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Destin Law Blog

Some misconceptions about shared parenting

When Florida parents get a divorce, they might want to consider shared parenting as an option. Research indicates that in most cases, children do better in joint custody situations. However, there are a few misconceptions that are not backed up by research that might prevent people from seeking joint custody.

For example, some individuals might assume that their children would prefer living in one place instead of moving back and forth between their parents' homes. However, according to one researcher and expert in shared parenting, in interviews, children say that they would rather put up with this disruption than have less time with either parent. Other people might also think that while this arrangement may be fine for older children, infants and toddlers will do better with one parent, usually the mother. However, there is no support for the idea that an infant bonds more significantly with the mother more than the father or that it is harmful to infants or toddlers to have overnight visitation with both parents.

Revenge is an unhealthy focus in divorce

Florida couples headed for divorce court may be tempted to use litigation as a vehicle to punish their former spouse. The quest for revenge can make even an uncomplicated divorce cost many thousands of dollars. Acrimony surrounding a marital breakup may make vengeance seem attractive, but choosing to go there is generally a mistake that costs more than just money.

There are many reasons it is prudent to avoid giving into the temptation of seeking revenge, but the most compelling reasons for most people are the innocents involved. Children often get caught in the crossfire, and such damage can last long after divorce papers are signed. Any time a parent gets hurt emotionally or financially, the children also feel some impact. A child has a lifetime relationship with both parents; any effort to make either parent look bad could be perceived by children as an attack on them, which can lead to emotional insecurities as well as a backlash against the revenge-seeking parent.

Tax changes that affect a divorce

Florida couples who end their marriages will face several tax issues. One of the main changes is that they will need to start filing separately instead of having a choice of married filing separately or jointly. This is the case if the divorce was finalized by the last day of the tax year in question.

During property division, there may be issues of taxes on assets. Some of these issues may be settled during the divorce. However, in some cases, a person might choose to keep an asset and sell it later. This could lead to a capital gains tax. If one person pays alimony to the other, that person can deduct the alimony. The recipient of the alimony pays taxes on it. .

The consequences of underage drinking during spring break

One issue that many college students in the Destin area end up dealing with during spring break involves underage drinking and DUI charges. Not all adolescents can resist the temptation and peer pressure to drink alcohol and drive while they are out hanging with their friends and roommates. As fun and exciting as things may seem at the time, the results often lead to criminal charges and penalties that have a long-lasting impact on their lives. 

The risks involved with underage drinking and DUI charges are not worth the consequences. Underage drinking is a zero-tolerance offense that can have a negative impact on the offender's future. Here are some things to consider about underage drinking and DUIs

Overcoming contempt can help to prevent divorce

A Florida couple considering divorce may be wondering how their relationship deteriorated. When one notable marriage expert looked at marriages in an attempt to determine why some last for years and others end in divorce, he identified several types of communication patterns that can indicate significant problems.

Called the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," these common danger signs are contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling. The expert pointed out that while all four communication traits can be damaging, contempt is the most dangerous to the future of a relationship.

Health insurance considerations when getting divorced

When Florida couples are ending their marriages, it is important that they think about their health insurance. Medical insurance is one detail that many divorcing spouses overlook. If they do not address it, one of the parties may be left without insurance coverage when the divorce is finalized.

When a divorce petition is filed, insurance changes are not allowed. This means that a spouse who is on his or her spouse's insurance policy will continue to have coverage while the divorce is pending. However, the coverage will end once the divorce decree is issued. It is not possible for a person to continue coverage for an ex-spouse after the divorce.

What to remember when settling a divorce

Florida estranged couples may be able to negotiate directly with each other to settle their divorce. This may be done privately or with the help of a mediator. Prior to entering negotiations, it may be a good idea for an individual to learn more about his or her rights and responsibilities after the marriage ends.

For instance, it may be necessary to pay alimony to a former spouse or make child support payments. State law may also require that both parents have access to a child after a marriage ends. Those who are going through a divorce may also benefit from having a clear understanding of their financial situation. This may help an individual learn more about how much he or she can afford to pay in alimony and other payments.

Digital devices, stalking and divorce

Stalking can be a serious problem for some people in Florida who get a divorce. In the age of smartphones and digital trackers, it can be even more intrusive. A Justice Department survey found that 3.3 percent of people who were divorced or separated reported experiencing stalking, which is more than twice the 1.5 percentage of the total population that reported it.

One woman wondered how her ex-husband always seemed to know where she was. When she took her car in for maintenance and asked that it be checked for a GPS tracker as well, a mechanic found one. However, although she reported the situation to the police, it was not illegal since her ex-husband also owned the car. The woman said she also thought her ex-husband had installed spyware on her phone. However, when she went to a store to have it checked for spyware, the solution was to switch it out for a new phone. This meant that she did not have any proof, and her husband denied installing any spyware.

What to do if a spouse will not sign divorce papers

There are a number of reasons why married couples divorce. Infidelity and drug abuse are common factors that play into a separation. However, many times, couples simply become incompatible. People change and can grow apart over the years, and this can lead to marriage ending.

Regardless of the reason, divorce is always a messy issue. It becomes much tougher if one spouse does not agree to sign the paperwork offered by the other. An uncooperative spouse can drag out the process by months, but it is possible to finalize a divorce even if one partner is against it. At the end of the day, it will be in the other spouse's best interest to follow through with the proceedings and cooperate. 

The main reasons couples divorce after years of marriage

Many couples divorce after decades of marriage. Attorneys typically refer to this as gray divorce, and it occurs when spouses each over the age of 50 decide to divorce. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 10 out of every 1,000 married persons over the age of 50 divorced. This is a significant increase from 1990 when the rate was five out of every 1,000. 

This begs the question, "Why are so many more Baby Boomers divorcing?" On first glance, it would seem that after 20 or 30 years of marriage, a couple would have everything figured out. However, there are several reasons why divorce is on the rise in the Baby Boomer generation now. 

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