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.
Other steps that may help is budgeting for these types of obligations and ensuring that payments are timely. It may also be beneficial to make sure that one has a plan for continuing these payments in the event of unforeseen circumstances or that a missed payment won’t break the budget. In addition, it is recommended that the right to alimony is not waived since the courts will not revisit the issue once it is refused. Furthermore, though it may be tempting to come to an agreement outside of the courts, doing so would make it harder to enforce these types of orders.
Lastly, though there are few experiences in life that are as emotional as a divorce, it may serve a spouse better if he or she can keep emotions in check. Seeking revenge through alimony payments seldom works out well and leads to a more contentious dissolution. Instead, being well-informed about the laws and one’s future needs can help make the process easier. An experienced attorney can ensure that the settlement agreement will help provide a stable financial future.
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.
Getting a divorce is a legal matter, no matter the approach, though the outcome — a divorce decree — is the same. The differences relate more to how the process is handled. While many couples prefer the idea of lessening the adversarial elements, it doesn’t work for everyone. There are times when litigation is the preferable approach, especially if domestic abuse is involved. A litigated divorce is often seen as more costly and time-consuming, though sometimes it’s necessary.
Both mediation and collaborative divorce provide more freedom to choose the outcomes, and they’re typically able to have more input than they can through the courts. There are significant differences between a mediation and a collaborative law divorce, and each couple must be willing to work together to a certain extent if this approach is to be successful. Florida residents for whom a more cooperative approach to divorce may work well can get detailed information from an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of proceedings.
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.
Children should not feel as though they have to bottle up their emotions. Encourage your children to speak out about how they feel. Parents need to actually listen to their children and offer support when necessary.
When kids come forward with their feelings, it is important for them to understand their emotions are valid. Instead of saying, “Don’t be sad,” parents should say, “I know you feel sad now.” Allow children to get everything out, so they can start looking toward the future optimistically.
Throughout the divorce proceedings, parents should check in with the kids frequently to see if there is anything they need. Kids may not know what they want, but the parents can offer suggestions, such as going on a walk or making a phone call to the other parent.
Avoid speaking negatively of the other parent
While you may feel the urge to speak negatively about the other parent to your friends, it is important to keep those opinions in check when around the children. The kids need to be able to still respect both parents. In the event that you have older children who may be on social media, avoid posting anything about your ex online.
Build a support group
The only way you will be able to support your kids during this time is if you take care of yourself. Create a support group of friends you can talk to about your emotions. You may also want to think about seeing a therapist or counselor.
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.
There are several ideas that may prove useful. One of these is that a divorce will likely result in each spouse having to downsize in several ways. If one is prepared for the reality that the division of assets may result in fighting, that may give one an edge in avoiding pointless arguments. In many cases, a marriage comes under stress due to money problems, and a divorce will often escalate the fighting. Letting go of certain expectations and finding ways to reduce expenses during the dissolution can help preserve the assets for distribution.
Lastly, those who are seeking a divorce usually do so in order to obtain a happier future. Each spouse has financial goals that they hope to achieve through the settlement agreement, but there may have to be concessions one is willing to make in order to dissolve the marriage without increasing costs. Florida residents who are concerned about how their property division will impact their financial well-being may seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney.
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.
In order for this type of dissolution to work, the spouses must be capable of negotiation in a reasonable manner. For the most part, couples who choose this route have already agreed on many aspects of their divorce and simply need advice on how to obtain the most agreeable settlement. This avenue allows the couple to keep the details of their divorce private and affords them the opportunity to avoid the contentiousness of a more traditional divorce.
Along with the other benefits this type of divorce provides, a collaborative law option is often less expensive, which can provide an additional motive for pursuing this avenue. Those attorneys who provide this service must be licensed and are well-trained in the procedures. Florida residents who wish to obtain more information as to whether this is a viable alternative for them may seek additional information from an experienced family law professional.