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Tallahassee Florida Legal Blog

Who gets custody when the parents are unmarried?

If you have a child outside of wedlock in Florida, you may wonder what happens when you are the other parent separate. Who gets custody of your child? How do you develop a visitation schedule? If you were getting a divorce, then these things are pretty straightforward and handled through that legal process. When there is no legal separation in your relationship, what happens?

Under the law, according to WUSF, you have the right to go through a formal process of setting up a parenting plan as of 2018. Ideally, you and the other parent will agree to the terms of the plan and work together to create it. If you cannot agree, then a circuit court judge handles your case. Either way, this is a legal process that creates a legal document or agreement.

Getting remarried? Check your estate plan

If you are one of the many residents in Florida who is looking to get remarried, you will want to take smart steps to set you and your new family up for success. If your prior marriage ended in divorce, you know that marriage is far from easy and so now is the time for you to proactively do what you can to avoid problems down the road. One thing you can do to this end is to create a solid estate plan.

As explained by Fidelity Investments, a robust estate plan can act as something of a prenuptial agreement and may even be a useful addition to a prenup, especially if your new marriage will be blending children from one or more previous families. 

Can my credit cards give me problems after I divorce?

It is important as you proceed through a Florida divorce not to leave any financial loose ends that could come back to bite you later on. One of those loose ends may be lurking in your wallet. Over the course of a marriage, couples will often share credit cards. But if you intend to separate from your spouse, you must make certain that your credit card debts are separated as well.

Just because you formally divorce does not mean the credit card agreements you currently have on file will automatically change because of that. According to Bankrate, you and your spouse will still be subject to the preexisting agreements you have on file. That means if your spouse is an authorized user on your credit card, even if you divorce, you are still on the hook for expenses your spouse makes if your spouse does not pay.

What should I know about real estate after the hurricane season?

Whether your home was damaged by the recent storms blowing through Florida or you are looking to buy a home that was in a hurricane-impacted area, there are several things potential home buyers need to know about homes that sustained storm and flood damage. Even homes that sustained minimal damage, or homes that were newly built or renovated after a major hurricane, can be affected by the demand for building materials.

The widespread home damage and aftermath that occurred after the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons may provide a warning of what may come while residents rebuild from the recent devastating storms. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Florida was one of the states that was most impacted by a shortage of domestic drywall while homeowners were repairing their homes nearly 15 years ago. Reportedly, contractors had to outsource drywall and other building materials from China and other foreign manufacturers. Chinese drywall has been reported to cause numerous problems, ranging from plumbing and appliance damage to health problems.

Financial infidelity can lead to divorce and also complicate it

Infidelity is one of the most common reasons that couples seek divorce. However, not all infidelity is the result of an extramarital affair. Couples also wind up heading to divorce court as a result of financial infidelity, as opposed to physical infidelity.

Your life is intertwined with that of your spouse. The decisions they make can have a profound and lasting impact on your quality of life and your financial stability. If the person you marry is not honest with you about financial issues, that can lead to serious problems down the road.

How does alimony affect your taxes?

When a couple divorces in Florida, the court may order one ex-spouse to pay the other alimony, also spousal support, if there is a disparity of incomes and one of the former spouses does not make enough money to support himself or herself. If alimony is a part of your divorce settlement, you may wonder how the money that you pay or receive in alimony will affect your taxes. 

According to FindLaw, alimony affects your taxes differently depending on whether you are the one receiving alimony or the one making the payments. If you are the recipient, the IRS regards the money you receive in alimony as taxable income. On the other hand, if you are the one paying alimony, the payments that you make to your former spouse are tax deductible.

Debt relief and divorce

Couples who are facing serious financial problems in Florida often end up making the decision to get divorced. When this happens, they may also want to evaluate a variety of options for how to address their debt. Filing for bankruptcy may be one solution they wish to consider but there are multiple factors that should be considered in order for them to make the right decision for their situation.

There are two types of bankruptcy commonly used by consumers. Chapter 7 is the most well-known consumer bankruptcy and it essentially extinguishes all debt included in the case. It may also result in the loss of some assets. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan does not see the loss of assets but rather acts as a structured repayment plan. Homeowners sometimes look to this type of plan to save their homes.

Preparing for a gray divorce

When older Floridian couples decide to split, their impending divorce is often called a "gray divorce". Though there isn't much that differentiates a gray divorce from a regular divorce on a surface level, there are actually a number of things going on behind the scenes that will present unique hurdles to an older couple.

For example, the Washington Post points out that a gray divorce can ruin retirement plans. This is because it has the same effect as starting late on retirement savings. In other words, a person simply won't have enough working years left to make up for heavy financial losses. A couple will need to divide everything from property to shared retirement funds. Not only that, but they will also have to get used to living on half the amount of income they've been used to.

2 ways that a Florida divorce impacts your potential retirement

People of all ages may discover that they need to divorce their spouse. Even people who have been married for decades may eventually find that they have grown apart from their partner. With retirement looming, unhappily married individuals may want to seek happiness in their later years by ending an unhappy marriage.

Too many people may put off seeking a divorce out of concern for how it will impact their financial situation. This is particularly true for those who are close to retirement age or who have already retired. Living on a fixed income is difficult enough, and when you add the financial uncertainty that accompanies divorce, it can leave people in a precarious position.

What legal issues are addressed during a divorce?

It's important to familiarize yourself with divorce laws in Florida when going through a divorce yourself. Mang & Santurri, P.A., are here to help you through any and all conflicts that might arise during the divorce proceedings. They can also offer guidance regarding what legal issues need to be addressed.

Many different legal issues are brought up during the process of a divorce. If you have children, be prepared to handle matters of child custody, child support payments, visitation rights, and visitation schedules. You will need to determine if you want to hold joint custody or if one parent wants sole custody. Prepare to have your behavior and income analyzed carefully in order to determine what works best for your child and spouse.

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