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Broward County Divorce Law Blog

Spouses may hide assets: Know where to look

When you're going through a divorce, one of the things you may have questions about is whether your spouse is hiding assets. Financial issues are a concern during divorce, and it's not unusual for couples to fight over them. It's also not uncommon for spouses to hide assets from one another.

When one spouse hides assets, the other spouse may have trouble finding them during divorce. That's why many people turn to attorneys who specialize in discovering hidden assets or financial documents. Commonly hidden assets include bonds, cash, insurance policies and annuities, gun collections, paintings, collection pieces, travelers' checks and more.

These tips can help you protect your finances after divorce

After a divorce, you may need to work with your finances. While your settlement determines much about which assets you get, you may find that you have to adjust your lifestyle to suit your income and changes in your assets.

One of the first things you should do is look at your household budget. Regular bills, like alimony, child support, house payments and utility bills need to be accounted for each month. These are the first items to put in your budget. After that, you can account for other things, like going on vacation or getting groceries.

Think your spouse is hiding assets? You can investigate

Getting a divorce is difficult, and you know that part of that struggle is dividing your assets. For many people, this is relatively straightforward, but for others, there may be assets they aren't sure about or that they can't find. For them, finding those hidden assets can make a major difference in their settlements.

Today, electronic trails make it much easier to discover assets that have been hidden or moved. For example, putting a GPS in someone's vehicle or even tracking the GPS coordinates of their phone can help you identify where they've been and if that can be associated with where missing assets might have gone. Phone records, email records and even chats make it simpler to find assets.

A post-nuptial agreement can help separate your assets

If you've already gotten married and didn't want to bring up a prenuptial agreement, all is not lost. You can still protect your assets if you decide to go through with a post-nuptial agreement. Things change during marriages, from your finances to your career paths, so protecting your interests isn't necessarily a bad thing. A post-nuptial agreement can affect you and your spouse, so it's important to come up with one that is fair and all-encompassing.

Your post-nuptial agreement can determine who is responsible for which debts in your marriage, to create a waiver that states your spouse won't be entitled to your retirement accounts if you divorce and even to describe how your assets will be split in the case of your death or divorce.

Is alimony still necessary?

Is alimony necessary? Do people in this day and age really need assistance after a divorce? The short answer is yes, and there are several reasons for that.

Alimony aids those with low or no personal income to get on their feet after a divorce. It can be temporary or permanent, and it gives someone who has spent time as a homemaker or a lower-wage earner in the relationship a chance to catch up and live reasonably after the divorce. Alimony isn't necessarily paid by the male every time; it usually is paid by the spouse who earns more.

Property division surprises: Avoid them with these facts

The last thing you want when you're going through a divorce is to be surprised by your property division settlement or the laws of your state. Fortunately, the laws in Florida are very clear where property is concerned.

In Florida, the state uses equitable distribution laws. That means that your assets won't necessarily be split 50/50. Instead, you and your spouse should come to a fair settlement. If you can't do so on your own, then a judge can make the property division decisions for you.

Florida could be changing alimony laws again

The State of Florida may be looking into alimony reform again in 2017, according to news from Dec. 22. Permanent alimony has been a contentious topic for some time, and it's not soon going to go away. The legislature did pass an alimony reform bill in 2016, but when a second round appeared before the governor, he vetoed them.

The veto was due to a clause in the reform bill; it cited mandatory 50-50 child timesharing, which is something he could not support. As a result of that veto, a new bill may be presented without that clause.

The prenuptial agreement: Why you shouldn't jump to refuse

This is an important question to ask yourself: Should I sign a prenuptial agreement? Before you shout out "No!" because you feel it's inappropriate for your betrothed to ask for one, here are a few things that you should consider.

A prenuptial agreement can protect the wealthier spouse in a marriage where both parties have vastly different incomes. It also protects the other, less wealthy party. Prenuptial agreement essentially separates your finances, so it's possible that you could be protected from your wealthier counterpart making bad decisions and gathering debt.

How are debts divided in divorce?

If you get divorced, one of the things you'll need to think about is what happens to your debts. The easiest way for you to move forward with your divorce would be to discuss with your soon-to-be ex-spouse how to split the debt fairly. If this isn't possible, you have some alternative options.

First, know the laws for your state. In most cases, you'll receive an equitable distribution of your assets in divorce, and that includes debts. A higher-earning spouse might have to take on more debts because of this, which is something to consider, especially if the debts were not for your own uses.

2 children killed in DUI crash, father speaks out

When your child is in his mom's or dad's care, you want him to stay safe. Finding out that your ex got behind the wheel drunk with your child is a shocking revelation, and one that is sure to send you straight to your attorney over custody concerns. You have every right to want to protect your children, and cases like that deserve a second look from the courts.

This case involving a mother who was involved in a DUI crash has resulted in the father pushing for new child custody laws. The Dec. 14 news reported that the mother of two young boys had been involved in a DUI-related crash while the boys were in the vehicle, resulting in their deaths. She now faces two counts of DUI manslaughter.