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Sarasota Family Law Blog

When to modify your parenting plan

During divorce proceedings, it can be a monumental challenge to determine the best time-sharing plan for the children. A good schedule has clear expectations for each parent, and it considers what is most beneficial to the child. Because nothing is ever static, there may come a time when you need to initiate a modification to your current parenting plan.

A judge must approve any changes made to your plan. There needs to be sufficient evidence that the current schedule no longer favors the child, so it is important to pursue modification for the right reasons.

Money, stress and the odds of divorce

If you have money problems in your marriage, it makes divorce more likely. That's a simple truth that all couples have to face. Money often gets the credit for ending otherwise successful marriages.

This happens in a number of ways. For example, one partner may be more reckless than the other with their money. They buy what they want, not worrying about credit card debt. They spend money on things they don't need.

Children really do value both parents

Typically, courts these days assume that children should get to see both parents. Even in divorce, both parents should stay involved. That may not mean that child custody gets split up perfectly evenly, but gone are the days when the courts would vastly prefer one parent over the other. They recognize the value in the relationships with both mothers and fathers.

Why is this? It's what children actually want, and the courts will listen. For instance, when asked what made them happy, many children picked their parents. Sure, they liked hobbies and friends and even school, but it was that relationship with the people who loved them most that brought them true happiness.

How many same-sex marriages have taken place?

Back in 2015, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) got repealed by the Supreme Court, meaning that same-sex marriage is now legal everywhere. Before, only a select few states had allowed it. This ruling opened the door for marriage everywhere since the states quickly fell in line with the ruling.

So, how many people took advantage of that? According to a report from March of 2019, around 491,000 same-sex marriages have happened so far in the United States. That number, of course, is always increasing as more and more couples tie the knot.

Deciding what you want in life helps you move past divorce

Many people struggle emotionally with divorce because they just do not know what they will do after the marriage ends. All they ever planned in life was to get married, buy a home, start a family -- all of the old cliches. When they see that coming to an end, they don't know how to address it.

The key, many experts say, is to decide what you want and how you can work toward it. A few questions you may want to ask include:

  • What do you do that really makes you happier than anything else?
  • If you struggle to feel relaxed, what brings you the most peace?
  • What were your goals when you were younger?
  • Imagine that you could pick one thing to do, without thinking about money at all. What would it be?
  • If you did not have to work, what activities do you like to do most often?
  • What are things that you have put up with for a long time that you always resented?

Can your spouse hide cryptocurrency?

Recent reports indicate that roughly five percent of people in the United States bought cryptocurrency and still control those assets. While there is not the wild frenzy that there was when prices soared in 2017, people still do buy and sell this digital currency, often as an investment.

The problem, some experts feel, is that it gives people a way to potentially hide those assets from a spouse during a divorce. If someone fails to disclose the assets and their spouse does not know anything about it -- either about their own wealth or about cryptocurrency in general -- the money could be easily stashed aside. After the divorce, the owner could then cash out their portfolio and quietly cut their spouse out of the division of those assets.

Is your spouse hiding assets during the divorce?

When you are getting a divorce, your finances and assets are some of your core concerns. You may even have worries about your spouse concealing or devaluing assets before and during the process. Some spouses take advantage of their partners during a divorce, so it is crucial to keep an eye out for any warning signs this is occurring in your situation. 

There are many ways a spouse can hide assets, and there may also be plenty of red flags. Here are just a few indications that your partner may be concealing marital assets from you. 

Should your child custody plan offer extended summer vacation?

While many child custody schedules simply split the time up equally between both parents -- the kids spend every other week at a different parent's house, for instance -- it is sometimes important to think outside of the box and consider more creative ways to set up the schedule.

For instance, some parents use extended visits when the children are out of school during the summer months. These often last for two to six weeks.

Separate bank accounts could predict divorce

Wondering about the odds that you'll get a divorce? Just look at where you keep your money.

According to some financial experts, couples who do not pool their money and retain separate accounts are more likely to split up than those who put their money together and use joint accounts.

4 points to consider in your visitation plan

Making a visitation plan is crucial if you get visitation rights in the divorce. This may be the only time that you get to see your kids. You need a set plan that you and your ex can follow to ensure that you stay involved in their lives.

As you work toward this end, here are four things to consider:

  1. Do you get overnight visits? Or are you just allowed to have visitation during the day? In some cases, you may only get supervised visitation, which means you have even less freedom. Make sure you know exactly what you get and never assume "visitation" means the same thing in every case.
  2. If you do get overnight visits, do you want them on the weekend or during the week? The weekend visits may be easier logistically so that the children have a consistent schedule as they go to school.
  3. Does your plan need to change at all during the summer? Since the kids are out of school, they have a much different schedule, and your plan needs to reflect that. Do you want to ask about an extended visit so that you can spend some real vacation time with them?
  4. What are you going to do for birthdays and holidays? Some couples split them up. Some plan different events at different homes around the important date. Others have joint parties. Talk to your ex about what you want to do.

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