Jacksonville Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

Financial errors that add to the long-term cost of divorce

Divorce often disrupts income and produces turbulent emotions. For spouses in Florida in the process of ending their marriages, the upheaval could lead to financial mistakes. Despite feelings of anger, spite or sadness, financial planners recommend that recent exes keep their eyes on the future and avoid activities like buying big-ticket items to make themselves feel better.

Actions meant to soothe hurt feelings or manipulating income to get around legal obligations could produce undesirable consequences over the long term. A payment on a fancy car might become stressful after settling into the reality of living on one income. Even worse, intentionally leaving a job to dodge a spousal support ruling could derail long-term earning potential and increase time spent in court.

What can the Florida Department of Revenue do in support cases?

Child support issues are rarely ever easy to navigate. Whether you are on the receiving end or the parent who pays child support, knowing what role the Florida Department of Revenue plays in the process is essential. The department can enforce child support orders across borders and even set the amount of child support without going through the court.

If you live in the Jacksonville area and are wondering what your rights are when it comes to child support calculation through the state, getting the help of a professional may be something to consider.

Standby guardians are now recommended for deported parents.

The issue of undocumented immigrants in the US continues to be a hot button political issue. This is true in Florida, with one of the larger populations in the country. Further, the administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants and subsequent deportation leads to an inevitable issue, namely what happens to the children of deported immigrants?

According to latest figures, at least 500,000 children of undocumented immigrants are raised by relatives such as aunts, uncles and grandparents. If custody is not granted to an extended family member the child may become a ward of the state and end up in the foster care system.

Prenups can be more flexible than many expect

When a Florida couple thinks about their wedding plans, they may be hesitant to consider a prenuptial agreement. Despite the growing popularity of prenups as people marry later in life, many spouses still associate them with negativity. Some believe that prenups mean that a couple is already planning to divorce or that the newlyweds-to-be don't trust one another. However, those negative stereotypes don't have to be true. Prenuptial agreements can actually help both partners protect their interests and make solid plans for the future.

Some people think that a prenup is only necessary if one of the spouses-to-be is independently wealthy or controls a family business. However, a prenuptial agreement can address concerns for people of all income levels. They can deal with debts, real estate ownership or even pets as well as alimony or asset division. These contracts can help people of modest means avoid more costly disputes later. It should be noted that prenups aren't only for divorces. They can also lay the grounds for estate planning, particularly important for blended families.

Filing for divorce

Florida residents who want to get a divorce may be intimidated by the seemingly complicated process. There may be many issues that have to be addressed during a divorce, including child and spousal support and child custody arrangements. However, in order to start the divorce process, it is necessary to first file.

The first step individuals should take to file for a divorce is to obtain the necessary papers for the state in which they reside. Some jurisdictions make the documents available online for printing. In other counties, it will be necessary to complete the required forms at the court.

3 relationship problems that could lead to divorce

All marriages in Florida have their ups and downs as the partners navigate disagreements and hopefully reach satisfactory compromises. The persistence of certain problems, however, could mean that divorce is on the horizon for a couple. Arguments, different life goals and loss of friendship raise red flags that indicate a relationship in trouble.

Couples who argue with increasing frequency over issues both large and small might be acting out of resentment. Research by a pair of couple's therapists noted that 70 percent of marital arguments address ongoing problems that might never be fixed. Too often, people blame each other during arguments. People might have greater success finding solutions if they focus on the specific problem and try to separate it from their relationship.

Creating a will that avoids family disputes

A will can be a point of contention among surviving loved ones, especially if it has not been properly drafted. Florida residents who want to have an effective estate plan should make sure that they include a will that clearly expresses their wishes and leaves no room for misinterpretation.

One important issue that has to be addressed in an estate plan is the selection of an executor. It is not unusual for people to choose an executor based on a personal relationship or that person's place in the family hierarchy. However, it's more important that the executor has the necessary skills to properly fulfill the duties of the job.

Changes to make to spending habits in a divorce

Divorce rates have declined steadily throughout recent years. Research suggests part of this is due to the fact millennials have not married at such high rates as previous generations, and they tend to marry a lot later in life. 

In the event a marriage does end with divorce, both spouses can expect some major changes. Both parties need to be proactive and alter their spending habits, because for the near future, a lot of money will go toward the divorce proceedings

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements can be good for a marriage

A common perception among many soon to be married Florida couples or those already wed is that contractual agreements between the two is a bad idea, which in, essence, plant the seeds for the all but inevitable future break-up and ultimate divorce. On the contrary, however, prenuptials and post-nuptials can provide a solid platform from which a marriage can build and thrive.

Initially, it should be realized that the act of marriage, by its very nature, creates contractual obligations between the two if they divorce. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are an attempt to establish a mutual divorce plan, if that time ever comes, when the two are calm, objective and rational. In the heat of a divorce, things turn ugly quickly. Experts suggest it may be thought of as insurance, which is something necessary to have but with the hope to never have to use it.

Why estate planning is important for all adults

Florida adults can benefit from an estate plan even if they do not have a large amount of assets. One important reason to have one is in the event of incapacity. Estate planning documents can appoint people to take over health care decisions and financial matters for a person who is unable to do so. People might also want to purchase some kind of long-term care insurance.

Without an estate plan, people also cannot indicate how their assets should be distributed after their death. Instead, the state will decide. A person should review any beneficiary designations to make sure they are up to date and consider a will or trust so family members will know their wishes.

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Rachel Rall, Attorney at Law, P.A.
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Suite 101
Jacksonville, FL 32210

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