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Tallahassee Florida Legal Blog

Gray divorce and your finances

It is not uncommon today for people to get divorced in their 50s, 60s or even at older ages. Many Florida couples find themselves deciding to part ways for a variety of reasons. Divorce is not easy regardless of your age at the time but if you are in your 50s or beyond, you should take special note to find ways to protect yourself financially.

When you are close to the age of retirement, you must realize that you will have a limited opportunity to recoup any financial losses you may experience as a result of your divorce. This is one of the factors that may contribute to financial problems down the road for people who experience a gray divorce.

How is debt divided when you divorce in Florida?

When your spouse approached you and said that they'd like to get a divorce, you were shocked. Your shock worsened when you realized how much debt they'd run up while you were married. You don't want to be saddled with the debt, because you didn't spend the money. In a lot of cases, that money wasn't spent on anything that would benefit you, either.

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which is a good thing for you. Being in an equitable distribution state, you have the ability to argue against taking on certain debts. For example, if your spouse took out debts on credit cards in their own name or bought items that only benefited them, you could provide supporting evidence for that.

Can assets be hidden in divorce?

Florida couples getting a divorce will have to contend with several things that no one would look forward to. For example, you will have to divide all of your assets equally or equitably, depending on your state. Unfortunately, some people will try to get around a fair division by hiding some of their assets.

Assets are divided based on how much you have to begin with. Therefore, by making it appear as if they have fewer assets on a whole, a sneaky spouse can avoid having to "give up" as much as they otherwise would have to by law. However, hiding assets is illegal.

What can you do to make closing easier?

A real estate closing in Florida can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. You hope that things go smoothly, and oftentimes they do, but issues can also arise at the last minute that can derail the process completely. 

While you cannot control every aspect of the closing process, U.S. News and World Report describes some steps you can take to help the process go more smoothly and swiftly. 

Does divorce affect men and women differently?

Even if, as is often the case, your life eventually improves following your divorce in Florida, it can still be a difficult process that results in short-term emotional trauma. Psychology Today suggests that how a divorce ultimately affects you may depend partly upon your gender. 

The emotional impact of divorce, as well as the marital problems that give rise to it, tend to have a greater effect on women. This is partially because women tend to invest more emotionally in their relationships than men do, making the end of the relationship more painful.

When should you consider divorce?

When you and your spouse are having problems in Florida, you may sometimes feel like the situation will never get better. Although divorce may have crossed your mind, you may sometimes be reluctant to bring up this topic. It is important for you to know when you should consider divorce.

When you are fighting with your spouse, you may sometimes think divorce is your best option. According to Family Education, it is not always a good idea to evaluate your relationship right after a fight. Instead, you should usually wait for a calm moment when your head is clear. This is because it may be difficult to thoughtfully evaluate your marriage right after a fight. Sometimes there may be good things in your marriage which you will miss if you divorce. Before you decide to end your marriage, it is a good idea to sit down and think about all of the positive aspects of your relationship to see if these outweigh the negatives.

Why do you need title insurance?

When you buy a Florida home, it probably represents the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. Consequently, you want to make sure that your home and the land on which it sits really belongs to you and not to someone else. This is where title insurance comes in.

Compass Land and Title explains that the word “title” means your legal right of ownership in and to the home you buy. As the legal owner of your property, you have the right to possess, use, sell or transfer your home and its land to someone else through deed, inheritance, etc.

What is 'malicious parent syndrome'?

Florida divorce and custody proceedings are often contentious and emotionally trying processes that can cause one or both parties to act out in harmful manners. In studying the ways in which parents act out, one psychologist noticed a pattern in which one parent seeks to punish the other by acting purposefully or vengefully toward the other during or following the court proceedings. The psychologist noted that some parents sometimes go so far as to deprive or harm the child in order to make the other parent look bad. This psychologist dubbed the phenomenon as "malicious mother syndrome," but mental health care professionals now refer to it as "malicious parent syndrome."

According to FindLaw, Dr. Ira Turkat, the psychologist who first recognized this syndrome, sought to identify and describe the phenomenon that is malicious parent syndrome. In doing so, he summarized that the condition is characterized by four major criteria. Those who exhibit the syndrome display the following symptoms:

  •       An attempt to punish the other parent by alienating the child or children from him or her and using others, including the courts, to separate the other parent from the child or children
  •       An attempt to deny the other parent visitation or communication with the child or children, which he or she does by involving the child's school and other organizations
  •       Lying to the child or children and others
  •       No other signs of any other mental disorder that may explain these actions

Are your parenting time rights protected?

As a parent sharing custody of your child, you understand that the time you spend together is one of the most valuable and irreplaceable things you have. Unfortunately, this is also true for your child's other parent, even if the two of you are not on good terms. This tension between parents often creates conflicts around respecting each other's court-ordered parenting time, which can result in significant punishment from a court if one parent violates the other's parenting time rights.

Some parents seem to think that their custody order is merely a suggestion, not a legally binding agreement that a court may enforce. While most of us experience complications beyond our control, it is generally wise to obey the custody schedule. This ensures that you stay out of conflict with your child's other parent as much as possible, while protecting your rights.

What a buyer should know about the real estate closing process

Whether individuals are buying their first home in Florida or their fifth, in order to finalize the purchase of the property they must go through a closing process. The key to a successful closing is preparation. It is important to familiarize yourself with all of the necessary steps this entails so everything goes as smoothly as possible. 

First, you must choose a reputable, experienced attorney to guide and represent you at the closing. Forbes notes that it is important to work with a solid professional since there are many important factors at the settlement table that will contribute to a flawless execution. Using a checklist can help in collecting and organizing all of the necessary documentation. 

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