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Pre- and postnuptial agreements can be asset in property division

When one hears the term pre- or post nuptial agreement, he or she may assume that these documents are intended as a safeguard for the wealthy. In reality, these tools can be an asset to anyone when it comes to the property division aspect of an impending divorce. Even those Florida residents who do not believe they own enough assets can benefit from implementing these agreements -- whether or not they ever seek a divorce.

Planning for an eventuality is a prudent measure, and having a secure plan in place in case a marriage ends in divorce can also provide peace of mind for even the most happily married couples. Pre- or post-nuptial agreements may allow spouses to circumnavigate some state laws provided the agreement is executed properly. There are also steps that need to be implemented to ensure that these contracts are valid at the time of a divorce or after the death of a spouse.

You want a divorce, but how do you tell your husband?

For a while now, you have known that the relationship you have with your husband is not working for you. He seems content to let things drift along the way they are, though, and you may worry about all the negative emotions he will feel when you tell him you are done. 

How can you make it easier for him and improve your chances of an amicable divorce?

Here's how prenuptial agreements can actually strengthen bonds

Most Florida couples know that financial matters are a leading cause of marital turmoil and could even lead to divorce. For those who have yet to tie the knot, deciding how to navigate financial disparities can be a challenge. When the right approach is taken, talks about prenuptial agreements can actually serve to strengthen a couple's bond. 

That's because prenups are inherently flexible and can be drafted to suit any number of preferences. For example, if one party feels that the prenup is only meant to protect the moneyed spouse from loss, provisions can be written in to transfer a portion of wealth to the other party as the years pass. Another way to address concerns is to create ways for the non-moneyed spouse to have access to financial resources throughout the marriage. That prevents a scenario in which only the wealthy spouse controls the purse strings in the union. 

Prenuptial agreements can help preserve family wealth

An individual who wishes to protect his or her own assets and family wealth has a choice to make as a marriage approaches. Prenuptial agreements are one tool that many people choose to use to help them protect income and inheritance, as well as set some nonfinancial guidelines. In Florida, some wealthy families choose to make the prenuptial agreement part of a family estate plan so all children participate, and also to avoid the awkwardness that can sometimes come with bringing up a conversation about prenups with an adult child's future spouse. 

The experts seem to agree on certain best practices for these type of premarital agreements. Those guidelines include that both individual parties would have independent legal representation, that the conversation about the agreement begin well before the wedding day and that a full disclosure (or an explicit agreement not to disclose) of all liabilities and assets of both parties take place. The backbone of a prenup will begin with the specific state laws on marital property. From there, the individual can choose to include many types of considerations.

Losing the alimony deduction will be a financial hit for many

Many Florida spouses have grown used to the tax deduction that comes with paying spousal support. It can certainly take some of the sting out of those payments and is a welcome relief at tax time. The newly signed tax reform package, however, eliminates the alimony tax deduction. That will change the financial landscape for many divorced spouses and could also lead some married folks to seriously consider filing for divorce. 

The change won't go into effect until 2019, so couples in rocky relationships have nearly a year to determine if staying the course is the wise thing to do. If they file now, the alimony tax deduction will be grandfathered in. If they wait until this time next year, the paying spouse will lose the tax deduction entirely. 

Collaborative law can offer a path to better co-parenting

Many people seek a collaborative divorce in an effort to reduce the time, expense and stress associated with ending a marriage. Collaborative law has another benefit to Florida spouses who share children. The process of negotiating the terms of a divorce through collaboration offers a training ground for spouses who will transition into co-parenting roles.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is the role that each party plays in the life of each shared child. Respecting and supporting the relationship that one's soon-to-be ex has with each child is critical to remaining focused on the best interests of the children. When parents start off from a position of mutual respect, co-parenting tends to go much smoother than when a divorce centers on anger and bitterness.

What factors can make it easier to get an uncontested divorce?

There is hardly any divorce that does not have difficult emotions attached. After all, if you and your spouse got along all the time, you probably would not be seeking a divorce. Whether you both are divorcing on friendly terms or there is a sense of bitterness and contention, there are usually at least a couple of items of dispute at the end of a marriage. Even so, it could be beneficial for you and other Florida residents to consider an amicable divorce.

The main types of uncontested divorce – mediation and collaborative law – have numerous advantages over litigation. They may cost significantly less than going to court, as well as take much less time to resolve disagreements. Uncontested divorce is private, whereas the issues you bring up in court will become a matter of public record. A mediated or collaborative divorce is usually less stressful for all parties, especially children. The negotiation and communication skills you learn during the collaborative or mediation process may benefit you for the rest of your life.

Tips for moving through the collaborative law process

For many Florida spouses, the idea of a collaborative divorce is appealing. Some spouses wish to limit their legal fees, while others are hoping to foster a sense of collaboration that will extend into the co-parenting relationship. Regardless of one's reason for attempting a collaborative law approach, it's important to go into that process fully prepared. The following tips can help Florida spouses make the most of collaboration.

One of the most important things that parents can do to minimize the impact of divorce on their children is to place the emotional and physical needs of the kids at the forefront of the divorce process. Regardless of how spouses may feel about one another, they share a deep love for their children. Centering divorce on that shared priority can help keep things on track and reduce contention.

Should victim pay for abuser's property division attorney?

The law is sometimes a curious thing, in Florida and elsewhere. Laws are often created to address one problem, yet they end up creating other problems. An example is found in a case in another state in which a woman is being forced to pay for an attorney to represent her husband in their divorce. She will have to make payments to the legal counsel who will represent the opposing party in matters related to property division and spousal support. 

The state has a law in place that requires the court to appoint an attorney for an inmate facing a divorce. The cost of the state-appointed attorney must be covered by the inmate's spouse. While the court can determine the costs and limit the expense, many spouses are simply unable to come up with the money needed to pay for both their own and their spouse's legal counsel. 

Can tech surveillance help in high asset divorce?

Many Florida spouses are aware that there are numerous technological tools that can be used to gather information on another person. Faced with a high asset divorce, it can be tempting to leverage those tools to gather information about the activities of one's soon-to-be ex. It's important to work closely with an attorney before attempting any type of tech surveillance, as some efforts could be in violation of the law. 

For example, it's possible to buy small GPS devices that can be hidden in the wheel well of a vehicle. Those devices transmit the location of the driver, creating a literal map of that person's travels. Cell phones can be outfitted with tracking apps to deliver nearly real-time updates on the owner's whereabouts. There are even spyware programs that can track each keystroke and screen view on a computer. 

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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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