Sarasota Family Law And Criminal Defense Law Blog

Divorce can shed new light on family finances

For people over 50 in Florida and across the country, the divorce rate has doubled since the late 1990s. Many older couples have spent their entire lives with one spouse in charge of all major financial matters. In most cases, the husband manages financial matters such as investments, life insurance and retirement funds. Therefore, a later-in-life divorce can cause a financial shock when each spouse has to handle their own finances following a split. In addition, recently separated spouses may discover hidden or unpleasant financial realities of which they were previously unaware.

In a recent study, researchers with UBS Global Wealth Management surveyed both divorced and widowed women as well as married couples. All of the survey participants had at least $250,000 in investable assets. Of the married respondents, 56 percent of women stated that they rely on their husbands for major financial decisions. While this may be heavily associated with older women, even 61 percent of Millennial married women said that their husbands are in charge of the marital finances.

Dealing with multiple traffic violations in Florida

Being charged with a traffic violation for the first time can be a scary experience. However, when you are faced with multiple charges, it's likely that you will expect the worst and wonder whether you will ever be able to drive again. It is important to not underestimate the seriousness of traffic violations, especially when you are faced with several. However, by taking action from the outset and understanding the rights that you have, this does not need to define your future.

If you have been convicted of multiple traffic offenses in the state of Florida, in is important that you understand exactly how the law works in that particular state. The laws surrounding traffic ticket charges, as well as your right to fight the charges and defend yourself, also varies between states.

Divorcing parents can help their children heal

Florida parents who are headed for divorce may wonder how they can help their children through the separation process. For a child, divorce can involve moving homes as well as spending time in two households and having separate access to each parent. Unfortunately, some kids may worry that they are to blame for the split. That's why divorcing parents should pay close attention to the emotional health of their children.

Open communication can be particularly important for a family going through a divorce. For example, a parent should have a conversation with older children about their feelings about the split. It can also be important to maintain communication with teachers and other key adults in a child's life. Younger children may not be able to verbalize their feelings and could be prone to acting out as a result.

Financial protection and divorce

The divorce process can decimate the financial standing of both parties. However, there are certain actions Florida residents can take to limit the impact that a divorce will have on their finances.

Each spouse should open checking and savings accounts in their own name if they currently do not have any. Individuals who do so should also advise their partner that they are opening separate accounts and how much money is being deposited. This is so that there can be no accusations of stealing or hiding marital funds.

What if your divorce threatens your business?

Divorce is a far-reaching process that may affect nearly every area of both spouses' lives, even those that do not seem closely related. This is particularly true when one or both spouses own businesses, which the law treats like marital assets in much the same way it treats real estate or savings accounts as marital assets.

If you face divorce while owning a business, you must address this issue as soon as you can and decide what your priorities are before building your divorce strategy. With some careful planning, you may successfully keep your business intact throughout the divorce, but depending on a number of factors, you may have to sacrifice in other areas to do so.

Shared custody is trending upward

Divorcing Florida parents should know the days of a father automatically being relegated to every-other-weekend parenting are no more. All across the nation, legislators and judges are pushing a trend toward shared parenting. Fully integrating each parent into the lives of children has shown to benefit child development along with easing the pain of parents who would have been forced to spend more time separated from children under previous standards.

While shared, or joint, custody may be the goal, it is not an automatic conclusion for judges presiding over divorces and child custody disputes. The guiding principle in determining temporary or final parenting plans is the best interests of the children involved. In seeking to ascertain the best arrangements, judges consider the total circumstances including residential, work, and behavioral factors. Parents with histories of inappropriate aggression or abusive behaviors will likely have to prove themselves over time and under supervision before being fully trusted with children in their sole care for extended periods. If parents live far apart, school commute times may become a factor in determining parenting schedules. If one parent would require extensive outsourcing of childcare while the other would not, it could be a factor for a judge.

Help your children cope with your divorce by planning ahead

Learning that your parents are going through a divorce is stressful for children. Part of the reason for this is the upheaval of everything they've grown accustomed to. Another part is that they don't have any say or control. If you are planning on divorcing or think that your marriage is ending, you need to think about what you need for your children.

Planning for your children is a bit different than what you will have to do for other matters.

Government works to improve child support collection

Unpaid child support and delinquent parents can be a major financial burden for many families in Florida, especially when that support is necessary to pay the bills and make ends meet for the children. Because unpaid support can have such a detrimental effect on children's lives, child support enforcement is a priority for federal and state agencies. One system that has successfully improved the collection of delinquent child support has been the use of automatic payroll withdrawals to support a child support obligation. The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) oversees this process among state agencies involved.

During fiscal year 2016, nearly $33 billion in child support payments were successfully collected using these kinds of automated systems; of that amount, a full three-fourths was collected by using payroll withholding. In order to further enhance and improve this system, the OCSE is working with payroll companies, employers and state child support agencies to boost effectiveness.

What happens if you text and drive in Florida?

You're driving home from school when your phone buzzes. You set it on the seat next to you, knowing it was dangerous to use it while you drove. But that buzz means a text message came in. At the next red light, you reach over and grab it.

It's important. You think you can respond to your friend before the light turns green, but you don't quite make it. You finish up the message as you start driving away with the rest of the traffic. When you look up, there's a police car right next to you.

Late-in-life divorce can be complex

For people in Florida considering a divorce, the financial implications are some of the most challenging and difficult. This can especially be the case for people who choose to end their marriage later in life. In the past 25 years, the divorce rate for adults over the age of 50 has doubled and continues to escalate. While a long-term couple may have accumulated a significant amount of assets, the very nature of those assets may make them difficult to entagle as the divorce moves forward.

In many cases, a split of a long-term married couple can be a high asset divorce, requiring sufficient attention to the issues at stake in property division. It can be very important for a divorcing spouse to create a full inventory of all assets held by the couple, including inheritances and other property that may solely belong to one partner. In addition, employment records can also be important; there can be remaining assets in pension plans, defined benefit plans, stock options and other investments associated with previous employers.

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