Friday
November 1
2019

Things to Complete Before Finalizing a Divorce

Thing to complete before finalizing a divorce.Divorce is never an easy decision to make. It can typically involve many different factors and even people. There are ways to make the finalization of divorce easier by creating a checklist for yourself before taking it to the serious point of divorce. Knowing how to handle a divorce before papers are signed can be beneficial to both parties and at the very least, give you peace of mind that things are in the right order. Here you will find some of the things to add to your checklist before finalization, ensuring you won't have to deal with any potholes along the way.

  • Finances are a big part of a divorce. Many married couples share joint accounts and may have for many years. Keep track of what's in the accounts before bringing divorce papers into play. If possible, begin the separation of what's yours into a new account on your own. In the unfortunate case of a soon to be ex-spouse draining a joint account when they get informed of the impending divorce, you will be safe from potential over-spending that you're unaware of.
  • On the same page, with separating your accounts, it's best to close joint credit accounts as well. Try to have them paid off before divorce proceedings begin as it can be a bit more difficult after the fact. You can request the accounts to be frozen as well, but this won't get rid of a balance due.
  • Do your homework on who's representing you! A divorce attorney may not always be needed if both parties remain civil and find an agreement amongst each other, but that is not always the case. If it's a particularly messy divorce (or has the potential to be), a divorce lawyer should be at the top of your checklist. Don't go with the first lawyer you meet with. Try to interview 3-5 lawyers who have at least 5-10 years of experience in family law.
  • What will your living situation be after the divorce is finalized? Do you think you and your soon-to-be ex-partner will still live civilly together, or is someone moving out? If it's the latter, both parties will now be taking on rent/mortgage payments on their own. This can be a bit more difficult when children and owned property are involved. It's recommended to remain living with the partner you are divorcing until all court proceedings are done and the divorce is officially final.
  • One of the most important things to do before finalizing a divorce is to keep your cool and lay low. A divorce is a very emotional time for everyone involved, and acting out in anger and frustration will only make things harder for you. As for laying low, it's a good idea to keep the dating to a minimum until the divorce is said and done. This looks better on you if you remain focused on the goal of working on your family if there are children, and if there are no children, it's a good time for you to reflect on yourself and work on that.

There are quite a few other things to make sure you go over before divorce is finalized, but these are some of the top things that should be covered before taking that last step. It's an unfortunate time, and every situation is different, but if you're prepared beforehand, it makes it a bit easier.

SOURCES: 1

Friday
September 20
2019

How Many Couples Really End Up Divorced and Why?

divorce lake county tavares floridaWe’ve all heard the statistic. “Half of all marriages end in divorce.” A 50/50 prospect seems dim, no? Well, that data isn’t exactly accurate any longer. While it used to be, the overall divorce rates have been declining for years. A more realistic number is that 1 in 4 unions will end in divorce.

There are multiple factors to consider since the probability of divorce isn’t the same for all couples. While some are quite unlikely to split, others have a higher than fifty percent chance of divorce. For example, those entering into second or third marriage are more likely to view divorce as an easy out when times get tough since they've done it before. There are also usually children from previous exes. These additional people and the issues they bring along with them can be considered "baggage," which can put a strain on new relationships.

On the flip side of that coin, a certain percentage of people learn from their unsuccessful marriages and go into new relationships older, wiser, and more determined to compromise and communicate. Predictions are certainly not “one size fits all.”

When it comes to marriage, patience is a virtue. Millennials are primarily responsible for the plummeting divorce rates. Their increasingly selective nature can explain these falling divorce rates regarding marriage and the greater stability of the couples who persist through cohabitation and enter marital unions at high levels of economic interdependence. In other words, Millennials wait longer, marriage is rarer, it’s more stable than it was in the past, and couples share all responsibilities equally. The social acceptance of living together and the decline of well-paying jobs that allow for financial stability mean that couples who previously would have gotten married younger put off that particular milestone until they’re more confident it won’t end in divorce.

Finally, many factors influence the chance of getting a divorce, so for anyone couple to blindly accept that the 50/50 probability applies to them is a misleading oversimplification that could potentially become disruptive and a self-fulfilling prophecy. Going into a life-long commitment with the idea that you only have a 50/50 chance is damaging. If you believe in your heart that success is a coin-flip and only commit half of yourself, you might walk away when things get tough instead of putting in the work necessary for a successful marriage. Put, if you think that your chances of failing are high, then you are likely to see signs that you are "failing" more readily, and then use those signs as a confirmation that you are failing. This is known as “the confirmation bias." In this case, you may be sabotaging your marriage.

While opposites may attract, values must align. Arguments are almost always traced to differing values, no matter how petty. John Gottman, an American psychological researcher, and clinician who did extensive work over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability, has identified what destroys a relationship.

Gottman’s Four Horseman of Marriage:
Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. They represent conquest, war, death, and hunger, respectively.

The number one reason for divorce, by a large margin, is lack of commitment. Without it, there’s no willingness to weather the storms, work through the rough patches, keep the relationship going - and both partners have to be equally committed.

The Top Reasons for Divorce:

  • lack of commitment
  • infidelity/extramarital affairs
  • getting married for the wrong reasons
  • too much conflict and arguing
  • being out of touch/lack of intimacy
  • lack of individual identity/becoming lost in the roles
  • getting married too young
  • financial issues
  • substance abuse
  • domestic violence
  • not having a shared vision of success
  • unmet expectations/unrealistic expectations
  • difference in sexual libido
  • lack of family support/intrusive parents
  • children from previous relationships
  • health issues
  • weight gain
  • lack of equality
  • lack of trust/privacy issues
  • lack of appreciation
  • little or no premarital education and religious difference
  • differences in or lack of communication
  • laziness/unwillingness to work at the relationship/complacency.

 

Tuesday
July 2
2019

Separate Parties for Kids of Divorced Parents

Separate Parties for Kids of Divorced ParentsGetting divorced isn't typically a joyous occasion, especially when there are children involved. Many different factors are now needing to be considered, and one often overlooked subject is how to handle is the birthday celebration of the divorced couple's younger child/s. What is the best way to handle this type of situation and still keep the peace? Should divorced parents have separate birthdays for the child/children or try to put differences aside and come together for the occasion?

A lot of it comes down to how the parents interact after the divorce is said and done. If there was a lot of fighting and anger present at the time of finalization, it might not be a good idea to have both parents in close quarters. That being said, if both parents can agree that the day is for the celebration of the child only and they can work together to make it a good time, then there shouldn't be a need for separate parties. 

It's wise to have a makeshift checklist if you are a divorced parent trying to decide to invite your ex to the party or not. If you know that the circumstances of the divorce still afflict your ex, do you think there's a chance they can be volatile? How involved are they with the child's life? Do you think they will cause a scene? Do you think YOU will create a scene if they're there? Will inviting the ex mean inviting along with ex-in-laws as well? But most importantly, you need to ask your child what they want (so long as they're able to make that decision on their own). 

Ultimately, if you can't resolve the differences with your divorced partner and see it being a ruined birthday celebration for your child if they are there, then separate parties may be needed. There can even be a compromise if having two parties for one child seem excessive, such as having the other parent take them out for the day or out for a meal. It all comes down to making sure the child's birthday is fun and not stressful for the birthday kid. 

Tuesday
May 21
2019

Getting a Divorce in Florida Without Children.

A divorce can be a sad time for many, and not so sad for some others. Getting a divorce in Florida without kids. Either way, it's a process in Florida that takes time and has different rules for specific circumstances when it comes to filing for divorce. When children are in the picture, it can make things a bit more complicated. But what can one expect when they file for divorce in Florida, and NO children are involved?

If both parties are in agreement and have decided to split property, assets, and debts; then you may qualify for a "simplified" divorce. This is the most inexpensive way to get a divorce in Florida, and the main requirements are that are no biological or adopted children under 18, and the wife is not pregnant. This is the best route to take if matters are discussed beforehand as well. That means like stated before, all property/assets/debts/etc. are divided equally, or certain things were agreed upon without the use of an attorney or divorce trial.

If it becomes more complicated, then couples will have to file for Florida's second option for divorce; Regular Dissolution of Marriage. This comes into play when there are children involved, and custody becomes an issue. It's also the option for when lawyers need to be brought in when couples can't agree on individual items to be split between them.

When the last option is to file for divorce, and no children are in the picture, it can be a simple and inexpensive process in Florida. Former partners being civil in times of divorce can make everything a lot smoother and go by a lot quicker, and with a lot more money left in both their wallets!

Take the first step and contact Benjamin J. Cox for a consultation. 

Monday
April 8
2019

Filing A Restraining Order in Florida.

Your safety should be one of your number one concerns. Filing A Restraining Order in Florida. Unfortunately, there come certain times where a specific barrier needs to be put in place between you and another individual. Restraining orders have helped thousands of people safe from a potentially dangerous situation. The way to go about obtaining a restraining order differs from state to state, so how does it work precisely in Florida? Here you will find the right steps to take if you should ever find yourself in need of filing a restraining order.

In Florida, a restraining order is otherwise known as a domestic violence injunction. This order prevents those presented with it to stop any contact with you and keep a certain distance away from you at all times. It doesn't cost anything to file a restraining order, and they work almost immediately. But several conditions that are to be met before slapping a restraining order on just anyone. Some of these conditions are:

A person accused must be living with you or has lived with you in the past. In most cases where a restraining order is requested, it's between spouses (current or former) or family members (blood or marriage).

Reasons for a restraining order must fall into the domestic violence category. This includes, but isn't limited to: assault/battery, aggravated assault/battery, sexual assault/battery, all forms of stalking, any form of kidnapping, and any criminal offense that left another family member or spouse in physical injury or death.

It is essential to realize the situation you're in and determine if a restraining order is the right option. This means you don't need to wait until someone puts their hands on you to file a restraining order. If you feel like you're in imminent danger, you can file a domestic violence restraining order. The court will go over the history of the person accused and determine if this is the right course to take.

The process of filing a restraining order is merely locating the correct courthouse for your county and setting up the first available time to get it filed. If this is an issue that happens over a weekend or anytime the courthouse isn't open, a crisis hotline for the specific county should be contacted to assist you further.

At this point, the process of filing a restraining order in Florida begins to take effect. Once the paperwork is finished and submitted, a hearing date will be announced. Soon after, the abuser will be served with a notice to appear in court. This notice does not need to be delivered by you as the local sheriff's deputies can deliver it for free. From there, on the court date scheduled a judge will determine the fate of the restraining order and how it will be laid out. Filing a restraining order is a dire situation, and the state of Florida knows this and works quickly and accurately to ensure you stay safe at all times.

Benjamin J. Cox can help you with many legal issues, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.