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Should you protect yourself with a prenuptial agreement?

If you are preparing to be married, you know that there is a lot of planning involved with taking this step. However, planning the wedding is just the first step — there are ways that you can prepare and protect yourself far beyond just the day you get married. One of the ways you can do this is by having a prenuptial agreement drafted.

Many Florida couples eschew the importance of having a prenuptial agreement because thinking about the possibility of a divorce is not romantic. It is not easy to consider the chance that your marriage will end, but by having a prenuptial agreement in place, you are laying the foundation of security for the future.

Co-parenting after a violent marriage

Florida couples who experienced conflict and violence during their marriage might be fearful of co-parenting after divorce. The concern is that the violent behavior of the abusive spouse will continue, potentially putting the other spouse, and even the children, at risk. A study by researchers at the University of Illinois explored this issue, with some conclusions that might be surprising to couples going through this.

The researchers defined two different types of violence present in marriages. The first was situational couple violence, usually the result of an argument between the spouses escalating when one or both failed to manage conflict. The other type of violence identified was coercive controlling violence, where the routine violence was one tactic used by an abusive spouse, along with things such as isolation from family and friends, to have control over their spouse. The researchers found that co-parenting was very different after a divorce depending on the type of violence.

Dads can hold on to parental closeness after a divorce

Fathers in Florida may be worried about the impact their divorce may have on their children. While they're ready to move on from a relationship that hasn't worked out, it's important for fathers to remain close and connected to their children. Losing that contact can be one of the greatest fears a dad faces when going through the end of a marriage.

However, it is possible and achievable for divorced dads to maintain and even improve their relationship with their children after the divorce. A father's active participation in setting up a child custody schedule and parenting plan can be the first step in developing that healthy relationship. Many divorcing parents can work together and with their legal representatives to put together their own parenting plan. When both parents are committed to the plan, it has a higher chance of success.

Ways to protect premarital assets

Many engaged couples in Florida might feel uncomfortable discussing finances and prenuptial agreements before getting married because it's not romantic. It may make them feel like they're saying 'I do" to a divorce before they say 'I do" at their wedding.

Prenuptial agreements are a way for couples to protect the assets they accumulated before their marriage. However, all is not lost if the couple doesn't sign a prenup. There are other ways assets can be protected.

Baseball star Miguel Cabrera sued for child support

A Florida woman who says she had two children by baseball player Miguel Cabrera sued him for not providing sufficient child support. The woman says that although Cabrera has been married since 2002, she had children by him in 2013 and 2015. Cabrera and his wife have three children of their own.

Until the lawsuit was filed, the relationship had not been public, and Cabrera's attorney had attempted to keep the lawsuit private. According to the lawsuit, Cabrera began paying child support in 2013. However, he helped the woman buy a home in 2017 and reduced the monthly amount he was paying to $6,400. The woman argued that this was insufficient to cover her expenses. Cabrera has asked for paternity tests and has alleged that the woman is committing extortion.

Shared custody may be best for kids

Florida residents who are getting divorced may want to consider opting for shared custody of their children. As long as neither parent is abusive toward a child, both mom and dad should play an active role in their lives. Children of any age may benefit, but the advantages may be higher for younger children. As of 2017, data shows that mothers are awarded sole custody in 80 percent of the cases where custody is determined by the courts.

Some judges may believe that granting full custody of the children to their mothers may help provide more stability in their lives. Children also may be placed in the custody of one parent to cut down on the drama and conflict that they may experience. However, research suggests that the occurrence and effect of parental conflict may be overblown. In some cases, it may be nearly impossible to determine the source of the conflict.

Child support and wage garnishment demographics

Some Florida workers may have their wages garnished for child support. According to a study published Sept. 27 by the ADP Research Institute, about 7 percent of workers have their paychecks garnished. More than two-thirds of people whose wages are garnished are men, and the most common reason for garnishment is unpaid child support. The study used anonymous data from 12 million workers to reach its conclusions.

Researchers looked at other demographics and found that 62 percent of wage garnishments were to people aged 35 to 54. Among workers at large Midwestern manufacturing companies, more than one-quarter had their wages garnished. Wage garnishments have consequences for both employees, who may find the experience stressful in addition to financially devastating, and for employers who face costly compliance issues.

What should you know about alimony after your divorce?

Florida readers know that money is one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. From dividing marital debt to paying alimony, you likely have serious concerns about what the end of your marriage will mean for your post-divorce financial stability.

It is normal to have these fears, and it can be helpful to understand your potential obligations after your divorce is final. If you do not want to pay alimony or are wondering if there are other choices available instead of monthly alimony payments, you may have other options. It is useful to seek a full understanding of your choices before you make any important decisions that could impact your future.

Overlooking financial details can be costly in divorce

For Florida couples whose marriages are coming to an end, financial matters are often among the most important. Having a qualified attorney and a financial adviser can help prevent an imbalance of power and ensure important issues do not go overlooked, but individuals are their own best advocates in many cases. There are a few things that parties to a divorce can do to make sure they're covering themselves with regard to assets.

Purchasing a life insurance policy to cover an ex-spouse is a good idea, for example, in cases where an ex is paying support. For many people after divorce, alimony and child support payments become an important source of income. A life insurance policy can protect the party receiving support as well as his or her children in the event that the payer dies.

Withdrawing money to prepare for divorce

Finances are often tighter after a divorce, but a strain can start before a settlement is finalized. Florida residents may wonder about using joint accounts during the process. In many marriages, one partner handles the finances. While there is nothing wrong with this, the other person should at least know basic information. This includes income and investment information, the different types of joint accounts a couple has and how to access them.

If a divorce is imminent, a spouse needs to withdraw money before filing. This is because an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order could restrict withdrawals from joint accounts after the filing is made.

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