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South Florida Family Law Blog

What is a loyalty conflict?

Loyalty, particularly to one's parents and family, is usually a valuable quality for a child in Florida to have. However, if you are divorcing your child's other parent and the split is particularly contentious, your child could experience a psychological phenomenon called loyalty conflict. According to Psychiatric Times, some children end up resolving their inner conflict in a way that is unhealthy, both to themselves and their relationships with parents. 

Loyalty conflict stems from a phenomenon called cognitive dissonance. This occurs because of the existence of two thoughts that seem to be contradictory or incompatible with each other in a person's mind at the same time. Despite the fact that they seem to contradict one another, both thoughts have the appearance of truth, at least in your child's mind.

How joint custody can help a family

Divorcing Florida parents will have to figure out what kind of custody arrangements work best for them. While sole custody was a popular choice in the past, these days joint custody is considered to be the better option for all parties involved.

FindLaw states that new scientific studies have shown children of joint custody tend to have fewer behavioral problems when growing up. They tend to adopt better social behaviors and habits, get in less trouble in school, and have higher self-esteem. Studies suggest that both parents playing active roles in the child's life provides them with security and balance.

Who gets the retirement accounts when you divorce?

In all likelihood, you and your spouse have accumulated a significant amount of money in your respective retirement accounts and/or pension plans during the course of your marriage. If you now seek a Florida divorce, which of you gets which portion of these accounts, and in what manner, becomes a major consideration.

Reuters reports that dividing up retirement accounts during a divorce can easily become a hugely complicated process. Unfortunately, the older your age when you divorce, the more important these accounts become since they may well represent not only a significant portion of your marital assets, but also the main source of income both you and your spouse will have once you retire.

Can custody be impacted by contested divorce?

Florida parents like you have something crucially important to keep in mind when handling your divorce: your child. We at the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker, P.A., are here to help you as you deal with matters like child custody, visitation schedules, and more.

How you handle child custody and visitation schedules will depend first on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. Uncontested divorces are much rarer, as they require you and your spouse to agree on all basic matters of divorce, including custody arrangements. People with successful uncontested divorces often employ third party mediators to help them reach a final decision, allowing them to bypass the costly and time-consuming court battles.

Legal custody lets you make medical and school decisions

While going through a contentious divorce, it is almost always in your best interest to have a proactive approach toward the various decisions involved in ending your marriage, especially the ones that matter the most to you.

If you take the time to formulate an opinion and an educated expectation about the outcome of your divorce, you will be able to strategize better for handling yourself in court and negotiating with your ex about important issues. One critical custody issue that far too many Florida parents overlook is the importance of securing both physical and legal custody rights.

What is a parenting plan?

As a Florida couple who is divorcing with children, you will have more to deal with than childless couples do. It's therefor important for you and your attorney to understand the changes in child custody laws and how it is handled in the state. We at the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker, P.A., can do just that.

The first thing to understand about child custody in Florida is that it's referred to as a parenting plan and has an accompanied time-sharing schedule. This is due to studies over recent years proving that most children do better if both parents have a hand in raising them. While shared parenting doesn't always work in every situation, such as if one parent is abusive, it can largely help children cope with the split and grow up in a healthier way.

How to stay on the same financial page as your co-parent

Financial stress can be one of the most intimidating aspects of co-parenting in Florida. At the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker, we know that a lot of emotions can arise from a discussion of finances with your ex-spouse.

CNBC offers tips to minimize the financial stress you may experience after your divorce. This can help you to co-parent more effectively. 

Checklist for dividing marital property

At the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker PA in Pennsylvania, we spend a lot of time helping our divorce clients devise fair and equitable property settlement agreements with their respective about-to-be ex-spouses.

If you face an impending divorce, the first thing you need to know is that Pennsylvania is one of the equitable distribution states, meaning that when you and your spouse divide up your marital property, you need not do it in a precise 50/50 manner. Your own specific situation, including the incomes that you and your spouse currently make, will determine what is fair and equitable in your case. The second thing you need to know is that you and your spouse need divide only your marital property during your divorce, not the separate property that each of you owns.

What happens in a child support dispute?

Facing a divorce can be extremely complicated in some circumstances, especially if there are children involved. You may be contemplating parenting plans, child custody and determining what would be in the best interest of your children. As part of the divorce process, child support is set by the court. The noncustodial parent is ordered to pay child support to help bridge the financial gap children often experience when they are forced to transition to a one-parent household. Although the child support amount is set using set standards based on both parents’ income and expenses, you may not agree on the final amount. Whether there are extenuating circumstances that may keep you from paying the amount ordered by the court, or there has been a recent change in your finances, you may have a child support dispute.

When a child support dispute occurs, you can petition the court to look over the amount and consider potential changes. There are several reasons why you may petition the court for a change in the child support amount. You may have recently lost your job or had a dramatic change in your monthly expenses. These factors can complicate your ability to make your child support payments. Other financial events may have come up in your life that affect your income as well. It is important to keep in mind that factors in your child’s life may constitute a child support dispute, which may cause an increase or decrease in your child support payments.

What is the income shares model of child support?

Children are often unwilling participants of divorce. While you may have decided to separate or terminate your marriage, your children are forced to go through the divorce as well and must adapt to a new lifestyle as a result. Children may have to move from a traditional family lifestyle to living in a single-parent household. They may switch split custody with both parents or spend the majority of their time with one parent. Child support is designed to bridge the financial gap that children may experience when going through a divorce and help to maintain the child’s quality of life.

In Florida, and in many other states in the nation, child support is based off the income shares model of child support. This means that both parents financial contribution to the child is considered. The income shares model attempts to keep the child’s lifestyle similar to what it would have been if the parents would have stayed together.