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A high asset divorce may lead some to homeownership in the future

A recent study conducted by the Center for Retirement Research seems to suggest that divorced women are more likely to be homeowners. This appears to run counter to previous research that indicated that women did not enjoy financial security after a dissolution. Regardless of whether a Florida resident later becomes a homeowner, a high asset divorce requires careful planning and consideration in order for either party to realize financial stability.

The recent report infers that divorced women enjoy the advantages of home ownership because they sought to retain their family home during their settlement negotiations. Many professionals discourage this decision, as many women experience a drop in income after their divorces, which may make the upkeep of a home a financial hardship. In addition, the report suggests that single women are less likely to achieve the dream of owning their own home, regardless of the fact that they have historically enjoyed higher incomes. It is possible that divorced women may emerge in a better financial position after their settlement, which enables them to later purchase a property.

How collaborative divorce protects children

When it comes to divorce, there is no question that it is an emotionally charged and challenging time for everyone involved. However, children, in particular, feel the psychological impact of divorce and its consequences.

There are ways you can protect your children from extreme conflict and emotional distress during a divorce. Collaborative divorce, in which you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse work with your respective attorneys to reach a shared out-of-court divorce agreement, is one of the best ways you can help minimize conflict and make the process less traumatic for your kids.

There are concrete steps that can help ease a high asset divorce

In the typical divorce, one of the most pressing issues is forcing strained resources to cover two households. However, in a high asset divorce, there isn't typically a lack of resources but, rather, no clear plan for how to arrive at an equitable settlement. Florida residents who are anticipating filing for a divorce can take steps that can ease the process.

In many high net worth marriages, a portion of the marital assets may come from a family business owned by one of the spouses. In many of these scenarios, the business owners may insist that younger family members enter into a prenuptial agreement when they prepare to wed, which can help preserve a business in a future divorce. A carefully prepared prenup can also address most of the issues that arise during a dissolution. Along with a prenup, those in a high net worth marriage are encouraged to take a thorough inventory of all of their assets and liabilities. Having a clear picture of the financial lifestyle and health can facilitate the settlement process.

Planning and preparation can ease property division in divorce

The exchanging of wedding vows is usually intended to last until death. Unfortunately, with a divorce rate still estimated to be around 50 percent, the odds of a couple eventually divorcing may make planning for such a possibility a prudent measure. Florida residents who are anticipating filing for divorce may make property division easier by doing as much preparation ahead of time as possible.

Once the decision to file for a divorce has been made, the next step is to become familiar with Florida state laws regarding the process and time lines for completing the average dissolution. It is suggested that one work to set both personal and financial goals in order to have a vision for post-divorce life. Those with children are encouraged to try and arrive at the custody plan that will provide the best solutions for their family.

Negotiating alimony takes time, planning and information

Once the decision to file for a divorce has been made, there are many issues that need to be addressed. Two of the most difficult matters to be resolved are child custody and alimony payments. While most states have guidelines for determining child support payments, the issue of spousal support may have many factors that can be taken into consideration. Florida residents who are informed and have a plan may be better prepared for the negotiation process.

One of the first steps in the negotiation process is to have a thorough understanding of one's finances and what would be required to fulfill one's needs. This includes having a grasp on future earning capacity and becoming financially independent. Along with outlining one's needs, becoming knowledgeable about the spousal support laws in Florida provides a framework from which to start negotiating.

Different avenues for collaborative law divorce with same outcome

In 2002, a movie highlighted the difficulties of a marriage between two different cultures. The main character of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" recently announced that she and her husband of 25 years -- and on whose marriage the movie was based -- are seeking a type of collaborative law divorce. This alternative dispute resolution option is gaining in popularity in Florida and across the country.  

There are several alternatives to the traditional litigated divorce. Nia Vardalos, the actress from the movie, announced that she and her former spouse will settle the issue of spousal support through mediation rather than fighting it out in court. Mediation and collaborative law offer different approaches that may appeal to couples who are able to communicate effectively. 

How to help children through divorce

No one, regardless of profession, is immune from the potential of divorce. Take the recent case of Jane Castor, a current Tampa mayoral candidate, whose former spouse recently filed for divorce.

Any adult ending a marriage will go through a lot emotionally, but it can be substantially harder on the children. Whether the children are toddlers or teenagers, divorce is difficult for everyone, and it is paramount for both parents to play an active role in their children's emotional and mental health. 

Divorce and property division are best handled without emotions

The demise of a marriage is accompanied with a myriad of emotions, most of which could create more conflict. When it comes time to determine the settlement agreement, the property division aspect is best approached with as little emotion as possible. Florida residents who are beginning the process may benefit from focusing on the financial aspect of the dissolution.

The process of obtaining a divorce will not resolve the emotional conflicts. It may serve a person better to view the divorce as an impersonal business negotiation. Family courts are not swayed by emotions but instead focus on working on an equitable distribution of marital assets. Therefore, focusing on emerging from the process in the best financial footing possible is the end goal.

Collaborative law provides a less adversarial divorce approach

Over the past several years, there has been a change in the way that some couples are seeking to end their marriages. In those situations where the two parties are in agreement that they wish to avoid a prolonged court battle, a collaborative law solution might meet their needs better than a traditional divorce proceeding. Several states have enacted laws that guide the practice, including Florida.

When a couple decides that a more neutral approach to a divorce is preferable, then they will each seek a qualified attorney who can act as mediators and legal advisors. Each spouse usually signs an agreement that states each will seek separate counsel if the mediation approach proves to be unworkable. There are usually other professionals involved in the process who can provide financial advice, mental health counseling or possibly child behavioral professionals according to the needs of the couple.

For many, pets are more than property division issue in divorce

In many families, pets take on the role as cherished members. For that reason, divorcing couples often consider the fate of a pet as much more than a property division aspect of their settlement. There are many Florida residents who are struggling to determine who gets the dog when the marriage is over.

In all but two states, family courts are required to view the issue of pets in the same way they approach the division of other marital property. In those two states, laws have been passed that allow a judge to consider what custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the pet. In some cases where the couple cannot agree on who should be the primary owner of a pet, the court will instruct the owners to follow the same parenting plan that is set up for their children. In this way, the emotional bonds between children and their pets can be retained.

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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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