Collaborative law may be one approach to keep divorce civil

In light of the statistic that nearly half of all marriages will not last, it may be beneficial to consider how a divorce could impact one’s life. Though there are many movie examples that portray a divorce as an ugly and sustained battle, the real-life process does not have to be either emotionally or financially draining. Florida residents who may be considering filing for a divorce may find that a collaborative law approach could work for them.

There is no denying that a divorce involves conflicting emotions, but it does not need to be followed by a bankruptcy filing. Many professionals suggest that one take the time to thoroughly research the laws and determine which approach will serve a particular situation best. A collaborative law divorce enables the parties to work with one attorney to resolve the issues and arrange an agreement that meets the needs of both parties and their children. If this avenue does not work out, then each will need to seek different counsel.

Those who have divorced advise others to interview more than one attorney — if needed — to find the professional who is willing to work diligently for them. Looking for short cuts during the proceedings or attempting to handle many important considerations on one’s own can wind up costing more time and money in the end. Likewise, a do-it-yourself divorce may sound cost-effective but often results in a spouse losing out on benefits and assets that he or she was unaware existed.

Lastly, it may be helpful to keep in mind that the divorce decree likely will not end the relationship completely — especially if the couple have children. An adversarial dissolution may only make future communication more difficult for all parties involved. Florida residents who are seeking a divorce that does not entail contentious disputes and bitterness may wish to learn more about a collaborative law dissolution from an experienced attorney.

Assessing one’s finances may help reduce property division stress

The end of a marriage is never easy. Along with the emotional upheaval, there is the added stress of worrying how a divorce may harm one’s financial well-being. Florida residents who are contemplating filing for divorce may help facilitate the property division settlement by taking a thorough inventory of the marital assets.

There are four basic areas to consider when discussing marital finances. These categories are assets, debts, expenses and income. The first consists of all holdings that have monetary value. This includes all savings and checking accounts, retirement and money market accounts, stocks, trusts, real estate investment holdings, along with saving bonds or any other type of bonds. When it comes to dividing these assets, it is vital to understand the possible tax implications and any penalties that may be assessed by taking disbursements early.

A couple’s debts and liabilities include any mortgages and other debt, both secured and unsecured. If a home is to be sold, the couple must decide who will be responsible for upkeep and taxes until the sale is completed. If the house sells for a loss, then the remaining debt may have to be divided. If one retains the home, then this becomes part of a spouse’s expenses that may need to be addressed during settlement. Furthermore, both spousal support (if ordered) and child support may become part of one party’s expenses while the other may include these payments as income.

The tax laws concerning alimony will change in 2019, which will directly impact these payments. This issue may require further negotiation during settlement. Lastly, it may benefit either party to seek the advice of professional financial advisors in order to ascertain how to balance one’s living expenses with anticipated income levels. Florida residents who are concerned about how their divorce and property division will directly impact their future finances may ease their minds by relying on the guidance of an experienced attorney.

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.

Individuals who do own a home may be able to better prepare for retirement since they own an appreciable asset. Those who do not own a home may be more inclined to dip into retirement savings in order to finance education or meet other expenses. Property owners may be less inclined to raid their savings since they likely will be able to access the equity in their home at a later date.  

In today’s economy, either party may struggle financially in the aftermath of a divorce. Florida residents who are considering filing for a high asset divorce understandably have many financial concerns. In order to ensure that one is able to meet one’s future expectations regarding post-divorce life and eventual retirement, it may be prudent to consult with a professional who can guide them through their settlement negotiations to secure the best financial outcome possible. 

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.

Psychological risk factors for children of divorce

Divorce affects children profoundly on a psychological level. The good news is that researchers have found that most children recover rapidly after the first year. One exception remains, however. Children whose parents engage in heavy conflict during and after the divorce experience more adverse effects than children whose parents manage to avoid this conflict. This is just one of the many reasons why a collaborative divorce model is the better choice for children’s well-being.

Benefits of collaborative divorce for children

While a non-adversarial divorce certainly benefits both spouses, it is particularly well-suited to children, as it reduces conflict and keeps control over decision-making in the hands of the spouses rather than a judge. Here are some other benefits of collaborative divorce for children:

  • Focus on problem-solving rather than fighting ensures that spouses account for their children’s best interests.
  • Control over custody and visitation decisions allows parents to avoid using children as pawns in the divorce process.
  • The process is faster than a court battle, thus resolving conflict sooner and allowing for moving forward expediently rather than dwelling on an ongoing trauma.
  • Children are not forced into parental disputes in which they must choose their loyalty to one parent or another.

Collaborative divorce is a good choice for protecting the well-being of children. Although not all couples are suitable for this type of solution, because some couples are simply unable to find common ground, it is an increasingly popular choice among couples who are willing to seek shared resolutions to their divorce conflicts.

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.

Barring a prenup, it is important to take steps to limit a business’ exposure to a divorce. It may be advisable to seek a shareholder agreement that can help protect the viability of a business by limiting stock transfers and outlining how a business is valued. Spouses may also benefit from consulting with financial professionals to assess their financial position and establish estate plans.

There are other things that professionals recommend not to overlook in a high asset divorce, including paying attention to the possible tax consequences of a divorce. Since an estimated 50 percent of all marriages end in a divorce, it is prudent to take measures to ensure that assets are protected during a dissolution. Florida residents who are concerned about crafting an equitable settlement may be best served by consulting with an experienced attorney who can provide sound guidance throughout the 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.

In order to facilitate the division of assets, it is helpful to gather all pertinent financial information regarding bank and savings accounts, retirement plans, insurance information and income verifications. Likewise, compiling a list of all the liabilities, including mortgage or rent, credit cards and other loan obligations, gives one a complete financial picture. Once all of the marital financial information has been assembled, developing a budget may enable one to determine what will be needed for financial security after the divorce.

Other steps that may help speed the process are closing all joint accounts and requesting credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies. Once all of the information has been collected and a budget has been developed, the support provided by the right professionals can help make all aspects of a divorce less tedious, including working out the best property division agreement. Florida residents who are seeking a dissolution may feel overwhelmed by the process; however, an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can ensure that all legal aspects are handled in the manner that will best serve one’s future interest.