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Fort Myers Family Law Blog

With alimony, who has to pay the taxes?

You make more money than your ex-spouse. As such, you were ordered to pay alimony when the two of you got divorced. You pay $2,500 per month.

One big question you have is simple: Who pays the taxes? Do you have to pay the taxes on that money first, before sending it to your ex -- meaning alimony really costs you more than $2,500 -- or does your ex have to pay the taxes as if your alimony payments are his or her income?

Loss of job and other reasons to seek a change in child support

Florida readers know life is uncertain, and it continues to change long after your divorce is final. Whether you are the custodial parent or you make child support payments every month, there are times when it may be appropriate to seek an alteration to your child support order. This is a modification. 

It is not always easy to get a modification, and there must be substantial evidence of a significant change in circumstances that necessitate the adjustment. While it is beneficial when both sides agree to a change, seeking a verbal agreement is not legally binding and could expose you to complications in the future.

Can separate hobbies actually lead to divorce?

You and your spouse are very well off. You have enough money to take up whatever hobbies you desire, for the first time in your life.

However, should you be wary about spending your time and money this way? Could those hobbies actually lead to divorce?

Putting off marriage leads to more prenups

Prenuptial agreements have been growing more popular over the years. While part of the reason may be the high divorce rate -- children who saw their own parents get divorced may be more likely to plan for it when they get married -- another reason is simply age.

Studies have found that couples these days put marriage off longer than they have in the past. Someone getting married at 18 or 20 years old may not have considered a prenup, while someone getting married at 30 or 32 may absolutely want one.

Can a prenuptial agreement encourage divorce?

A prenuptial agreement is typically seen as a safety net in case of divorce. But what about a prenup that actually encourages a couple to split up?

This is pretty uncommon, but it does happen. When it does, most judges will not abide by the prenup. They do have some discretion that allows them to set the document aside if need be.

Divorce and your interaction ratio

No marriage is perfect. You and your spouse are going to disagree. You are going to fight. You are going to have negative interactions.

So, how do you know if the disagreements and arguments are just a natural part of your marriage, and how can you tell if they mean the relationship is falling apart and it is headed for divorce? According to some marriage experts, they say that the key thing to look at is the ratio of positive and negative interactions.

The different classifications of a 'father' according to the law

In the age of blended families, the circumstances that make a man a father have come a long way in recent decades. Blood ties are not necessarily required in order for a man to step into the role of protector, provider and parent. Even so, many men want their biological connections to a child recognized.

In some cases, Florida law does this automatically. However, when the parents of a child are not married to each other, the biological father will need to obtain legal recognition of his status as a parent in order to gain all of the rights and responsibilities that come with being a father.

The big reason women are paying alimony more often

It used to be that alimony was almost exclusively paid to women after divorce. Their husbands were forced to pay for a variety of reasons, one of which is that women did not have the same ability to support themselves financially. They depended on the marriage for that support. Therefore, it seemed unfair to cut them off suddenly, making the divorce have a far more drastic negative impact on ex-wives than it did on ex-husbands.

For instance, one study found that men saw their standard of living go up by 42 percent in the 12 months after they finalized a divorce. In that same 12 months, women saw their standard of living fall by 73 percent. Clearly, both genders were not on equal financial footing.

The trouble with splitting up art during divorce

Trying to divide some assets during divorce is fairly easy, because finding out the value of those assets is simple. For instance, perhaps you bought a car for $50,000 and now it is worth $30,000. You can find plenty of comparable vehicles online in seconds to determine the value of the car.

But what about an art collection? Art is often bought as an investment, and the value increases. Plus, the "value" is a bit subjective. Art is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If you're not actually selling, how do you determine the value?

Child support is for more than food and clothes

Child support payments are supposed to give the child clothes, food and other necessities. However, some parents believe that is all they should provide. That is not the case.

The popularity of this idea may stem from the fact that child support is supposed to be used exclusively for the child, not for the parent. Some parents who pay are very concerned that the other parent will neglect the child and use the money for himself or herself. That money is intended for the child.