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

More about concern for adult children of gray divorce

In today’s post, we share more about the potential worries of adult children when their parents decide to divorce as seniors. In our last posting, we talked about: 

  • Challenging feelings that can come up for these adult kids
  • Loss of family traditions
  • Concerns about elderly parents suddenly living alone 

These worries can be immense and can hit adult children at a time when they are also raising their own offspring, who could be in challenging life stages like preschool, early adolescence or high school, facing decisions about what path to take after graduation. Adult children of divorce can face overwhelming concern about their divorcing parents at a time when their own kids might need significant support, and the adult children may also need to work, leaving little time and energy for self-care.

Supporting adult children during and after a gray divorce

The term “gray divorce” has caught on as a way to refer to the phenomenon of couples deciding to go their separate ways in their senior years. This is something we face in our Florida family law office on a regular basis due to the popularity of the Sunshine State as a top retirement destination. 

This trend affects not only the divorcing spouses, but also their families. Specifically, adult children of such unions may be blindsided by the decision or there might even be feelings of relief or guilt, depending on the circumstances.

Part 2: What are potential drawbacks of collaborative divorce?

We ended our last post, which introduced collaborative divorce, with a question. Many supporters say that it is often less costly than other divorce methods, especially contested divorce trials. For a couple with few issues to negotiate, who may have discussed privately how they would like to handle things before the process began, or who still have a civil relationship, the process could go quickly and cost relatively little.

The opposite may be true in other situations. For example, if the parties have a hard time negotiating at four-way meetings, legal fees accumulate for two lawyers each time, along with fees for any neutral professionals brought in.

Part 1: What is collaborative divorce?

You may have heard of collaborative divorce in Florida, a new relatively new process for divorcing that was born in the recent decades as a hoped-for antidote to the negative, adversarial nature of divorce in a big courtroom fight. While for some the process has been a good alternative, as time goes on, possible downsides to using the process are emerging. 

For that reason, it is a good idea to talk to a divorce attorney with extensive experience in both processes (also potentially in mediation as another alternative) so that counsel can carefully analyze your situation to understand the pros and cons of each divorce method for a person in your shoes.

VA disability eligibility can complicate military retirement division

We recently shared information about the new military retirement plan that came into existence in 2018. Going forward, the Department of Defense will place each active and retired service member in either the legacy plan or the new one, depending on his or her length of service, and a subset of service members will have the option to either remain in the legacy plan or opt into the new one through the end of 2018. 

As we described, features of the new retirement plan may complicate past and future military divorces.

Can you go to jail for not paying child support in Florida?

The answer is: sometimes. In narrow circumstances, a Florida state court may find that someone who owes child support is in civil contempt of court and order him or her incarcerated. 

But Florida law governing civil contempt as a legal remedy for failure to pay child support is very complicated, so any parent on either side of this issue should find an experienced family lawyer for advice and representation.

Important considerations when you choose a Florida family lawyer

At our law firm, we practice exclusively divorce and family law. Our laser focus on clients facing family or relationship conflict or need gives us deep understanding of the personal situations they face, often quite unexpectedly. 

These insights give us keen perspective on what makes a good fit between a family law client and his or her lawyer, some of which we will share here in our second post on the topic. In our first posting, we talked about the high professional bar reached by an attorney to whom The Florida Bar has granted Board Certification in Marital and Family Law like our own lawyer, Daniel Forrest.

What does it mean to be the “best” family lawyer?

Historically, it has been unethical for a lawyer to say that he or she is the “best” lawyer in town or in an area of law. And of course, it would be impossible to choose the best one — a subjective assessment that varies from person to person. So, how can you make a smart hiring decision? 

The truth is, there are many Florida lawyers who could adequately and effectively perform the legal services you need to handle your divorce, separation, paternity or other family law matter. It is also true that attorneys have different strengths and matching those to your unique requirements increases the chances of a positive experience.

Dividing firefighter and police pensions in Florida divorces

A complex issue our clients often face is the equitable division of pensions and other retirement benefits in divorce. The question of pension division is uniquely complicated in Florida when one of the spouses has accumulated financial interests in a pension as a firefighter or police officer. 

Private pension division 

New tax law will make alimony more expensive to paying ex-spouses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has many controversial provisions, but one will have significant impact on many divorcing couples. The new tax law makes an unexpected change to a tax arrangement that has been central to American divorces for three-quarters of a century. 

This change, many speculate, will make divorce settlement negotiations more contentious and supporting spouses less generous in agreeing to alimony obligations.

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