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Fort Myers Florida Family Law Legal Blog

Hulk Hogan given deadline to pay ex-wife's divorce legal fees

Our readers in Florida are used to seeing news headlines about celebrity divorces and the oftentimes chaotic processes involved. Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan went through his divorce case in Florida and is now facing a serious deadline in relation to that high net worth divorce.

A recent news article detailed how, upon the finalization of Hogan's divorce from his former spouse, Linda Bollea, Bollea was to receive a significant portion of the former couple's liquid assets, and also a smaller percentage of a substantial legal recovery Hogan obtained when he sued the website, Gawker, and won.

Deciding which assets to seek in divorce

When you married your spouse, you never imagined that the day might come when the two of you would fall out of love. You intended to remain together "until death do you part," but now you can barely stand to stay in the same room with this person who has become a virtual stranger to you.

It's clear that divorce is in the cards, but you have so many questions about your unpartnered future as a divorced person. Where will you live? Who will get which assets and shared marital resources?

Comprehensive approach to the equitable division of property

There are probably more people in Florida who have heard divorce horror stories than there are those who have heard of divorce cases that go smoothly. However, as long as the divorcing couple is able to focus on the issues that need to be addressed -- while keeping their emotions in check -- a divorce case does not need to be a knockdown, dragged out fight in court. But, when it comes to issues, like property division, many people get entrenched in their ideas.

When it comes to the equitable division of marital property, the divorce case can get complicated due to the subjectivity of the issue. What is "equitable?" The answer may be different, depending on the person who is asked.

What you need to know about mediation and divorce cases

Many people in Florida who are getting ready to pursue a divorce case may believe that they are in for a significant legal fight. However, the depiction of divorce cases on TV or in movies is hardly the most common way that these cases are handled. In fact, most divorce cases proceed because the parties are willing to negotiate and discuss potential out-of-court options for reaching an agreement on how divorce issues should be addressed. One option is mediation.

Can a collaborative divorce help lower your expenses?

The cost of proceeding with a divorce is oftentimes one of the reasons why Florida residents hold off on committing to such a life-altering legal process. Divorce is quite common in America, so most people know a friend or family member who has been through the process and that person may not have had a good experience, either legally or financially. However, there are options to consider that may lower the overall cost of a divorce. For instance, can a collaborative divorce help lower your expenses?

According to a recent report, avoiding litigation and finding a way to get your divorce case settled sooner rather than later is one of the best ways to lower the cost of the divorce process. While direct negotiations between the parties and mediation are also options, a collaborative divorce involves getting the parties together to go through the various issues that are unique to their divorce case and attempting to find common ground and solutions.

Former 'Today' show host settles high net worth divorce

People in Florida may have been following the divorce of Matt Lauer, the former longtime host of NBC's "Today" show. Recently, Lauer and his estranged wife were able to settle their high-asset divorce. Lauer's estranged wife has filed paperwork with the court and the case is now awaiting a review by a judge. Once the judge has approved the filings, they will be entered with the court clerk's office. The divorce is uncontested.

According to one report, Lauer's estranged wife will retain $20 million in assets as well as a horse farm in the Hamptons. The couple also owns a mansion in North Haven. The couple married in 1998 and have three children together. It has been reported that the couple will share custody of the children.

Is it ever right to split up the kids in a divorce?

Divorce is a major life event for all involved — especially the kids. It's a major adjustment for them and they may need some therapy sessions to get through the transition.

But imagine how hard it would be if, in addition to "losing" a parent to divorce, the child also had to adjust to the loss of a sibling?

What is the role of a mediator in the divorce mediation process?

Sometimes a couple's marriage becomes so broken that the best option is for the couple to divorce. However, this doesn't mean the discord that lead to the end of the marriage has to carry on through the divorce process. Couples in Florida who want a more amicable split may want to try mediating their divorce first. Before making such a decision, it is important to understand the role of the mediator in a divorce.

First, the mediator is a neutral third party. He or she will not be making any binding decisions. While the mediator may provide information about the law, they will not advocate for either spouse or provide legal advice pertaining to either spouse's specific situation.

Floridians with significant wealth can benefit from prenups

When a person with a high-net worth is engaged to be married, they may want to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement, known as a premarital agreement in Florida. After all, some people have established high-paying careers, may own a home or may have received a substantial sum of money prior to getting married. Moreover, some people may anticipate earning a significant income while married or accumulating other valuable assets while married. Prenups are useful, because they can protect both spouses' financial interests in the event of a high net worth divorce.

First, prenups can designate which assets are to be separate assets and which assets are to be marital assets. This is significant when it comes to property division, because Florida is an "equitable distribution" state. This means that marital assets will be divided between the spouses in the event of a divorce, and it may not be an even 50/50 split. A prenup can designate an asset as separate property and thus not part of the divisible estate, even if that asset was acquired during the marriage.

Dividing the family home in the equitable distribution process

The family home is often one of the most valuable assets a couple in Fort Myers has. In addition, it can also have a lot of sentimental value. Therefore, if a couple decide to divorce, what to do with the family home is a major part of the equitable distribution process. Couples have several options when it comes to the family home and divorce.

Sometimes one spouse wants to keep the family home, especially if they have children. If so, they will have to refinance the home in their name only as well as buy out their ex's equity in the property, although buyouts can be negotiated. It is important to keep in mind, however, that there may be tax consequences if the house has appreciated when a spouse finally decides to sell it. The spouse keeping the home will also want to ensure they are able to meet the financial demands of homeownership on a single income, such as a mortgage, upkeep, taxes and insurance.

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