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Sarasota Family Law Blog

Is divorce seasonal?

Many couples file for divorce in Florida, but is there an external factor that could affect their decision on when to file? There have been suggestions that divorce could be seasonal. Is there proof, though? What could be the reasons why divorce would be seasonal?

According to LiveScience, there is some suggestion that there could be a seasonal component to when people file for divorce. One of the main points that is often seen are people avoid divorcing during peak family times of the year. This includes the holidays and summer time.

How does remarriage affect your child?

After a divorce in Florida, you and your children may get used to spending a lot of time together. This can be great for bonding and rebuilding after the division of your family. Whether you have custody or you get parenting time while the kids live with your ex, things can change quite a bit if you decide to remarry. For some children, this can be very difficult to handle. For your sanity, the health of your marriage and the health of your relationship with your children, it is essential to plan ahead and prepare your kids for the marriage.

HealthChildren.org notes that remarriage disrupts the new family structure you have had since the divorce. It can put a wedge between you and your child, making him or her feel as if you are choosing the new spouse over him or her. You want to avoid this. In addition, kids may feel as if they cannot like your new spouse because they will betray their other parent if they do. Another common issue is kids feeling as if everything is changing again, which can make them go through the same feelings they had during the divorce.

What to do when other parent refuses visitation?

If you share parenting duties with a person you are not in a relationship with, there is always the chance that person could suddenly refuse to allow you to see your children. While this is not necessarily a legal move under Florida law, it still happens. 

According to The Spruce, parents may keep children away from their other parent for many reasons, but most visitation denial reasons are not going to stand up in court. For example, child support and visitation are seen as two separate issues by the courts, so a parent cannot stop visitation due to nonpayment of child support. A child custody arrangement is a court order, so when it is not abided by, it is a violation of the court order. Unless there is a very strong and compelling reason for your ex to not let you see your children, you can take it to court and have a judge step in.

2 signs of parental alienation during divorce

If you are in the middle of a bitter and painful divorce and you have kids, there is a strong possibility that their other parent will try to turn them against you. You may feel your children are old enough not to fall prey to your ex-partner’s tactics. But they are young, impressionable and not necessarily capable of knowing their other parent is manipulating them. 

Parental alienation is a big problem for some divorcing couples in Sarasota. One parent uses his or her kids’ love and affection against the other parent. The relationship between the victimized parent and her or his kids becomes toxic and hostile. Parental alienation is not something you should ignore. Here is a brief overview of warning signs that indicate your ex may be manipulating your kids. 

How can I deal with a spouse making our divorce difficult?

In Florida, there are couples getting divorced every day. Some of these couples may have an easy time ending their marriages while others may end up in a serious legal battle. If you fall into the last category, the chances are good that your divorce is dragging on because one of you is making things unnessaccarily difficult. 

If your spouse is the one who seems to be arguing over every little thing, refusing to make agreements and slowing the process down, then it is up to you to try to keep things moving. Dealing with a difficult spouse during a divorce can add extra time and money to the process. Your best bet is to reduce stress and get through the divorce is to follow some suggestions from the Huffington Post.

Under what circumstances can alimony be altered?

Florida alimony payments are not set in stone. Even after a court has ordered one party of a divorcing couple to pay alimony, Florida statute 61.14 lays out several circumstances that allow for a court to alter the alimony terms after the initial terms have been set.

First, both ex-spouses may decide to mutually change the terms of the initial alimony arrangement. Secondly, either of the two parties could experience a change in their financial circumstances, or in the case of the obligor, end up with fiscal problems that make it difficult to carry out regular payments. Finally, the child who is benefiting from the alimony may become of legal age under Florida law.

How are unmarried parental rights determined?

If you are having a baby and are not married, you may wonder about your parental rights in Florida. Mothers and fathers need to be concerned because having the legal rights to a child is important to ensure you have the ability to raise and care for the child without interference from others. 

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid notes state law automatically awards birth mothers the rights as legal guardian of a child. If you are in this situation, it means you have legal custody of the child and the right to control any decisions regarding him or her. 

Is it possible to divorce-proof a marriage?

Whether you are just beginning a marriage or have just filed for divorce in Florida, you may wonder if there is or was anything you could do to save your marriage. Are there certain characteristics that are shared by people who have lasting marriages? If so, could you employ them in your marriage? According to The Atlantic, there are characteristics that are shared by long-lasting marriages. However, these basic characteristics are often a sign of something larger that is actually what helps couples stay together.

For example, it is shown that couples who are religious and attend church regularly are less likely to divorce. This might just be the influence of the church and not really because the couple is stable and happy.

Options for growing your family through adoption

According to the USA Today, the Children's Network of Southwest Florida and other champions of families celebrate National Adoption Day in district courtrooms each year. You may have been considering bringing another child into your family. The Law Office of Philip J. Schipani often helps families navigate the legal adoption process so that they may one day participate in the celebration.

The Children's Network of Southwest Florida is just one agency that annually joins the courtroom observance of successful public and private adoptions. Since 2004, its leaders have assisted with more than 1,400 adoptions in that region alone. While managing the area's child welfare system, the network helps foster children find permanent homes, effectively building up families at the same time. By choosing this route, you have time to develop a relationship with your child before and during the adoption process.

How to adjust to being a stepparent

It is not uncommon for people in Florida to marry someone who already has children. When this happens, that person becomes a stepparent. It is a difficult job to take on because it requires being an active part of a child's life, one whom the person may not know too well. Luckily, there have been many people who have taken on such a role and have offered some helpful advice to new stepparents.

WebMD suggests one of the first steps a stepparent should take is to ensure he or she is involved with the children's parents. This means being included in conversations about raising and disciplining them, as well as school and other issues involving the child. When parents and stepparents work as a team, it creates a better environment for the child because it create a uniformity in the rules. Another important piece of advice is for a stepparent to not overwhelm the child. Sometimes a stepparent can be too nice and too enthusiastic. The process will take time, so it is important to not try to rush it by trying too hard.

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Law Office of Philip J. Schipani
1605 Main Street, Suite 608
Sarasota, FL 34236

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