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Sarasota Family Law Blog

3 signs of possible parental alienation

Every parent realizes that kids often go through phases. While it can be difficult to identify the cause of a child’s disrespectful or hurtful behavior, a co-parent should not be the source. Sometimes, though, divorced parents intentionally or inadvertently engage in parental alienation. This occurs when one parent tries to destroy the other parent’s relationship with the kids. 

If you share custody of your children with an ex-spouse, you likely face some challenges. After all, you and your former partner may not see eye-to-eye on the right way to raise the kids. Nonetheless, you should be able to count on your ex-spouse not to alienate your children. Here are three signs of possible parental alienation: 

Divorce is more likely in January

In the middle of January, are you more likely to get divorced? Why do people call it "Divorce Month?"

The truth is simple: Divorce filings go up in January. It is more likely you'll get divorced this month than it was in December. It's called Divorce Month because this consistently happens, year after year.

Child custody considerations and factors

If you're heading into a child custody case, you know that the court looks at a lot of different factors to determine how to assign custody rights. But do you know what those factors are? Understanding what the court looks for can help you move forward and strive to protect your time with the children.

The following is by no means an exhaustive list of everything the court will consider, as each case is unique. However, it is a good place to get started and can give you an idea of what the court looks at. Some of the big factors include:

  • Each parent's physical home and the living accommodations the children can expect.
  • The ages of the different children at the time of the ruling.
  • If there is any evidence of neglect or abuse, or if one parent has falsely accused the other of such things in the past.
  • What the children want, if deemed old enough to have an opinion on such matters.
  • If the court can make a ruling that allows for consistency in the child's life.
  • If one parent has been the main caretaker prior to the ruling.
  • Each parent's ability to give the children a "stable, loving environment."
  • The physical health of the parents.
  • The mental health of the parents.
  • Any criminal records.
  • The relationships that the children already have with each parent.
  • What the parents want and what they have requested of the court.

Can you just ignore a divorce petition?

Your spouse serves you with divorce papers. You want nothing to do with getting a divorce. This isn't the future you chose. You consider just ignoring the paperwork entirely. Can you do so?

You certainly can, but do not make the mistake of believing that will prevent the divorce. It does no such thing. Remember, both of you have to agree to tie the knot, but only one of you has to want a divorce.

How long does it take to modify a divorce decree?

A divorce decree lays out the specifics of the split and defines your legal rights. For instance, it addresses child custody if you are a parent, defining when you will see your children and how it will happen. It also addresses property division, spousal support, alimony and other related issues.

You may want to modify this decree at some point, if there is a serious change, and it is possible. For example, maybe the court ordered you to pay a lot in alimony to your ex. You could make the monthly payments at first, but then you lost your job. You can't afford them now that you're unemployed and looking for work, so you want to lower the payments or eliminate them entirely.

Cohabitation often happens gradually

When people get married and begin living together, they make a conscious decision. There is a defined day when one partner moves in or when they both move into a new house together.

Cohabitation, the process by which people live together without getting married, is not nearly as well-defined. Researchers have discovered that it is often a gradual process. The couple does not sit down and have a conversation about living together, followed by that move-in day. Instead, they just start spending more and more time together until they naturally live in the same home or apartment.

What happens to the vacation home after a divorce?

After holiday festivities conclude, divorce filings tend to spike. If you have been putting off ending your marriage, you may use the first part of 2020 to begin a new life. Fortunately, you likely do not have to start from scratch. That is, Florida law allows you to receive an equitable share of marital wealth. 

If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse own a vacation home, you may wonder what happens to it after your divorce concludes. Like other types of marital wealth, you and your partner must divide your vacation home’s ownership equitably. Here are a few options: 

Fathers need to stay involved after divorce

If you are a father who is facing divorce, the most important thing that you can do for your child's future is to make sure that you stay involved.

Study after study has shown that children see many benefits from being around their fathers. It's best if they get at least some time to live with their fathers, which is why a child custody agreement that gives both parents time with their kids is important.

Could divorce make your children better parents?

Your children may be young right now, but aren't you always thinking about their future? You're trying to figure out what you can do to give them as many advantages as possible.

One aspect of this is to consider what examples you're setting for them. They are going to become parents one day. They're learning how to do it from you, even if you don't think about it and neither do they. They're absorbing what they see.

Do separate bank accounts help in divorce?

Do you assume that people who get married start up a joint bank account? While most people do, the number who do not share one account is higher than ever. Among millennials, for instance, a full 28% still have their own personal accounts after tying the knot.

One reason that they often cite is the likelihood of divorce. They feel like, should they end the marriage, keeping the money in their own accounts means they will not have to split it with their partner. But does it really help?

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