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Fort Myers Divorce Law Blog

Can spousal rights be waived?

When it comes to marital property and contracts, many people are aware of prenuptial agreements and the different reasons why couples sign them. In Lee County, and counties through all of Florida, some people do not realize that postnuptial agreements are also a possibility and that people can waive their spousal rights.

Spouses have the ability to wave either all or some of their spousal rights, according to the Florida Legislature. If one spouse decides to waive his or her rights, they can waive rights to various forms of property, such as inheritance, family allowance, property that is exempt and other types of property. These rights can be waived by signing an agreement before a couple has filed for divorce, but they can also be waived after a couple has ended their marriage.

Working through divorce as a high-profile couple

Whenever a couple decides to end their marriage, emotions can run high and daily life can be very stressful. However, these challenges can be even more difficult for high-couple profiles who live throughout the state of Florida. At Fried and Fried, we are all too familiar with the challenges that you may face if you have decided to split up with your spouse and are in this position.

Often, high-profile couples receive far more attention when they split up. As if divorce is not challenging enough, media coverage, gossip and attention from the public can significantly increase the emotional difficulties you may encounter as you work through the divorce process. As a result, it is critical to make sure that you carefully review your options and take steps to simplify divorce. For example, if you are able to communicate with your spouse and carefully review certain aspects of divorce, such as how marital property is split up, you may be better prepared for some of the hurdles that lie ahead. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, since some married couples are not even on speaking terms.

5 things that make divorce more complicated

You're heading toward divorce. You hope it's going to be simple. You just want to move on from this relationship. You're done with it, and you want to put it in the past.

Unfortunately, you know that divorce often gets complicated. What are some things to watch out for? Below are a few of the most common things that complicate the process.

Do immigrant domestic violence victims have legal protections?

With regard to domestic violence, it is crucial to keep in mind that each situation is unique and there are many factors that can make a case complicated. For example, some people may have children and could worry about how dealing with domestic violence could affect them. Or, someone may be subjected to domestic violence after immigrating to Florida, unsure of their legal rights and afraid to speak up. However, any occurrences of domestic violence must be addressed and victims deserve a voice.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, domestic violence victims have protections under criminal law as well as civil law when it comes to abuse, without regard to their immigration status or citizenship status. Furthermore, immigrants are entitled to file for a divorce without their spouse’s permission and they can also apply for protection orders for their children as well as themselves. Sometimes, immigrants are able to receive child support or a portion of their spouse’s marital property after divorce.

How do you file a restraining order in Florida?

If you are a resident of Florida and a victim of stalking, you may find it necessary to file a restraining order, or take out what is known as an “injunction” on a person you believe is attempting to cause you harm.  Injunctions are legally binding documents that can prevent stalkers or abusers from coming within a set distance from you, and many people who seek them are victims of domestic or sexual violence.

Per the University of Florida, to file an injunction, you will need to bring a valid photo identification to a court in an area where you live, where your abuser lives or where your domestic violence-related incident occurred. If a temporary injunction receives approval from a judge, the person you name in the document will then receive notice of it, at which point he or she must adhere to its stipulations or risk penalties for failing to do so.

Unmarried parents and child custody

When it comes to family law, various issues arise, all of which can be challenging. From dividing marital property to setting up a child support order, couples may encounter a wide variety of legal hurdles when splitting up. However, if you are an unmarried parent and have children, you may be particularly uncertain of what to do next and worried about custody matters. At Fried and Fried, our Florida law firm is all too familiar with the struggles that parents in this position may be facing.

Whether you are the mother or father of your child, it is essential to have a solid understanding of your rights when splitting up with the child’s other parent, even if the two of you are not married. For example, fathers may have difficulty spending time with their children if they were not married to the child’s mother. However, by taking the right steps and carefully approaching these issues, some may be able to regain their ability to spend time with children even after they have separated from the child’s mother.

Could filing for divorce affect my taxes?

When people work through the divorce process, an array of questions and challenges may arise. In Florida, separating from a spouse can cause stress and result in each party financially in various ways. For example, your marital property may be split up, or you may be forced to pay spousal support. However, it is crucial to be aware of other ways that splitting up with your spouse could impact you, such as affecting your taxes.

Divorce can indeed result in a number of obligations when it comes to your taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service. For example, if you changed your last name, you have to make sure that it matches your name as it is listed in the Social Security Administration’s records, or your refund could be delayed. If you received alimony, also referred to as spousal support, you should also understand that payments received are taxable. On the other hand, if you are obligated to make alimony payments, you should know that these payments can be deducted.

When pets are valuable: Your asset division matters

What happens if your pet is more than just a pet? Your dog is a champion and brings in an income. You train him hard and breed your other pets as well. You make thousands this way, but how will the courts address this?

When you're going through a high-asset divorce that relies on an income from your pets, you should know that your pets are still going to be treated as assets. They may be addressed as business assets if you have a business license or started a breeding business with your spouse. In cases where the dog is simply a marital asset, then it may be divided as such. How can you make sure you get what you deserve when you're dealing with such a valuable pet?

Reviewing the pros and cons of a prenup

When it comes to marriage, there are a number of individual considerations that are unique to a couple. For example, some couples tie the knot with a relatively modest income, while others get married with significant assets. In Lee County, Florida, and across the U.S., it is important for couples to carefully review their situation and figure out what is best for them. At Fried and Fried, we know how difficult it can be for those who are engaged to deal with prenuptial agreements. As a result, taking a look at the benefits and potential drawbacks of a premarital agreement may be helpful.

With a prenup, you may be able to protect your property, which could be especially important if you have a high net worth or considerable assets. By knowing that your property is protected, you may have more confidence and trust when it comes to your marriage, as well as mental freedom. Moreover, your partner may also find satisfaction with the sense of trust and security that premarital agreements can provide.

Can prenups have a negative impact on child support?

When it comes to prenuptial agreements, you may have an array of considerations to mull over, such as how your property will be divided with your other spouse. In Lee County, and other regions in the state of Florida, some couples who have signed a prenuptial agreement wonder if the contract will affect them in other ways, such as their ability to receive child support or the amount they will be ordered to pay.

For parents who are going through the divorce process, daily life can be tricky. However, they should understand their legal rights and try to make things less difficult for their kids. According to the Florida Legislature, a prenuptial agreement cannot have a negative impact on a child’s right to receiving child support. In other words, children are eligible to receive child support they need regardless of whether or not their parents signed a prenuptial agreement.

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