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Lakeland Family Law Blog

Divorce need not necessarily uproot your kids

Holding down a full-time job, parenting and navigating divorce proceedings all at once can be extremely stressful. There are ways to minimize your stress, however, especially when it comes to issues such as property division or future parenting plans. Such divorce topics often intersect; for instance, you and your former spouse will have to decide where your children will live once you are no longer married.

For some, such decisions will necessitate selling a house. Others may choose to take a closer look at a rising trend known as nesting. Ultimately, you know what is best for your children; however, reviewing experiences of other Florida parents who have gone through similar situations may help you determine your most viable options.

One state turns attention to an overlooked paternity issue

A great deal of media coverage in Florida and across the nation focuses on the failure of fathers to provide financial support for their children. There is another aspect of paternity, however, that is largely overlooked. A movement is growing in one West Coast state to shine a light on paternity fraud, an issue that affects many thousands of families.

According to statistics compiled by the American Association of Blood Banks, as many of 30 percent of men who undergo paternity testing discover that they are not the biological father of the child they believed was theirs. Unbelievably, many of those men are still held responsible for paternal duties even after DNA testing has clarified the matter. That seems unfair to many, and people are beginning to speak out about the matter.

Radicalization comes into child custody and visitation case

Parents in Florida and elsewhere can take an aggressive stance in the midst of a custody battle. In some cases, however, the claims that one parent make against the other receive national attention. An example is found in a current child custody matter in which a mother claims that her son's father is radicalizing the boy.

The mother is a naturalized American citizen who divorced her husband in 2013. They had two children together, and the mother claims that her ex-husband is teaching their son radical Islamic concepts during visitation time. She says her son is beginning to express extremist and radical anti-American viewpoints, which is a new development. She also shared of her experiences with her former husband and his desire to take on an additional wife -- an effort she fought against.

Considering tuition in a high asset divorce

For may Florida couples, the bulk of divorce decisions revolve around the division of marital wealth. That is especially true for couples going through a high asset divorce. When negotiating the details of a property division agreement, be sure to consider the cost of education for shared children. 

When a child turns 18, he or she is an adult in the eyes of the court. That means that there is no expectation of continued parental support, even through many young people require such support for several years after they reach adulthood. When it comes to college tuition, having each parent's financial responsibilities outlined in the divorce agreement is important. 

Considering debt during a military divorce

For Florida residents who are facing the end of a marriage, understanding the full implications of that process is important. Military divorce will shape the financial lives of both parties for many years to come. In terms of property division, spouses need to know that debt will be divided in much the same way as marital assets.

In most cases, debt that is brought into the marriage remains the obligation of that individual in the event of a divorce. However, debt that is acquired during the marriage is a different matter. Both spouses are usually held accountable for debt brought on after the vows have been exchanged.

How could mental health impact a military divorce?

For many Florida military families, mental health concerns abound. When a servicemember returns home, he or she often has a challenging time readjusting to normal family life. For some, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) makes it nearly impossible to seamlessly re-enter society. For others, lingering sleep disorders, generalized anxiety and other mental health issues can lead to damaged relationships. Military divorce could follow, leaving both spouses unsure about how mental health may come into play.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to mental health and divorce. That said, courts that handle child custody matters always place the best interests of the child ahead of all other concerns. If a parent with mental health issues poses a safety risk to his or her child, custody rights could be impacted.

Gear up for the holidays without child custody problems

Getting divorced is no small matter and often not an easy task at that. Hopefully, your time in a Florida courtroom was minimal and your children have been faring as well as can be expected. Now that the holidays are fast approaching, you may want to think about possible child custody issues that could arise and develop a plan of action ahead of time to avert trouble. A key to a successful problem resolution in such matters is often knowing what your rights are and how to protect them.

Before things get too out of hand, you may be able to take certain steps to help you keep stress levels to a minimum during the holidays. If you and your former spouse are on friendly speaking terms, a mere phone call or in-person discussion may be all that's needed to overcome a particular child custody obstacle. However, serious disputes can turn holidays from joyful to disastrous quite quickly; therefore, it's best to know how to avoid such problems.

Different levels of tension could lead to military divorce

A recent study looked closely at the different ways that husbands and wives experience marital stress using data collected from 355 couples over a time range of 16 years. Researchers discovered that men experienced a far greater increase in tension over the course of a marriage than women. They also found that, when tension levels differ between husband and wife, an increased risk of divorce follows. This may be of interest to many Florida couples who are considering a military divorce.

According to researchers, men may feel worse about the status of their relationship because they enter the union with very high expectations. Women, on the other hand, may enter marriage with far more realistic expectations of their spouse. Interestingly, women are far more likely to initiate divorce than men.

How to know when military divorce is the best available option

Reaching a decision to divorce is never a simple or easy matter. In many cases, Florida spouses struggle for years before deciding to pull the plug on an untenable marriage. It can be hard to know when a military divorce is the best available option. Here are some circumstances in which it may be time to give divorce serious consideration.

If a couple has made a concerted effort to seek counseling, yet there have been no noticeable improvements, the relationship may be irreparably damaged. In many cases, only one spouse is sincere about trying to find help through counseling, while the other is merely going along for the ride. In such cases, it may be impossible to repair the marriage.

Understanding alimony in high asset divorce

For many couples, discussing how to divide marital wealth in the event that their marriage fails is hardly a romantic topic. Many couples simply avoid the issue altogether, hoping the subject is one that never deserves their close attention. In cases where a high asset divorce is the eventual outcome, many spouses in Florida will wish that they had better understood the alimony and property division process.

Alimony is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. When a couple achieves significant wealth, the manner in which that wealth was accumulated can play a central role in property division and alimony negotiations. Even when one party was the clear breadwinner in the relationship, if the other spouse set aside his or her own career to support the career of the other partner, an argument can be made that he or she deserves a greater share of marital wealth.

Law Office of Amanda Salcido
206 Easton Drive
Suite 206
Lakeland, FL 33803

Phone: 863-266-4122
Fax: 863-680-2641
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Attorney Amanda Salcido has served her country as a member of the U.S. Army JAG Corp for more than 10 years. Her military experience spans over twenty years. Ms. Salcido provides professional legal guidance for service members and non-service members alike.

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