Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Is a prenuptial agreement going to threaten a marriage?

Many people believe that prenuptial agreements are bad because they make it seem like you don't trust your spouse. The truth is that a prenuptial agreement could make someone feel that way, but that's not what it's intended for. Prenuptial agreements have a place, especially in relationships where one person has more money or greater assets than the other.

The point of a prenuptial agreement is not to ban your spouse from ever obtaining any of the property accrued during your marriage or to keep him or her from being your equal. Instead, it helps define things like the assets both of you are bringing into the marriage as well as what you intend to do with others. You can even work out settlement details in case you get a divorce in the future, which can help take away the stress of not knowing what would happen if you did end up separating.

Here's what you need in your settlement agreement

You are likely dividing up your assets if you're going through a divorce. Not only that, but you're also dividing up your debts. Your settlement agreement will be legally binding, so it's important to get it right the first time.

Not all settlement agreements have everything about the marriage dissolution, and many people choose to have a settlement agreement separate from child custody, alimony or other agreements.

Paying taxes: Alimony and how it affects your taxes

If you pay alimony, one thing you have to consider is the impact it will have on your taxes. Alimony is treated as a type of income. Since you're the one who will have to pay alimony, your ex-spouse needs to pay taxes on that income.

How do you know if you can deduct alimony from your taxes? There are a few requirements you need to meet. Here are a few.

Florida parents: Child Support Enforcement doesn't do enough

Some parents are worried that they aren't getting enough child support and are frustrated with the Florida Child Support Enforcement Program. They claim that the program doesn't have the authority to do what it needs to do to get the money the parents need and deserve for their children.Some parent do find it difficult to pay the child support they owe. What can you do if a parent won't pay? You have to turn to the Child Support Enforcement Program. If the program doesn't have the authority to do what it needs to do, it is very difficult to get the funds that have been withheld from the custodial parent.The Florida Department of Revenue Child Support Program has collected over a billion dollars in current and past due child support in the last fiscal year, as of July 2017. The program states that it has a collection rate of 81.9 percent, but it still has over a billion dollars to go to make things right with some parents.What can be done to get results on cases that are long past due? The state agency says that it has enforcement tools. It can garnish a parent's wages. Driver's licenses may be suspended if child support is not paid. Extreme cases can result in a parent going to jail.

Some argue that these steps are not taken soon enough. That causes child support to go without being paid for long periods of time. Sadly, there are not many options beyond these to pursue.

Is a pet treated as property in divorce?

You have a pet that you adopted while you were living with your husband. Now that you've decided to get a divorce, you're not sure who is going to end up with your dog. You both love it equally, and you want to make sure you place your dog in the right home.

Although you both have your pet's best interests in mind, you don't want to give up your dog, and neither does your spouse. How will the courts treat your pet if you decide to let a judge decide who gets to keep him or her?

Woman flees with child and faces prison for parental kidnapping

A child custody dispute can be difficult to live with, especially if you're always concerned about your child being taken away by the other parent. No one should have to live that way, and the courts may order supervised visitation to make sure your child stays safe.

A woman has been indicted for taking her child to Florida against her custody order. According to the June 13 news, the woman, from Maine, had not seen her 9-year-old child in six years. The child's other parent had primary custody, and the woman had weekend visitation.

Focus on negotiation and facts in your high-dollar divorce

You have always been proud of your businesses, and between you and your spouse, you've brought in millions of dollars. Together, you're worth millions, but now that you want to get a divorce, you need to know that you'll be able to get your fair share.

Divorce is emotional and difficult to deal with for many people, and when money is added into the mix, it can quickly become contentious. Acting irrationally by hiding assets or fighting over minor details is not the best way to handle a divorce. Instead, it's wise to start making educated decisions and negotiations.

If your spouse hides assets, he or she is breaking the law

As someone planning to get a divorce, you want to make sure you identify as many of your assets as possible before heading to court. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, then you may want to consider using a number of financial tools to identify those assets.

It is not unusual for spouses to hide assets, especially if they already knew the divorce was coming. Typically, the assets that are hidden are property and money; two things that can have high value.

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.

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