Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.

Naples Family Law Blog

Pittfalls you must avoid to ensure your prenup is upheld

While many future spouses who are asked to sign prenuptial agreements may see the request to do so as some type of punishment, it's not. Instead, many future husband and wives ask their beloved to sign them in an effort to protect long-passed-down family assets such as homes, jewelry, artwork and wealth.

In other cases, one spouse may request that the person that they're looking to marry sign a prenup because they have children from a previous marriage that they want to continue to be able to provide for. In this case, if the requesting spouse were to get married without one, that could leave the owner of those assets particularly financially vulnerable. That vulnerability could make it difficult for him or her to provide for their kids as they'd intended to.

April is Parental Alienation Awareness Month in Brevard County

A Florida advocate for father's rights has succeeded in bringing more awareness to the problem of parental alienation in Brevard County. The Brevard County School Board has established April as Parental Alienation Awareness Month. That said, voting by the school board on the proclamation was split. The measure only gained approval via a vote of three for and two against.

Here are the arguments promoted by the measure:

  • When parents engage in alienating behaviors -- which may happen in contentious divorces -- children experience mental and emotional anguish. They are also deprived of their right to receive love and love their parents.
  • Cases of parental alienation involve one parent manipulating the emotional suggestibility of children, which takes away their right to feel secure and causes psychological consequences for them as adults.
  • Parental alienation is harmful to kids.
  • Parental Alienation Awareness Month is a time for caregivers, parents and service providers to remember the damage this behavior causes to children, and to promote everyone to do their part to prevent it.

Keep an eye on business income during divorce

Building a business is a difficult journey. When you and your spouse make this journey together, you can both reap the benefits of the hard work. But, what happens if you end up divorcing? The answer to this isn't always easy. For spouses who are in this position, there is one huge factor that you have to watch out for.

There is a chance that your soon-to-be ex will try to skew the income figures for the business in order to walk away with a larger share of the divorce settlement. This is sometimes called sudden income deficit syndrome.

Why commingling trust assets can affect your divorce settlement

When a couple divorces, a spouse having a significant portion of their assets tied up in a trust can cause the other spouse to feel somehow entitled to receive more of a settlement than half the marital assets. Oftentimes the nontrust-holding spouse will argue that receiving more from the divorce settlement is the only way of equalizing the playing field, financially speaking, between the two exes.

In other cases, a nontrust-holding spouse will pull out any number of stops to find potential loopholes with the way the trust is drafted or handled that somehow allows him or her to gain access to the trust's funds. While it is possible that a greedy spouse may claim a legal right to a trust, the trust must be craftily written and strictly adhered to in order to ensure that this does not occur.

Bird nest custody may truly be in the best interest of your child

Historically, child custody arrangements have involved kids behing shuttled between one parent's home and another's. A new type of custody arrangement, bird nesting, is quickly becoming popular though. While it's not ideal for many, some parents who are truly interested in doing what's in the best interest of their child are beginning to pursue it.

The way bird nesting works is that children remain in the only home that they've known and their parents come and go according to who is scheduled to spend time with the kids for that period of time.

Having a prenup is critical when you're getting remarried

Financial planners and attorneys working with couples getting married for the second time (or more) are increasingly recommending that their clients have a prenuptial agreement drafted before they walk down the aisle.

This recommendation comes at a time when the Pew Research Center suggests that as many as 10 percent of all Americans who marry are doing so the second time or more.

What is a parenting agreement and what happens if it's violated?

While, in the media, we hear a lot about those few custody cases that have gotten heated, there are plenty of other ones that are either resolved through mediation or some other type of collaboration. In the case of the latter, a parenting agreement is often drafted outside of court.

A parenting agreement serves the role of spelling out how both parents have agreed to share custody of their child. It often covers details such as where your child will primarily reside, also known as physical custody. It will likely clarify which parent should be involved in rendering decisions about how a child should be raised or taken care of, factors that fall under the legal custody umbrella, as well.

What property remains separate in a high asset divorce?

The process of deciding who gets what, also called asset division, is often one of the most complex and contested aspects of a divorce. Couples rarely agree on how to split what they've acquired during marriage and may not view the same outcomes as reasonable or fair. The more overall assets involved in a divorce, the greater the chance could be for discord between spouses. Barring a legally sound prenuptial agreement, it can be hard to predict the outcome of asset division.

Florida courts strive for fair and equitable division of marital assets. However, that phrase is open for interpretation by the courts, depending on a number of other factors. They will consider the length of your marriage, your individual economic status, the standard of living during the marriage, potential for future employment and much more.

Factors to consider when dividing up a 401(k) during a divorce

Outside of a home, it's likely that one of your largest assets is all the money that's contained in a 401(k) retirement account. When you're facing a divorce, you and your ex will likely have to come to an agreement about how to split up those assets.

A study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2016 found that the three issues that divorcing couples seem to fight over most are businesses, retirement plans and alimony at 60, 62 and 83 percent respectively.

Prenups can not only protect your assets, but ward off debt

You may question why you're getting married if you feel the need to think about the prospect of a divorce at the time. However, some financial experts caution that it's a wise thing to do.

Under most jurisdictions' laws, one spouse's creditors can hold a husband or wife liable even if they have nothing to do with racking up the debt. This means that the home that the two of you live in or the joint account that you two share could easily be seized by creditors and used to repay your debts. Signing a prenup can help prevent against this.

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