Divorcing couples in Florida sometimes set themselves up for disappointment with unrealistic expectations. Even the most fair judge and competent legal team can only accomplish so much in the areas of property division, spousal support and legal issues surrounding child custody. Those contemplating the end of a marriage may benefit from reviewing some of the limitations of the legal process.
Some Florida couples whose marriages are on the rocks may be delaying a divorce because of concerns about health insurance. With uncertainty around its availability, people with preexisting conditions may remain married so they can ensure continued coverage. While the Affordable Care Act, which came into full effect in 2014, offered protections to people after divorce, it may be repealed or replaced. A 2012 study found that 115,000 women each year lost private health insurance after a divorce, and this may be the situation again in the future without the ACA.
Parents tend to face the most difficult decisions during a divorce, such as how to approach children about the change and how to maintain the family's standard of living. Florida parents may make the mistake of listening to common myths or taking protective attitudes too far.
In 2006, a man received a $250,000 bonus that was worth over $155,000 after taxes. In 2007, he filed for divorce from his wife and gave her nearly half of the after-tax amount. Days later, the wife signed an agreement saying that the money was community property and that he would claim the entire bonus on his tax return. The man then claimed a $127,000 alimony payment on an amended 2007 joint return filed with a new spouse.
When Florida couples decide to get a divorce, they can take certain actions that may help protect them financially. It is important to not put too much stock in advice from friends and family. While that advice may be well-meaning, it may also not apply, as everyone's circumstances are different. It may be better to speak to legal and financial professionals about any questions that might arise.
It is a commonly held view that couples in Florida and around the country are more likely to divorce during times of economic hardship, but a 2016 study claims that a couple's material circumstances have little bearing on their chances of staying together. The study, which was written by a sociologist from Harvard University, was based on a study of 6,309 marriages between 1968 and 2013.
Florida parents whose marriages are coming to an end can take a number of steps that will help their children adjust to the situation. They can start by talking honestly with their children when they know the divorce is imminent. Children notice changes such as parents sleeping in separate rooms. They should be reassured that the divorce has nothing to do with them and encouraged to ask questions and talk about what is going on. Children may need time to grieve, and how they process this grief may vary from child to child. If necessary, parents should not hesitate to contact a therapist to work with the children.
Parents in Florida who are getting a divorce may want to explore possibilities for joint custody. A number of studies have indicated that this arrangement usually leads to children who are psychologically and socially healthier and who do better in school. They are also less at risk for smoking, drinking and drug use.
The divorce rate for people 50 and older has doubled since 1990, but it is still half that of people under 50. Furthermore, some marriages of older adults in Florida and throughout the country are more vulnerable than others. For example, first marriages tend to be more stable than later marriages. Another predictor of divorce is the couple's financial situation. Couples who have $50,000 or less in assets are more likely to divorce than couples who have more than $250,000 in assets.
It is common for Florida couples to squabble over their finances. However, couples around the country are increasingly likely to split over their political views since Donald Trump has entered the White House. According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research in April 2017, 10 percent of couples were ending their relationships because of political disagreements.