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.
If you and your spouse are considering a mediated divorce, you're not alone. Increasingly, couples are choosing mediation as a way to work out property division, child custody, support and alimony issues. Here in Florida, all divorcing couples must go through mediation before they take their divorce to court. However, many are able to settle all of their issues in mediation.
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.
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.
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.
The assets you bring into a marriage are considered "separate property" under the law. Anything that you and your spouse purchase together or assets that are used for the benefit of the marriage are "marital property."
Divorce is difficult, no matter how old you are, the ages of your children or where you are in life. Many older Florida couples can testify to this as divorce becomes more common for people over the age of 50. This trend of an increase in divorce filings for older couples goes by the term gray divorce, and it can have a significant financial impact on both parties.
If you have never been divorced, chances are good that you have never heard of a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). Even among divorced Florida residents, not all will need to file QDROs. But those who do need them will be unable to access any of a former spouse's retirement pension benefits without one.What are QDROs?
You and your partner may have spent a significant number of years together before the romance finally ended.
Annulment is an alternative to divorce. Although not widely used, it does have it's place in the law -- it nullifies a marriage that either was legally invalid from the start or voidable for some reason.