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South Florida Family Law Blog

Divorce spikes in January, say researchers

After the excitement of the holidays from October through December, January can feel quite dull in comparison. Although Florida’s sun still shines brightly, this month may often seem like the darkest. In fact, researchers believe that the time of year has a lot to do with how you feel, including what you think about your relationship.

The University of Washington studied divorce filings over the course of fourteen years. What they discovered was that they follow a similar pattern year to year. Although the divorce rate is much lower in December, January continually sees a major increase that usually plateaus by March.

Asking for a prenuptial agreement can be tricky

There is a lot to think about as you plan your wedding. From the venue to your budget, there will always be something else on your mind.

At some point, you may decide to review the benefits associated with a prenuptial agreement. Even if you don't decide to move forward right now, you could change your mind before you tie the knot.

Why digital privacy is a must in any marriage

In marriage, many people expect to have no secrets between them and their spouse. The thought of sharing everything, including access to digital accounts and devices, may seem like the mark of a healthy relationship. Granting access to this information sometimes signifies trust. However, you might both benefit from maintaining a certain level of digital privacy.

Think about all of your online data. Not only do you probably have personal messages in email and social media, but you likely use the internet for finances. The sheer amount of information and power that exists through access to your login information may be staggering.

Child support for teens: where does the money go?

It’s easy to understand child support for infants and young children, who depend on their parents for almost everything in life. But why is child support necessary for teens? What does this money pay for?

Although teenage children are old enough to have a part-time job, some people still have to pay for their benefit. Adults may dismiss expenses during the teenage years as unnecessary, such as cell phone bills and fashionable clothing. However, child support helps pay for vital life expenses.

Offshore accounts can afflict your divorce

The idea of an offshore account might remind you of infamous scandals and criminal activity, but storing money overseas isn’t illegal in itself. Instead, the trouble begins when the owner of a foreign account fails to report the money accurately to the IRS.

While tax evasion is perhaps the most common issue with offshore accounting, it’s not the only reason why someone would fail to report their foreign funds. Too often, account holders hide assets from their spouse during a divorce in other countries.

Is infidelity an automatic deal-breaker?

When a partner cheats, it can be a heartbreaking violation of trust. You loved your spouse and you thought they loved you back. Whether infidelity comes as a complete shock or your relationship was already on the rocks, it’s one of the most painful things a person can experience.

Once you discover what happened, what should you do? Betrayal can spark negative emotions, including anger, jealousy and deep sorrow. This can be the end of the relationship for many couples, but a break-up is not the only option.

Under 30? Perfect! Start estate planning now

Many people think that estate planning is something only wealthy people over the age of 50 do. In reality, estate planning is important for everyone. If you are under 30, unmarried, do not have children and do not feel like you have enough assets to worry about, you should still engage in a bit of estate planning. It is impossible to know what tomorrow will bring and, since accidents happen every day, it is vital that you take steps to make your wishes known should the worst happen.

Estate planning consists of more than just writing a will. You can create instructions in case you end up in a state where you can no longer make decisions for yourself. For example, if you were in a car accident that leaves you in a coma, it is important that you have someone you trust act as your medical power of attorney and carry out your health care directive. Here are some other reasons why you should start estate planning early.

Should I wait to divorce until our kids grow up?

When you realize that your marriage isn’t working out, it can be scary to imagine all the changes a divorce could bring to your life. Not only would a divorce affect your future, but it could be hard on your children, too. You might contemplate “holding it together” to shelter your young children, but this could be a huge mistake.

The longer that you stay in a troubled marriage, existing issues can become more serious. Assets and credit can be much more complex to separate in divorce over time. For example, if you disagree with your spouse’s lax spending habits, you could accumulate shared debt that hurts your credit.

A PI discusses the hiding of assets in divorce

In old, black-and-white movies, private investigators were chain-smoking tough guys who were quick with their fists and cynical observations about life. In real lives, private investigators are less glamorous and much less likely to use fisticuffs to get their jobs done.

In a recent newspaper column, a PI wrote that one of the common jobs in his line of work is finding assets hidden by one spouse from the other in a divorce. "Hiding assets is not only unethical," the PI writes, "it's illegal."

How you can keep the business in divorce

For some people, the most important asset they own is their business. If you are a business owner and you are going through a divorce, you have probably started to worry about the eventual division of assets.

Although your ex-spouse may receive a portion of its value, you don’t necessarily have to leave your company behind. Selling might be a last-ditch option, but it’s certainly not the only choice.

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