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Sarasota Family Law Blog

What defines avoid parental alienation syndrome?

It’s uncommon for divorced parents in Florida and elsewhere to get along most of the time. After all, they are divorced for a reason. However, even if you would rather never speak to your ex again, you both have children together, and it’s important for your kids to have a healthy relationship with both parents.

Deliberately restricting one parent from having a relationship with the other is a common occurrence, sadly. In fact, this phenomenon has a name, according to Psychology Today – parental alienation syndrome. When your kids are alienated from the other parent, it doesn’t just hurt the parent who spends limited time with the children. It can cause lasting psychological damage to the children. Psychologists say that the parent who does the alienating is usually the least emotionally stable of both parents, and he or she is likely to be the one with primary custody. The following tactics are common with parental alienation syndrome:

  • Bad-mouthing the other parent to the children
  • Blaming the other parent or making false accusations against him or her
  • Recruiting other family members and friends to take sides against the other parent
  • Sabotaging the kids’ visitation and parenting time with the other parent

Things a prenup cannot do

Before a wedding, there are a lot of exciting things to plan. One item that may not be as exciting but is an essential part of the process is a prenuptial agreement

While it may be a difficult subject to broach, it is vital to remain realistic. A prenup can do a lot of good in the event of a divorce. However, it can cause complications if you use your prenup in the wrong way. Here are some of the items a court of law will not allow in a prenup. 

Does Florida recognize common law marriage?

If you and your partner are currently living together in Florida without benefit of marriage, are the two of you nevertheless legally married even though you never went through a marriage ceremony? The answer to that question depends on the state in which you lived at the time your and your partner started living together.

As Unmarried.org explains, the concept of common law marriage, i.e., “do it yourself” marriages established by virtue of a couple deciding to live together, dates back to England’s common law. Consequently, it embedded itself into American “common law,” too. However, in the United States, you and your partner can only establish a common law marriage in the states that provide for it. Florida is not one of today’s 16 such states.

What things can I legitimately spend my child support on?

As a divorced Florida parent receiving child support from your former spouse, you likely have nagging worries about how you can legitimately spend that money and who, if anyone, can take issue with the way you spend it. Fortunately for you, FindLaw explains that you can spend your child support money virtually however you want as long as those expenditures benefit your child in some way.

Naturally your child support money should go first and foremost for your child’s necessities such as food, clothing, housing, etc. But have you ever actually thought about what constitutes your child’s housing? If not, you may wish to consider using some of your child support money to pay your child’s share of the following:

  • Your mortgage payment
  • Your homeowner’s insurance policy premium
  • Your utilities
  • Your home repairs

Should you put a forensic accountant on your legal team?

As one-half of a Florida high-asset couple seeking a divorce, you may fear that your spouse is hiding marital assets in order to deprive you of that which is legally yours and enhance his or her own post-divorce financial situation. Unfortunately, spousal marital asset hiding represents a rather common form of financial fraud practiced by a surprising number of vindictive and/or greedy spouses.

FindLaw explains that if, in fact, your spouse really is hiding marital assets from you, you may need to hire a forensic accountant as part of your legal team in order to find and track these assets.

3 ways to have a better divorce

Even when it comes as a relief, the divorce process can be difficult to handle both psychologically and logistically. While some complications may prove impossible to avoid, there are several ways you can make matters easier for yourself and for your children.

If you are aware of any issues that could add complexity to your divorce, such as a family business or questionable prenuptial agreement, be sure to have a thorough discussion with your attorney. This way, you can learn more about potential options and make an informed decision.

Can I move my child out of state after my divorce?

As a divorced Florida parent, you should know the law regarding post-divorce relocations with your child(ren). Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes provides that you must obtain court permission to move more than 50 miles from your current residence. Therefore, for instance, if you get a promotion at work that requires you to move to another state, you will need to petition the court for permission to do so.

Noncustodial parent notification

What is the gray divorce phenomenon?

Divorce at any age can be emotional. Not only are you faced with the task of dividing marital property you have accumulated during the marriage, but there are financial issues that must be addressed before the final settlement is approved. This can be especially difficult if you are over the age of 50 years. Although you may believe that the longer you stay married, the less likely you are to file for divorce, a study initiated by Bowling Green University shows differently. According to researchers, the rate of people over the age of 50 who are filing for divorce is steadily increasing. While only one in ten people in this age bracket filed for divorce in 1990, one in four filed in 2009 and the numbers have risen. It is predicted that the number of post 50-year-old divorces could reach 800,000 by 2030.

It is known as the gray divorce phenomenon and many are wondering what is causing this increase in divorce at a later age. Some believe it is financial stability. Years ago, many women were financially dependent on their spouses and they did not have the means to take care of themselves. With the infiltration of women in the workforce, some women are now financially independent and are not forced to stay in unhappy marriages because of monetary reasons. Another reason may be that people are living longer. Once the kids move out of the house and retirement arrives, people more time and do not want to stay in bad marital situations.

What constitutes a fair and equitable property settlement?

When you and your spouse get a Florida divorce, the law requires that you divide your marital property fairly and equitably between you. But what exactly does “fair and equitable” mean? Unfortunately, no clear-cut definition exists. What may be fair and equitable for one couple could be completely unfair and inequitable for another.

The Huffington Post reports that while a 50/50 split of property would seem like the obvious answer to the fair and equitable conundrum, such is not always the case. You must consider additional factors as well.

Recognizing signs of parental alienation

Separating from your one-time partner is almost never easy or seamless, but it can prove even more complicated when the two of you share children. While some couples are able to easily navigate co-parenting relationships, others have a tough time doing so, and in extreme cases, one parent may make efforts to try and turn a child against the other parent.

Parental alienation can take on any number of different forms, and while it may cause problems for you by potentially turning your child against you, it can also have negative effects on your child.

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