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Years-long divorce reopened to seek revised alimony

The end of a marriage is often a tumultuous time that can quickly degrade into fighting and protracted court battles over finances. One of the most contentious disputes during a Florida divorce often involves the matter of alimony. Recently, there have been efforts to reform the alimony laws.

One of the biggest proponents of the reform is a former candidate for Congress whose divorce case took five years to resolve and has been recently re-opened. When the case was settled in 2013, he was ordered to make monthly support payments to his former wife in the amount of $1,500. She had reportedly refused an offer of $5,400 monthly in addition to a $50,000 lump sum. A judge ruled that the amount she would need to cover her expenses was approximately $2,900, but the former husband's ability to pay was capped at $1,500.

Items to look out for in a gray divorce

For years, the general population associated divorce with younger couples. People assumed couples that were together for decades had figured out a way to make it work. However, there has been a sharp increase in the number of older couples who have passed the age of 50 divorcing, a phenomenon known as gray divorce.

Numerous issues come into play when couples who are 50 or older divorce. It comes with numerous health risks, and many older individuals who divorce end up suffering from insomnia and other issues. That is only the beginning. Here are some of the most common issues older people face in gray divorce: 

A collaborative law divorce may help reduce the pain for children

The decision to end a faltering marriage is not without its own difficulties. Though many may think that the hardest part is behind them, for some Florida couples, the process of divorcing may expose both spouses and children to even more conflict and discord. For those situations where its appropriate, a collaborative law dissolution may enable spouses to find a more peaceful resolution for all involved.

A divorce will often the follow the same patterns of behavior that lead to the unhappy marriage. Those topics that lead to discord in the marriage will often be magnified during a traditional divorce. Couples who are searching for a less-stressful process may benefit from choosing an alternative method of divorcing. In the process, it may help to pay close attention to the cues that their former spouses are delivering whenever they are involved in settlement negotiations. Triggers that started heated arguments during a marriage may escalate during settlement discussions.

Prenuptial agreements common but some conditions are questionable

It is not unusual for engaged couples to choose to enter into a marital contract before exchanging their vows. However, while prenuptial agreements are useful for ensuring that both parties are in agreement over how to handle the division of assets in the event of a divorce, there may be some individuals who attempt to include questionable conditions. Florida residents who are considering drafting these agreements are each urged to seek the input of separate legal professionals.

Recently, one woman shared her concerns over several clauses that her fiancé included in the drafting of their prenup. One of those conditions stated that if the couple has a child, the mother is required to lose at least 30 pounds of any weight she gained during the pregnancy within one year of giving birth. Along with this unusual stipulation, the agreement included a clause that states if the woman engages in an extramarital affair, she will not be entitled to any marital assets.

Man discovers alimony cannot be avoided by changing identity

In many marriages, one spouse earns more than the other. For this reason, when a couple divorces, the lower-earning spouse may be granted alimony for a set period of time. Florida residents who are worried about their finances after a divorce may qualify for spousal support to help them until they achieve financial stability.

Recently, one man discovered the hard way that his efforts to avoid paying alimony and child support came with a high price. He has been sentenced to serve 78 weeks in a federal prison followed by three years of supervised probation. In addition, he was ordered to make payments on the arrears that he owes in both spousal and child support. 

Regular or high asset divorce tends to happen at a certain age

People who get married in Florida often expect to stay together for many years to come. However, not all marriages make it for a number of reasons, ranging from infidelity to financial problems. Here is a peek at the age that many people who are married today might go through divorce, whether it is a high asset divorce or a more typical one.

Researchers recently took a look at individuals' marital outcomes at different ages in 2017. After looking at respondents' answers regarding whether they were currently married and how many times they had been married, they learned that around 10 percent of people who were 30 years old had already gotten divorced. This percentage ended up reaching a maximum of 41 percent for those age 63.

Divorce request and peaceful collaboration

It is difficult to make the decision that you cannot salvage a marriage. You have undoubtedly given the matter long consideration. Perhaps you have come to this realization sooner than your spouse. It is harder yet when you view your marriage coming to an end, yet your spouse innocently believes all is well.

While you know it is time for your partnership to dissolve, you may dread asking your spouse for a divorce. Your greatest desire is that both of you work collaboratively and peacefully to find a way through the process of divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can benefit anyone planning to marry

Though the majority of engaged couples are likely not planning to divorce, a large percentage of marriages will not survive. The topic of a marital contract may seem unromantic, but prenuptial agreements provide peace of mind. Even if many Florida residents do not think they will need a prenup, the security they can provide makes them worthwhile. 

Given a scenario involving an individual expecting a future inheritance and a broke but enterprising business owner who invested personal assets into a fledgling company, it may appear as if the first would be more in need of a prenup, especially if the inheritance is not kept separate from the marital assets. However, both parties could use the protection these contracts provide. If the first individual currently lives in a state that has laws protecting separate assets, then he or she would likely not need to rely on such a prenup. On the other hand, if he or she moves to another state, then an existing prenup can provide protection.

Collaborative law divorce can ease some of the financial pain

Those who are on the verge of filing for a divorce will face many difficult decisions. The entire process can leave one hurting, not just emotionally but financially as well. Florida residents who are beginning the divorce process may wish to consider whether a collaborative law approach would be a viable option.

There are common mistakes that can complicate the divorce process. While many people share events on social media sites, it may be better if those who are going through a divorce refrain from posting any personal news during the proceedings. If one is claiming financial difficulties, it may be counterproductive to boast about bonuses or costly expenditures. Another potentially costly error is neglecting to compile all relevant financial information. Though one may not see a need to keep paperwork relating to a home improvement project or some other expense, not doing so could affect a settlement agreement.

Amazon's founder's divorce may be a lesson in high asset divorce

The majority of high-net-worth couples sign a marital agreement before they wed or at some point during the marriage. However, shortly after Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced their intention to divorce, it was learned that the couple reportedly do not have a prenup. Florida residents who are considering filing for their own high asset divorce may be interested in learning how this dissolution will be handled.

The state in which the Bezoses reside is one of a handful of community property states. In these states, assets that were acquired during the marriage will be divided equally between the spouses -- in the absence of any marital agreements. Since Jeff Bezos started Amazon after his marriage, the company's value could possibly be split between the spouses. Another option, which may appeal to investors more, would be to pool the stock and share joint ownership. At this time, there is an estimated $137 billion worth of assets to be split between the former spouses.

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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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