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Business owners can prepare for property division in a divorce

Two of the most significant events in a person's life may include having a family and starting a business. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life, and while a divorce may not be avoidable, there are steps one can take to protect some assets during the property division -- including preserving a growing business. Florida residents who are currently going through a dissolution may benefit from the input of financial professionals.

When one has worked so hard to grow a successful enterprise, the news of an impending divorce may cause anxiety as to whether a business will survive. One of the first steps toward that goal is acquiring an accurate valuation of the asset. A thorough evaluation of both the company's assets and liabilities will make it easier to determine how much it may cost to buy out a spouse or to accept if one elects to walk away. 

Wife granted artwork in property division replaced it with fake

There are few times in life that can be more acrimonious than a bitter divorce. When it comes to the property division settlement, the two sides often fail to come to an agreeable solution on their own. Florida residents who are struggling to resolve these disputes may seek the input of a neutral professional.

A recent divorce between Wall Street investor, Bill Gross, and his former wife took an unusual turn. According to the woman's account, she was granted permission to remove any of the artwork or furnishings from their home that she desired. For reasons that are unclear, the wife chose to take a Picasso painting that they had jointly owned since 2006 without telling him of her decision to do so. The painting had been appraised for approximately $35 million.

Why a judge making parental decisions is often a bad idea

In some divorces, the parents cannot agree on child-related issues such as custody, parenting time, visitation time and key issues in parental plans. The result can be a contested divorce, the parents giving up control of their parenting path to a judge or the judge making decisions that both parents are unhappy with and that ultimately are not in the children's best interest.

Bottom line: In almost all situations, it is best for the parents to work together to agree on parenting issues rather than leave them up to a judge. There can be exceptions in cases of, say, domestic violence or child abuse. Unfortunately, even in such cases, there might not be proof of the abuse, and the judge can make someone who was abused feel victimized all over again with his or her decision. The reality is that many parents who have gone through this process say that if they had to do it again, they would swallow their pride, aggression, anger and whatever other emotions they were experiencing toward the other parent and try to work the issues out.

After the property division and divorce decree, a celebration?

The process of going through a divorce is rarely a happy one. Spouses must endure the process of resolving property division and other settlement arrangements while awaiting that final decree that signals the end of a chapter. Florida residents who have gone through the process may be unsure how to move forward with their lives.

One trend that is starting to gain in popularity is the divorce party. This is a celebration that many people are electing to throw in an effort to mark the beginning of a positive change in their lives. These parties may entail any manner of themes and can be as elaborate or low-key as the celebrant chooses. There are some suggestions that may be helpful to keep in mind.

Prenuptial agreements can be product of in-depth discussions

Wedding planning can take months of work in order to ensure that the day goes as smoothly as possible. Strangely, many couples seem to approach the drafting of prenuptial agreements in a much more hurried fashion. Unfortunately, if both spouses are not fully aware of all aspects of what the document covers, then Florida residents may find that a judge will not enforce these contracts.

Even though it is often stated that approximately half of all marriages will end in a divorce, that statistic does not tell the whole story as the divorce rate varies depending upon a variety of factors such as education, age and socioeconomic standing. That being said, having a well-written prenup in place can provide peace of mind to both spouses as long as the contract was a joint effort. To that end, one financial advisor has developed a course that helps guide engaged couples through the process.

Candance Parker, WNBA star, settles alimony with one-time payment

Those who play professional sports are likely accustomed to having their private lives exposed to media scrutiny. As such, when these individuals seek a divorce, the settlement details, including any alimony agreements, often become public knowledge. Florida fans who follow basketball news may have been surprised when WNBA star Candace Parker was ordered to make alimony payments to her former spouse.

Parker reportedly made a decision to offer her former spouse of 10 years, Shelden Williams, a one-time lump payment of approximately $400,000 rather than make regular payments over the designated period of time. Because Williams was a star player for the NBA, fans may have been surprised that Parker, whose net worth was estimated to be around $2 million, was ordered to make such payments. Her former husband reportedly earned approximately $12 million during his career.

If these occur in marriage; prepare for property division talks

There is no disputing that relationships are hard work, especially as time goes by. According to one researcher, if certain behaviors are occurring in a marriage, they may indicate that property division discussions will be occurring in the not too distant future. Some Florida residents who are dealing with any of these issues may already be considering how to end their marriages.

Every couple argues from time to time. According to one researcher who has spent four decades studying communication in relationships, the presence of certain behaviors during disputes may be a strong indication that a divorce is in the future. What may be surprising to many is that these behaviors are not usually seen as outwardly aggressive, yet they still play a significant role in the demise of relationships. 

If not carefully crafted, prenuptial agreements may not be valid

Regardless of their level of wealth, any couple intending to marry may benefit from pre-marital contracts that are meant to safeguard loved ones or those assets not intended for division in the event of a divorce. When couples decide that prenuptial agreements may play an important role in protecting certain assets, it is helpful to ensure that these documents are correctly written. Florida residents may be surprised to learn that there are times when divorce courts may not enforce an existing agreement.

In order for the courts to enforce an existing agreement, it is vital that both parties are fully aware of all of the assets that may be included. If it is determined that one partner attempted to conceal certain assets from the other, or failed to fully disclose all assets, then a court may find that the document is invalid. Other factors that may make these documents useless include coercing a spouse to sign or if either party does not read fully read or understand the document.

Pit bulls: when lawyers want to fight

There are lawyers and then there are lawyers. Which one is right for you depends on what type of legal issue you face and how you want to go about facing it. If you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney, hire a pit bull. But if you want a low-stress, amicable Florida divorce, hiring a golden retriever is a far better choice.

If you have ever owned a golden retriever, however, you know that just because (s)he smiles a lot and generally behaves in a laid-back manner does not mean that (s)he is a wimp. (S)he is, in fact, a strong powerful dog who can hold his or her own with anyone and anything and will protect you and your kids to the death. It is to your advantage if your divorce lawyer has similar characteristics.

Property division in divorce also pertains to marital debts

Though the divorce rate has declined slightly in recent years, there may still be a 40 to 50 percent chance that a marriage will end in divorce. When it comes to property division, how assets are divided often depends on the state where one lives. Florida is an equitable distribution state and that also pertains to how debts will be addressed.

In an equitable distribution state, the court will work to ensure that debts are divided as fairly as possible in the absence of a prior agreement. One of the most common types of marital debt is a mortgage for which there are options available to settle this matter. If the home is titled in both names, then one spouse may choose to retain ownership and seek to refinance the debt in his or her name. The former spouse could either be bought out or a home equity loan could be obtained to pay the former spouse. The home could also be sold and the profits divided.

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Fort Myers Family Law

Sheldon E. Finman, P.A.
2134 McGregor Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Toll Free: 877-214-3207
Phone: 239-332-4543
Fax: 239-334-7828
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