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Fort Myers Family Law Blog

Think of a prenup as a financial planning tool

Wondering how you can possibly tell your significant other that you want a prenup? It's tricky. Even though prenups are getting more popular, some of that negative stigma remains.

A good trick to use is to get in the right mindset and talk about it from a financial perspective. It's just one more tool to plan for your future.

Divorce and investments: 5 key tips

Dividing assets during divorce is about more than your bank account and your family home. Many people have much of their high net worth tied up in investments. Do you know how these get divided?

You do not want to miss out on what you deserve, so here are five tips that can help.

Why divorce risk may be higher for baby boomers

If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you part of the group stereotypically referred to as baby boomers. Estimates put more than 70 million people in this group. While baby boomers are known for having more disposable income than their generational counterparts have, if you're part of this group, you're also known for something else: an increased risk for divorce.  

Depending on where your exact birth dates falls within the baby boomer era, you may have vivid or somewhat vague memories of the "make love, not war" Woodstock times in history. Some say this type of free-spirited living also led to a self-interested generation of young adults who pushed the envelope of cultural norms and did things no other generation had done before them, including get divorced when they were not satisfied with their marriages. If you remarried after divorce, you may stand an even greater chance of another breakup.  

Young people use prenups more than their parents

Prenuptial agreements are more popular with young people today than they were with previous generations. The stigma surrounding them has faded somewhat, so people are not as worried about asking for a prenup these days.

Why is this stigma fading? Why are young people more accepting of prenups?

Arguments for and against permanent alimony

Permanent alimony has been a hot topic in Florida over the past few years. Some are staunchly opposed to the entire concept, while others think it is the only fair solution.

Alimony laws are very important to those going through divorce. Efforts have been made to change the laws and perhaps eliminate permanent alimony, though that has not been done yet. Whether you are expecting to pay or receive spousal support, it is very important to understand where the current laws stand.

These high-paying jobs could mean significant child support

Good fortune child support is often connected to people with an incredibly high wage, such as a professional athlete or someone who owns his or her own corporation. These people are far past thinking about salaries and hourly wages. They're earning hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars every year.

However, just because your spouse is not a professional athlete or a celebrity, don't assume a significant amount of child support will not be required. Child support payments are based in part on earnings, along with factors such as how many children the person has, if he or she has another family to support, and the like. To that end, here are 10 of the top-paying jobs in Florida:

  1. Surgeons: $250,880 average salary
  2. Anesthesiologists: $250,480 average salary
  3. Obstetricians and gynecologists: $243,560 average salary
  4. Orthodontists: $232,830 average salary
  5. Dentists: $232,360 average salary
  6. Internists: $205,460 average salary
  7. Chief executives: $202,300 average salary
  8. Physicians and surgeons: $199,720 average salary
  9. Family and general practitioners: $197,090 average salary
  10. Pediatricians: $186,540 average salary

Scenarios in which it may be necessary to modify a parenting plan

There are a multitude of scenarios in which you may experience a change in circumstances in life. Perhaps you wish to move closer to family or need to relocate due to a change in employment; in some cases, a similar decision could be as simple as finding a new place to live.

For parents with existing child custody agreements in place, the process may rarely be so easy. However, the change may still be necessary, and a modification to the original parenting plan could even prove beneficial to everyone else involved.

4 things you may have forgotten to add to your prenup

Drafting your prenup feels simple. You want to do it, and so does your spouse. There's no conflict. No argument. You're both practical people and you understand just how much it can help.

That's a great start, but make sure that you do not get so caught up in feeling like it's simple and easy that you rush through it. You could wind up forgetting clauses and important points that you will regret later. You want that prenup to protect you. Make sure it includes everything you really needs for that protection.

Will my spouse take everything in our divorce?

Years upon years of television shows and movies that use disastrous divorce as a plot point make it seem as though somehow, in the middle of the night, the spouse you divorce will figure out a way to deny you a fair share of your marital property and take everything. While this makes for great storytelling in capable hands, in practice this is very unlikely, although certainly possible. If you have concerns about how you should approach an impending divorce, now is exactly the time to build your divorce strategy and ensure that you do not receive a grossly unfair settlement.

In general, the greater the assets that a couple possesses, the more complicated the divorce process. A couple who rents their home, has two vehicles, $10,000 in savings and a dog does not face nearly as complex a divorce as a couple who has $1 million in various investments, owns a home and also owns a business. Assuming that your impending divorce will take some time and effort to resolve, it is wise to do proper research to understand the range of outcomes that you can reasonably expect.

Protecting your child during a complicated divorce

When parents with significant means choose to divorce, this holds the potential to cause great strain on the children in the marriage. Often, this is because high-asset divorces are rarely simple, meaning that the matter may drag out much longer than it might between two parents with fewer issues to resolve in the divorce process. Depending on the nature of the divorce, parents may not realize that they are focusing on dividing up their considerable assets in a favorable way rather than what is truly best for their children.

It is always important to keep your children's best interests in mind throughout divorce process, not only when considering custody, parenting and child support agreements. While the child's best interests should certainly be front and center in these issues, parents who lose sight of their responsibilities as parents may not realize how harmful this is to their children.