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Sarasota Family Law Blog

Approach your divorce as if it's a business arrangement

Divorces are emotionally charged, and it's normal for both parties to have periods of time when they cannot communicate well. However, it is in your best interests to do what you can to make this a peaceful separation if possible. If there is anger between you and your spouse, it will make things harder.

Instead of approaching a divorce as a way to punish or be punished, look at it as a business opportunity. You have an opportunity to fight for what you want and to look after your own interests. If you have children, you'll need to fight for their best interests as well. If not, then you're in a position where you only need to worry about your own interests moving forward.

Parenting well means getting on the same page after divorce

Joint custody is often what judges want to see in a child custody arrangement. Unless there is a situation where abuse is possible, it's typically in the best interests of children to see both of their parents following the end of a marriage.

Shared parenting through joint custody isn't just good for your kids, though. It's great for you, too. Between you and your ex-spouse, you should be able to share the challenges of raising a child and get the time you need to work, participate in your own hobbies and enforce consequences in multiple homes.

Biological fathers get a win in Florida's courts

If you recall a previous post about a man who was intimate with a woman who became pregnant, gave birth and then refused to allow him to see the child due to her marriage and legitimacy laws in Florida, you'll be happy to see that the laws have now changed. In the past, laws allowed women who were married to keep a biological father out of the picture if he was not her husband. The child, to be "legitimate," would be the legal child of the woman's husband, even though he wasn't the biological parent and the biological parent may want to be involved in the child's life.

The state recently overturned the legitimacy laws, allowing the biological fathers the right to seek visitation and custody of their children regardless of whether or not the woman is currently married to another person. This, some say, brings the law up to date with the current state of relationships.

Can you take your ex back to court after a divorce is finalized?

After your divorce is final, there are few times when your now ex-spouse can take you back to court. The reality is that the majority of your problems have been settled, and in the eyes of the court, your situation is resolved.

There are times, though, that you may be taken back to court or opt to take your ex-spouse back to court. You'll have to appeal or create a motion to modify the divorce judgment if you wish to take your ex-spouse back to court over something in your divorce decree.

Am I a Disneyland dad?

Your kids recently returned to their mother’s house after a long visitation with you, during which you took them to a theme park and had other fun adventures. Your ex-wife was upset and accused you of being a “Disneyland dad.” What exactly is this term, and how can you avoid being a Disneyland dad – or more accurately for Florida, a Disney World dad?

“Disneyland dad” implies a noncustodial parent is not being as responsible for the upbringing and discipline of the children as the custodial parent is. People may refer to either gender as a Disneyland parent, but it is usually the father who gets the nickname. Why, you may wonder? Most of the time, the mother obtains primary custody of the children, and fathers often fill their limited visiting time with fun activities.

Parental alienation is a threat to a parent-child relationship

As a parent who has to spend time away from your child, you may fear that he or she will change his or her attitude toward you. In many cases, those fears are unfounded. However, there are times when children do seem to change and act out against one parent. Sometimes, this is due to parental alienation.

Parental alienation is a very serious problem and one to address as soon as you recognize signs of it. Parental alienation occurs when a child's mind is manipulated, making him or her adjust the way he or she thinks about the other parent. For instance, the child's mother or father may encourage others to speak poorly about the other parent, making the child also react negatively toward the other parent. The child may not understand that the negativity is a way of manipulating him or her, but it still has that effect.

What happens when you divorce with children?

Any time two people divorce but have children, the children have to come first. In a divorce, nothing is as important as determining child custody. It's necessary to decide where the child or children will live, who will take care of the child and when and how to support the child in those circumstances.

In many cases, the parents are able to work out custody arrangements on their own. If that's the case for you, you can have your attorney draw up an agreement that can be submitted to the court for approval.

Gray divorce and adult children: They suffer, too

Any time you're going through a major life change, the people around you will feel the effects. This is true even if your children are grown and you plan to get a divorce. While your divorce won't affect your children in regards to custody, it still has implications for your relationship in the future.

A divorce is complicated for adult children. Like with younger children, they may feel they don't want to take sides but be spoken to as if they're meant to. It's vital to keep in mind that your children, at any age, are going to be affected by your divorce.

Protect yourself and know your rights if you plan to marry

If you plan to get married in Florida, then you're probably enjoying one of the best times in your life. You're in love, planning a future and really thinking about the love and support of a family you build together.

Marriage is a major step, though, so you need to make sure you do everything correctly. Before you get married, it's a good idea to get to know matrimonial law and to take steps to protect your assets and to protect yourself against your spouse's debts. On top of that, you'll need to make sure you qualify to obtain a marriage license.

Methods spouses use to hide property

When you first entered into your marriage, you probably had nothing but trust in your partner, but regrettably, relationships often change over time. If you count yourself among the many people across Florida who are currently navigating their way through divorce, you may distrust your partner more than ever, and you may have just cause in doing so.

Sometimes, when relationships break down, one party in a marriage starts to move assets around in an attempt to get a more favorable share once the divorce becomes final. Many spouses who conceal assets from one another rely on similar methods when doing so, however, so learning to recognize what these methods are can help you avoid losing big in your divorce. If you have suspicions about your husband or wife hiding property from you, know that he or she may do the following:

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