Pacheco Perez P.A.

Miami divorce law blog

Same-sex divorce may just be a strong sign of marriage equality

If you live in South Florida, you almost certainly know that June is Pride Month (and this year is especially momentous in light of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots). There are many things to celebrate during Pride Month each year, including the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Prior to that ruling, the practice was legal in some states, illegal in some states and constitutionally banned in others.

In the years since same-sex marriage became legal, many gay and lesbian couples have gotten married, and a significant number have gotten divorced. Although certain gay couples might view divorce as a failure (especially after just being granted the right to marry), some see it as another sign of equality and parity with heterosexual couples.

Be sure to do these things after your divorce is final

As you move into the divorce process, it may seem like there is no end in sight. However, as you continue to inch forward, you'll begin to see the finish line.

Once your divorce is final, it's time to move on with your life. It's time to leave the past in the past and look forward to everything the future has to offer.

Answer these alimony questions before going through a divorce

If you're moving toward the divorce process, it's time to learn more about alimony. While it may not end up being a part of your divorce settlement, it's still a good idea to understand how it works.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a monthly payment made by one former spouse to the other. The purpose of alimony is to reduce the economic impact of divorce on one spouse who is at a financial disadvantage.

Get these documents in order before your divorce

Once you decide to divorce, there are a variety of documents to get in order. Organization will go a long way in helping protect your legal rights, while also reducing your stress-load.

While there is no shortage of documents you may need for your divorce, here are five of the most common:

  • Income tax returns: Gather tax returns, both individual and business (if applicable), for the last three to five years. This should include federal, state and local tax filings.
  • Bank account statements: This includes all bank accounts, including checking, savings, business checking and money market among any others you have. A minimum of six months of statements is a good place to start.
  • Proof of income: This typically includes your pay stub, but may also come in the form of a letter from your employer.
  • Copy of your prenuptial agreement: If you have one, it's important to review it in detail and keep it close by. It'll factor into many aspects of your divorce, primarily property division.
  • Retirement account statements: Even if you're young, this isn't a detail to overlook. Retirement account statements, such as those associated with a 401(k) or IRA, heavily factor into property division.

Is your postnuptial agreement valid?

If you missed out on creating a prenuptial agreement before your wedding day, it's not too late to take action. You still have the opportunity to create a postnuptial agreement with your spouse, which is essentially the same thing.

There are many things to include in a postnuptial agreement, such as provisions regarding property and debt division.

Protecting parenting time with your child

One of the most difficult conflicts many parents face after divorce is understanding and respecting each other's parenting rights. It is natural for many parents to want their child entirely to themselves or to push boundaries to control which parent sets the tone for how to raise the child. While these tensions are easy to understand, they often cause one parent to act in ways that are not productive for the family and violate the other parent's rights in Florida.

Depending on how much one parent obstructs the rights of the other, this behavior may qualify as parenting time interference. Courts that oversee divorce and custody issues do not look favorably on a parent who interferes with the rights of the other parent, and may remedy this situation by removing parental privileges, ordering mandatory make-up time for missed custody or visitation, or may even serve a parent with criminal charges.

Do these things before asking for a divorce

If you've come to the conclusion that divorce is the best solution to your marital problems, don't hesitate to dive into the finer details of the process. The more you learn the easier it becomes to move forward without making costly mistakes.

Here are four things you should do before asking for a divorce:

  • Learn more about the process: There is more to the process than telling your spouse you want to divorce. For example, learn more about divorce mediation, property division, child custody and child support.
  • Make a list of your assets and debts: This allows you to prepare accordingly, while also avoiding a situation in which your soon-to-be ex-spouse hides assets or uses a joint credit card or loan for personal gain.
  • Consider the impact on your children: If you have children together, think about how it will impact them now and in the future. This will allow you to prepare accordingly.
  • Plan for the future: Divorce will change your life in many ways. For example, you may need to find a new place to live. This will also impact your financial situation, especially if you weren't working while married.

Challenges when adjusting to the summer schedule

As the summer months approach in Florida, parents who have a child custody agreement will have to determine the best way to approach their plans. It can be difficult to handle this type of situation because the weeks when school is out of session are the ones when the normal schedule changes and you have to figure out how to make schedules work.

Child custody orders usually include specific information for how to handle the summer months and other school breaks. Because of this, reviewing the child custody order before you make plans is a good idea. Preparing for the changes might help you to feel a bit less stress.

Follow these child custody exchange tips

Sharing custody with your ex-spouse may not be easy, but it's often in the best interest of your children. When it comes time to exchange custody, it's natural to have some nervous feelings.

Here are four tips you can follow to avoid an argument:

  • Show up on time: If you continually show up late, without a reason, you're going to anger your ex. It's best to show up on time, if not a little bit early.
  • Bring someone with you: If you have concerns about your safety, ask a friend or adult family member to accompany you. This holds true no matter if you're dropping off or picking up your children.
  • Exchange custody in a safe place: There are many options, such as a local police station or your child's school or day care. Not only does this enhance your safety, but it will give you peace of mind.
  • Settle on a schedule that works: Once you find something that works, such as exchanging custody in a particular location, stick with it. With the same schedule in place for each exchange, it's easier to stay on track and to avoid a mistake that causes an argument.

Top tips for managing marital property

It doesn't matter if you're happy in your marriage or considering a divorce, it's critical to have a clear understanding of how to best manage marital property. With the right tips guiding you, it's easier to avoid a mistake that could cost you money in the future.

Here are four tips for the more efficient management of marital property:

  • Consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement: Either way, you're able to make it clear which property isn't subject to division in divorce.
  • Maintain accurate financial records: For example, if there is property you want to keep separate, be sure that it's independent of your marital assets. Being able to prove this in your divorce is important.
  • Nonmarital property can increase in value: Depending on the property, your spouse may be able to stake claim to the increase in value if you decide to divorce.
  • Only use nonmarital property to purchase assets that you want to remain separate: For example, if you're purchasing a classic car that you want to protect in a divorce, be sure to purchase it with separate funds that you brought into the marriage. And again, document this to the best of your ability.

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