Tag: Cheating and Divorce

Trapped in a Quarantine Means a Baby Boom or Divorce Boom, and There’s More Good News about the Coronavirus

If you’re feeling trapped, you’re not alone. The forced quarantines and shelter-in-place orders mean couples are spending a lot of time together . . . +maybe too much. That could mean another baby boom, or if China is an example, divorce boom. Plus, there is more good news about the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus Divorce Baby Boom

Birth of the “Coronials”

As reported in the Chicago Tribune, Sarah Bradburn’s coronavirus shopping list consists of two very important items: condoms and toilet paper.

“We are all emotional and clinging to our spouses. But when we’re stressed, we just become closer.”

During the first few surreal days of the coronavirus scare, there were predictions far and wide of a huge number of corona babies that would be born in nine months. Maybe they’ll be described as “coronials?”

In fact, Lori Sapio, a Chicago photographer, plans to post a CV19 newborn special in April similar to her Cubs newborn special that she announced after the team won the World Series. But is it really coming? Or will the social distancing and forced time together cause more divorces than babies?

In China — where the coronavirus hit long before it arrived here — the divorce rates rose, and couples formed a line outside a divorce registration office as soon as they were out of quarantine.

The Coronavirus and Divorce

I’ve written about the coronavirus and divorce before. Forced together due to a shelter-in-place order may be the reason for your divorce, but legally you don’t need one. That’s because Florida is a no-fault divorce state.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or annoying behavior in a government enforced quarantine.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

What do you do if you are trapped in quarantine with someone you want to separate from?

To avoid problems during a quarantine, you may have to force yourself to work together – however difficult that may be.

Couples who are separating or separated already, and are parents, are being forced to work as a team and talk through problems that are making forced quarantine impossible. Reassure each other that you will make it through and work together.

The key if you’re living together is to strike the right balance between having quality intimate time together, or if you’re at the brink of your relationship, giving each other some space.

Good Coronavirus News

Some good news for all of us. The U.S. Senate passed the largest economic relief bill in American history Wednesday night. By a vote of 96-0, the bill gives help to big and small businesses, health care facilities, and folks who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.

Some key provisions:

Stimulus to the Economy: The bill will pump some $2 trillion into the economy.

Direct payout to Americans: The bill would give one-time direct payments to Americans — $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.

There is a phase-out for individuals who made more than $75,000, or married couples who filed jointly who made $150,000.

The checks will be directly deposited into bank accounts if you included direct deposit information on your tax form. If you did not, your check will be mailed to you.

Unemployment insurance help: Additional unemployment insurance benefits will be bolstered for four months by increasing the maximum unemployment benefit that a state gives to a person by $600 per week.

Funds for hospitals, equipment: The bill will provide $150 billion for hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Of the $150 billion, $100 billion will go to hospitals and $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service. The other $49 billion will be used to increase medical equipment capacity.

Aid to state and local governments: Around $150 billion will be allocated for state and local governments to pay for the cost of fighting the virus and providing services to those who have the virus.

The Chicago Tribune article is here.

 

Divorce and Adultery May No Longer be a Thing and Good Coronavirus News

Is the coronavirus, SARS-2, SARS-CoV, Covid19 to blame? No one is sure, but British reports are showing far fewer married couples are listing “adultery” as grounds for divorce, according to new figures recently published in Britain.

Adultery Divorce Drop

Divorce Without Fault

The Sunday Times reported that the rate has dropped by more than half in a decade. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it was used for 9,205 divorces in 2018, compared to 20,765 in 2008 and 36,310 in 1998.

A desire to avoid blaming the other person in a doomed marriage comes as a “no fault” divorce bill makes its way through parliament. Speaking to the paper, Sir Paul Coleridge – chairman of the Marriage Foundation – said:

“I think people are more grown up than they used to be and realize that a single act of adultery does not tell you very much about the cause of the break-up of a marriage. It may be a symptom of the problem, but my experience is that it isn’t the cause. The cause is the broken relationship, and the adultery arises out of it.”

According to the ONS, the most common grounds for divorce – used in half of all cases, compared to one in ten for adultery – is unreasonable behavior.

It comes as it was revealed that suspicious partners can order DNA ‘infidelity’ tests online to prove whether their other halves have really strayed.

The ‘evidence’ – such as underwear, bedding, condoms, cigarette butts, strands of hair or chewing gum – is sent off to a lab for analysis

The Sunday Times previously reported that one UK-based company is offering a £90 “semen detection test”, a £299 “gender” test to check if the sample is from a man or a woman, or a £500 comparison test to differentiate between their own sample and a “suspicious” one.

They also found a £60 “sperm detection kit” sold online – containing a solution that turns samples purple if semen is present – which is being sold as a way to catch a “cheating spouse”.

Florida No Fault Divorce

I’ve written about no fault divorce before. No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of feuding couples who felt the need to resort to distorted facts, lies, and the need to focus the trial on who did what to whom.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or unreasonable behavior as in England.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

Adultery can be the cause of a divorce, but can it impact the outcome? Since Florida became a no-fault state, the fact that, “she (or he) is sleeping with a co-worker” doesn’t hold much traction in court any more.

When is adultery relevant in divorce in Florida? Although we are a no-fault state, there is still a statutory basis for infidelity to be an issue in your divorce proceedings, but not as a reason for divorce.

Some people think no fault divorce is one of the main reasons for a high divorce rate. Despite the recent legislative moves in the UK, there is a movement here to return to the old “fault” system to promote families.

Good News and the Coronavirus

  • Did you know that “2019-nCOV” was the initial name given for the virus?

But the name was hard to remember and was misleading, because it gave the misimpression that the virus was novel. It’s not. In fact, it’s the least novel of the respiratory disease-causing viruses. It’s defining feature is its NON-novelty!

  • Do you know how to kill the coronavirus?

Since it is an enveloped virus, it’s killed by soap/detergents, ethanol, Windex (which contains detergents), and bleach.

  • Do you know how long the coronavirus lasts on surfaces?

On steel and plastic, 10-fold drop in ~12 hours; On cardboard, about 1 hour; On a napkin, the survival should be like on cardboard or maybe lower, and the virus will get trapped by the paper fibers. That said, don’t wipe your mouth with a napkin that someone just handed you.

  • Does “social distancing” have any effects?

The R0 rate (“R zero rate”) refers to how contagious an infectious disease is. Preemptive hygiene enhancement and social distancing help reduce the average frequency and intensity of exposure to the virus, might reduce infection risk, reduce the average viral infectious dose of those exposed, and result in less severe cases who are less infectious.

  • Is there a cure for the Covid-19 disease?

Right now people are working on it. But thanks to earlier research, we may already have drugs with activity against it. For example, Remdesivir (Gilead) seems to work against SARS-CoV-2 in cells.

The Times article on adultery and divorce is here.

 

Is January Really Divorce Month?

January is usually reserved for kicking bad habits and beginning work on those New Year’s resolutions. But some parts of the internet, this blog included, have suggested that January has earned it’s nickname as “divorce month.” Is there truth to it? The New York Times recently investigated.

divorce january

‘Tis the Season?

There is no doubt that divorce is a seasonal phenomenon. From Thanksgiving until New Year’s, lawyers’ offices can slow down with new filings because people have decided to put off until after the holidays their decisions to separate.

A Google trends search for “divorce last year returned that it was – ever so slightly – most popular from January 6th to January 12th. The term has peaked at various times though, from March and September too!

A 2016 study by the University of Washington analyzed divorce filings in Washington state from 2001 to 2015 and found they peaked in March and August, following the winter and summer holidays.

Florida No-fault Divorce

Divorce rates started to increase in the 1970s when baby boomers started divorcing at higher rates and the introduction of no-fault divorce laws.

I’ve written about no fault divorce before. No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of feuding couples who felt the need to resort to distorted facts, lies, and the need to focus the trial on who did what to whom.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or unreasonable behavior as in England.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

Adultery can be the cause of a divorce, but can it impact the outcome? Since Florida became a no-fault state, the fact that, “she (or he) is sleeping with a co-worker” doesn’t hold much traction in court any more.

Some states still have fault-based divorce, and some of the common fault-based grounds for divorce are adultery, desertion, extreme cruelty, incarceration for conviction of a crime, institutionalization for mental illness, and a spouse’s continued abuse of drugs or alcohol.

New Year’s Resolution?

Not everyone thinks January is divorce month. Some people think it is a perception of the end of the year slow-down, and that the comparison makes it appear to be a big month for filing.

However, divorce timelines can also be impacted by state. In Georgia, divorces can be granted in as little as one month, or could take years. In California, there is a mandatory six-month waiting period for a divorce to be finalized.

When you file for divorce, you may impact everything financial including taxes. Your marital status on the last day of the year can determine how you file your taxes. If a state has a rule regarding your filing status and separation, that could be a reason for a January filing.

Responsibilities for children, lack of romance, incompatibility and money problems are all big drivers of divorce. Many people feel there is an uptick in divorce filing around anniversaries and Valentine’s Day too. The answer to the question “is January really divorce month?” is, maybe.

The New York Times article is here.

 

Divorce and Infidelity in Congress

Rep. Ilhan Omar is divorcing her husband. The Minnesota Democrat filed for divorce from Ahmed Hirsi last week. This news follows earlier reports that the Representative’s political consultant is facing his own divorce because of his infidelity with Rep. Omar.

Sex and No Fault Divorce

The Candidate

Omar and Hirsi became engaged in 2002 but never legally married. The pair had two children together before separating in 2008. Omar married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009 and later said the two obtained a divorce in their Muslim faith tradition — albeit not a legal one — in 2011.

Beth Mynett, wife of Omar’s political consultant, alleged in court documents that her husband, Tim Mynett, confessed his “devastating and shocking declaration of love” for Omar this past April, which led to the divorce.

Tim Mynett’s company, the political consulting firm E Street Group, has worked with Omar’s campaign. Federal campaign finance records show that Omar’s campaign paid Tim Mynett $7,000 in July 2018 and E Street Group roughly $222,000 from 2018 to 2019.

The E Street Group and lawyers issue a statement saying “E Street Group does not comment on the personal life of either our staff or clients. As with all marriages, this is intensely personal and a difficult time for their family.

Florida Divorce and Infidelity

I’ve written about the impact of cheating and divorce before. In practical terms, adultery as a crime poses very little threat of prosecution, but it could have other consequences.

Cheating on your spouse can even be grounds for losing your job. This is particularly true in the military, where adultery has a maximum punishment of a dishonorable discharge.

Chapter 61 discusses the “the moral fitness of the parents” as one of the factors the court considers in determining the best interests of a child. Adultery may impact the division of property. Proof that one spouse intentionally wasted marital assets could be seen as dissipation of assets. Adultery of either spouse could be a factor in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.

There are times when evidence of adultery comes into evidence. Most often it doesn’t. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that sexual activity between consenting adults is legal.

Ms. Omar Goes to Washington

Omar and Hirsi reconciled after that and had a third child together in 2012. The lawmaker officially filed to divorce Elmi in 2017, and legally married Hirsi in 2018.

Earlier this year, a Minnesota campaign finance board’s investigation found that the 38-year-old freshman congresswoman and Hirsi filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, while she was still legally married to Elmi.

“For years, Ilhan and Ahmed have been the object of speculation and innuendo from political opponents and the media. This has taken a significant toll on Ilhan, Ahmed, and their three children.”

The divorce documents allege there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship. Omar said neither partner is seeking an order of protection and she asks the court to grant them “joint legal and physical custody” of their three minor children. She also asked the court to determine child support to “serve the minor children’s best interest” and award the “marital property” as the court “may deem just and equitable.”

The Hill article is here.

 

The Great Chinese Divorce Fraud

Divorce rates are rising in China for many reasons, but one recently uncovered reason is found in a family which divorced 23-times in one month! The new Chinese divorce fraud is the hot ploy to avoid Chinese property laws and make money.

Chinese Divorce Fraud

23rd Time is a Charm

Unlike older generations who may have settled for an unhappy marriage, divorce is no longer socially taboo in China. That may have led to one family in the city of Lishui to take the new divorce fraud to extreme lengths, churning through 23 divorces and weddings in a month.

Divorce is becoming simpler in China. Couples can either register a divorce with the civil affairs authority, indicating they have agreed to go their separate ways, or they can sue for divorce through the courts, which can rule on custody of children and how to dispose of any assets.

In the first six months of this year, 1.85 million couples registered for divorce with the civil affairs authority alone, an increase of more than 10 per cent compared with the same period last year. Three decades ago, in 1986, 460,000 couples registered their divorces with the civil affairs authority. By 2016, that annual number had risen to 4.15 million.

However, the Lishui family was not divorcing for typical reasons. The Chinese government has limited each household to a maximum of two apartments. Other notable policies allow potential home buyers who don’t already own property to make much lower down payments as well as enjoy lower tax and mortgage rates.

The new divorce fraud was aimed at getting more money from the government and developers when the Lishui family house was demolished for a new development. Under the system, each member of the household would be entitled to 40 square meters of space in the new development.

In China though, the preponderance of fake divorces in any given city may indicate the failure of real estate policy at the local level.

Florida Divorce

I’ve written about no fault divorce before. No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of feuding couples who felt the need to resort to distorted facts, lies, and the need to focus the trial on who did what to whom.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or unreasonable behavior as in England.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

The Great Fraud of China

It all started with Mr. Pan, who lived in the house, remarrying his ex-wife, and allowing her to qualify for the compensation plan. Two weeks later, he divorced her and married his sister-in-law, adding her to the plan. On it went, with each new family member enlarging the amount of space to be awarded as compensation, until government authorities discovered the house suddenly was home to 13 people, and promptly arrested 11 of them.

While it’s an extreme case in property-obsessed China – where would-be home buyers have to navigate a shifting array of property curbs – it’s probably more understandable given home prices in Lishui have surged as much as 31% in the past two years.

According to the compensation policy, people living in the village slated for renovation — even those who were not property owners — would be given minimum compensation of one 40-square-meter apartment as long as their household registration, or hukou, had been filed within the village by April 10.

When interrogated by police, Pan’s father — who had been party to the sham marriages and divorces himself — said he had assumed the family’s actions were legitimate since they had not violated China’s marriage law. “In doing this, we were just trying to get more compensation.”

According to the chief marriage lawyer at Beijing Yingke Law Firm:

Just because a person is following one law doesn’t mean they’re not breaking another. The family used a legal avenue to achieve an illegal end. The marriage law doesn’t forbid marriages and divorces — but in this case, the family used marriages and divorces as a means of committing fraud. While they didn’t violate the marriage law, they acted against the criminal law.

In April of this year, home buying policies in select urban areas were further tightened. Now, regardless of whether a divorced person is buying their first or second property, banks will evaluate them based on both their property ownership status and mortgage records — meaning even if they have no property registered in their name, an apartment they’re hoping to purchase can still be considered a second home, subject to a higher down payment and mortgage rate, if they have made previous mortgage payments.

The Bloomberg article is here.

 

Wrestling over Attorney Fees in Divorce

Hulk Hogan, the famous professional wrestler who calls everybody “brother”, is now saying “uncle”. A family court judge in Tampa Florida has ordered that Hogan has 30-days to pay his ex-wife Linda Bollea more than $180,000 in attorney fees and costs in his post-judgment divorce case.

attorney fees divorce

Get Ready to Rumble

Hulk, whose real name is Terry Bollea, married Linda Bollea in 1983. Linda Bollea, 59, divorced the pro wrestler, whose real name Terry Gene Bollea, after 23 years of marriage when an alleged mistress went public in 2008. The parties entered into a marital settlement agreement in December 2009.

Linda alleges she’s had to fight Hogan, 65, to get what was agreed upon ever since. Hogan is taking Linda back to court in his attempt to block her from seeing the books on Intellectual Property that she may own half of.

“It has been nine years since our divorce and I have received nothing but frivolous legal battles meant to harass and drain any monies I received upfront from our original divorce agreement. He’s hidden money, transferred and diverted money, switched trademarks, cooked the books, everything he could to make sure I get as little as possible from the brand I helped him build and turn into a global success.”

In August 2019, Judge Peter Ramsberger ruled that the Hulkster was responsible for “the vast escalation of fees and costs,” surrounding their prolonged divorce and legal battle to which his ex-wife Linda said the former wrestling star has repeatedly failed to pay.

The initial 2009 marital settlement agreement entitled Linda Bollea to 70% of their liquid assets, properties and 40% of Hogan’s earnings from his $115 million Gawker settlement.

Hogan sued website, Gawker, after the gossip site published a sex tape of Hogan containing racial slurs muttered by the wrestler in 2012.

The one-time most famous wrestler in the world was then dropped by the WWE and admitted to being a “racist, to a point,” but also apologized saying the “language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”

Florida Attorney Fees in Divorce

Attorney fees and costs can be high in a Florida divorce case. One way to level the playing field of high divorce fees and costs in Florida is to ask one side to pay for attorneys’ fees.

In Florida attorney’s fees may be awarded in a divorce, including enforcement and modification proceedings, separate maintenance, custody and support proceedings and appellate proceedings.

The court may from time to time, after considering the financial resources of both parties, order a party to pay a reasonable amount for attorney’s fees, suit money, and the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending any proceeding. The same is true in paternity actions under Chapter 742.

I’ve written about reducing attorneys’ fees through various means before. The purpose of awarding attorneys’ fees is to make certain that both parties in a divorce proceeding “will have similar ability to secure competent legal counsel.”

There are also fees for frivolous cases. A reasonable attorney’s fee can also be awarded to the prevailing party if the court finds that someone brought a claim that was not supported by the material facts the then existing law to those material facts.

Hulkamania is running wild, Brother

Judge Ramsberger ruled:

“His early compliance or good faith efforts to timely comply with petitioner’s discovery requests would have avoided a considerable amount of time having to be spent by petitioner’s counsel in doing what they have had to do in order to accomplish their rightful discovery requests, and properly represent his client.”

Hogan has one month to pay over $170,000 in attorney’s fees his former wife has spent while litigating their post-judgment proceedings, and an additional $10,260.25 in excess costs and legal fees.

Linda Bollea’s attorney shared his enthusiasm for the settlement:

“We were rightly awarded 100 percent of our fees, costs and travel expenses and fees requested incurred just to that point in combating Hulk Hogan and his controlled Entities obstructive and costly discovery prevention. Consistently, Hulk Hogan and his controlled Entities did all they can to prevent Linda from obtaining the discovery proving his failure to comply with their marital settlement agreement and diverting of money Linda should be receiving.”

The Fox Business article is here.

 

Borat and No-Fault Divorce

The official term for divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage”, and you don’t need to prove fault. Instead, you need to state under oath that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” According to CNN, Sacha Baron Cohen learned the true meaning of no-fault divorce after discovering Pamela Anderson’s divorce may have been caused by his movie Borat.

Borat No Fault Divorce

High Five!

As CNN reports, the movie Borat was a huge success, earning $262 million against a modest $18 million budget, and worked its way deep into American culture. Unfortunately, the film’s success came at a price, as it may have cost Kid Rock his wife.

Sacha Baron Cohen, recently told The Daily Beast’s The Last Laugh podcast that Pamela Anderson was in on the joke for the scene in which Borat kidnaps her, Cohen and that her then husband, Kid Rock, hated the movie.

Cohen says that the scene in which his fictional character Borat approaches Anderson and carries her out of a book signing caused the split:

“We did that scene twice, actually. The first time we did it at a book signing and I grabbed her over my shoulder and ran out with her and no one did anything. I was like, what kind of fans are these?”

Kid Rock was briefly married to Pamela Anderson in 2006. Cohen said that, following a screening of the finished film with Anderson and Kid Rock, he called Anderson to find out what her new husband thought of the film.

“Kid Rock saw the movie, and I texted Pamela Anderson and asked, ‘How did it go? What did he think?’” said Cohen. “And she texted back, ‘He’s getting divorced.’”

Florida No-Fault Divorce

I’ve written about no fault divorce before. No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of feuding couples who felt the need to resort to distorted facts, lies, and the need to focus the trial on who did what to whom.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or unreasonable behavior as in England.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

Adultery can be the cause of a divorce, but can it impact the outcome? Since Florida became a no-fault state, the fact that, “she (or he) is sleeping with a co-worker” doesn’t hold much traction in court any more.

Some people think no fault divorce is one of the main reasons for a high divorce rate. Despite the recent legislative moves in the UK, there is a movement here to return to the old “fault” system to promote families.

Not in Kazakhstan Anymore

Cohen said Anderson told him that Kid Rock wanted the divorce specifically because of the movie, which he naturally assumed was a joke:

“I thought it was a joke,” Said Cohen. “But then a few weeks later they got divorced and they put as a reason for divorce: ‘Borat.’ So, it had some casualties.”

Cohen’s version of this story also lines up with and seems to confirm reports, which claimed that Universal Studio chief Ron Meyer held a screening of the movie at his home and that the Kid Rock became angry and ruined the night because he hated the movie.

This revelation raises a number of questions. Was Kid Rock, like so many people, unable to tell if his wife’s involvement in the film was real? Did he believe that his wife did not fight back strongly enough against the seductive, amorous advances of Borat Sagdiyev?

CNN reports that Anderson and Rock did get divorced the same month as the film came out, but the comedy film may be an unlikely cause of the divorce.

The CNN article is here.

Photo courtesy of Michael Bulcik / SKS Soft GmbH Düsseldorf

 

Rules for a Divorce Announcement

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced their divorce last week. Being the world’s richest man, a divorce announcement is big news. But as the Wall Street Journal reports, there are rules to writing one.

divorce announcement

“Alexa, read me a divorce announcement”

In a world of social media, where personal news like divorce can spread to millions in minutes, the days of sitting down and privately explaining to friends and family your decision are over.

For CEOs, its also a matter of re-assuring shareholders, employees, and customers that they won’t experience any turbulence.

Announcements allow you to frame the narrative of your case: to set the tone and story so others don’t have to guess what’s going on or how you approach divorce.

“Alexa, what do you need to divorce”

I’ve written on various topics about divorce. There can be good and bad divorces. How you announce your divorce these days has dramatically changed. This change has given you a lot of power over how your break-up is perceived by others.

But does it matter? Historically to obtain a divorce, you had to prove legal grounds such as adultery. This often-required additional expenses making the divorce process more expensive and cumbersome than it already was.

Florida Statutes actually still provide that these things may be considered in certain circumstances in the award of alimony, equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities, and determination of parental responsibility, but courts give them little consideration from a legal perspective.

In the years leading up to the enactment of “no-fault” divorce, courts often granted divorces on bases that were easier to prove, the most common being “mental cruelty.”

In Florida, either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage. You must prove that a marriage exists, one party has been a Florida resident for six months before filing the petition, and the marriage is irretrievably broken. Because of the advent of no-fault divorce, your announcements should be focusing on things other than the cause of the divorce.

“Alexa, write an announcement”

You don’t have to be famous to announce your divorce. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow invented the catchy phrase: “conscientious uncoupling” in her divorce announcement from singer Chris Martin. That announcement put a good spin on her divorce. But, there are some other good rules to follow.

Rule One

Wait until the decision to split is final. If you’ve announced your divorce and then reconcile, it could get awkward.

Rule Two

Announce publicly after you’ve told your children, family and close friends. Remember the point is to own the narrative, so get your message out ahead of gossip and speculation.

Rule Three

Strike a positive tone — remember that your children and family will be reading it — and present a united front.

Rule Four

Don’t lie. If you don’t love your ex, don’t say: “Although we still love each other we need to move on.” It’s enough to state that it just didn’t work out.

The Wall Street Journal is available here.

 

New Year Divorce

You are not alone. Divorce filings surge in January as people decide to start their New Year with a clean slate, helped by a stressful holiday period and, perhaps, even more stressful family members. What should you do if you’re considering a new year divorce?

new year divorce

New Year Resolutions

I’ve written about divorce issues and their causes before. As Market Place reports, being cooped up in a house during the holidays when a marriage is experiencing serious problems – while dealing with the pressure to put on a happy face for the kids and visiting relatives – takes its toll on the most stoic of couples.

People want to wait until after the holidays – especially if they have younger children at home. They think:

Let’s not ruin the holidays and their memories with a divorce. Let’s wait and talk about how we want to move things along in the new year.

And after seeing other families at their best on Facebook and Instagram – the idea of perfect looking families haunts many couples who wonder why their lives don’t look as happy.

That’s probably because people don’t post bad selfies with their families or write about how awful things are on social media. So, people’s perception of what other people are thinking about during high stress times like the holidays is misleading.

Another word of caution, due to the new tax code changes, the recipient of spousal support will not have to claim it as income and the payor will not be able to use alimony as a deduction any longer.

What should you do? Whatever the reason for your problems, there are a few things that anyone looking into divorce for the first time needs to know to help them through the process.

Prioritize

Line up your priorities for life after the divorce. Is it finding a home? Is it retiring? Getting a job? Managing your special-needs child? Consider writing down your most important goals.

Consult

Even if you aren’t certain you need to hire an attorney, or filing for divorce at all, it is a good idea to meet with an expert in Florida’s divorce and family laws. Who better than someone certified by Florida as an expert in marital and family law?

Alternatives

Litigation is something to avoid. It’s time-consuming, contentious and expensive. The majority of divorces end up settling. There are many forms of alternative dispute resolution out there, including collaborative divorce, mediation, and informal settlement conferences.

Have a Happy New Year

As Market Watch further reports, there is good reason for treating a divorce like a calm business deal. Don’t rush to file. Think about your end game. Many people file quickly out of anger perhaps after learning of a spouse’s misconduct. But it’s better to be strategic.

Divorces are up there with a major investment like buying a home. There’s one big difference with divorces though: They can be devastating for your finances, especially if your partner earned more money and the couple are forced to sell their home.

The Market Watch article is here.