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Broward County Divorce Law Blog

Spousal maintenance is important for lesser-earning spouses

You know that alimony is something some people pay to their exes following a divorce, but what is it? Does it have any importance in your case? Spousal support is an important payment that is paid to a divorcing spouse who earns less than the other. The payment is intended to help the individual as he or she starts a new, independent life following divorce.

This kind of assistance can support a number of expenses from utility bills to household costs. While it's most often discussed as a cash payment, the truth is that assets may also be used as a form of spousal support. For instance, giving a home to a spouse in exchange for spousal support may be allowed by the courts.

The law affects your divorce without a prenuptial agreement

If you get divorced without a prenuptial agreement, your estate will be at the mercy of the state's laws in most cases. Prenuptial agreements help protect your assets and to protect you from liabilities, and without one, there's less security. Prenuptial agreements are flexible, and they help couples actually come together to determine their financial goals and to help them determine their futures in marriage and in the case of a divorce.

If you have no prenuptial agreement, it's likely your marital assets will be split equitably between you and your spouse. If you are living in two states and want to decide on the best one to file for divorce in, you may also have the choice of community property laws. In community property states, your marital assets are split 50/50 with no regard for what is fair or equitable.

What do you need to do after a divorce?

Divorce has many financial consequences, which is why it's important to be mindful when you make decisions. It's always necessary to follow through on post-divorce actions to make sure you don't end up costing yourself money on accident.

For example, if you have an IRA, it's vital to change the beneficiary designation following a divorce if you ex-partner is listed and not intended to be the beneficiary any longer. Additional items to check include 401(k)s and documents for retirement plans. Insurance policies also need to be updated.

Permanent alimony could come to an end in Florida

Florida's lawmakers have talked about changing alimony laws for a significant amount of time, but not much has happened. Now, there is an alimony bill that the governor could potentially sign. The new alimony bill would replace laws that designed alimony for times when women were unlikely to get divorced and had little economic power.

In those times, permanent alimony was important. Women who were unmarried could struggle to survive, since working was less common and they could also be in charge of raising children. Today, permanent alimony doesn't make as much sense. For some couples, permanent alimony could mean paying from a young age until death, which is sometimes decades.

Man sentenced for taking daughter to Florida without custody

When a custody arrangement is in place, it's not legal to take your child away from the other parent without permission in most cases. You cannot flee the country or move without addressing custody-related concerns unless you have permission from the courts.

If you decide to take custody matters into your own hands, you could face serious consequences like this man. He has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for hiding his daughter in Florida. He faced domestic violence and custody interference charges.

What is the purpose of a prenuptial agreement?

One of the things that many people believe would ruin a wedding is a discussion of a prenuptial agreement. It's a common thought that the prenuptial agreement is one that means you don't trust your spouse or that you want to prevent your spouse from accessing your assets.

Prenuptial agreements aren't there to help just one person, and they can benefit both of you if they're created correctly. A prenuptial agreement could protect an inheritance or prevent you from taking on your spouse's debts.

Parenting plans: They are necessary in your case

If you're going through a divorce and have a child, you want to make sure you know exactly what is going to happen to your child. Will you be the primary caregiver? Will your spouse take over that role?

As a parent, it's vital that you work with your spouse to create a parenting plan that you both can agree on. It may be difficult to do so if your divorce is contentious, but if you cannot agree, a judge will make all the decisions about your child's care for you.

Keep these documents if you pay alimony

If you have to pay alimony, you may be interesting in knowing which documents you need to keep. Think of alimony like a bill, and remember that the documents you keep can influence your taxes and may be necessary in future court appearances.

Since your alimony payments are tax deductible in most situations, you'll want to have records of everything you have paid out, so you can take that deduction on your taxes. You should maintain a document with a list of when each payment was made and include how much each payment was for. Remember to include a check number, the address where you sent the check or keep a copy of the cashier's check.

Florida Supreme Court rules against prenuptial agreement in case

A prenuptial agreement is a good idea for people of all backgrounds. It helps protect you from your partner's debts and keeps certain things you own as your own if you go through a divorce.

One thing to keep in mind is what happens to properties during your marriage. While a prenuptial agreement may state that you keep your preowned properties following a divorce, there are sometimes loopholes that can allow a spouse to seek properties or their values during settlement negotiations.

The Uniform Child Custody Act protects your court orders

You want to know that your child custody order is upheld no matter where you travel. If your ex takes your child out of state, you want to know no other court can reverse the decision of the judge in your home state. The Uniform Child Custody Act supports you in this regard.

What is the Uniform Child Custody Act?