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Broward County Divorce Law Blog

Permanent alimony could be ended thanks to new bill in Florida

Alimony payments and laws are changing all the time; Now, there's a new bill in Florida's House that has cleared the first panel. What would this new bill do?

The new bill is meant to effectively end permanent alimony, which is when a man or woman has to pay his or her ex a certain amount of money each month for the rest of his or her life or for the long term. Why is ending permanent alimony such a big deal? Some people -- those who are the higher earners in the relationship -- believe it's unfair to pay alimony for the long-term. Alimony shouldn't be a long-term solution, as it just finances the other person, they may claim. However, those who receive it say they should, because they are unable to get back into the workforce or get the level of job necessary to have the same standard of living enjoyed previously.

Property division and your divorce

When you go through a divorce, your assets get divided. The way your assets get divided can be decided in one of a few ways. You could, for instance, have a prenuptial agreement that predetermines how your assets are split. On the other hand, you could go to court and have a judge decide on a fair and equitable agreement for your property division.

Assets aren't necessarily divided based on their current value, which is something you should consider. If you counted a retirement account at its current payout, it would be significantly lower than it will be in a few decades, for instance. The same may be true for stocks. So, the best way to divide assets like these can be to decide on a payout percentage, and that percentage then gets paid when the funds are finally withdrawn.

Same-sex couples should consider a prenuptial agreement

After same-sex marriages were legalized, you may have considered getting married right away. There are some things you should think about though, and you may want to discuss any concerns with your attorney before you take the plunge and get married or work with your attorney to get a divorce.

Before you enter into a marriage, remember that you'll now be treated the same as any other married couple. This means that a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea. Assets gained or received during your marriage may be split in a divorce when you divide your property, if it ever comes to a time when your marriage fails. Having this agreement in place will save you a large amount of the stress and anxiety that comes with a divorce.

Make sure to check off this property during divorce

In a high-asset divorce, there's no question that you have a lot to gain or lose. Some of the things you want out of your divorce could be monetary, while other items you want could be based solely on memories or personal significance. Your marital assets may include properties, retirement accounts or stocks, just to name a few things. Normally, you, as a couple, may have merged your income and property, purchasing items together.

What do you do now when you have so much money invested into your relationship? Dividing your marital property is the only option, and it can be stressful. With the help of your attorneys and potentially even mediation for contentious issues, you can get through this difficult procedure.

Senator suggests equal visitation time with children

Florida's laws have seemingly always stayed in a state of change with alimony and child custody laws shifting over the last few years. An Oct. 27 report states that a senator in Florida has suggested a law that would eliminate lifetime alimony payments, which could leave some people without the money they need to live their lives following divorce, depending on the circumstances.

Besides that change, the senator has also suggested that divorcing parents should receive equal visitation time with their children. That's not just equitable time, which is fair to the child, but equal time, splitting the child's time 50-50. If this is suggested to you, your attorney can explain why it's so detrimental to your children, but these are just a few of the potential issues.

Timbaland's wife requests alimony in second divorce filing

When a divorce is in the cards, there are many things you'll have to work out with your spouse. The first step is to get the other person to respond to your divorce filing through the courts, so you know you're both on the same page. If he or she doesn't respond, it may be possible to get the court to rule in your favor before the divorce proceedings ever begin, which makes it easier to get the divorce moving so you can move on with your life. Your attorney can help you understand what happens if the other party won't acknowledge or sign a divorce request in a reasonable amount of time.

The hip-hop producer, Timbaland, has responded to divorce filings that his wife requested, which could result in his wife obtaining a ruling in her favor. He was requested to respond within 30 days. If he didn't respond, then the default judgment would be awarded to his wife. In September, a judge allegedly awarded her the default judgment, but the latest ruling has overturned that.

3 tips for getting more out of your divorce

When you're getting a divorce and have many assets and income streams to divide, the changes that need to be made and the decisions you'll have to face can be difficult. Your attorney may be working with you to build your requests and to build a case for the claims you want to make for assets, but there are still some mistakes you should be sure to avoid.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is agreeing to anything that is asked of you just to get the divorce over with. You won't do yourself any favors by agreeing to let your once-significant other take all the proceeds of your marriage. You need to consider the financial implications of each asset you give up or gain before you make a serious decision on the matter.

What is the real purpose of alimony?

In the past, Florida has taken on alimony reform. What does that mean when it comes to your divorce? Your attorney can walk you through the process of seeking alimony, but changes to the law will affect you.

What is alimony for? It essentially covers your needs as a financially supported spouse who is now going through a divorce. You may have given up work to stay at home with your children. You might have been supportive of your partner working, taking on lesser-paying jobs or different hours to support the home environment as well as the needs of your significant other.

Cliches people say about a divorce

There are many things people say over and over again as they move toward a divorce. Though they may not realize it -- especially if they have never been divorced before -- a lot of these things are cliches. Below are a few examples.

1. The divorce doesn't center only around money.

Prenuptial agreements and lifestyle clauses

As prenuptial agreements continue to be a popular tool for those considering marriage, their contents continue to evolve into the modern era. While once only the rich and famous bothered with a prenup, people of all incomes and all lifestyles are incorporating these contracts into their wedding plans. Most prenuptial agreements detail the asset division process should a marriage fail, but "lifestyle clauses" are changing the face of today's premarital agreements.

Many Fort Lauderdale residents have taken notice of the trend toward prenups with lifestyle clauses, which can include restrictions on weight gain and other fine points. While these clauses might actually support a healthy relationship in many cases, engaged parties should be aware that a court must approve the final agreement. Many of the clauses people want to include may render the contract invalid in the eyes of the law.