Parents: You are going through a divorce, Not your children

Parents: You are going through a divorce, Not your children

Parents going through a divorce need to remember that their words and actions have a direct impact on their children during a divorce.   Remember – you are going through the divorce – not your children… and by that I mean your children are not divorcing either you or your spouse.  So if you are going through a divorce or highly contested family law matter, please keep these “divorce rules” in mind

 

DIVORCE RULES WITH CHILDREN

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m just a kid, so please…

  1. Don’t talk badly about each other to me. (This makes me feel torn apart!  It also makes me feel bad about myself.)
  2. Do not talk about my other parent’s friends or relatives. (Let me care for someone even if you don’t.)
  3. Do not talk to me about the divorce or other grown-up stuff like that. (This makes me feel sick. Please leave me out of it.)
  4. Do not talk to me about child support. (This makes me feel guilty or like I’m a possession instead of your kid.)
  5. Do not make me feel bad when I enjoy my time with my other parent. (This makes me afraid to tell you things.)
  6. Do not block my visits or prevent me from speaking to my other parent on the phone. (This makes me very upset.)
  7. Do not interrupt my time with my other parent by calling too much or by planning activities for me during our time together.
  8. Do not argue in front of me or on the phone when I can hear you. (This turns my stomach inside out!)
  9. Do not ask me to spy for you when I’m at my other parent’s home. (This makes me feel disloyal and dishonest.)
  10. Do not ask me to keep secrets from my other parent. (Secrets make me feel anxious.)
  11. Do not ask me questions about my other parent’s life. (This makes me uncomfortable. Just let me tell you.)
  12. Do not give me verbal messages to deliver to my other parent. (I end up feeling anxious about their reaction. Please call them, leave them a message at work or put a note in the mail.)
  13. Do not send written messages with me or place them in my bag. (This also makes me uncomfortable.)
  14. Do not blame my other parent for the divorce or for things that go wrong in your life. (This really feels terrible! I end up wanting to defend them from your attack. Sometimes it makes me feel sorry for you and want to protect you. I just want to be a kid, so please, please…stop putting me in the middle!)
  15. Do not treat me like an adult. (It causes way too much stress for me.) Please find a friend or counselor to talk with or to.
  16. Do not ignore my other parent or sit on opposite sides of the room during my school or sports activities. (This makes me feel sad and embarrassed. Please act like parents and be friendly, even if it is just for me.)
  17. Do let me take items to my other home as long as I can carry them back and forth. (Otherwise it feels like you are treating me like a possession.)
  18. Do not use guilt to pressure me to love you more and do not ask me where I want to live.
  19. Do realize that I have two homes, not just one. (It doesn’t matter how much time I spend there.) I’d also really appreciate it if you would let my other parent come into our house every now and then, because it’s my home too!
  20. Do let me love both of you and see each of you as much as possible!

Family law issues can become extremely complex.  Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve.  If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.

 

50% of American Marriages End in Divorce…Not Exactly.

50% of American Marriages End in Divorce…Not Exactly.

What is the current divorce rate in America?

On a regular basis, I overhear many people discuss the American divorce rate as 50%.  Although this statistic will likely become true in our lifetimes, the generalization is not accurate.  The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that “Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue.”, which is actually a projection.

If we are to discuss statistics, it is better to view marriage on a sliding scale with considerations including age at the time of marriage and whether it is a second or third marriage.

Age at marriage for those who divorce in America

Age Women Men
Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7%
20 to 24 years old 36.6% 38.8%
25 to 29 years old 16.4% 22.3%
30 to 34 years old 8.5% 11.6%
35 to 39 years old 5.1% 6.5%

The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs second or third marriage
50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

According to enrichment journal on the divorce rate in America:
The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

The divorce rate in America for childless couples and couples with children
According to discovery channel, couples with children have a slightly lower rate of divorce than childless couples.

Sociologists believe that childlessness is also a common cause of divorce. The absence of children leads to loneliness and weariness and even in the United States, at least 66 per cent of all divorced couples are childless.

 

Family law issues can become extremely complex.  Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve.  If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.

A Cautionary Tale: Divorce Leads to High Emotions

A Cautionary Tale: Divorce Leads to High Emotions

Heightened Emotions during a divorce can lead to Abuse

All too often when clients are first dealing with the throes of divorce or separation, the emotions involved run high. There is an old adage that says that criminal lawyers see people at their best and divorce lawyers see people at their worst.

Sometimes, however, emotions can run too high and things can turn violent.  Attorneys and judges work very hard to keep this from happening. That said, in April of 2011, Catie Scott-Gonzalez was brutally beaten by her husband, Paul Gonzalez, after a judge ordered that he pay child support. According to an ABC News report, Gonzalez told the judge he was going to take his children and nobody was going to see them again. When Catie looked to see the judge’s response, Gonzalez came after her from behind and started strangling her with his left hand and started hitting her on her face with his right hand. The first blow to her head knocked her unconscious. Bailiffs had to taser Gonzalez twice to subdue him.  Catie spent three days in the hospital with a broken nose, fractured cheekbone and broken jaw. She was so badly beaten that her children, Isabella, 2, and Nathaniel, 3, didn’t recognize their mother.  This incident took place in the judge’s chambers.

Although child custody, child support, and divorce are difficult issues which can and do put a great deal of stress on both the individual spouses and the families, no person has the right to let stress turn into violence or to hurt another person physically (or emotionally or mentally for  that matter).  The point is that in the above situation, because of his poor choices, Gonzalez will now face serious criminal charges, jeopardizing his parenting time and his children will be without child support while he serves time in jail.

Family law issues can become extremely complex.  Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve.  If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.

If I move before the divorce is final, what can I take?

If I move before the divorce is final, what can I take?

What can you take when separating?

If you decide to move out before your divorce is final and you do not have a Marital Settlement Agreement in place, try to come up with an agreement with your spouse as to who is going to take what.  If that is not possible, literally make a list of all the property in your marital home.

When making the list put everything on there… even the dresser that your Uncle Bobby’s sister’s cousin made you for your high school graduation… meaning put non-marital or pre-marital items on there (things you bought or got as a gift before you got married).  Note on the list that those items are non or pre-marital.   For the remaining items that are marital (meaning you and your spouse purchased them or received them as gifts during your marriage), use eBay, craigslist, the Flier, and the newspaper to determine the fair market value of the property and put that on your list.  Then divide up the property as close to 50/50 as possible.

Conventionally speaking, this means if you have a master bedroom set and a guest bedroom set, you take one and you leave one.  If you have a dining room set and a kitchenette set, you take one you leave one.  If you have two smaller television sets and one big set, you take either the two smaller ones or the one big set.  The idea is that you don’t strip the house bare on your way out, because if you don’t have an agreement and you take it all, you could be placing yourself in a bad position in front of the court and the judge hearing your case may not find your method of emptying out the house to be the right way to do it.

Every case is different of course, but as a rule of thumb, take half (and not just the nice half but half of all of the good, the bad, and the ugly).  Always speak to your lawyer before you make a move of this sorts in order to determine what the best course of action is for you in your individual case.

Family law issues can become extremely complex.  Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve.  If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.

Florida Divorce Law: Child Support

Florida Divorce Law: Child Support

FLORIDA CHILD SUPPORT

You and your spouse each have a responsibility to sup­port your children in accordance with their needs and your financial abilities. Child support may be by direct payment or by indirect benefits, such as mortgage payments, insurance, or payment of medical and dental expenses. Ordinarily the obligation to support your child ends when that child reaches age 18, marries, is emancipated, joins the armed forces, or dies.

Some of the issues concerning child support which must be considered include: (a) the amount of support; (b) the method of payment; (c) ways to assure payments are made; (d) when child support may be increased or de­creased; and (e) who claims the dependency deduction for tax purposes. Other questions may need to be answered,depending on the circumstances of your case. Guidelines for the amount of support apply to all cases and are based on the income of the parents and the number of children with adjustments for substantial overnight contact.

If you have a problem getting support payments from your spouse or former spouse, or the time-sharing plan is not being followed, you should bring this matter to the attention of the court. It is not legal to withhold visitation or child support payments because either parent fails to pay court ordered child support or violates the time-sharing schedule in the parenting plan.

Family law issues can become extremely complex.  Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve.  If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.

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