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Florida Board Certified Family Law Attorney Blog

Facebook: cited nexus with a spiking divorce rate nationally

It certainly seems safe to say at this point that the online social networking site Facebook is a flat-out phenomenon of our times, and that it is driving human habits and behavior in ways that have never been seen before.

There are obvious upsides to using the portal for users in Florida and just about everywhere else on the planet. For starters, it’s fun. It forges social bonding and connections, and it serves as a reliable font of amusing and otherwise engaging information for users needing a break from other routines.

Along with all that social euphoria, though, comes a price for many users, and research is increasingly showing that the cost is far from negligible.

Qualifying for a mortgage after a divorce, continued

Continued from part 1.

The only way to cut your ties to the mortgage on your marital home is by having your spouse refinance the home in his or her name only (or by selling the home to a third party). Essentially, refinancing a mortgage means paying off the original mortgage with a new mortgage (taken out by just the spouse staying in the home).

However, keep in mind that it’s not a guarantee that the spouse who remains in the house will be able to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own, especially if the current mortgage is underwater. In that case, selling the home through a short sale may be one of the best options. 

Qualifying for a mortgage after a divorce

In many Florida divorce cases, one spouse decides to stay in the marital home while the other agrees to find a new place to live. Another common scenario is for the spouses to decide to sell the home and then both find a new place to live.

Either way, at least one spouse will likely need to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own sometime down the road. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your credit score and make sure the mortgage on the marital home is transferred properly following a divorce.

Dividing debts during a Florida divorce

In the wake of the economic recession, debt division has become a major issue in many Florida divorce cases. Although we most often think about assets needing to be divided during a divorce, debts also need to be distributed equitably between the spouses.

"Equitably" is a term of art that under Florida law means "fairly" but not necessarily "equally." Most commonly, marital debts that need to be divided during divorce include mortgage debt, credit card debt, home equity lines of credit and auto loans.

Hollywood sets positive divorce example

Hollywood isn’t exactly known for setting a good example when it comes to marriage and divorce. However, a new trend among the rich and famous is doing just that for so-called broken families.

Since announcing their amicable divorce earlier this year, movie star Gwyneth Paltrow and rocker Chris Martin have been photographed several times looking more like a happy couple than two people going through a breakup.

Falls the shadow: IRS to give greater scrutiny to alimony payments

“Between the idea and the reality,” T.S. Eliot once wrote, “falls the shadow.”

Eliot wasn’t specifically referring to the tax considerations regarding alimony payments when he made this statement in his poem, “The Hollow Men.”

In this post, however, we will consider the gap between the idea of the tax code on the treatment of such payments and the reality that often results.


Maximizing retirement assets during divorce (2 of 2)

Welcome back. Divorce is growing increasingly common among couples over the age of 50 in Florida and elsewhere, and it is expected that by 2030, 800,000 divorces will occur each year among this demographic. Not surprisingly, retirement assets are a huge issue in these “gray divorce” cases.

In our last post, we began discussing tips from a recent article from The New York Times on maximizing retirement assets during divorce. Here are the remaining tips:

Maximizing retirement assets during divorce (1 of 2)

In the state of Florida, each spouse is entitled to an “equitable” share of the marital assets during a divorce. That includes assets such as retirement accounts. However, what many people going through divorce later in life learn is that an “equitable” share of the retirement assets doesn’t go as far as they might like.

A 61-year-old businessman told The New York Times that his vision of retirement changed after the “financial belt needed to be tightened” when he and his wife divorced four years ago after 30 years of marriage. Many baby boomers going through divorce are finding themselves in a similar situation. 

How a prenup could protect your pet

As we have discussed in past posts on our blog, pet custody is becoming a more popular issue in Florida divorce cases. Recently, the celebrity split between Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas highlighted the issue.

According to reports, soon after Griffith and Banderas filed for divorce earlier this month after nearly 20 years of marriage, it became evident that a custody battle may be brewing -- over the former couple’s pets.

Spouses putting social media clauses in prenups

There is no question that many disgruntled spouses in Florida and the rest of the country use social media as a weapon during and after divorce proceedings. But, as we all know, once something is said on social media, it can’t be taken back.

That means things that are said out of spite and in the heat of the moment can end up doing a lot of damage to reputations and cause sensitive information to be leaked to the world.

In order to prevent this from happening, some spouses are including social media clauses in their prenuptial agreements.

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