After more than 20 years of being a practicing attorney focused primarily on family law, I would like to share some important insights about the divorce process.
Time-sharing is a schedule of how the children will spend time with each parent. Unless otherwise notified, the court assumes that both parents are “good parents” and have no issues that affect their ability to parent their children. However, if your spouse has problems that call into question his or her ability to parent the children safely, you may need to think about a supervised or safety-focused parenting plan.
Many people routinely share personal details about their lives online, where countless numbers of people can see them. When you’re going through a divorce or other family law proceeding, it might be tempting to post insults about your ex or vent to your online “friends.” But keep in mind that unless you have configured privacy settings on your social media profiles, chances are your ex and his or her attorney also are reading your posts.
In divorce cases involving children, the court is required to order a parenting plan that addresses time-sharing when minor children are involved, and the plan ordered will be based on the circumstances of the case. The parties can agree on a plan and the court can approve it, or the court can decide the whole parenting plan through a final judgment or court order. A parenting plan describes what each parent’s relationship will be with their children and how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child. In addition, the parenting plan will:
If you have made the very difficult decision to end your marriage and seek a divorce, you probably have questions about the divorce process. You might be confused about what you have to do to file for divorce, what happens once you file, and what you can expect as the case progresses.
Before you alert your spouse about a potential divorce, it is a good idea to gather documents, take inventory of property and keep proper records. Collecting as much accessible information as possible in advance will give you an “insurance policy” so that you can be sure that your spouse completely discloses important financial and property information that is relevant to your divorce.
The first and most obvious question that you should ask yourself before you begin a divorce is do you really want a divorce? Under Florida law, the legal requirement for divorce is simple—the court must find that your marriage is “irretrievably broken” prior to dissolving the marriage. From a practical standpoint, whether your marriage is irretrievably broken depends primarily on yours or your spouse’s view of the status of your marriage. If you are potentially considering a divorce, the very first thing that you should resolve is your level of certainty that you either cannot or will not save or fix your marriage. If you have resolved that issue, then you could testify to the court that your marriage is irretrievably broken and satisfy the legal requirement.
Nicole L. Goetz moderated a discussion between Thomas J. Sasser, Esq. of West Palm Beach and David L. Manz, Esq. of Marathon, on the issue of tax consequences in equitable distribution awards. The discussion included questions and answers addressing the speakers’ differing positions on various issues relative to tax consequences in equitable distributions. Specifically, they addressed whether a trial court is required to reduce assets for potential tax consequences, including future tax consequences, the lawyer’s responsibility to present evidence to the trial court of tax liabilities and contingent tax liabilities, and unequal distributions as alternatives to immediate offsets for future taxes, as well as the viability of the Imminent Sale Doctrine in divorce cases. The live audio webcast presentation, “To Tax Effect or Not: Does the Imminent Sale Doctrine Still Exist?” was jointly presented by the Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar and is available from the Florida Bar in Audio CD.
Nicole L. Goetz completed the Collaborative Family Law Institute’s training titled, “COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE Fitting the Pieces Together: A Basic Interdisciplinary Training.” Collaborative divorce or collaborative family law offers parties an alternative method for resolving issues by placing the parties and their chosen counsel, and in certain circumstances other family professionals, in a setting that focuses the participants on settlement by removing the threat of litigation. Nicole L. Goetz, P.L. offers collaborative law resolution options in addition to traditional client representation in family law matters.