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Fort Myers Family Law Blog

Prenuptial agreements adapt to new technological times

Prenuptial agreements are widely considered a good idea, much in the same way that wills can avoid disagreements between surviving family members. There is something valuable in having the specifications of a relationship clearly spelled out for all parties to understand.

These agreements are also useful in the unfortunate event that a marriage is ended by one or both spouses. Since disputed divorces can turn nasty without expectation, specific requirements for how each spouse will adapt to the situation and behave during and after the divorce process can constrain these darker possibilities.

What does good fortune mean to child support in Florida?

A rich parent doesn't always make for a happy childhood. Sometimes, a mother's or father's wealth or earning potential can cause complications in a divorce. Since the split of parents is already a traumatizing experience, any dispute over child support or custody can be especially painful.

Family courts may think twice before assigning an amount of alimony or child support that seems excessive even if the payor has the resources to spare. Income-share models were designed with the best interests of the child in mind, but a different approach in Florida has become helpful in addressing excessive payments.

Trust: A vital part of a mediation session

Many marriages fail because there is a lack of trust between the parties. If you're getting a divorce, you may want to avoid litigation and hope that mediation will help. Keep in mind that trust, the thing your marriage may have lacked, is necessary for mediation to work.

It's not romantic trust that you have to worry about, but instead, a person's ability not to lie about assets or belongings. Mediators specifically work to gain both parties' trust to make sure they'll be as honest as possible without fearing repercussions, but if one party doesn't believe the other, then there is almost nothing that can be gained from mediation.

What will happen to your property in divorce?

If you are facing the prospect of divorce, you may have serious concerns over what will happen to your personal property and assets. It is normal to have concerns over your stuff when a marriage ends, and it can be helpful to understand how property division works and what you can do to protect your interests. You also have the right to fight to keep certain assets and pursue a specific outcome to your property division order. 

The way property division works in divorce depends on various factors, but all marital property is subject to division. It is smart to know what qualifies as marital property and what is separate. The process of dividing marital assets can be complex and sensitive, but you do not have to walk through it alone.

Do not let anger influence your decisions during divorce

You're getting divorced and you blame your spouse for the breakdown of the marriage. You're angry. You decide to take it out on them in court. You are fairly wealthy, after all, so you figure you have the resources to make life miserable for your ex.

While this mindset may be common, it is not productive. Experts warn that you're never going to get back at your ex or teach them a lesson. Letting anger -- or any emotion -- guide your decisions is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Can you change a prenup?

You want to get a prenuptial agreement, and your significant other has agreed to it. Your only concern, though, is simply setting things in stone when your lives may significantly change in the years to come. Can you alter the prenup at a later date, or are you stuck with whatever you decide today?

You can change it. The main thing to note is that both you and your spouse have to agree. You cannot change it on your own.

Does alimony count as income for a mortgage?

After your divorce, you decide to stop renting and buy a house. You and your ex sold your house during the divorce, and you spent a year just renting an apartment while you got everything in order.

Your ex was ordered to pay you alimony every month. It supplements the income you get from your part-time job. Can you count this money as income when you go to the bank to apply for a mortgage loan? You know that you can afford a much nicer house if the alimony counts along with your paychecks.

Extremely unfair prenups may get thrown out

A prenup may not be fair to both parties. Many times, the spouse who asks for the prenup has more money than the other spouse, and the entire goal is to protect that money. There is no way that is going to provide an even split.

However, there is an upper limit to just how unfair a prenup can be. When things go too far, so that the prenup is extremely slanted toward one party, the court may decide that it is unconscionable.

Can an attorney benefit you during your divorce?

Like most people going through a divorce, this may be your first experience with the process, at least first hand. You may have stood by friends or family as they struggled through their divorces, but now you are on the inside, and it feels much different. First of all, you are emotionally invested, and you are likely feeling levels of confusion and anxiety you have never felt before.

However, their own inexperience and emotion are only two of the reasons why many in Florida seek the counsel of an attorney, even if they are expecting a relatively simple divorce. If you have children, complex assets such as a business, joint property and debts, you may not realize how complicated things can get. An attorney can advise you of your rights and work to ensure their protection.

What is your business really worth?

You and your spouse are getting a divorce, and your business is your largest asset. You own it together. You know that you do not want to continue to run it together, so your options are to sell the company or for one of you to buy out the other.

Your spouse wants to buy your share of the business from you, but that means determining how much the company is worth. It's the only way to get a fair split. How do you go about doing it?