When getting divorced, having a support system can be crucial

There is no doubt that getting divorced can be enormously upsetting. Not only can you struggle with the emotional devastation of ending a marriage, but you may also have to move, spend less time with your kids and even find a way to support yourself financially.

This can be exceptionally difficult and many people feel overwhelmed by all the changes that could be just around the corner. However, it is important to note that with support, you may be able to adapt to these changes and work through this challenging time a little more easily.

An attorney can be a critical part of your support team during a divorce. While friends and family members can help you cope emotionally, an attorney can help protect your legal rights and interests. This can be a critical piece of adjusting to life after divorce.

Financially speaking, your attorney can help you understand what you are eligible to receive and/or keep in terms of property division. He or she can also help you understand your rights and options for spousal maintenance (alimony) and child support.

Your lawyer can also guide you through the divorce process, whichever route that takes. You may not know if collaboration is right for your situation or how you can prepare for a courtroom divorce. A legal representative can explain these options so that you can have a better idea of what you can expect.

Finally, your attorney can help you avoid unnecessary conflict and fight on your behalf should your divorce take a contentious turn. You are likely already struggling with some painful, upsetting feelings which can make it difficult to see the big picture and address certain matters in an effective way. Having support in protecting your best interests, especially when you are struggling to do so, can be crucial.

Minimizing the negative impact of divorce is often a top priority for people across Florida. Our law firm understands this and can discuss your situation and legal options with you. Visit our website for information on our background and how you can contact us.

 

Can I challenge our prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are no longer reserved for celebrities or the very wealthy. Couples all across Florida make the decision to sign a prenup before getting married in order to protect themselves financially in the event of a divorce. Sometimes people have specific assets they wish to protect; sometimes they want to set some rules for matters like spousal support.

However, it is important to note that there can be some vulnerabilities when it comes to these agreements. In some situations, there may be reason or grounds to challenge a prenup.

As this article notes, there are many reasons why a prenup or individual clauses may be found to be invalid and unenforceable. We will break them down into three different categories: unlawful terms, fraud and improperly executed.

  1. A prenup may be challenged if it includes terms or restrictions that are unlawful. For instance, generally speaking, a prenup cannot include guidelines for child support or alimony waivers. There are also many instances where lifestyle clauses like personal preferences are struck down. Further, there cannot be clauses that appear to encourage divorce.
  2. If a person failed to disclose certain assets or lied about financial matters in a legal document, this could be considered fraud. An agreement based on or including false information can be deemed invalid.
  3. A prenuptial agreement must be executed properly so that it can be legally enforced. This means it must be in writing and signed by both parties. Additionally, both parties should have had sufficient time to review the document with an attorney and should not be pressured into signing. If these requirements are not met, the document can be thrown out.

As we stated earlier, a prenuptial agreement can be a valuable and beneficial resource for spouses in all types of marriages. However, their efficacy is only as good as the document itself.

If you have questions or concerns about creating, challenging or defending a prenuptial agreement, it can be wise to discuss your situation with an attorney. 

When it comes to divorce, it can be wise to keep issues private

When two people are ending their marriage, they can be very focused on protecting their privacy. You may not want let people in on what is typically a very difficult and emotionally charged event. You may even try to shield family members and/or kids from the messy details of why you are divorcing and what the terms of your settlement are.

However, not everyone sees it this way. In some cases, people are not only fine with making the details of a divorce public, they actually welcome it. For example, one former couple is quite literally putting their contentious split on display: the estranged husband has been living on the front lawn of the home he and his wife once shared.

According to reports, the 69-year-old man has been living outside his house since March when his wife kicked him out. The divorcing couple evidently has a history of altercations, including allegations of abuse and theft, and police have been called to the house several times in recent years. After the most recent fight, however, the wife kicked the man out.

Instead of finding a place to stay or working through the divorce process to properly divide up assets including the house, the man has been living on the lawn while his wife lives in the house. She changed the locks and put up a sign notifying concerned parties that they should not bring anything including food onto the property for the man.

Regardless of the difficult marital issues the couple is dealing with, they may not be doing themselves any favors by dealing with their relationship in this way.

It may be common for people to feel like punishing or embarrassing their ex will ease some of the painful emotions associated with a divorce. However, in the end, it may do little more than drag out the already difficult process and drain valuable energy.

Of course divorce can be overwhelming and come with some very complex emotions; but focusing on the drama and publicizing sensitive details of the split can ultimately work against you. By working with an attorney and concentrating your efforts on getting through a divorce, you may find that you are happier in the long run.

Source: USA Today, “Bitter divorce leaves man stranded in front yard of his million-dollar home,” Kevin Reece, Oct. 7, 2015

Tips for making complex asset division more civil

One of the most contentious aspects of any divorce is linked to the division of martial assets. Money can be a symbol of anything from financial security to compensation for marital contributions and many people are willing to fight tooth-and-nail for what they feel they deserve.

This can lead to a lot of difficult and emotionally-driven discussions about who should get what in a divorce, especially when there is a lot of money at stake. In many cases, these situations turn out to be too complicated or too combative and a decision regarding the division of assets needs to be made in court. However, there are some things people can do when approaching this matter to try and resolve asset division matters on their own.

  • Familiarize yourself with Florida property division laws: In this state, we comply with equitable distribution laws. This means that, when left to the courts, property division is handled in a way that is deemed equitable or fair. With this in mind, you may want to rethink a court hearing if you would prefer to have more control over who gets what.
  • Be honest: Failing to disclose assets or sources of income during a divorce can create great stress and suspicion, which could jeopardize otherwise civil discussions.
  • Consider the big picture: While it is important to express your desires and expectations for what you should receive, you can disrupt asset division discussions by focusing on one aspect or relatively small sum of money. Staying focused on the big picture can help you avoid potentially trivial issues.
  • Consult the professionals: If you have significant or sophisticated, complex assets at stake, you may not even know where to begin when it comes to business valuation, property management, taxes and other financial matters. Having the help of financial counselors and other professionals who understand complicated business operations can help you develop and assess a full, accurate financial picture.

It may not be possible to avoid every obstacle or disagreement during these difficult discussions, but if you are determined to pursue a peaceful, collaborative divorce, these tips may help you get off on the right foot. It can also be wise to have the guidance of an attorney comfortable with resolving matters that often arise in high-asset divorces amicably.