Beverly L. Brennan, P.A. Attorney & Counsellor At law Naples Florida

239.963.8895 | 1.877.482.5176

3033 Riviera Drive, Suite 202 Naples, FL 34103

©Phillip C. Wilkerson

Helping families and individuals since 1986
Helping families and individuals since 1986

Naples Family Law Blog

What is considered separate property?

One of the major questions divorcing Florida residents may face is what constitutes property that they share under law. Much of their property and assets will be considered martial property and will likely be divided up in a divorce proceeding. However, some property may still be considered the separate property of each party, as the Huffington Post describes in this article.

Separate and martial property is a concept that is not always cut and dry. Sometimes which kind of property can be defined as separate differs according to state. However, we can generally consider several forms of property to be separate. First, this can include any piece of property that either spouse owned before the marriage. Separate property can also consist of an inheritance either the wife or the husband receives prior to or after the marriage. Additionally, gifts either of the spouses receive from a third party, such as a relative, qualify as separate property. Finally, if a spouse receives payment from a pain and suffering case, that money is also considered separate property.

Which parent claims a child as dependent this tax season?

It is often difficult to know how to navigate many of the issues that arise when two parents choose to raise a child separately. Whether this occurs in a divorce or between two individuals who are not married to each other, the process can prove difficult no matter how you approach it.

No matter how you reach the middle ground, do not underestimate the value of detailing out your agreements in writing. Even if you are not developing a custody plan as part of a divorce, the guidance of an attorney can prove invaluable as you work through the many matters that arise when you raise a child in two separate households.

College issues that come with divorce

Ending your marriage can change your life in many different ways. For example, your relationship with your children could be affected or you might experience financial complications. However, preparing ahead can help prevent or reduce the impact of these challenges, in some instances. Moreover, it is important to be aware of the other ways that divorce could affect you. For example, whether you are attending college or one of your children will soon start classes, it may be a good idea to focus on this facet of life if you are approaching divorce.

If you are pursuing a graduate degree or are enrolled in college courses for another reason, divorce could interfere with your ability to study and complete assignments. As a result, it is a good idea to implement time management strategies and look for ways to reduce stress. At the same time, many parents have children who are in college or will be attending college in the near future. If you are in this position, it is critical to make sure that you take your child’s college attendance into consideration. From child support to helping with tuition, there are various divorce-related matters you may have to go over. Furthermore, ending your marriage can bring up other issues if you have children enrolled in grade school, such as custody arrangements.

Divorce and your travel plans

A myriad of factors can influence the outcome of a divorce case, such as accusations of intimate partner violence and the financial position of each party. However, dealing with divorce matters can be especially tough for those who travel regularly or have an extensive trip coming up. Whether you have planned a vacation and do not want the end of your marriage to derail what you lined up or you are required to travel for business purposes, it is very important to do what you can to reduce the likelihood of your trip having a negative impact on the outcome of your divorce.

In some cases, it can be a good idea for people to cancel their plans or shorten their trips, if possible. For example, being out of the country during a custody hearing could have a detrimental impact on one’s ability to obtain the most favorable child custody outcome. You could be able to explain your circumstances to your employer and either cancel or shorten your business trip as well. Moreover, it could be beneficial to explain your situation to your spouse and see if they are willing to accommodate your schedule, although this definitely does not always work out.

What are the consequences of back spousal support?

We have covered many different family law matters throughout this blog, from child support delinquency to custody issues. However, it is important to bear in mind that other hurdles which may not receive as much attention, such as unpaid spousal support, can also create various challenges for people. If you have fallen behind on your spousal support obligations or fear that you will no longer be able to pay what you owe, it is crucial to realize the potential consequences you may face and go over any options that could help you avoid delinquency. Or, if you are already behind, you may want to review potential strategies to address your circumstances, such as modification or a payment plan.

Falling behind on spousal support can create financial difficulties for those who are not receiving payments. Moreover, it can lead to a great deal of stress for both parties and damage the reputation of those who fall behind on their payments. According to material put forward by the Internal Revenue Service, spousal support delinquency can also lead to one's tax refund being offset. If your tax refund is offset, this can be very frustrating and it may also generate quite a bit of anxiety, which underlines the importance of preventing this problem.

Divorce and identity theft

If you are preparing to end your marriage, various hurdles may lie ahead. Whether you are worried about the financial ramifications that could come with calling the marriage off or you are unsure of how custody will be awarded, this can be a hard time. However, there are other facets of divorce that you may want to consider. For example, some people have become victims of identity theft after splitting up with their spouse. Our law firm knows how emotional divorce cases can be and we have also seen the extreme actions that some people carry out.

So, how can divorce increase the chances of identity theft? Often, a spouse has access to their partner’s sensitive information, such as their date of birth, social security number, credit card number, financial accounts, and other types of information that could be harmful in the wrong hands. Although it may be hard for some people to picture their formal marital partner as an identity thief, these problems can sometimes arise when things go sour. Moreover, this information can be shared with other people, such as an in-law, who may misuse it. From the opening of fake accounts to draining funds, identity theft can be very hard and make life even more challenging for someone who has been through a divorce recently.

Custody issues and Halloween

There are all sorts of challenges that can arise during a dispute over child custody or after an arrangment is already in place. From strong emotions to extreme stress levels and concerns about a child's well-being and a parent's ability to maintain a close bond with the child, to say that custody issues can be hard is an understatement. We also know that there are certain times of year, such as Halloween and other holidays, when custody matters can be even more difficult for parents and their children to deal with. If you recently experienced any of these hardships on Halloween, whether you were unable to go trick-or-treating with your child or struggled with confusion involving your child's other parent, you should look into preventing these complications from arising in the future.

Halloween can be disrupted by custody matters in many ways. Whether children feel stressed out or depressed as a result of their parents' custody dispute, a parent is upset because they cannot spend time with a child on the holiday, or parents who have shared custody have difficulty decidiing who will go trick-or-treating with the child, this holiday and other celebrations can present challenges. However, parents should always keep their child's best interests in mind at all times and try to prevent any of these issues from arising during future holiday celebrations, at least to the best of their ability.

Seasonal affective disorder and the divorce process

Seasonal affective disorder can lead to a wide range of challenges, which can be particularly tough for those who are ending their marriage. From depression to constantly feeling fatigued, SAD can be tricky, especially if you are approaching the process of divorce. By recognizing the consequences of this condition, you may be able to prevent SAD from interfering with your ability to work towards a fair and favorable outcome during the end of your marriage, if you are facing any of these challenges on a personal level. People who suffer from SAD and other challenges, such as PTSD, should not feel as if they are trapped in their marriage.

There are a number of strategies that might help if you have this disorder and are concerned about how it will affect your divorce. If you are able to minimize the symptoms of SAD, this could be very helpful. Moreover, by giving yourself a clear understanding of the challenges you are facing or may encounter with the end of your marriage, you might have a sense of security and more confidence in the decisions you make. You should try to keep this disorder from having a negative impact on your divorce, if possible. Furthermore, you might find that ending your marriage could ultimately lead to a brighter future, which may be very helpful if you are struggling with depression or other emotional difficulties.

Filing for divorce as a military family

Divorce almost always creates certain hurdles for people who have chosen to end their marriage. Sometimes, couples may have a considerable amount of emotional pain and difficulty adjusting to their new lives. In other cases, couples are often upset over legal issues involving the custody of their kids, child support, the division of marital property, and other topics. Regrettably, these challenges can be even more difficult for those who are serving in the military or have a spouse who is a military member.

Our firm recognizes the different reasons why military divorces can be harder. First of all, military service sometimes creates unique challenges in families, whether a parent is required to spend a significant amount of time away from his or her children or a married couple struggles with a lack of communication or time apart. Those dealing with a military divorce may be unsure of how to approach the process of ending marriage, especially if a spouse is stationed in another state or deployed outside of the country.

Grandparents have limited visitation rights in Florida

Grandparents in Florida have limited rights to see their grandchildren, with courts coming down on the side of parents as the rightful decision-makers in who can interact with their children. Despite this judicial climate, the grandparents of two Orange County children won visitation rights earlier this year, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The decision comes from Florida's Supreme Court and allows the paternal grandparents to have the children visit them at their Colorado home twice a year.

In handing down the ruling, justices were careful to note that the case did not apply to grandparents living in Florida, who have no such rights. Justices explain that their decision is due to Colorado court rulings that allow the grandparents to have visitation rights. The Florida court was following a U.S. Constitutional clause that requires stated to recognize judicial decisions of other states.