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West Palm Beach Florida Family Law Blog

Should you place restrictions on parenting time swaps?

No matter how detailed your custody agreement is, if you and your co-parent are sharing custody of your children after divorce, there will be times when the parent who's supposed to have the kids on a designated day (or days) can't fulfill that commitment. Work and other family obligations sometimes make it impossible to care for the kids when you're supposed to.

When these unforeseen circumstances arise, parents will often swap their parenting time. The parent who can't take the kids on their designated weekend will take them the following weekend, for example.

The impact of the federal shutdown on child support payments

The ramifications of the recent federal government shutdown may last for some time for furloughed employees and their families. Among those who could face legal issues in addition to financial ones are parents who pay child support.

Many federal employees struggled during the shutdown to make ends meet -- let alone continue to make child support payments -- as they missed two paychecks. Those parents most at risk of contempt of court actions and fines are the ones who had already missed a payment or gotten behind on what they owe.

What are 'good faith' reasons for relocating with your kids?

Many divorced parents deal with the issue of relocation at some point. Here in Florida, if the parent who has primary custody of the children wants to move more than 50 miles away, they need to get the other parent's approval. If that parent doesn't give their authorization, they can take the matter to court.

It's essential to understand what factors a court looks at in determining whether or not to allow the move. A key factor, of course, is what's in the children's best interests. The parent seeking to relocate is typically expected to present a "good faith" reason. These reasons are often tied, at least indirectly, to the children's best interests. Good faith reasons for parental relocation include things like:

  • Being able to live closer to family members who can help care for the children
  • Being offered a new job
  • Continuing their education
  • Moving to an area that's more affordable

Why co-parents need a comprehensive holiday schedule

If you and your spouse are in the process of negotiating your child custody agreement, it's essential to include holidays. Most parents focus on the "big" holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's because the kids are out of school, and those holidays tend to involve family gatherings. However, it's essential to look at the entire calendar.

There are a lot of holidays throughout the year. Some may be more important to one parent than another. However, the more comprehensive your holiday custody schedule is, the fewer conflicts and complications you'll have later on.

How to prepare for a Florida divorce

You may have been caught off-guard by the marital problems that rocked your relationship with your spouse and ultimately led to your decision to divorce. Perhaps you are one of many Florida spouses who had to deal with the hurt that infidelity causes. Maybe there wasn't a single, cataclysmic event that prompted a breakdown in your relationship but numerous issues that you finally determined were not resolvable.

Since you've always been the type of person who tries to focus on the present while moving toward the future, you now just want to leave the past behind, do what you need to do to finalize a settlement and concentrate on your plans for a new lifestyle. Divorce can get quite messy and can be a highly stressful experience, especially if you go to court without knowing your rights or understanding various laws and regulations that will undoubtedly apply to your case.

Should you and your spouse consider a postnuptial agreement?

If you and your spouse didn't draw up a prenuptial agreement before you tied the knot, it's not too late to designate how you want to divide your assets and debts and how certain other matters, such as spousal support, will be handled if your marriage ends. You can use a postnuptial agreement to do the same thing.

The subject of a postnup may be even tougher to broach with your spouse than that of a prenup would have been -- particularly if the marriage has already started to unravel. Often, one spouse wants one to protect themselves. However, like a prenup, a postnup can benefit and protect both spouses. That's why each person should have their own attorney advising them in the process.

Why you need your own financial team during divorce

Most spouses share financial advisers. If one spouse is largely responsible for handling the couple's finances, the other spouse may have little, if any, contact with those advisers.

If you and your spouse are divorcing, it's probably wise to get a new financial adviser as well as a new accountant or other tax adviser. That's particularly important if your spouse hired and had most of the contact with them and if they bring in the bulk of your combined income.

Why you shouldn't use the 'D-word' unless and until you mean it

Many spouses who consider divorce at some point remain married -- sometimes quite happily. However, saying the word out loud is very different than thinking it.

Unfortunately, too many people use the "D-word" in the midst of a fight out of anger or frustration. They may use it as a threat to get something they want or as a way to get their partner to take them seriously.

What is a postnuptial agreement for?

Many people have heard of prenuptial agreements. They are marital contracts signed before a couple walks down the aisle that protect each party's interests and assets in the event that the marriage fails. Those agreements make sense to a lot of people. But what about postnuptial agreements?

It is normal for people to have questions about postnuptial agreements because they are not as common as premarital contracts. Some questions you might have include: What is a postnuptial agreement for? Does it really do any good? Are these agreements deemed valid in the state of Florida?

How divorcing couples can benefit from the new tax law in 2019

If your divorce isn't going to be final before the end of the year (or if you haven't begun the process yet) and alimony is part of it, you'll be facing the new rules established under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law a year ago. For the first time in over 70 years, alimony payments won't be tax deductible for payers or reportable as income by recipients.

The new rules will have a considerable financial impact on people in high tax brackets who, unlike those with divorce agreements already in place, won't get to offset their payments with sizable deductions when they file their taxes. However, there are some provisions in the new law that can work to the advantage of those who divorce in 2019 if they learn how to use them to their benefit.

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Phone: 561-328-0718
Fax: 561-253-6353