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Broward County Divorce Law Blog

Dividing the family home after divorce

Florida couples who are planning to legally separate might need to consider obligations to standing mortgage agreements and ownership of the family home during and after proceedings. In addition, according to a recent article, certain actions, such as purchasing a new house to live in after the marriage is dissolved, might be complicated by property ownership interests.

Dealing with the family home during property division can be complicated by a standing mortgage agreement. For example, if the couple signed onto the loan together, both parties might still be considered liable for outstanding debt even though the property was awarded to one party in a divorce agreement. This leaves the credit score individual who moved out of the home open to the influence of the other party's payment history. For example, if the person staying in the home is unable to make payments, the other person's credit score might suffer as a result. In addition, the individual who moved out of the home might seek reimbursement for investment he or she might have made to the property, which might include a portion of the down payment on the property.

Basketball player's custody fight hinges on paternity test

Florida basketball fans may be aware of Indiana Pacers player Paul George and his recent paternity issues. A female child has been born to a former paramour of his, and a prenatal paternity test showed a high probability that he is the father. Although reports indicate that George has requested a new paternity test, if the test indicates that he is the father, then he has announced his intention to ask for sole custody of the child.

The mother of the child in question, a woman who currently lives with her family in New York, has also filed suit for sole custody, citing the hardships inherent in George's NBA travel schedule as being detrimental to the best interests of the child. George and his attorneys have responded with a detailed list of reasons why he should be the one to be granted sole custody.

Former Dodgers owner favored in divorce issue

Florida baseball fans may remember the start of a recent lawsuit involving Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a man was attacked in a Dodger Stadium parking lot, he filed suit against McCourt and the team for upwards of $36 million. As that lawsuit was coming to a close, however, McCourt remained involved in his 2012 divorce from his wife of nearly three decades, Jamie McCourt. The McCourts had entered into a divorce settlement agreement that stated that, if either member of the couple chose later to contest the terms of divorce, he or she would be responsible for the other's court costs.

In the divorce, Jamie McCourt was awarded $131 million tax-free. She was also given ownership of several luxury homes that the couple owned together. However, she chose to challenge the divorce settlement, claiming that Frank had misrepresented the Dodgers' value and thus shortchanged her in the division of assets. A judge denied her claims, and Jamie McCourt was ordered to reimburse Frank for the money he spent on attorney's fees. The total cost amounted to $1.9 million.

Pet issues during the divorce process

A beloved pet can bring many years of joy to a Florida household, and months of disputes if the owners divorce. For one well-known Hollywood couple going through a breakup, issues related to their three dogs became more contentious than the division of property or the custody of their daughter. Many attorneys are seeing pet custody as a new wrinkle in the often-messy legal tangles of divorce and marital settlements.

Pets are normally viewed as personal property in divorce proceedings. For many family court judges, pets are simply marital assets, to be divided among the spouses in the same way as household goods, cars and jewelry. Other courts see pets as worthy of a different approach, in which the judge considers a pet's sentimental value and the contribution of each spouse to the pet's care.

Social media provisions in prenuptial agreements

Florida residents may be interested in an article discussing one of the more recent additions to prenuptial legal protection. Social media provisions in prenuptial agreements may help couples better understand each others' expectations with regard to sharing photos and private moments with the world.

A prenuptial agreement can cover many aspects of a marriage and possible divorce, including future property division and spousal support. However, with the increasing popularity of sharing personal details on social networks, prenuptial agreements are beginning to address social media usage. One New York attorney says that she is seeing around one-third of her clients requesting the negotiation and drafting of these clauses, around five every week.

Messy divorce engulfs popular documentary director, Michael Moore

Florida readers are likely familiar with high-profile couple, Michael Moore and Kathleen Glynn. Moore is known for his activist documentaries, such as Farenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine. Glynn, his wife of 23 years, produced several of the documentaries.

Moore is expected to have two witnesses in court, the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor and Moore's literary agent, to testify about his earnings. They can also relate the damage his reputation suffered by Glynn's contrary actions, such as building an extravagant lake home. This particular house was mockingly referred to in one story as 'Moore's $2M hypocrite house."

Tax advice for divorcing couples

Many couples who are pursuing a divorce in Florida may need to consider how taxes might affect the process. Divorce renders one legal entity, the married couple, into two separate individuals. This has direct effects on annual tax returns, and the taxes levied against certain assets after the divorce is finalized might influence how couple distributes their assets during the property division process.

Until the divorce has been formally completed, the separating spouses will have the choice of filing their taxes as married filing separately or married filing jointly. Couples who file separately will often experience a higher tax rate, but this protects either party from liability if the other party fails to pay his or her share. Once the divorce is finalized, both parties must file as single, which generally includes a lighter tax burden than married filing separately.

Florida daughter reunited with mother after abduction

A Florida girl who was taken by her father five years ago was returned to her mother. The mother had full child custody of the girl when the father used his court-ordered visitation to abduct the girl and take her to Mexico without the mother's permission.

The father had weekend visitation rights. A warrant was issued for him for the crime of interference with child custody after the girl was reported missing. Police investigated the abduction for five years. The girl was only eight years old when she was abducted by her father. Her mother never gave up looking for her, posting social media messages occasionally to her daughter, reminding her that she was looking for her.

Asset protection in divorce with a DAPT

Florida residents who are heading into marriage with significant assets from their single life may want to consider a complement to the protection a prenuptial agreement can provide. While a prenup can open up a conversation with one's partner about financial matters, a Domestic Asset Protection Trust, or DAPT, may shield assets from creditors as well as spouses.

Not every state permits DAPTs, however, and of the 15 states that do, not all of them provide protection from a spouse. Fortunately, it is not necessary for an individual to be a resident of a state in order to establish a DAPT there. Nevada is one popular choice; the Nevada Asset Protection Trust ensures that spouses cannot access the assets kept there.

Safety strategies for children traveling abroad with exes

Florida parents who are divorced from a spouse with international ties may feel anxious about allowing their children to travel out of the country. Due to the expense and difficulty of other countries enforcing court orders from the United States, if the ex-spouse decides to remain in another country with the children, parents can sometimes spend years trying to reunite with them.

However, there are precautions parents can take. An attorney may be able to aid in writing detailed provisions for international travel into the agreements between parents. This can include information about international communication, such as how often and in what way that communication will happen.

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