Orlando Family Law Blog

How forensic accounting plays into property division

The marriage dissolution process is about much more than the untangling of two individuals' emotional lives that have become entwined over time. Although many Floridians do struggle to cope with the emotions that oftentimes accompany divorce, these individuals should not lose focus on the financial realities at stake. After all, the outcome of important legal issues like property division and spousal support can dictate one's financial standing for years, even decades, to come.

When significant assets are at stake in a divorce, it may be imperative to engage in forensic accounting. Forensic accounting is the process whereby a professional conducts an investigation into the finances of another in order to determine if money and other assets are being hidden. This process can be crucial to reaching a fair divorce settlement, as sometimes spouses hide an enormous amount of wealth from their spouse, especially when they see divorce on the horizon.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Parents in Florida can go through a lot to reach a child custody and visitation arrangement that they feel meets their child's needs. While some of these issues can be hashed out during negotiations, sometimes they require litigation. Unlike other divorce legal issues, though, child custody disputes can arise a long time after they were initially settled. When one parent fails to abide by a court order regarding child custody and visitation, then child abduction may have occurred.

Sometimes parents take their children out of state in an effort to avoid child custody laws. Fortunately, there is a uniform law recognized by almost every state that allows for other states' courts to recognize child custody and visitation orders from another state. This law is called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Mediation may make your divorce easier on your children

When most people think about the divorce process, they think about litigation. They picture both spouses and their attorneys standing in front of a judge, who will ultimately decide which outcomes are fair.

Although litigation is one way to resolve divorce-related issues, it is not the only way. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that can benefit many divorcing couples, but may be especially valuable to couples with children.

Property division and separate checking accounts

According to recent reports, Millennials are spurring a decline in divorce rates. Some of this is attributable to their willingness to hold off on marriage until they are financially secure. To do this, delay tying the knot until they have secured a decent job or found their footing in a career of their choosing. These individuals tend to be more cautious in their money management, too, particularly as it pertains bank accounts.

In fact, many Millennial couples are foregoing joint checking accounts in favor of separate accounts. According to recent reporting, 28% of Millennials are choosing this route. Many of them believe that this tactic will not only prevent fights over money, which is a major contributor to divorce, but also protect their financial interests in the event of divorce.

Child custody and the best interests standard

Child custody is one of the most highly contested divorce legal issues. It is not limited to those who are dissolving their marriages, as parents of children born out of wedlock can also face child custody disputes. Oftentimes in these situations each parent believes they know what is best for their child, but their visions don't always align. When this occurs, the matter can be challenging to negotiate and may be left in the hands of a judge.

When making a child custody or visitation determination, a New Jersey judge will focus on the best interests of the child involved. Many factors play into this best interests determination, including the child's relationship with each parent, the educational opportunities afforded to the child in each household, the presence of any drug or alcohol abuse in each parent's household, and the financial stability of each parent. But that's not all. A court may also consider a child's wishes, if he or she is old enough, and pertinent religious and cultural factors.

What is collaborative divorce?

The divorce process can be one that is filled with tension and animosity. In many cases, Floridians simply cannot come together to effectively resolve many divorce legal issues, including property division, child custody, and spousal support. A lot of the conflict found throughout marriage dissolution can be attributed to a loss of trust between the parties involved, but not all couples want to go head-to-head over every single legal issue they are forced to confront.

This is why collaborative divorce may be a viable option for many individuals. This type of marriage dissolution utilizes a form of alternative dispute resolution that focuses on ending the relationship on amicable terms. The parties and their attorneys in this process seek to work together to come to fair resolutions. To adhere to the spirit of collaborative divorce, the parties involved often sign collaborative participation agreements. These agreements can describe the process, the scope of the proceedings, and dictate that the parties are to disclose all information that is relevant to the marriage dissolution.

Can your ex take your kids out of country without your consent?

If you’re like most parents, there is no one you care for more than your children. You want to protect them and keep them safe from harm. This becomes a challenge when you suspect that your co-parent is a risk to take your child out of the state or country. Having your ex-spouse take your child out of the country without your permission may be scary because you fear for when you’ll see your child again.

Youre not helpless

We know how to build compelling child custody arguements

As we have discussed previously on this blog, the standard applied by the courts in child custody and visitation matters is the child's best interest. This is a subjective standard, thereby leaving the matter open to legal argument. This is both good news and bad news. It's good since it gives every Florida parent the ability to create legal arguments to demonstrate why they believe their position best supports their child's best interests, but it's also bad news because it can be difficult for these individuals to know how to build these arguments. With one's very relationship with his or her child on the line, Floridians shouldn't leave the issue to chance.

Instead, those facing a child custody dispute or fight over visitation should think about acquiring the assistance of a qualified legal professional. An attorney who is experienced in child custody and visitation matters will know how to apply the law to the facts and present best interests arguments to judge. This is what our firm does on a daily basis, which means we know how to create and obtain the evidence needed to support our clients' positions.

Postnuptial agreement can help protect financial interests

A prenuptial agreement can be a difficult matter to discuss with a soon-to-be-spouse. Many feel that it will breed a sense of mistrust and ruin the romantic feeling that is often associated with marriage. Although prenuptial agreements can actually provide each party to a marriage with a sense of security, they are not right for everyone. In fact, many Floridians don't even realize that prenuptial agreements are an option until they are already married. Once they realize that they may have made a mistake, these individuals sometimes find themselves concerned for their financial future in the even that their marriage ends in divorce.

As stressful as that situation can be, Floridians should take comfort knowing that they can still enter into a postnuptial agreement. This agreement functions just like a prenuptial agreement, except for the fact that it is negotiated and entered into after the wedding. Therefore, a postnuptial agreement can address matters from property division to alimony. With one of these agreements in place, individuals can focus on their marriage instead of quibbling over financial matters. In other words, each party knows where he or she stands in the event that the marriage comes to an end.

How examinations can prove beneficial in child custody disputes

Getting divorced can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. While property division and alimony can present challenges that can be difficult to overcome, Floridians who have children may find that their divorce is even more emotionally trying. After all, the outcome of a child support and/or visitation dispute can shape the relationship an individual will have with his or her child. This is why these parents need to do everything they can to protect what they believe is in their child's best interests. This will be the standard that the judge handling one's case will use to base his or her decision.

One way to ensure that an accurate picture of a child's wishes and each parent's capabilities is to request an examination of everyone involved. The legal rules in Florida allow for a party to request these examinations to be conducted by an expert. Such an examination may address the physical or mental condition of an individual, as well as any other issue that may be in question with regard to child custody. In order for a parent to be examined, the party seeking the examination must file a motion with the court, provide notice to the party to be examined, and have a hearing on the matter.

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