Lakeland Family Law Blog

Strategies to prepare you for co-parenting after divorce

When you are going through a divorce, the idea of being on your own at some point may be of concern since you may have grown accustomed to a life living with a family. Being on your own and co-parenting on a part-time basis may feel daunting and stressful.

Co-parenting after divorce will likely have its challenges. You may find that your kids are not adjusting to the new arrangement as quickly as you hoped or the communication between you and your ex continues to diminish. However, there are strategies you can enlist to help make co-parenting easier and satisfying.

Dividing military pensions may require special steps

A previous post on this blog touched on how residents of Lakeland, Florida, would have to go about dividing a pension, 401(k) or other retirement plan in the event of a divorce or permanent separation.

As that post discussed, dividing a retirement plan may require jumping through some additional legal hoops even when all parties are in agreement about how it should be divided.

What should you put in your parenting plan?

Going through a divorce is difficult enough and when you bring children into the mix, things can get even more complicated. If you intent to split custody with your ex, creating a parenting plan should be a top priority, but these can be complex.

Parenting plans are a crucial part of joint custody and there are many elements you will want to consider when creating one. What are the most important parts of a parenting plan?

What is a QDRO?

Many times, a couple who is going through a divorce or a legal separation will have a lot of their wealth stored up in one or more retirement plans. These sorts of plans can include 401(k)s or other work-related plans, as well as private retirement funds like an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA.

Not surprisingly, Florida law requires that retirement plans be equitably divided between the two spouses. In practice, this means that, unless there is some negotiation, someone who has a retirement plan may be ordered to share all or part of the asset's value with his or her spouse.

Representation in relocation disputes

A previous post on this blog talked about Florida's law regarding when a parent who is subject to a custody order can move a significant distance from their home. Parents are obligated to follow the notice requirements of this rule, and that means the other parent can object to the move.

Getting permission to move can be a huge deal for Lakeland, Florida, parents. In many cases, a parent really needs to make a move in order to pursue better opportunities both for herself and her children. Sometimes, the move can even be to escape an abusive relationship or other very unhealthy situation.

Review of Florida's relocation statute

Those in the Lakeland, Florida, area, whether they are in the military, a civilian government worker or simply in private, may find themselves having to move in the upcoming year. Sometimes, this is unavoidable just because of a change in the job or even on account of orders one must follow.

At other times, there may be other good reasons for a move either to another part of the state or even outside of Florida altogether.

Considering divorce? The best time to file may be in January

If you are considering a divorce, the best time for you to file might be approaching quickly. That is because January is the month that typically has the most divorce filings than any other time of the year. So much so, that the month has earned the nickname, "Divorce Month." If you are wondering why January has become such a popular month to file for divorce, the reasons may not be that surprising.

One of the strongest reasons that people wait until January to file for divorce is because they want to wait until the holiday season is over with. If you are divorcing with kids, you can go all the way back to early fall to see this play out. Filing when school starts probably seems like too busy of a time to disrupt things with a divorce. Then, before you know it, Thanksgiving rolls around and it is the holiday season. Nobody wants to go to holiday parties alone and announce that they are by themselves because of a divorce.

Have there been recent changes to alimony?

As many residents of Lakeland, Florida, may remember, Congress passed a major overhaul to the tax code about a year ago. As part of this change, Congress decided to alter the way alimony, which may also be referred to as maintenance in Florida, is handled for income tax purposes.

Currently, that is, for court orders entered between now and the end of the year, paying alimony qualifies the person paying for a tax deduction. On the other hand, the person receiving the alimony has to report it on his taxes as income.

How are offshore accounts handled in a divorce?

Contrary to a popular misconception about them, there is nothing inherently wrong with having an offshore bank or investment account. As the name implies, an offshore account is simply an account held by a foreign financial institution at a non-domestic situs. As long as they follow all applicable laws and are candid about the existence of the account, many residents of Lakeland and other parts of Central Florida may realize a lot of financial and other advantages of putting money into them.

One need not be a particularly brilliant businessperson or independently wealthy in order to establish such an account. However, it is vitally important for anyone who owns or wants to own an offshore account to realize that, like other property, such accounts are subject to property division after a Florida divorce or legal separation. As is the case with most other states, during a divorce, Florida law requires a judge to divvy up marital property in an equitable manner.

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