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Miami Divorce Law Blog

How does domestic violence impact children?

Domestic violence impacts everyone in and close to the situation, but children are the least equipped to understand and deal with domestic violence in a healthy way. Even if the children are not directly being abused, it can have a lifelong impact on their mental and emotional health.

It has been well documented that children living in a home where domestic violence is occurring can experience a host of problems, from trouble keeping up in school to acting out behaviors. These children may also become withdrawn and show symptoms of depression or may experience extreme anxiety, which can manifest in a host of physical symptoms. These symptoms occur in both children who directly experience domestic violence and those who only witness it happening to others.

How can a postnuptial agreement personally help me?

The vast majority of people who decide to marry give little thought to the fact that they may experience a divorce in the future. However, the reality is that circumstances tend to change over time. Depending on the length of your marriage you may discover things about your spouse years after your wedding which might cause you to worry about how a divorce will affect you. For example, over time you may learn that your spouse is terrible at managing finances. Or perhaps you will discover that your spouse has a proclivity for abusing alcohol or drugs.

However, these agreements doesn't always have to revolve around negative issues. That's because a postnuptial agreement is essentially a contract that spouses form after their marriage which provides a roadmap for individual property and asset ownership. These agreements also provide guidance on how those items should be distributed in case a spouse dies or the couple divorces. In fact, many estate planners consider postnuptial agreements as part of an overall strategy to plan against such future contingencies.

Surprising counter-petition in high-profile Florida divorce

A Florida pediatric dentist is now claiming that his ex-wife may have acted inappropriately with regards to handling their finances during their marriage. Although the couple's divorce was finalized on June 4, the dentist filed a counter-petition that same week alleging that his ex-wife set up a trust in secret where she reportedly stashed funds in excess of $2 million.

The dentist's court filing says that his wife of 15 years was the person responsible for handling the couple's business finances throughout their marriage. Besides the large trust she allegedly established specifically for herself, the dentist also claims that without his knowledge or consent, his ex-wife established four other accounts in secret.

Supervised visitation: What you need to know

In most situations, parents have free access to their children during parenting time as determined by the child custody order, but sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that bring the concept of supervised visitation into play. Whether you are seeking supervised visitation for when your children are with your ex or are trying to combat accusations of neglect or abuse, understanding why the Florida courts mandate supervised visitation in some situations can help you be better prepared for your own case.

One of the most common reasons that a parent is ordered to have supervised visitation is a history of abuse. Generally, these cases will involve abuse of the child in question, but in some situations, a history of domestic violence can also give cause for supervised visitations. Because the courts generally believe that unhindered access to both parents is in the best interests of the child, it can be difficult to get the courts to agree to supervised visitation.

Child custody an issue in Florida Congressman’s divorce

In late May, Florida Congressman Alan Grayson filed court documents in what represents the latest round of a contentious and high-profile divorce. According to those documents, Rep. Grayson is seeking primary physical custody and sole decision-making authority over four children he shares with his soon-to-be ex-wife of 24 years. The children range in age between 10 through 16 years old.

Rep. Grayson attempted to justify his request in his court documents by characterizing his spouse's behavior as erratic and unfair. According to Grayson's filing, this children's mother has previously denied him access to his children on several occasions. Grayson also indicated that his wife remains unwilling to cooperate with him to resolve issues related to the children's medical care, education and other activities.

New study says divorce doesn't have to hurt your health

Anyone who has even contemplated the idea of getting a divorce knows that it can take a huge toll on your emotional and physical well-being. However, a new study has revealed that getting a divorce may not increase your risk of long-term health problems later on.

The study looked at more than 10,000 people and tracked the status of their relationships at ages 23, 33, 42 and 46. The participants in the study ranged from those who had married and stayed married, those who had married and either divorced or remarried, those who lived with their partners without ever marrying and those who remained single. Approximately 66 percent of participants had gotten married and stayed married, less than 10 percent — 8 percent of men and 6 percent of women — had married and divorced, and just over 10 percent (11 percent of men and 12 percent of women — had never cohabitated with a spouse or partner.

Understanding how temporary alimony works in Florida

Ending a marriage is never an easy undertaking. Months and even years can pass by from the time that a spouse files his or her initial petition until the time that the court issues its final decree. This may seem like an eternity for both parties, but it can be an especially difficult time on those spouses who earn considerably less income than their counterparts. This can be even more so if those spouses are also providing the primary care for any children of the marriage.

Frequent readers of our online blog may recall that we previously discussed how Florida courts attempt to minimize these economic hardships. In that article, we talked about a type of temporary alimony Florida courts can award to help some spouses "bridge the gap" and get by financially while their divorces are ongoing.

What should I include in a prenup?

Prenuptial agreements used to be thought of as only something for the rich, but couples across various socioeconomic levels are increasingly turning to prenups as a way to protect their assets and simplify the property division process in the event of a divorce later on. However, there is also much confusion about what a prenup can legally cover. Understanding what a prenuptial agreement can and cannot do for you is important to creating realistic expectations.

In general, prenuptial agreements can only cover issues with property division. Specific assets can be named as separate property not to be included in the division of the marital property in a divorce, and who is and will be responsible for each debt can also be covered. Prenups can also work in combination with other legal estate planning documents to ensure that specific assets are kept in your family or go to any children from another relationship.

Florida's stance on grandparents' rights

Grandparents' rights have become an increasingly discussed aspect of child custody across Florida and the rest of the country in recent years. Many grandparents erroneously believe that they are entitled to visitation with their grandchildren no matter what, but in fact, how much consideration is given to grandparents depends largely on the particular set of circumstances and the state's laws.

Florida has recently taken a step toward having legislation on the books that would dictate how grandparents' rights are handled. House Bill 149 introduced into the 2015 Legislature seeks to outline the specific circumstances under which a grandparent can petition the courts for court-ordered visitation, which can also often lead to custody petitions as well.

Dividing up property in your Florida divorce is not always easy

In a perfect world, property division during divorces would run straight down the middle. In other words, anything either spouse brought into the marriage would remain their individual property. Additionally, anything that both parties acquired together while married would be sold and the money divided between the spouses evenly.

In theory that sounds like a great practice. But consider the fairness of forcing a spouse to liquidate a business they have spent years growing. What about the forced sell of a family pet? When seen from that perspective it becomes easier to understand why Florida currently recognizes "equitable distribution" as a more just way to dispose of marital property during a divorce. This means that Florida courts will also consider the fairness of any property division rather than focusing solely on creating some kind of 50-50 split.

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