Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.
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The Law Office of Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A. commits itself to providing unparalleled legal services in the practice of matrimonial and family law. To that end, our firm is inexorably committed to the highest ethical standards in amicably and equitably resolving family law disputes so that the welfare of the client, the family and society are enhanced.

Why is Florida's divorce rate so high?

According to a recent report by the Census Bureau, Florida holds the seventh-highest divorce rate in the nation. Roughly 50,000 couples file for divorce each year. More than 15 percent of the state's residents are divorced or separated. Of the 50 U.S. cities with the highest divorce rates, 11 are in Florida.

Why?

A place to start over

One reason that divorces in the state are so prevalent may be that couples view the state as a place to start anew. In Divorce Magazine, a marriage counselor suggests that "people come to Florida to change their lives. They think that being in a warm, tropical climate will help them overcome whatever...personal issues they were experiencing." When troubles persist, ending the marriage becomes inevitable.

Likewise, increased life expectancy plays a major role. Many people move to Florida when they retire (of course). Yet with retirements now lasting two or three decades, couples have become more proactive about assessing whether they want to stay together in the long term. The answer, increasingly, is no. Retirees are seeking divorces more and more frequently, contributing to the phenomenon known as "gray divorce."

Loss of social support networks

A professor at Johns Hopkins University notes that Florida's large immigrant population contributes to the prevalence of divorce. He notes that "many migrants from other parts of the region...have left their social support networks behind. When they have marital problems, they have fewer people to turn to for help."

What can divorcing couples do to protect themselves?

With court fees and other considerations, divorce costs Florida taxpayers roughly $2 billion each year.

Yet it's the divorcees themselves who feel the costs most sharply. Retired individuals face special risks when their marriages end. They have to consider how to protect the assets they would like to pass on to their children and grandchildren, and often must devise a plan for splitting retirement accounts and pensions. Attorneys and financial planners are crucial for those who want to protect their most prized holdings.

Florida may indeed be a place to start over. But it's important to step into one's new life on the right foot.

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