Naples Family Law Blog

Get your assets appraised for fair property division negotiations

Going through a divorce is hard enough, but what can be more frustrating is how business-like you have to be with your assets. It's not just a matter of "I want this and you can have that." You may need to have valuations of assets to determine their worth, so that the actual value of your marital estate is known and can be divided fairly.

There are certain assets that are more likely to need to be evaluated. Some pieces of property you may wish to have assessed include:

  • Your home or property in your possession
  • Vehicles
  • Artwork
  • Antiques

Parents need to take supervised visits seriously

When parents get divorced in Florida or any other state, it can take an emotional toll on their children as well. Although both parents are generally allowed to have a relationship with their kids, a parent and child may have limited time together. Therefore, it is important that parents understand how to make the most of each visit that they have with their sons or daughters. This is important even if a parent is required to have supervised visitation.

A judge may order supervised visitation if he or she believes that a child could be danger if left alone with a noncustodial parent. Typically, supervised visitation is ordered when a parent has a history of abusing another person or using illicit substances. In some cases, parents will only be allowed to interact with their child by phone or video monitor. While this may be frustrating, parents are encouraged to worry more about how these visits benefit their children.

Why a prenuptial agreement could help in a divorce

Some people in Florida who are getting married might want a prenuptial agreement. This can be useful for individuals who are bringing assets into the marriage they want to protect or who have children from a previous marriage.

The property that people bring into a marriage is considered separate property, but this is not as straightforward as they might assume. For example, if a person brings a home into a marriage, this could be considered joint property if marital funds are used to renovate it or pay the mortgage. People should keep in mind that income earned during marriage could be considered part of this marital property. A prenup could state that the appreciation in value of an asset belongs to the original owner regardless of where the funding came from. If either person is expecting an inheritance, a prenup might be used in a similar way.

What reasonable parenting decisions sometimes look like neglect?

Being a parent is a difficult, expensive and often thankless role. While you may get your proverbial payment in the form of the love you feel for your children and the joy of watching them grow, the stresses of parenting seem to only have become more intense since the digital revolution.

In recent years, parents have found themselves under increasing levels of scrutiny by others for the actions they take or don't take in their role as the primary caregiver for a child. Mobile devices make it easier than ever for people to capture misleading pictures, while online comment culture leaves everyone thinking they have the right to an opinion on how you parent.

Dealing with parenting long-distance after divorce

While getting a divorce and splitting custody of the children can be difficult for Florida parents, this can be even harder if they live a long distance from one another. The quantity of their time with their children may be less, but parents can focus on making sure the time they do have is high-quality. There are also small things they can do to maintain the bond.

For example, long-distance parents can send children weekly postcards with personal messages on them. They can also use platforms like Instagram, text and email to communicate with their children, and they can phone outside of the planned hours. These are all gestures that let children know that their parents are thinking about them all the time. Asking specific questions that refer back to their activities, such as whether they enjoyed a sleepover or how they did on a test, lets children know their parents are paying attention.

Know how to handle a toxic ex during divorce

The decision to divorce is never one to take lightly. While there are some people who can work toward the legal end of the marriage in a mature manner, others can't. Instead, one party is left dealing with a person who is toxic. This makes an already difficult situation even more challenging.

When you are in this position, you might find that every decision turns into a massive disagreement. The toxic ex is going to do everything they can to make you as miserable as possible. Dealing with this can add more stress to your life.

Asset division can become complicated for Florida LGBT couples

Splitting your possessions is a source of contention in many divorces. Like most other states in the country, Florida family courts use an equitable distribution standard when determining how to split up the possessions of people going through divorce. Typically, equitable distribution involves the allocation of assets acquired during the marriage to both spouses based on factors from the marriage, including each individual's financial contributions, the length of the marriage and the overall value of the marital assets.

For many couples in Florida, this process is relatively straightforward. However, LGBT couples can sometimes have unique considerations that can alter the outcome of asset division in a divorce. Specifically, issues related to the state not recognizing the union prior to a Supreme Court ruling could impact what is fair and reasonable in your case.

Using your role as a father to improve visitation experiences

Even though you and your spouse made the decision to separate and seek a divorce in Florida, you have the unique opportunity to continue to make an impact in the lives of your children through your role as their father. Despite the changes in your personal relationships, you can continue to be the type of parent that encourages your children to live a successful and happy life. At Beverly L. Brennan, we are committed to helping divorced parents to make the most of their new life. 

One of the toughest parts of your divorce may be the process of finalizing a parenting plan. Often, this ongoing effort requires you and your spouse to negotiate terms including logistics, scheduling conflicts, and general parenting responsibilities. Both of you will need to determine who should be responsible for what and what the arrangements will be for holidays and other important events. Once decisions have been made, you should request a clause that will enable the plan to be modified as your children grow and their needs change. 

The gray area of paternity testing

Many fathers in Florida have wondered at some point if they are the father of their children. Faced with pervasive doubts, many may deny the child all together and refuse to offer support of any kind. This can have devastating effects on not just the woman, but far more importantly, the child. These children may grow up fatherless as a result of the disconnect. If they had a relationship with their fathers prior to this, it may leave them with abandonment issues for some time to come.

The Atlantic points out that for years, people relied on social relationships to determine fatherhood. Fathers often became designated as such in a courtroom because they claimed fatherhood, especially in unmarried households. This ultimately became a problem when the man claimed the opposite. For married couples, a husband was almost always designated as the father of his wife’s children, even if her fidelity was in question.

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Beverly L . Brennan A PARTNER AT MCLAUGHLIN & STERN, LLP - NAPLES, FLORIDA ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

Beverly L. Brennan, P.A.
5150 Tamiami Trail North
Suite 602
Naples, FL 34103

Toll Free: 877-482-5176
Phone: 239-963-8895
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