The state of healthcare is uncertain, and difficult to understand. If you have medical coverage, consider yourself lucky. But, also consider what may happen if your coverage is provided for by your spouse’s employer, and you are in the middle of a divorce. You might wonder if your coverage continues, for how long, and the specific benefits. Your concern about healthcare coverage is a very valid concern in the instance of divorce.
Because you are likely to lose coverage if your ex-spouse’s employer provided it, it is imperative to know your healthcare options during divorce:
● COBRA: this insurance is temporary and is meant to bridge the gap between losing coverage, and obtaining new coverage. While not ideal due to typically higher than normal premiums, COBRA coverage is an option.… Continue reading
In today’s progressive society, more and more dads are asking for and getting full custody of their kids. And for those that aren’t, dads are asserting more rights than ever. This is not to say the role of the mother is being eliminated, but the trend in family law is definitely an increased exercise of rights by fathers. This is especially true in cases where the parents are not legally married. In that instance, it is important for the dad to know his rights, and how to exercise them properly.
The law is increasingly recognizing dads that make a case for custody, increased visitation, the right to play a greater role in the lives of their children, or just want to be treated equally. One news story puts the spotlight on this rapidly growing area of family law. Some important things for dads to… Continue reading
When a couple with children divorces, issues of custody and visitation always arise. Part of reaching a decision about the kids is figuring out who makes important decisions regarding important issues, such as medical treatment and child care. And of course one of the most difficult decisions, that no parent should ever face, is how to pay last respects to a child when that child predeceases the parent. When the parents are divorced, this unimaginably hard time can be made even more so if the parties are unable to reach an agreement on final arrangements.
A case that highlights the legal complexities of dealing with property rights and children in a divorce was reported by the local news:
● Four years ago, Scott Wilson’s life was cut tragically short.
● Wilson was the victim of a drunk driver, and his remains were cremated… Continue reading
The decision to end a marriage is never an easy one. For some couples, the decision is the result of a lot of hard work and effort to repair the relationship. For others, the need to participate in therapeutic activities after the divorce is necessary. Whatever your circumstances, therapy can play a huge role in the divorce process. A qualified counselor can help provide the tools needed to move past a painful split, can help kids adjust to a new family dynamic, and can provide invaluable emotional insight.
Most importantly, a good therapist can help you realize you are not a failure just because you divorced. Counseling sessions can also result in a renewed strength, and allow you to move forward in a way that is best for you. Articles from mental health professionals put it best. Therapy can:
● Help you identify your… Continue reading
Entry of a divorce decree, and an order of annulment both end a “marriage”. The difference is that a divorce decree ends a legally recognized marriage while an annulment declares that the marriage was never valid or legal. The choice to request an annulment rather than file for divorce is different for everyone. For some, the reasons are based on religious beliefs, and for others an annulment is more desirable for financial reasons. Regardless of the reason for choosing an annulment versus filing for divorce does not mean you qualify for an annulment.
Florida law on annulments is sparse. However, there are common grounds for seeking an annulment, which include:
● Marriages entered into as a result of coercion or duress are not considered valid marriages and qualify for the annulment process.
● A marriage to a person suffering from… Continue reading
Deciding who gets what when a couple divorces is an emotionally charged issue. How property is divided among the parties depends on where you live. Some states are considered community property states, which means all property the couple acquired while married is considered equally owned by each spouse. When a couple files for divorce in a community property state, the property is divided in a 50/50 split.
The opposite of community property is called equitable distribution. Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means when parties divorce, the marital property is divided equitably. This does not mean equally, it means the Court will consider what is most fair when making its property division order. Some of the things the Court will consider when deciding a fair distribution of property include:
● Length of the marriage
● Each party’s contribution to… Continue reading
Mental health professionals agree that when families separate, the best interests of the children are served by parents that are able to present a united face to the kids even in the midst of divorce. However, not all parents are able to effectively co-parent and attempts to do so can cause more harm than good. If the parents are unable to act civilly when the children are present, other methods of parenting after divorce must be explored.
Psychological studies show parallel parenting to be a good choice for those parents that are unable to work as a parenting team after a divorce. Parallel parenting involves:
● The parties disengaging from each other for an initial time period by having limited interaction
● Assigning decision making authority over certain topical areas to different parents
This type of arrangement does not mean the parties are… Continue reading
When you file for divorce, your case is decided by the trial court. But the trial court doesn’t always get it right the first time, and appeals are sometimes needed. The process to file an appeal is detailed and in most instances an appeal can only be raised when certain legal irregularities exist. The process can be long, so if you are considering appealing an issue it is important that you are ready to be patient.
Filing an appeal is a viable option when you believe the trial court made an error. An appeal is not a new case and it not the place to try to introduce new evidence. The types of things an appeals court will consider when determining if a mistake was made include:
● The record of testimony given in the trial court
● The exhibits that the parties presented… Continue reading
Therapy, mediation, hard work, and other innovative methods can result in a divorce process that ends without Courtroom drama and nasty exchanges between the parties. One such method gaining popularity is collaborative divorce. This type of procedure works when the parties agree to full disclosure of information and to settle disputes outside of litigation.
Benefits to participation in collaborative divorce include less stress on the children by showing the parents are able to work as a team to resolve differences, even if the marriage is at its end. Another benefit is a potentially shortened process since the parties agree to be upfront with all information and disclosures. This eliminates the need to go on fishing expeditions to find assets or other information relevant to distribution of property. Also, news articles point out the financial benefits of collaborative divorce, such as:
● Lower attorney… Continue reading
The end of a marriage does not always mean divorce. For some, the decision to legally separate rather than divorce is the right choice. There can be a host of reasons why separation is more attractive than divorce, such as when the parties desire to protect assets yet desire to live apart. When separating, the issues of child custody, visitation, and other issues usually associated with divorce also surface.
However, Florida is one of only a handful of states that do not recognize legal separation. While this does not mean you are not free to live apart and remain married, it does mean the Courts will not recognize your status as separated. And while this may seem to be a hard and fast rule, at least per the statute, there does seem to be some evidence of Florida Courts acknowledging separated couples. When making… Continue reading