Negotiating alimony in Florid divorce proceedings

For those who are headed for a divorce, the stress surrounding the process sometimes makes it difficult to address difficult topics. One of the more contentious subjects is the matter of alimony, or spousal support payments. Florida residents who are preparing for a divorce may be unsure how to approach the topic without making matters worse.

One of the first things to take into consideration is whether the need for spousal support exists and whether the other party can reasonably afford the payments. In Florida, there are several classifications regarding these monies, and they are based on different factors that may pertain to a given situation. In many situations, these payments are meant to be temporary while a lesser-earning spouse is able to improve his or her financial well-being. Only in rare cases will these payments be ordered to continue indefinitely. 

With these facts in mind, there are ways to bring up the topic of spousal support in a manner that will not increase the tensions of the divorce. One of the first suggestions is to avoid accusatory statements. It’s also helpful to inform a former partner ahead of time that this topic will be discussed. During negotiations, it is recommended that the spouses practice “active listening” techniques while reiterating what one needs. It is also suggested that the request for a set support payment does not exceed a party’s reasonable ability to pay. 

Finally, if these discussions are not fruitful, the spouses may be able to obtain assistance from a neutral third-party mediator before pursuing more aggressive tactics. Parties who are able to peacefully negotiate for the goal of a satisfactory resolution often fare better in the end. Florida residents who are concerned about any divorce-related issues relating to alimony or other financial matters may benefit from consulting with an experienced attorney who can help negotiate a suitable settlement agreement. 

Want a fair property division? Consult an attorney early

Once a marriage is showing signs of instability, some may feel that exploring their options is a last resort. However, if one desires an equitable share of the marital assets, consulting with a family lawyer is a prudent step. Florida residents who are concerned about how the property division will affect their future security benefit from seeking guidance sooner rather than later.

Some may feel that consulting with an attorney is akin to giving up on the relationship too soon. However, choosing to get information early can only help in the end, especially once the petition to divorce has been filed. If a couple has children or significant assets, then waiting until the other spouse has contacted a lawyer may be counterproductive. Furthermore, it is recommended that the other partner is not informed about a consultation ahead of time unless the couple has already decided that a mediation approach is the best fit for their situation.

It is also not recommended that parents enter into an informal agreement over child custody or support. Doing so may make it more difficult to change the terms once the divorce process has started. Since the process of filing for a divorce can be costly, it is helpful to have an idea of the fee schedule and what the terms of a contract for services will include, which is another reason to contact an attorney early.

Lastly, seeking a consultation with an experienced attorney early does not mean that the marriage is over. In fact, having a clear picture of what one’s rights may bring enough peace of mind to allow a spouse time to analyze whether a relationship may be repaired. In the end, if Florida residents do decide that a divorce is the appropriate solution, the time spent on early planning may ease stress, which may lead to less contentious property division negotiations for all of the parties involved. 

Property division involving a business requires careful planning

A divorce is draining on many resources, especially time, energy and emotions. If the property division will include a family-run business, careful planning is required in order to avoid unpleasant financial repercussions. Florida residents who own a small business have reasons to be concerned over how the divorce will impact their future.

Small business owners make up most of the successful enterprises across the country. As such, those who devised the tax codes have taken steps to ensure that these companies are taxed appropriately. However, the recent changes to the tax code may have many owners worrying about how to avoid possible tax penalties. Determining the accurate value of the business requires that allowable exemptions will not lead to a higher tax rate or that assets are not double valued for support payments. In many cases, it is difficult to separate personal income from business assets.

In addition to determining the company’s current worth, it is prudent to ensure that possible tax consequences are taken into consideration when working on a settlement agreement. It’s possible that property purchased for use in the business may be transferred to a spouse who will convert it to personal use, and this may lead to a tax recapture that could affect future earnings. In addition, spouses who need to set up support payments may elect to use life insurance agreements that will become part of the divorce settlement.

A divorce that involves a business requires more time, planning and finesse than a straightforward proceeding. Florida residents may find that they will benefit from the assistance of financial advisers who are experienced in helping determine how the property division will impact the future of the company. Regardless of one’s particular circumstances, a divorce deeply affects all aspects of life; therefore, those who are preparing for a divorce may be best served by consulting with an experienced family law attorney to reach the best possible solutions.

Tips for reducing conflict during your divorce

It is no surprise that ending your marriage is difficult. In fact, it may be one of the hardest experiences of your life. Breaking up with your spouse can lead to a lot of negative emotions, including anger, sadness, hurt and resentment. 

While it is normal to experience these feelings during your divorce, you should not let them run the show. If controlled by these emotions, your divorce will be full of more conflict. A contentious divorce is not only emotionally unpleasant, but it can drain your finances, too. Here are some tips for reducing conflict during your split.

Be careful with social media

Social media can be a dangerous thing during a divorce. When you have the ability to share your thoughts and feelings with your friends and family members at your fingertips, things can get ugly. If you post about your divorce on social media, it can cause a lot of drama. It may even be wise to take a break from these platforms if you find it difficult to resist posting about your divorce. 

Look after yourself emotionally

While you may need to manage and control your emotions at times, this does not mean you need to hold them in or feel ashamed about them. It is normal to go through emotional turmoil. You just need to find healthy ways of working through and express your feelings. This may mean distracting yourself by immersing yourself in one of your hobbies. Perhaps it may take the form of talking to a close friend. Maybe you even need to see a therapist. Whatever it is, make sure you take care of yourself. 

Share the blame

You may want to place all the blame for the divorce on your spouse. Even if he or she played a significant role, playing the blame game only adds fuel to the fire. Think about how you may be at least partially responsible for the divorce. Remember, it takes two to tango. 

Collaborative law divorce allows for a more peaceable settlement

When a couple is headed for a divorce, one of the last words that come to mind is peaceful or amiable. In fact, it is often the lack of these two elements that may have played a role in the decision to divorce. However, for Florida residents who wish to avoid much of the hostility of a typical divorce, a collaborative law approach works well.

One impression of the word divorce is a tension-filled courtroom with former spouses ready to do battle over custody and marital assets. While lawyers are willing to fight for their clients’ fair share, for many couples, this adversarial approach is unsettling. For those couples for whom compromise is an attainable goal, collaborative law offers an opportunity for the two parties to sit down with the respective attorneys and work out a settlement that meets most of each party’s needs.

The process begins with each spouse retaining the services of a lawyer who is trained in this type of divorce. The spouses then sign an agreement that each will work in cooperation with one another to resolve their divorce in an amicable and open manner. Other professionals may be consulted who can provide guidance regarding financial matters or supply other information that ensures that decisions are made in the best manner possible for the parties involved. 

If, for some reason, either spouse finds him- or herself unable to cooperate, then the process must be abandoned, and a more traditional divorce will need to be pursued. In many cases, the process of a collaborative law divorce will allow the parties to dissolve their marriage in the manner that is least disruptive to all of the parties involved. Florida residents who are attracted to the idea of a less hostile end to an unhappy marriage may seek the services of an attorney who is skilled in this particular process.

Prenuptial agreements provide protection in unusual situations

For many engaged couples — especially those who are older or own considerable assets — the wedding plans are not complete without certain legal contracts. Prenuptial agreements can ensure that assets are not only protected, but that a spouse will not be treated unfairly in a divorce. No matter the circumstances that may have led to the end of a marriage, these contracts can provide Florida residents with peace of mind if the marriage comes to an end.

Recently, during one high-profile divorce hearing, a judge determined that an existing prenup would be upheld. According to the report, this particular divorce between a newspaper publisher and his wife has been ongoing since 2017. When the couple married in 2010, the prenuptial agreement stipulated that the wife would receive approximately $900,000 if the pair divorced. The husband, Joseph Soldwedel, not only asked the judge to rule that the prenup was invalid but also requested that the marriage be annulled.

Soldwedel has accused his wife of seeking to marry him only for his wealth. He has further alleged that she attempted to poison him. The former Mrs. Soldwedel denied the accusations. Law enforcement purportedly conducted an investigation into the allegations and found no evidence of a crime, thereby clearing her of any suspicions.

The Arizona judge determined that the prenup was a valid document. There were no further details in connection with these unusual divorce proceedings. Anytime there are considerable assets at stake, former spouses may believe they have to prepare for unpleasant litigation proceedings. In order to avoid a bitter dissolution, Florida residents may choose to draft prenuptial agreements that can provide protection for both parties regardless of the circumstances. An attorney who is well-versed in both property laws and marriage contracts can help prepare the best documents to fit one’s unique needs.