard to premarital debts; a person who marries someone with substantial debts may not want any liability for those if the marriage fails.

Did your spouse commit marital waste?

It is extremely frustrating to deal with a financially irresponsible spouse. Reckless disregard for finances and property may reach heightened proportions when the marriage begins to unravel. If your spouse has been recklessly spending your money and misusing assets, is there anything you can do? The answer is yes, and this behavior is called marital waste.

Can a non-custodial parent abduct their own child?

Child custody disputes can be intense. While some parents are able to put their differences aside and make good choices about the health and welfare of their shared children, others cannot get past their disagreements with their former partners and, instead, take actions that may be detrimental to their kids. Parents in Florida can be accused of abducting their own children if their actions violate the custody and visitation agreements and orders that govern their family relations.

A case of parental abduction can have different legal ramifications. The matter may find its way into the criminal courts if the parent is charged with kidnapping. It is almost always also a civil matter, as parents may need to make significant changes to their operating custody orders and agreements to stop similar instances of abduction from happening again.

Why is my spouse claiming that our prenup is unfair?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that two people enter into when they decide that they want to be married. As with all contracts, Florida residents who desire to create prenuptial agreements should ensure that their interests are represented and protected in their documents before they sign them and make them binding. Certain factors that may be present during the course of the creation of a prenup may, however, subject it to challenges of fairness should the partners to the couple later choose to divorce.

One way that a prenup may be deemed unfair is if one of the party's fails to disclose all of their assets to the other at the time the prenuptial agreement is drafted. A person who hides assets from their future spouses may be considered to be acting in bad faith and on this assertion their prenup may be deemed invalid by a court.

Understanding a parent's obligation to pay child support

Child support is an important obligation that exists between a parent and their child. In Florida, a parent may be required to pay child support if they do not have physical custody of their child. As has been discussed previously on this blog, physical custody concerns where a child lives and which parent is responsible for the child's day-to-day needs.

In the event that a child's parents separate or divorce, a court will need to determine where that child will end up living. If the court decides that the child will split time between the households of the parents, then neither parent may be required to pay support, as each will be responsible for their child's needs when the child is in their care. It is when one parent is given physical custody and the other parent is not involved in the daily maintenance of the child's needs that child support may become relevant.

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