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How to divide a retirement account in a divorce

If a Florida couple needs to divide a 401(k) or another type of workplace pension plan as part of a divorce agreement, they will also need to get a document known as a qualified domestic relations order. A QDRO allows for a distribution in case of divorce without incurring taxes or penalties.

Because errors can be costly, a QDRO must be carefully prepared. It should be created in consultation with the plan administrator and reviewed by the couple and their attorneys to ensure that it reflects the divorce agreement's intent. The QDRO should also indicate whether a person is going to receive the distribution directly or roll it over into an IRA. In the former situation, the receiver will need to pay regular taxes on the distribution.

How fathers may get custody of their children

Some fathers in Florida who are going through a divorce might wonder whether they can get full physical custody of their children. Traditionally, courts have awarded custody to mothers. Furthermore, there is some stigma attached to divorced fathers as deadbeat dads or otherwise being uninvolved in their children's lives. However, there are still things fathers can do to increase the likelihood that they will be awarded physical custody.

Fathers should document all the time they spend with their children as well as any financial expenditures. The father should also be prepared to be questioned by the judge about the relationship with the child. With the best interests of the child in mind, the judge will want to make sure the relationship is a good one.

How parents can prevent underage drinking this spring break

Binge drinking during spring break runs rampant every year, and many people overlook the dangers. Approximately 1,800 students die each year as a result of binge drinking, and over 600,000 suffer injuries as a result of their actions while drunk. 

For parents, spring break can be scary. Even if your child does not get hurt, he or she could still face arrest for underage drinking or for operating a vehicle under the influence. For anyone under the age of 21, there is a zero tolerance policy, so driving a car with a BAC of even 0.01 percent is enough to lead to a DUI. You can increase the chances of your kid staying safe by following these pieces of advice. 

Financial issues of later-in-life divorce

Over the past 25 years, the divorce rate for people over the age of 50 in Florida and across the country has more than doubled, and studies indicate that this number is continuing to rise. When people consider a divorce later in life, they face all the same challenges that all people do upon the end of a marriage, including emotional, practical and financial concerns. For people divorcing later in life, however, the financial aspects can be particularly complex, especially if the couple has been married for a number of years and accumulated assets together.

Many divorcing couples over the age of 50 are dealing with a high-asset divorce that involves substantial attention to property division and a wide array of investments. It can be very helpful for a divorcing spouse to be prepared with information about the property of the couple, including both jointly held and individual assets. Records of former employment can also be important as they can help to turn up stock options and other assets that should be considered in the divorce.

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.

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Destin, FL 32541

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