Naples Family Law Blog

Typical mistakes during a divorce

Couples who are going through a divorce in Florida may be dealing with emotions such as anger, sadness and resentment, and when these affect how a spouse deals with the divorce proceedings, this can lead to negative outcomes. There are many decisions to make during a divorce, and whether it is due to emotions, to save money or to avoid making hard choices, there are common mistakes couples make during a divorce.

According to Forbes, some of the biggest mistakes a couple makes relate to finances. One is not making a new financial plan currently and for the future. It is a good idea to speak with a financial professional about how to make smart decisions now so once the dust settles after the divorce, it is easy to make a fresh start. Either or both spouses may fight hard to keep the house without considering what that means. Paying for a mortgage, insurance, upkeep and repairs with only one salary can be financially draining. Some couples may consider taking money out of their retirement accounts early to help pay for bills now, but this is a terrible idea when considering the tax implications, and it may be difficult to replace that money.

Build a strategy to end juvenile dependency in Florida

Children are uniquely vulnerable to abuse and neglect because they cannot advocate for themselves and may not understand when they experience mistreatment or abuse. To protect vulnerable citizens, Florida has laws in place that allow the state to limit or even terminate the parental rights of individuals who do not adequately care for their children.

If your family has found itself tied up in a juvenile dependency case, regaining your parental rights and bringing your children home are probably your primary focus. To succeed in this goal, you need to carefully consider your options and develop a strategy to help you navigate the courts and demonstrate your parenting abilities.

Emotional abuse and divorce

When someone is the victim of physical abuse in Florida, there are easy-to-identify signs, such as bruises or broken bones. However, emotional abuse is harder to identify, both by the victim and by others, which can make it difficult to prove in cases of divorce. Knowing the signs to look for, and working with an expert in the area, can help.

According to PsychCentral, emotional or psychological abuse happens when the abuser tries to control or manipulate the other partner which, in turn, leads to low self-esteem, a feeling of hopelessness and self-blaming. One type of abuse is gaslighting, and this occurs when the abuser provides inaccurate information in order to confuse the victim. Other signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Criticism and put-downs
  • Sarcasm or mean jokes towards victim
  • Using money, sex or affection to control
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Needing to know where victim is at all times
  • Ignoring and refusing to communicate

How to handle a Florida divorce when you're pregnant

For some couples struggling to maintain their relationship, children can be an inspiration that helps them preserve their marital union. For others, the discovery of impending parenthood may instead be motivation to end the relationship.

If you are currently pregnant and know that you will need to seek a divorce in Florida, there will be special considerations for you throughout the process. Familiarizing yourself with how Florida approaches divorce during pregnancy can help you make more informed decisions about the end of your marriage.

The effects of disability in women on child custody

Women with mobility disabilities in Florida may worry about custodial battles if they are no longer in a relationship with their partner. This may become even worse if the father has no disabilities as they fear the court may rule in the father’s favor because it may view him as a better caregiver.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, every year, 145,000 American women with serious mobility disabilities become pregnant. This number does not include non-civilians and women who are institutionalized. The study published by the NIH suggests that there is an underground movement of women advocating for each other to fulfil their dreams of motherhood.

Protecting your retirement plans in a gray divorce

According to Forbes, gray divorce is on the rise. In fact, over the past 25 years, it increased by 109%, compared to just 21% for people between the ages of 25 and 39. There are many potential reasons for gray divorces in Florida and the rest of the U.S., including greater financial independence for women and even the availability of healthcare without needing to rely on a partner’s plan.

Regardless of why people divorce at 50 years or older, they all face one big concern: retirement. When two people contribute or one spouse worked a high-paying job, retirement is relatively easier for couples. However, when couples separate, retirement plans for both parties take a beating.

"Seahorse" dads present unique paternity considerations

With advances in gender reassignment surgery and changes in federal policy regarding marriage rights, more people than ever before are in same-sex marriages or have a fulfilling union with a transgender, genderqueer or non-binary partner. That has given rise to so-called "seahorse dads."

For those unfamiliar with this term, a seahorse dad is a transgender man or a person assigned female at birth who now presents as male who carries a child to term. The name derives from the fact that in seahorses, it is the male of the species who gives birth, which is certainly unique among animals. Thanks to advancements in technology, humans are now the second species capable of having males carry children to term.

What is the juvenile dependency process for a parent?

Of the many reasons Florida parents can end up in court, juvenile dependency is one of the most dreaded. According to the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel First District, Florida, a dependency action often follows allegations of the abuse, neglect or abandonment of a child.

The first step involves the Department of Children and Families investigating any reported allegations. These often come in through the Florida Abuse Hotline. If the DCF believes the child is in danger, then they may remove the child from your custody, if you are the current guardian. Within 24 hours of removal, a shelter hearing decides whether or not the child may continue to live with you. If DCF decides the child should not return home, it may file a Petition for Dependency only, triggering a court case.

Follow these tips to obtain a child support modification

Even if you've come to terms with making a monthly child support payment, your financial circumstances could change in the future. From losing your job to facing a serious illness that makes it impossible to work, your situation can change without notice.

If you're interested in a child support modification, there are five tips to follow:

  • Don't delay: You're responsible for making child support payments until you receive a modification order from the court. The longer you wait to take action, the longer it will be before your payment is modified to something more reasonable.
  • Learn more: There's more to a child support modification than telling the other parent that you can't make your regularly scheduled payments. You must understand the laws in place, as well as the process you're required to follow.
  • Talk to the other parent: It's a difficult conversation to have, but talk to the other parent about your situation and the possibility of a modification. If they agree, it's much more likely that the court will follow suit.
  • Don't miss payments: Do whatever you can to stay current on payments, as you don't want these to pile up. As noted above, you're responsible for all payments until you receive a modification.
  • Document your financial change: The court wants proof that you're unable to make your child support payments as required. The type of proof that you share is based on your reason for wanting a modification. For example, if you've lost your job, share your termination letter and copy of your unemployment checks with the court.

The dirty tactic some parents use to gain custody

When fighting for custody in Florida, it is understandable that some parents may become desperate. They want to ensure they can continue to see their children. Sometimes this desperation is so strong that parents turn to underhanded tactics to either win custody or gain a child’s favor. What is this dirty tactic? Some parents brainwash their children against their ex, and what is worse is that sometimes this happens on both sides.

According to ABC News, this is called parental alienation and it often makes its way into the courtroom. In an attempt to secure custody, one parent may even successfully manipulate the child into making false accusations against the other. This is so often without proof that courts have become increasingly convinced that when child abuse comes up in court, divorce poison may be the cause.

Email Attorney Brennan

Contact Me To Arrange A Consultation Call 239-207-3051 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation regarding your family law concerns.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

map icon


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

Toll Free: 877-482-5176
Phone: 239-963-8895
Naples Law Office Map