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Hillsborough County Family Law Blog

Hiding funds isn't unusual in divorce

Sometimes, divorcing spouses play a type of financial shell game with their finances -- they claim ownership of certain funds and assets when it benefits them and then disavow that same ownership when it's inconvenient for their divorce.

That's particularly true among families that hold a lot of investments or assets together, especially if some of those assets and investments happen to be overseas.

What is donative intent in Florida divorce law?

If you're about to be divorced in Florida and you have significant assets or land holdings, one term you need to be familiar with is "donative intent."

During any divorce, it's important to determine which property belongs to each spouse separately and which property is part of the marital assets.

Spousal support payments aren't automatic in Florida

When you have counted on your spouse for the majority of the income in the house, there is a chance that you are worried that you will be left high and dry during the divorce. Alimony orders are one way that people who have relied on a spouse for money might be able to keep up with the costs of living.

Alimony payments aren't automatic in Florida. Instead, you must petition the court for these payments. Your now-ex might fight against these payments. If it comes down to the court deciding about alimony payments, there are several different things that are considered. These include the length of the marriage and the possibility of you supporting yourself.

Military divorces have very unique considerations

Military life is hard on families, and some families don't make it. When a military member goes through a divorce, there are some specific points that must be considered that aren't a part of civilian divorce.

If you are going through a military divorce, one of the first things that you have to do is to decide what jurisdiction you are going to file in. This can be where you are stationed or where your permanent address is located. You must ensure that you meet the residency requirements for whichever option you are going to use. Look into the specific points that will apply to you in each jurisdiction since these can vary greatly from one state to another.

Weigh your options for a business during a divorce

Divorces are hard journeys for many people. For business owners, there is a dynamic that isn't present in other divorces. These individuals have to think about how the divorce will impact the business.

It is imperative that you think carefully about what you are going to with the business since you are divorcing. You do have options here. We can help you to investigate how your preferred option might impact you.

Alimony bill fails to make it onto Florida's legislative session

Alimony reform advocates and The Florida Bar have joined forces and reached accord regarding overhauling the state's alimony system. However, no proposals will make it onto 2017's legislative session.

The state senate chairman for the Children, Families and Elder Affairs announced that the bill isn't scheduled for a hearing during this year's legislative session, claiming there were "more pressing issues" for the legislature to take up to protect "the safety and welfare of children."

Under the Soldier and Sailors Relief Act can I ignore my divorce?

Let's say you're a military service member on active duty and you were recently served your divorce papers. Does the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act allow you to disregard your divorce?

The hard and fast answer to this question is "no." You never want to ignore divorce papers, no matter what your military status happens to be. You'll need to take the proactive step of notifying the family law court where your divorce has been served that your current status is "active duty."

Forensic accountants are worth the cost in a high-asset divorce

Every divorce has its unique challenges -- but for high-asset couples, the first challenge may be as basic as figuring out everything that's owned and what value to attribute to each holding. That's before you get to the part where you have to try to divide things up, all the while figuring out the income and tax consequences you face with each different maneuver.

That's just one of the reasons that any high-asset divorce should include a forensic accountant. Even though your divorce attorney may be adept at figuring out the right nuanced wording for your divorce agreement, he or she can use the guidance of a financial expert to help guide that wording.

Will I have to pay alimony?

If you are getting divorced, one of the last things you probably want to do is hand over any more money to your ex than you absolutely have to. This is why it can be so upsetting to have to pay spousal support, or alimony.

However, spousal support is something that many people in Florida have to pay. It might seem unfair, but this money is intended to make the transition out of divorce easier for a financially disadvantaged spouse. With this in mind, it can be helpful to know what factors will affect whether you are ordered to pay alimony or not.

High fees often result from splitting a 401(k) in divorce

Expenses can easily pile up for people in Florida seeking a divorce. In addition to legal fees, a couple that needs to split the assets within a 401(k) retirement plan must first obtain a qualified domestic relations order. After paying a lawyer to prepare the QDRO document, the firm managing the retirement account typically adds another $300 to $1,800 in charges to process the transaction.

A lawyer familiar with lawsuits against investment companies that charge excessive service fees said the tactic is meant to increase profits for administrators. Another lawyer who frequently prepares QDRO paperwork described the high fees from retirement plan administrators as a "cash printing machine."

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