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Tallahassee Florida Legal Blog

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.

What unique hurdles will you face in a high asset divorce?

As a couple in Florida that has decided to split, there are numerous things for you to consider first. For example, do you and your partner have many assets as a couple? If so, you may be wondering how you should tackle the division of said assets as your divorce proceeds.

FindLaw itself categorizes high asset divorces as complex divorce cases. This is because there's a strong potential for you to get tangled up in complex litigation, especially if you and your spouse cannot reach agreements regarding who should get what. The more land, money, cars, bank accounts, and material possessions you jointly own, the harder it will be to separate things out in court.

You could face consequences for withholding visitation

At Mang & Santurri, P.A., we are aware that divorced parents can have differences in opinion about how their children are raised. You might not agree with your ex’s methods of discipline or disapprove of how late the children are allowed to stay up on a school night. You might be upset that your ex has not paid child support for a few months. You might even be concerned that your children are complaining they don’t want to visit their other parent. However, you and other Florida residents should understand what might happen if you decide not to allow the other parent to see the children.

A court-ordered custody or visitation arrangement does not always stop some parents from trying to get leverage by not allowing the other parent to see the kids. However, the court maintains that in most cases, both parents should have a relationship with their children. As FindLaw explains, you could be held in contempt of court for withholding visitation.

How much power does a divorce mediator have?

As half of a couple in Florida that's getting ready to split, you may be considering hiring a divorce mediator to help you through the roughest parts of the divorce. Mang & Santurri, P.A., are here to help debunk some common myths about divorce mediation that might help in your decision-making process.

The first myth is: divorce mediators have a lot of control when they step in to help out with your divorce. Some people believe that they have an almost court-like capacity to pass judgment on you and make decisions on your behalf. That simply isn't true.

What are your rights if a seller hides a defect in a house?

For many people, buying a home is the largest purchase they will ever make. The equity that builds up in a home over time can also be the largest investment of someone's adult life. It is only natural to want to make the best possible decisions about these important purchases. Unfortunately, there are many potential pitfalls along the path to home ownership that can end up costing you money.

One relatively common concern, regardless of whether you are buying new construction or an existing home, is the potential for defects in the property. Familiarizing yourself with common defects is a good way to know what to look for when you tour a property and review the seller's disclosure. However, it is possible to buy a home with defects that you discover after the purchase.

The art of shared parenting

If you are in the midst of a divorce in Florida or perhaps have already completed your divorce and you have to now raise your children with your former spouse, you might be wondering how in the world you can do this. There were certainly reasons that you and your partner chose to end your marriage and those often include some inability to work together yet here you are still needing to do just that. 

Today's Parent indicates there are a few things that may help both of you and your children. One idea is to leverage one of the many online tools or apps designed for coparents. They allow you to have one master calendar and schedule with everything from visitation dates to piano recitals and more in one place. You may also post and share photos, notes and more. Some even allow child support payments to be tracked. The inherent recordkeeping in these tools may well avoid disputes down the road.

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