Tag: Divorce & Annulment

Will the Philippines Legalize Divorce

We sometimes take it for granted that a toxic marriage, which can destroy your life and the lives of your children, can be amicably resolved here. That’s not true everywhere. There’s a new bill to legalize divorce in the Philippines — the only remaining state aside from Vatican City that has no divorce law.

Legalize Divorce

‘Thrilla’ in Manila

Many in the Philippines have been advocating for the passage of a divorce bill.

“Divorce is not a monster that will destroy marriages and wreck marital relationships. Let us be clear about this — the monsters that lead to the demise of a marriage are infidelity, abuse, financial problems, lack of intimacy and communication, and inequality.”

Despite this development, religious groups, pro-family advocates who were present in the hearing, and even fellow lawmakers expressed their disapproval of the measure.

Florida Divorce

I’ve written about attempts to criminalize divorce before. Divorce, of course, is legal in the United States. However, traditionally it was made difficult by having to prove “fault.” This required spouses to prove either adultery; abandonment for a certain length of time; prison confinement; a spouse is physically unable to have sexual intercourse; or that the other spouse has inflicted emotional or physical pain (cruelty).

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

After divorce became legal, the concept of proving fault gave way to no-fault laws to change the way divorces played out in court. 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. “Reduced” the need, not eliminated the need.

Dragged into the 21st Century

A Philippine church official has expressed surprise over the speedy acceptance of the bill in that would legalize divorce.

“I was surprised at the speed at which the committee accepted the bill. I was expecting exhaustive deliberations and discussions would be conducted on the measure.”

Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon described the acceptance of the proposed measure as alarming. Earlier, the Catholic Council of the Laity of the Philippines issued a statement expressing opposition to the divorce bill.

The group said the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly provides that divorce is “immoral” because it introduces disorder into the family and into society.

The CNN article is here.

 

Did Your Promotion Cause Your Divorce?

Does a promotion to a top job increase your likelihood of divorce? Two Swedish professors researched that issue, and found that a promotion to a top job doubled the probability of divorce for women . . . but not so much for men.

Sweden Divorce

Divorce Stockholm Syndrome

The professors also found that there was a widening gender gap in divorce rates for men and women after being promoted to CEO. Their analysis of possible mechanisms may show that divorces are concentrated in more gender-traditional couples, while women in more gender-equal couples are unaffected.

No one doubts that the economic and social roles of men and women have been converging in recent decades. Women in Western democracies have largely caught up with men in terms of labor force participation, tertiary education, and career expectations.

But what lags behind is women’s realization of those career goals. In 2015, men accounted for 95% of CEOs in Forbes 500 firms and more than 75% of the world’s parliamentarians.

The professors argued that one potential reason for women’s slower career progressions is that a job promotion for a woman causes more stress and strain on the household than the job promotion of a man.

They also offer the first empirical analysis of how the promotion to a top job in the economy affects the marriage durability of men and women. They found that a promotion to a top job leads to an increased rate of divorce among women, but not among men.

Florida Divorce

I have written about some of the various reasons why people divorce in the past: snoring, calling the bride “fat” at the wedding and others. In Florida, a divorce is called a “dissolution of marriage.” Florida abolished fault as a ground for dissolution of marriage. The only requirement to dissolve a marriage is for one of the parties to prove that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage. Generally, you have to prove that your marriage exists, one of the spouse’s has been a Florida resident for six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition, and the marriage is irretrievably broken.

The reason for the irretrievable breakdown, however, may be considered under certain limited circumstances in the determination of alimony, equitable distribution of marital assets and debts, and the development of the parenting plan.

Every case is different, so results can differ from case to case. Outcomes in a divorce include, among other things, dividing the assets and debts, an award of alimony, determining the amount of child support, and parental responsibility and time-sharing schedules. There is no “one-size-fits-all” or “standard” dissolution of marriage in Florida.

Divorce can be highly emotional for couples and their children. But was your promotion to CEO the cause of all of this trauma?

Relationship Fjords

The professors’ analysis was carried out using Swedish register data and targets promotions to three types of top jobs. Two of the jobs are top public sector jobs, and the third type was in the private sector: CEOs of companies with more than 100 employees.

The analysis linked the divorce impact of the promotion to couples for which the woman’s promotion to a top job conflicted with gender-traditional behavior in the household.

Divorces are more likely to occur when the wife is younger than her husband by a greater margin, and where she took a larger share of the couple’s total parental leave.

Another important finding was a large gender difference in the correlation between the probability of a divorce and experiencing a promotion that shifts earnings from dual-earner into the woman becoming the dominant earner.

Among women whose promotions make them the dominant earner, i.e. making more than 60% of household income, more than 15% divorced within three years after the promotion. In the corresponding group for men, only 3% had divorced.

Some of the problems with the study included the fact that there is no register for which spouse initiated the divorce, there is no good annual measure of the division of household work, and Sweden does not measure cohabitation accurately.

So, if job promotion causes divorce among women, is that a good thing or a bad thing? The professors argue that the implications for society are largely negative because human talent for top positions is evenly distributed among men and women and the vast majority of men and women put “family” at the top of their list of priorities for life satisfaction.

An abstract is available here.

 

New Year Divorce Surge

Market Watch is reporting on a consistent pattern: 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 in-laws.

NYE Divorce

Happy New You

In general, many family lawyers report a rise of nearly one-third in business in the New Year. The president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, says he typically sees a spike of 25% to 30% every year in January.

That’s not only true for the United States, but around the world. Similar trends are seen in the U.K.: one in five couples plan to divorce after the holidays, according to one survey of 2,000 spouses by legal firm Irwin Mitchell.

Being cooped up in a house for several days 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.

Holiday time is usually a time when we get a spike in consultations and in being retained by clients. Holiday time is usually fraught with a lot of tension, emotion and financial issues, which is usually the trigger.

Florida Divorce

I’ve written about the rise in new years divorce filings, and many times the holiday season can highlight problems. 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? We offer free consultations, but even when there is a charge, it is well worth the fee to get accurate information.

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.

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.

New Year, New Priorities

If not planned correctly, divorce can be one of the most financially devastating life events, so get an up-to-date assessment of your spouse’s accounts.

“It may be illegal to open another person’s mail, but you can, however, make a note of the financial institution that mails statements. If you give your attorney those names, we can subpoena that information.

Lawyers are cautious about taking on clients who refer to their attorneys as a pit bull or a shark. “Sometimes, people might say that because we’re tough, but if you go in with all guns blazing and start in a mean, aggressive manner, you automatically create a very adversarial situation.

That could increase the cost of the divorce — which could vary between $25,000 to $100,000, depending on the assets involved, the lawyer’s fees and where you live — by double or even triple, he says. “Be courteous and respectful. The key is to avoid escalation.”

It may be that divorce is not the best option, particularly if one partner doesn’t have company health insurance. Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $18,142 this year, up 3% on last year, with workers on average paying $5,277 towards their coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Menlo, Calif.

Premiums for Obamacare are expected to rise 22% next year for the benchmark silver plan. Some health insurers won’t insure both parties on the same policy if the couple has legally separated so people report.

Avoid serving your partner with divorce papers during the holidays, especially if you have children. As they grow older they’ll hate that holiday memory forever. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some preparation in the meantime.

In Florida, you can file for divorce and you have a period of time before you have to serve the papers. Most unhappy spouses wait until after the turkey has been carved, the gifts have been unwrapped, and the new year has started.

The Market Watch article is here.

 

When Mama Grizzlies Divorce

Citing “incompatibility of temperament” and that “they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife” Todd Palin filed for divorce from former Alaska governor, one-time vice-presidential candidate, and self-described mama grizzly, Sarah Palin, his wife of 31 years.

Divorce Grizzly Bears

Alaska The New Frontier

In a document filed in Anchorage Superior Court, Todd Palin, 55, asked to dissolve the marriage, citing an “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”

The divorce filing uses initials rather than full names, but identifies the couple’s marriage date and the birth date of their only child who is a minor, Trig Palin. The filing asks for joint legal custody of the child.

The Palin family rocketed to national prominence in 2008 when Republican presidential nominee John McCain chose Palin as his vice-presidential candidate, making them household names and focusing the country’s attention on their hometown of Wasilla.

The marriage of the uber mama grizzly, Sarah and her husband Todd, a commercial fisherman, snow machine racer and oil field worker, was frequently on display in TV interviews, reality shows, books and other media appearances.

Florida Divorce

Alaska is a “no fault” divorce state, which allows for divorce on the basis of an “incompatibility of temperament.” This means that even if your spouse is entirely opposed to ending your marriage, you can still request, and receive, a divorce from the Court if you allege what the Palins alleged: “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”

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.

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.

Some people think no fault divorce is one of the main reasons for a high divorce rate. Despite the recent legislative moves around the world to make all divorce no-fault, there is also a counter-movement to return to the old “fault” system to promote families.

North to the Future

Since leaving office, Sarah Palin has kept a low profile in Alaska politics, while maintaining a national profile through her books, speaking engagements and social media presence.

The two have been married since 1988 and have five children: Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper. Todd Palin’s filing asks for shared custody of Trig, who has Down Syndrome. Todd Palin, unlike his famous political wife, has largely steered clear of headlines since she burst on the national scene during 2008 presidential election cycle.

He was in a snowmobile accident in 2016, in which he suffered broken and fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, a broken shoulder blade, a broken clavicle, and leg injuries. It was one of the few times the husband made headlines.

The couple’s children have also lived in and out of the spotlight over the years. Track Palin, their eldest son, was sentenced to a year in custody last year after a female acquaintance said he told her that she could not leave his house in Wasilla, took away her phone and then hit her in the head.

In December 2017, Track Palin was accused of breaking into his parents’ home and leaving Todd bleeding from cuts on his head, authorities said. He pleaded guilty in June 2018 to a lesser charge in veterans court.

The couple’s daughter Bristol Palin briefly starred in MTV’s “Teen Mom” franchise but quit the series in April. She said in her announcement that the reality series wasn’t a good fit for her and that “walking away from this show allows God to rebuild me (and my little fam) in the right direction.”

Bristol Palin was 17 when she found out she was pregnant with her son, Tripp, who she had with former fiancé, Levi Johnston. She also has two daughters, Sailor Grace and Atlee Bay, with former husband, Dakota Meyer.

The Anchorage Daily News article is here.

 

Separate Beds to Prevent Divorce

Separate bedrooms may not be the most romantic idea, but couples who sleep together in the same bed are more likely to suffer snoring, tossing, turning and other nocturnal disturbances. These sleep disruptions can lead to health problems, sexual dysfunction and even fights. The idea of separate beds to prevent divorce might be something to sleep on.

Sleep Divorce

Did Lucy and Ricky Have it Right?

Should we return to the “I Love Lucy” days of separate beds? The idea is gaining fans. The more secure partners feel in their relationship, the more comfortable they tend to be with the idea of sleeping separately.

“Happy, long-term couples are more inclined to have well-developed communication skills and patterns, which are key to making separate sleeping arrangements work.”

A 2016 Paracelsus Private Medical University in Nuremberg, Germany, showed that sleep issues and relationship problems tend to occur simultaneously and that a partner’s sleepless night caused by snorting and other disturbances can result in conflicts in the relationship the next day.

In fact, a 2012 survey by the Better Sleep Council showed that one in four couples sleeps separately for a better night’s sleep. Yet 46 percent of Americans polled last year said they wished they could sleep apart from their partner.

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. The official term for divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage”, and you don’t need fault as a ground for divorce.

Florida abolished fault as a ground for divorce. This means you no longer have to prove a reason for the divorce, like loud snoring. Instead, you just need to state under oath that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of sleep-deprived couples who felt the need to resort to exaggerations about loud snoring, lies about nocturnal kicking, and other false allegations about husbands in trial testimony.

Separate Beds & Counting Sheep

Some say that gender also plays a role. “It’s usually the wife or girlfriend who favors the idea of separate beds. Women are more sensitive to their bed mate’s bad habits and pregnancy and hormonal changes or problems can cause them to want to sleep alone.

The his-and-her bedroom backdrop from “I Love Lucy,” in the 1950’s, might have been one of the first times many saw a married couple in separate beds, but it is not an unusual concept for happy sleeping.

“We started sleeping separately when I was pregnant with our first child. I would toss and turn and not get enough sleep, so on occasion I would sleep in the spare room,” said one 41-year-old woman from Brisbane.

“Once I was pregnant with our second baby, one of us would sleep in the spare room to ensure we both got a good night’s sleep,” she said. “My husband’s snoring and blanket-hogging frustrated me when I was very tired and I would sometimes wake him up to tell him to stop, which of course he didn’t appreciate. It wasn’t until years later that it became more routine.”

Separate sleeping arrangements can include pairing side by side beds of similar size, having a smaller plus a larger bed in the room that the couple could share when they want to be intimate, or designating nights in a spare room. Separate bedrooms are another option.

Being open and honest with your partner about why you want to sleep separately is essential. “What’s equally as important to why you want to sleep apart is how you plan to ensure intimacy is retained in the relationship.”

Healthy couples who sleep separately can be as happy as healthy couples who sleep together. “They seem to have as good a sex life as couples who share the same bed. They feel very close to their partner. Maybe it’s because they respect each other’s personal space.”

For couples not ready for separate sleeping domains, a happy medium could be met with the right sleep solution. Investing in an adjustable mattress that accommodates both partners sleeping needs or pushing together two separate mattresses can help solve conflicts while still allowing a couple to remain close.

The New York Times article is here.

 

Young Folks and Divorce

It’s June, one of the most popular months of the year to marry. So, let’s talk about young folks and divorce. In 2017, around one million couples in the U.S. called it quits. That may seem like a lot of divorced couples, however the rate of divorce — just like the rate of marriage — is down. But is it really?

divorce and marriage

We don’t care about the young folks

What is happening today is that younger married couples are less likely to split up than they once were, driving the trend. But, at the same time, the rate of divorce for older generations has increased in a phenomenon known as “gray” divorce.

Divorces hit a historical high point in 1979, when 22.6 marriages out of every 1,000 broke up, according to researchers at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University.

By 2017, the rate had dropped to 16.1 divorces for every 1,000 marriages. That’s a decrease of 29% from the high point and the lowest the divorce rate has been in 40 years.

One cause, researchers believe, is that people are delaying marriage.

“There’s a fear of divorce or a specter of divorce looming large in people’s mind. They don’t want to make a mistake. They’re waiting longer to get married to divorce-proof their marriage.”

In 1963, the average woman married at around age 20, but by 2017, the median age at marriage was 27 for women and 29 for men. Using data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics and the American Community Survey, Bowling Green researchers calculated annual rates of divorce for girls and women ages 15 and older by dividing the number divorced in the past 12 months by the number divorced in the past 12 months plus the number currently married and then multiplying the result by 1,000.

We don’t care about the old folks

When couples choose to divorce in their 30s or 40s, they still have time to recover financially, because adults at that age have several years, if not decades, left in their careers.

But when divorce occurs when a couple is in their 50s or later, careers may either be coming to a close or are completed, and spouses are often living on fixed incomes provided through Social Security or retirement benefits.

I’ve written about this subject before. Here are some things to consider:

Valuing the Marital Estate – By the time a couple enters the golden years, they may have gold to divide, including businesses, retirement funds, and vacation homes. Valuing these assets can be difficult. The value of a business may not be apparent from balance sheets, and the sale or transfer of assets may have tax consequences. As a result, a financial advisor may be an important component in the divorce.

Medical Care – Health insurance is often tied to the employment of one spouse. With aging comes diminishing health, and declining cognitive ability. Courts may need to intervene if one party has dwindling capacity to handle their own affairs.

Long-Term Arrangements – Legal arrangements, such as wills and trusts, need to be reviewed to make sure they reflect post-divorce wishes. The same is true for long-term care, such as medical directives, living wills and trusts.

Retirement Plans – After 20 years of marriage, retirement plans can be substantial . . . and complex. Retirement plans vary in kind, and they all have different restrictions, tax consequences, distribution and vesting rules.

Lifestyle adjustment – Younger couples have time to re-accumulate wealth after divorce, but in Gray Divorces, the spouses have less time to re-establish themselves financially. One or both may be close to or in retirement, and face living on half of what they earmarked for retirement.

Talking only me and you

Researchers also examined the trends by age group and found that the drop in divorces has been driven by younger people. The greatest decrease they observed was among 15- to 24-year-olds, whose divorce rate dropped by 43%. The rate for 25- to 34-year-olds also dropped substantially, a decrease of about 30%.

After that, the rates of “gray divorce” more than doubled. For 55- to 64-year-olds, it climbed from 5 divorces per 1,000 marriages to 15 divorces per 1,000 marriages, and for those 65 and older, it rose from 1.8 to 5.

For comparison, the researchers also calculated marriage rates. In 1970, nearly a decade before the divorce peak, there were 76.5 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women. In 2017, the rate had dropped to 32.2 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women, a decrease of 58%.

 “The script was high school, maybe the military or college, and then you settle down,” Dr. Jordan said. “Now, it’s high school, maybe the military or college, maybe some period of self-discovery.”

That doesn’t mean fewer people have been pairing up or even delaying entering into romantic partnerships. But instead of marrying right after high school or college, more couples have simply moved in together, usurping marriage as the most common relationship experience in young adulthood.

Forty percent of women who wedded for the first time between 1980 and 1984 lived with their husband before they married, according to the Bowling Green researchers. From 2010 through 2014, 70% did.

That suggests for more couples, “I do” has morphed into, “I might.” But when they finally pledge “till death do us part,” they mean it.

The Wall Street Journal article is here.

 

5 Essential Divorce Tips

USA Today reports the statistic that half of all marriages will end in divorce is not accurate. Divorce is declining, and a big reason is that marriage — with all of its advantages, from survivor benefits, healthier kids, and a lower risk of heart attack – is becoming more selective and the people getting married have more advantages. There are 5 essential tips if you are thinking about divorce.

divorce tips

Florida Divorce

I’ve written on many divorce issues. In Florida, a divorce is called a “dissolution of marriage.” Florida is one of the many states that have abolished fault as a ground for dissolution of marriage.

The only requirement to dissolve a marriage is for one of the parties to prove that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” 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 immediately preceding the filing of the petition, and the marriage is irretrievably broken.

The reason for the irretrievable breakdown, however, may be considered under certain limited circumstances in the determination of alimony, equitable distribution of marital assets and debts, and the development of the parenting plan.

The divorce process can be very emotional and traumatic for couples as well as their kids. Spouses often do not know their legal rights and obligations. Court clerks and judges can answer some basic questions but cannot give legal advice.

Only an attorney can provide legal advice. Statutory requirements and court rules must be strictly followed, or you may lose certain rights permanently.

It’s important to only take legal and financial advice from a lawyer and a trusted financial professional. They will be able to objectively help you through your particular situation with the most effective and beneficial advice and strategies.

Below are USA Today’s 5 essential tips for divorcing from their recent report:

Focus on finances

A lawyer can help you through the legalities of things like separation agreements and child visitation, but when it comes to finances and managing joint debts, it’s best to work with someone who specializes in finances.

If you don’t know where to start, ask your divorce lawyer or mediator to recommend a financial planner they trust or have worked with in the past.

Close joint credit accounts

Once you have filed for divorce, it’s important to cease accruing debt in both of your names. By continuing to rack up joint debt you could end up doing more damage to your credit scores and credit reports and subsequently complicating the divorce process.

Keep track of income and expenses

This is always a smart idea, but particularly during the stress and chaos of a divorce, it can be helpful to track and document financial details including child support and alimony payments, and shared medical and other expenses.

There are many personal finance apps available that can help you keep track of these details.

Create a budget

Going from a two-income household to a single income is a major transition. If you haven’t adhered to a budget in the past, a divorce is a compelling reason to start doing so immediately.

Make sure to outline everything, including both daily and monthly expenses (groceries, utilities, mortgage and car payments, scheduled maintenance on appliances and vehicles), and long-term expenses including retirement and tuition funds. This will help you avoid overspending as you adjust to your new financial norm.

Update your records

Once your divorce is final you will need to change your marital status on things including tax records, utility bills, health insurance, and property titles (homes and cars, etc.).

Non-essential Tip

How about a non-essential tip? The satirical website, The Onion, has its own take on divorce tips. Fans of Dennis Quaid in the movie “The Parent Trap” will appreciate this advice:

“Keep the lines of communication between you and your ex open in order to avoid your twin daughters reconnecting at sleepaway camp and hatching a plan to make you two fall in love all over again.”

The USA Today money article on divorce is here.

 

Keep Divorce Costs Down

Divorce can be costly. The bulk of expenses are for professional fees like lawyers, accountants and psychologists. The New York Times recently reported on different ways to keep divorce costs down, and maybe minimize your heartache, too. Here are some of those tips, free of charge.

divorce costs

Learn the Alternatives to Court

Opting for arbitration, collaboration or mediation may help you avoid the costs of a lengthy court battle, but each of these paths has its pros and cons. A lawyer can point you in the right direction but be sure you agree on the path.

In a collaborative divorce, both parties commit to creating a shared agreement. They may share a financial expert (called a financial neutral) or a divorce coach in the collaborative process.

This approach comes with an effective incentive, but also a harsh penalty for failure. If you get stuck, the case restarts but with new representation and it can be a costly do-over.

Talk for free . . . to others

I’ve written about divorce tips and advice before. Speaking to a divorce lawyer is a good use of your time, but speaking to them about non-legal matters is not. Lawyers are not therapists and way more expensive.

A therapist’s hourly fee typically is between $120 and $250, yet many people use their lawyer, who may charge twice that amount, to complain and lay blame.

Therapy can help the legal process run more smoothly. But often the conflicts in divorce proceedings — money, children — are not the real issues. Anger, resentment, or even fantasies of revenge, often come into play.

Disclose

As the New York Times article reports:

If there’s even a tiny question of whether you will ‘get away’ with hiding something, think again. There are very high penalties for hiding assets, and if you don’t disclose up front, you’re buying problems down the road.

The law is the law, and it’s not always fair. If you want to complain about spousal support or child support guidelines, take it up with the legislature.

Don’t Rush

In cases where there have been cheating or deceit and emotions are high, find a way to slow the process.

By slowing the process and letting time do its job of healing the wounds by, for example, pacing discovery or using the court’s calendar wisely. Resolving smaller issues as they arise can also help.

Personal property can be a money drain. Hold your power for the valuable and irreplaceable. Judges hate personal property issues and will likely assign most low-monetary value items randomly if there is disagreement.

Assemble a Team

Life after divorce is going to be different and knowing what that looks like often requires additional people and resources. Financial planners, divorce coaches and other professionals can help fill out your team of professionals.

Avoid Court

To avoid costly subpoenas and depositions, clients should provide complete records of all financial dealings, including tax returns, real estate documents and even handshake deals like consulting gigs.

Since you never know what is going to happen and no one is completely satisfied with the results that come down in a courtroom it can be crazy to put your life in the hands of someone who only has a snapshot of your story.

Get a Prenuptial Agreement

Another helpful tip is the use of prenuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements.

A sound prenuptial agreement may be the best cost-saving measure in divorcing, said Barry Wayne, a partner in Bluestein and Wayne of Coral Gables, Fla. Often a prenuptial is prepared as the wedding planning is ongoing, and many times at the behest of wealthy relatives.

Consulting with an estate planning lawyer can help draft a prenuptial and also work to protect and assure assets for surviving spouses in the event of death.

The New York Times article on how to keep divorce costs down is here.

 

Divorce Infidelity and Gender

With one in five British adults admitting to cheating on their partners, monogamy is clearly not as straightforward a concept for some as it is for others. Could the impact of an affair differ based on your sex? Divorce, infidelity and gender is the topic of a recent report from England.

divorce infidelity and gender

Seven Year Itch

As the Independent reports, divorce, infidelity and gender studies have revealed that men may have a greater tendency than women to go ahead with or contemplate committing adultery in heterosexual relationships.

In fact, recent research has shown that they can be less forgiving than their female counterparts when considering divorce on account of infidelity. New research conducted into behavioral patterns that can lead to divorce, coming to illuminating conclusions about the impact of adulterous conduct on marital bliss.

According to the findings, almost a third of divorces occur when men and women have forgiven past wrongdoings but have finally “run out of patience.”

This bad behavior refers to a number of issues, including adultery, financial problems and substance abuse. Interestingly, some people are finding that women are more likely than men to try to salvage a broken marriage, despite their partner’s unfaithfulness.

Florida Divorce and Infidelity

I’ve written about divorce infidelity and gender issues before, but not specifically how men and women differ in the impact of an affair. One reason is that in Florida, we have no-fault divorce laws. No-fault divorce 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.

Indecent Proposal

Adultery can be the cause of a divorce, but can divorce, infidelity and gender 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.

Unfaithful

According to the Independent, researchers were surprised time and again by the ability of some men and women to almost turn a blind eye to their partner’s misbehavior.

However, the cases show how many people in such a situation find their patience ultimately exhausted, usually when the misconduct becomes too difficult for themselves and others to ignore.

“In some cases, that means being told by friends and relatives about extra-marital affairs which they were already aware of or discovering the true extent of a spouse’s financial difficulties and learning that they impact on a business as well as at home.”

On the other hand, the odds of men tolerating their wives’ dishonesty are far lower than the other way around.

Fatal Attraction

In Britain last year, the Office of National Statistics stated that the number of women petitioning for divorce against their husbands as a consequence of their spouses’ misconduct had decreased by 43 percent since 1996.

Meanwhile the number of men divorcing their wives for the same reason had increased by approximately by a third.

Some speculate that the main reason why men and women are willing to give their marriages another go is due to the negative effect separating will have on their children.

Divorce, infidelity and gender studies are surprising people in how different genders react. Arguably the principal factor in staying together is a desire to remain married for the sake of their children. Once those children have left home, a number of unhappy parents decide to take advantage of what they regard as an opportunity to leave a troubled marriage.

The Independent article is here.