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Resourceful Legal Guidance In Family Law

Lakeland Family Law Blog

Will your custody agreement work for the upcoming school year?

It is July, and you and your children are probably not thinking about the upcoming school year yet. While there is want and need to enjoy the lazy days of summer, there is also a need to take the time to re-evaluate how well your current child custody agreement is working out. Are you in a good place, or will you need to make changes before school starts to make life easier for your family?

It is not uncommon for parents in Florida to have different custody arrangements for different times of the year. There is nothing wrong with that. The key is making sure they work for your family. Sometimes, a plan sounds great on paper, but when put it into action, it turns out not to be ideal. If you know that your plan needs some addressing before school starts, summer is the time to get the changes made.

Reality show star facing child custody challenge

Florida fans of the reality television show "Rehab Addict" may be familiar with Nicole Curtis, one of the people featured on the show. Curtis is the mother of a 3-year-old son, and is currently embroiled in a child custody fight with the child's father. He claims that Curtis is not a fit parent, and that he should have sole custody of their son.

This is not the first time Curtis has been on the receiving end of such allegations. But this time the focus of the claim is that she is refusing to enable the couple's shared custody agreement. The boy's father claims that he's had a great deal of difficult working out a custody schedule with Curtis, and that when he does have a scheduled visit she fails to show up or changes the location. 

Data protection is important during a military divorce

Many Florida residents feel overwhelmed by the volume of tasks that come with the average divorce. It can feel as though a military divorce checklist is endless, and the pressure's on to make sure that everything is covered in a timely manner. Technology has added yet one more thing to that list: data protection. 

Many families use technology that link their devices together for the purposes of location tracking, sharing photos and music, and creating ease of access to email and other accounts. That might work out well while the family unit is intact, but when divorce is on the horizon it's important to put an end to that level of data sharing. Few estranged spouses want their soon-to-be-ex to have the same level of access.

This high asset divorce continues to rage on

Most Florida couples reach a point in their divorce when they accept the end of the marriage and begin to focus on their futures as single people. That, however, is not always the case, as evidenced by a high asset divorce in which the parties remain deeply mired in bitterness and anger even after their divorce was made final. It's hard to imagine why two people in their 60s and 70s would choose to continue to fight when they divided assets worth nearly $2.5 billion. 

Sue and Bill Gross were married for 32 years before their high asset divorce. They negotiated a division of multiple homes, pets, and other assets. The pair continue to struggle with one another on many of those issues. Sue Gross claims that her former husband mistreats their cats during his "visitation" time with the animals. Bill Gross claims his wife turns off his utilities and brandished a knife at him during a family event. 

Estate planning during and after a high asset divorce

With the recent tragic loss of two high profile personalities, many in Florida are talking about estate planning and divorce. Both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were separated from their spouses, but not yet divorced. While there is no way to know why either Spade or Bourdain chose to delay a high asset divorce, what is clear is that in doing so they complicated their estate planning. 

If an individual passes away while still married, their spouse will usually have a great deal of control over their estate. That's true even if the spouses were estranged at the time of the death. While that arrangement might work out for some, many spouses would prefer that someone else manage their final arrangements and finances. 

Time is running out for claiming alimony as a tax deduction

For those in Florida who are planning to end their marriage in the coming months, timing could play a big role in how the financial side of things works out. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will eliminate the alimony tax deduction, starting with divorces made final after the last day of 2018. That may seem like a long time away, but in reality, time is running out to reserve the right to claim that tax benefit. 

Most divorce cases take a while to wrap up, even when both spouses agree on the majority of terms. When there is contention or disagreement on certain issues, the timeline can become far longer. That means that time is short in regard to completing a divorce by the end of the year. 

Child support modification: Read this before filing a petition

The marital break down you experienced with your former spouse before you divorced has nothing to do with your children, meaning your divorce was not their fault. Like most Florida parents who have gone through similar situations, you may realize this but find it challenging to convince your children of the same. That's because kids often internalize their parents' issues. However, with love and support, you can help your children cope and understand that they did not cause the situation.

You no doubt did your best during divorce proceedings to make sure your children's best interests were a central focus. As the first months played out following the court's order for you to pay child support, you may have been quite pleased with how things were going. Your kids seemed to be adjusting well and you were making payments on time. In fact, even your ex seemed satisfied with the situation, that is, until you changed jobs and determined your payments were no longer feasible.

Helpful ideas for post-divorce summer time with the kids

If your children were upset when you told them you were getting divorced, it was not an uncommon reaction. Many kids experience a wide range of emotion upon learning that their parents are ending their marriages. As a non-custodial parent, you may be wondering how to make the most of the time you'll have with your kids this summer. You want them to know your divorce was not their fault and that you're there to support them as they adapt to their new lifestyle.  

Like most good parents in Florida, you have their best interests in mind. Since you work full-time (and can't afford to lose hours, especially since you'll now be paying child support) you may not get as much summer time with your kids as you'd like. That doesn't necessarily have to mean you can't make new, happy memories together, however. By thinking ahead and speaking with other parents who have gone through divorce, you can help your kids come to terms with the situation and enjoy your summer visits together. 

Time's running out on claiming alimony as a tax deduction

For those in Florida who are preparing to divorce, timing is a very important consideration, especially this year. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, spouses will no longer be able to claim alimony payments as tax deductions beginning in 2019. That means time is running out to take advantage of this important tax benefit. For some spouses, the ability to claim those payments as deductions makes a big difference in the bottom line each year. 

Divorces made final before the end of 2018 will still follow the current rules, which allow those paying spousal support to claim those payments as tax deductions. Spouses who receive spousal support must claim those payments as income. After the first of the year, however, alimony becomes tax neutral, meaning the payments cannot be claimed as deductions and also will not count as taxable income. 

Don't let a military divorce tank your health

Ending a marriage can place a toll on Florida residents and can even cause negative health ramifications. According to researchers, people who divorce have a higher likelihood of serious health consequences as compared with those who are married. Understanding these statistics can help Florida spouses take steps to protect their health and wellness during and after a military divorce.

Specifically, researchers found that divorced people were more likely to smoke or live a sedentary lifestyle as compared to those who were married. It's possible that spouses serve an important role in calling out poor health choices and supporting positive diet and exercise changes. A divorce can also bring on a type of grieving period, which some people may respond to with poor nutrition and feelings of lethargy.

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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