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Fort Myers Divorce Law Blog

Men have special considerations for finances after a divorce

Many people tend to focus on women during a divorce. For some reason, they aren't concerned about how the man in the situation is faring. Men need to make sure that they are taking steps to keep their financial future stable. In some cases, this is going to take considerable work.

If you are a man who is going through a divorce, you need to make sure that you are considering all of the ways that your finances might be impacted by a divorce. Here are some to get you started:

Do you have to establish parentage as an unmarried father?

If you have recently found out that you are going to be a father, chances are you are facing lots of emotions including excitement and anticipation for the future. While becoming a father presents a list of rewards and challenges, establishing parentage in Florida can be significantly more complicated if you are not married to the child's mother. Receiving all of the rights that married fathers enjoy is doable, but it will require a few extra steps on your part. 

According to the New York Times, determining the custody of a child who is born to two married parents is done without question. You only begin to face problems if you and the child's mother are not married, which often means you are not living together either. There is a major gray area where unmarried parents are concerned because it becomes difficult for courts to establish what your rights and responsibilities are. If your child's mother is pursuing a new relationship, she may have motive to keep you out of the picture which can complicate your efforts to establish a bond with your child. If you are unable to afford DNA testing that clearly labels you as your child's father, the mother may have the power to determine how often or how little you are allowed to see your new baby.

Will your divorce affect your child's college plans?

Even though your teen is almost through high school and makes most of his own decisions by this time, you and your spouse still have to discuss custody arrangements during your Florida divorce. For the next year or so, your child will probably live primarily with one of you, and the other parent will probably pay child support. While you may want to be the custodial parent, it could put his college plans in jeopardy.

Unless you have enough money put back in college savings plans already, you and your spouse may be counting on federal financial aid to help pay for your child's tuition, books and other expenses. According to USA Today, income tax information must be included on the application, and the lower the income, the more financial aid your child may qualify for. Do you make more than the other parent? If so, having primary custody could reduce the amount of assistance your child receives.

A closer look at the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement

For many Florida couples who are celebrating the excitement of their engagement and anticipating their upcoming wedding, the idea of drafting a prenuptial agreement is often uncomfortable. Often, discussions about this type of agreement are associated with contention and stress. However, if people understand the benefits of writing and implementing a prenup and are committed to going about it in a positive way, they can create an agreement that is designed to protect each other's future in a way that is civil and void of unnecessary drama.

While many couples may struggle to see the value of writing a prenuptial agreement, their decision to do so is important and could positively shape their entire relationship. According to U.S. News, some of the reasons why couples should get a prenup include the following:

  • Prenups keep things in perspective: For many couples, the process of sitting down and discussing their prenuptial agreement is an excellent way to talk about the "what-ifs" of their relationship in a controlled environment. This enables each person to get a glimpse into the other person's plans for the future and allows the couple to keep their relationship in perspective. 
  • Prenups can provide security: While no one likes to think about the possibility of getting a divorce, failure to secure a prenuptial agreement can cost couples their financial security in the future. A couple's decision to be proactive about discussing prenups, even if uncomfortable at times, is an excellent way to protect one's assets and financial future. 
  • Prenups are a valuable investment: Even though a prenuptial agreement may seem expensive for a newly engaged couple, the process of creating, implementing and finalizing a prenup is often less than the average cost of an engagement ring. This valuable investment will save considerably more financial stress in the future if a couple ends up getting divorced. 

Moving after a divorce

Many people know how divorce can be financially disastrous, create emotional issues, and affect families. That said, people may be able to limit the extent of the difficulties they experience by planning ahead carefully. Moreover, it is important to remember that many other issues can arise with the end of a marriage, such as the need to relocate. Sometimes, a previous relocation could lead to a divorce, while others may move for better opportunities or as a way to find a new beginning after their marriage has come to an end.

When it comes to relocation and divorce, there are different issues you may want to consider. For example, if you have children and have been granted custody, you may need to address certain issues before you are allowed to move with the child. Or, if you have shared custody, you may want to think about how moving could affect your ability to spend time with your child. Aside from this, it is also helpful to think of the different stressors that can arise during the moving process, which could be even more pronounced for those who have recently split up with their spouse.

Protecting your assets the simple way: Postnuptial agreements

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement except for that it's created after you're married. A postnuptial agreement is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, you can create it if you have a feeling things might not work out in the future. Second, you can protect your assets even after you've gotten married. Third, you don't have to have a prenuptial agreement, which could take some pressure off on your wedding day.

A postnuptial agreement gives you and your spouse a chance to talk about finances and what you'd do if you did ever split up. Since you're already married and in a confident place at that time, it's a good time to talk about the hypothetical future. If you set up a separation agreement in the postnuptial agreement now, you'll know exactly what should happen upon divorce, if it ever becomes a problem.

Domestic violence charges and the internet

We have been over so many domestic violence matters on this blog, but there are additional areas of concern to address. You probably know how serious domestic violence charges are, especially if you are a victim of this offense or you have been accused of intimate partner violence or abusing your kids. For people on all sides of these situations, including victims, parents, and the person filing charges, stress and uncertainty is not uncommon. In the digital age, it is also important to look over some of the ways that domestic violence charges affect people online.

When it comes to the internet, there are many factors to consider. For one, someone accused of domestic violence may have his or her identity smeared on social media websites and other online platforms. Not only can this be very stressful for those accused, but it can damage their reputation in such a way that it interferes with their career or affects them in other ways. For example, it might prevent one of their former friends or business partners from reaching out. Additionally, certain types of information may be posted online for the public to see, such as the issuance of a restraining order. Furthermore, some victims may need to protect themselves if an abuser is threatening them over the internet.

Reviewing postnuptial agreement parameters

Leading up to your marriage in Lee County, you probably heard from a number of people that you and your fiancee should consider signing a prenuptial agreement. Many of those that we here at Fried and Fried, P.A.  have worked with were given the same advice, but did not see a need to heed it. They have since come to us asking the same question that you may now have: "Can I sign such an agreement after I am married?" 

The answer that question is yes, but some might wonder if you did not see the need for a prenup, why consider a postnuptial agreement now? Several questions may come up after you marry, such as what specific financial responsibilities will you have in your marriage. If you (or your spouse) have children from a previous relationship, you may also want to stipulate how assets are to be dispersed to them should one of you die. All of these issues can be addressed in your postnuptial agreement. 

Alleged domestic violence results in 2 fatalities

While all Florida families experience the occasional turmoil that is unavoidable in familial relationships, it is not uncommon for disturbances to become violent and even tragic. Recognizing the signs of domestic violence and understanding how to avoid becoming a victim, are critical things to know if people are to better protect themselves and the ones they love. Unfortunately, in many cases, the warning signs are not known or recognized until it is too late and human life is put in jeopardy. 

This was the case in a recent incident in Topeka, Kansas. Initially, authorities received reports of a domestic disturbance, but the situation quickly escalated when responding officers could see someone inside of the home holding a gun. In the following moments, shots were fired and backup was called after reports of an officer in distress. Once backup arrived, authorities were staged around the home and had blocked off nearly nine blocks to safely pursue the gunman. Following a 90-minute standoff, authorities approached the front of the home where two bodies were discovered later on. Neighbors were surprised by the turn of events and reported that the people who occupied the home were polite and friendly. Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident and are looking for motives for the killings. A search warrant was granted as efforts to collect evidence were underway. 

Setting up a payment plan for back child support

There are many fathers' rights topics we have addressed on this blog, but unpaid child support can be particularly problematic. Not only can falling behind on these obligations cause financial challenges, but many other consequences may upend your life, from damage to your reputation to time behind bars. For some people in Florida, setting up a payment plan is an excellent way to address unpaid child support.

When setting up a payment plan, it is vital to go over the details surrounding your case and review the laws where you live. Some people may be able to make payment arrangements by contacting a caseworker, while others could be able to set up payment arrangements by reaching out to a legal professional. In some situations, getting in touch with the child's other parent can be helpful, since open communication can potentially solve problems and prevent additional hurdles. However, not everyone is on speaking terms when it comes to these cases.

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