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West Palm Beach Florida Family Law Blog

Can you make your own parenting plan?

You and your spouse are splitting up, and you dread the thought of having a judge tell you what you're supposed to do with your kids. The two of you want to work together to come up with the best possible plan on your own. No one knows your kids like you do. Are you legally allowed to do so?

You are. You can draft and sign a parenting agreement. It could contain things like:

  • The children's living situation.
  • Decisions you want to make on the children's behalf, such as where they'll attend school.
  • What you'll do over summer vacation, when kids' schedules change.
  • What you'll do for holidays, birthdays and other special events.
  • How any changes to the schedule or the rest of the plan will be made.
  • How any disputes will be settled in the future.
  • What roles other people will get in the children's lives. These could include grandparents, aunts, uncles and more.

Is your spouse financially unfaithful?

Recently we addressed the issue of people who attempt to hide assets from their spouses in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Because of the anonymous nature of these currencies, they have been an effective way for people to avoid acknowledging all of their assets and therefore having to divide them with spouses in a divorce. However, there are many other ways that people can and do hide assets from spouses, both while they are married and when they divorce. Often, they hide debt.

Although both parties are required to fully and honestly list their assets and debts when they commence divorce proceedings, not everyone does. When people are honest, sometimes spouses are in for an unpleasant surprise, such as considerable debt they never knew their spouse had accumulated.

Proposed Florida legislation would mandate marriage guide

Legislation proposed by Florida state lawmakers would provide some required reading for couples before they could apply for a marriage license. The legislators behind the bill, who include Jacksonville Republican Rep. Clay Yarborough, are seeking to lower the divorce rate in our state, even though it's already been steadily dropping.

The Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage would include topics like communication, parenting and domestic violence. It would also provide a list of resources where couples can seek guidance, either before they marry or if their marriage hits a rough patch.

Begin your divorce process by focusing on these financial basics

Like many divorcing individuals, the dissolution of your marriage probably has you feeling at least a bit overwhelmed. With so much on your mind, you may not be sure where to start. The thing is, a lot of the issues you decide now, during the divorce proceedings, can and will affect your future. That's why it can be so essential to approach financial issues in as calm a manner as possible.

That's often easier said than done, of course. It's almost impossible to completely remove emotions from any aspect of life, especially one as stressful as divorce. However, it's important to try to address the money issues divorce brings in as methodical a way as you can manage, as your financial future may depend on it.

What is important for a good prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement can be a valuable document for any couple to draw up before getting married. It addresses what will happen to assets and other property in divorce or death. All marriages end one way or the other.

However, if a prenup is not properly drawn up or has other issues, it may not be worth the paper it's printed on. If it's challenged in court, a judge could choose to invalidate all or part of it.

Splitting up art can be expensive and complex

Valuations of many assets can be made fairly easily. A home appraisal and a quick look at recent sales in the area can provide hard numbers for the family home. A look at the Kelly Blue Book value of a car establishes its relative value.

But what about something a bit more outside of the box, like artwork? What is the real value of art, which some pay millions for and others aren't interested in buying at all? It can be a bit more subjective.

Florida implements new law regarding parenting plans

Under Florida law, divorcing parents who have minor children are required to put a parenting plan in place. Parenting plans are written documents that detail how children's time will be spent between their parents' homes, where they will spend vacations and holidays and who will be responsible for picking them up and dropping them off at school or for custody exchanges. It may also address things like how child-related expenses will be covered and reimbursed and medical appointments.

Parenting plans can be as detailed as parents choose. The primary goal is to minimize confusion and conflict as parents share custody of their children.

Is your spouse hiding assets in cryptocurrencies?

The digital currency bitcoin has been around for awhile. However, the cryptocurrency that is held anonymously -- and still a mystery to many -- has gained significant media attention recently. Its value rose over a whopping 1,300 percent last year. The current price of just one bitcoin is over $15,000.

People attempting to hide assets from their spouses preceding and during their divorces have turned to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because they can be more difficult to find, even by experienced forensic accountants, than offshore accounts and other assets.

Don't panic! Your kids' reaction to your divorce is normal

Whether you're simply contemplating ending your marriage or are in the midst of a divorce, one issue that's likely forefront in your mind is how it may affect your children. No matter how certain you are that a divorce is what's best for both you and your family, no matter how sure you are that you're working toward a brighter, more stable future for everyone, there's probably still a part of you that worries over how your kids will adjust and whether they'll be all right.

Good news. Not only does this worrying simply mean that you're a good parent, it may also mean it could be unlikely your divorce is going to traumatize your children. Recent studies have demonstrated that it's not the divorce itself that negatively affects kids, it's how the adults handle the situation. Of course, the changes divorce brings will mean some adjustments for everyone, not least of all the kids, but if know what to watch out for and how to respond accordingly, you may be able to put your kid in a strong position to handle the divorce and the transitions it brings.

Florida woman fails to get guardianship of estranged husband

A retired South Florida politician who filed for divorce this past March from his wife of four years found himself faced with an unexpected situation. The following day, his wife took steps to get herself named as his guardian, claiming that her husband might have early-onset dementia. She asked to take over control of his care and his assets, including a monthly government pension of $12,000 and Social Security benefits.

The 71-year-old man used to be the Broward Clerk of Court. When he retired from the position last year, he helped his wife in her successful run to take over the job.

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