Tag: Divorce Tips

Divorce Financial Mistakes

Avoid making costly divorce financial mistakes because money matters are often at the heart of divorce disputes, for better or worse. Since divorce is on the rise during the pandemic, be aware that aside from the cost of divorce, other parts of the process can end up costing you.

Divorce Mistake

No Mistake About It

For starters, some assets appear as if they have equal values. But, once you start to factor in the tax impacts, the assets can look very different. For example:

A hundred dollars in cash is different from shares of GameStop valued (at the time) at $100. Holding onto that stock can lead to appreciation (or depreciation) and selling the stock can have a tax impact.

Basically, the profit made on any given assets — the difference between the cost basis (generally, what you paid) and the sale price — ends up getting taxed as either a long-term or short-term capital gain once sold, depending on whether the asset was held for under or over a year.

Even if two assets have the same value right now, the cost basis for them may be different, and one will have more or less taxes than the other. Subtract those taxes from the value if you’re really going to do an equitable division.

So if the asset in question is, say, a traditional 401(k) account, withdrawals will be taxed at ordinary income tax rates.

Florida Divorce Mistakes

I’ve written on divorce issues and divorce planning. 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.

Everybody Makes Mistakes

If you have a 401(k) or other retirement account and your soon-to-be-ex is entitled to a percentage of the distribution, be careful how you arrange the split. If you take the money out of you 401(k) and then give it to your soon to be ex, there will be a 20% tax withholding. Additionally, if the account holder is younger than age 59½, a 10% penalty for early withdrawal could apply.

Instead, you may need an a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO. This is a separate order from the divorce agreement which gets approved by the court and sent to the plan administrator – who also must approve it.

Sometimes, divorcing couples sell the family home and divide the proceeds as dictated in their agreement. Other times, one of the spouses remains in the house. In this situation, depending on the specifics, there are a few things to watch for.

For starters, assuming your ex will no longer be a joint owner or responsible for any mortgage on the home, you would need to refinance the loan and qualify for it on your own. Otherwise the ex spouse would still be liable for the unsatisfied mortgage.

The CNBC 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.

 

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.

 

Why is this Divorce Different?: Passover Divorces

It’s common knowledge that divorce filings increase after the holiday period from November through New Year’s. We are not alone. In Israel, the rate of people filing for divorce before Passover is three times as high as during the rest of the year.

The Bitter Herbs of Passover Divorces

According to the Jerusalem Post, the reason for this increase in Passover divorces is the number of stresses that surface around the holidays. For example, there could be a question of where a family will hold its Seder.

The stress of the Passover season will sound familiar to anyone who deals with the stress during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

There is a lot of sensitivity around relationships with extended family. Additionally, there is too much to do and greater financial demands during the holidays.

To help alleviate these stressors, it is important to plan in advance.

Having a Sweet Florida Divorce

I’ve written about divorces and their causes before. Passover divorces are similar to any other religious holiday in which you are cooped up in a house with your in-laws during the holidays, when your marriage is having problems. The holidays can take a toll on the best couples.

During the holidays, people try to put on a happy face for the kids and visiting relatives. And after seeing other families on Facebook and Instagram – the idea of perfect looking families haunts many couples who wonder why their lives don’t look as happy.

“Beware that the holiday period invites many hours that couples are together, which can lead to conflicts arising. Don’t make impulsive decisions on ending a connection during the holidays. Persevere until afterwards and then look at the situation with a new perspective.

Is there a way to make Passover divorces sweet like charoset? 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.

Is there a shank bone in a Vegan Passover?

Back in Israel, in addition to the increase in new applications for Passover divorces, there is often an increase in the number of religious Jewish divorces – called “Gets” – that are finalized.

This is because of “the feeling that the holiday time’s a time to finish things and start fresh. It affects the state of mind.

A wife and a husband hold different religious standards and deciding where the kids should be can push them over the edge. The Jerusalem Post reported how last year a woman insisted on having a vegan Seder and her husband would not agree. This led to divorce.

The Jerusalem Post article is here.

Divorce to Save Money?

The Hill reports that a Texas couple may divorce to save money in order to pay for their daughter’s rising health-care costs. There are times when people have divorced “on paper” to save money, but is this a good reason and does it work?

Divorce save money

Health Care Scare

Can you divorce to save money? Jake and Maria Grey may try. They told NBC’s “Today” that Brighton, the older of their two daughters, has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a developmental disability that requires 24/7 care.

“We shouldn’t have to make that sacrifice to get our child Medicaid!”

They said they spend thousands of dollars annually out of pocket, even though Jake Grey has private health insurance. The couple added that they are considering divorcing to save money so that Maria Grey can qualify for Medicaid as a single, unemployed mother.

Divorce to Avoid Penalties

I’ve actually written about a similar issue, namely: divorcing to save money on taxes by avoiding the marriage penalty tax. Back when the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act was passed, it raised taxes on couples making more than $450,000, and individuals making more than $400,000. As it turns out, some couples found out they could save over $25,000 a year if they divorced.

Think about that for a second. If you could save over $25,000 a year in taxes, you could take a couple’s trip to Italy, ski Deer Valley, put a little cash away for college, and still have some mad money to spend just by divorcing and turning your marriage into a long-term relationship.

Divorcing on Paper

There are a lot of risks though, known and unknown to divorcing on paper but staying together. I would encourage anyone considering a “divorce on paper” to think about a few things:

  • The impact on your relationship. I don’t know of a good way to ask for a divorce: “Honey, I want a divorce. No, no wait, come back, it’s to save big bucks . . . really!”
  • There is no fake divorce. Once the court signs the final judgment of divorce, you are divorced. Once you’re divorced, your Ex may find someone who thinks marriage is more valuable than 5% adjusted gross income.
  • IRS rules regarding your filing status have something to say. IRS publication 504 warns that if you obtain a divorce just to file as unmarried with the intent to remarry the next tax year, you have to file as married individuals.
  • State law. All no-fault states have minimum requirements for getting a divorce. Florida, for instance, requires at a minimum that your marriage be irretrievably broken before you can get a divorce.
  • In addition, there are estate planning issues, retirement and social security complications, and many other issues besides the mere tax savings.

Most people who marry do so forever, and with the sincere intention of honoring their vows. Is the money worth it?

Jake Grey’s $40,000 salary is too much for the family to receive Medicaid, and Maria Grey said they are No. 60,000 on the list to receive state assistance.

It’s drowning us to try to keep up with her medical expenses. We’ve done everything we can do to try to keep her afloat, and we’re going to reach a point where we can’t do it and we won’t have another option. We don’t know what to do.

The Hill article is here.

 

Smelly, Dirty Divorce Tricks

The billionaire co-founder of PIMCO allegedly left dead fish and other vile smelling liquids in the mansion he once shared with his ex-wife Sue Gross. The gross smelling liquids are a perfect example of smelly, dirty divorce tricks to watch out for.

Smelly Dirty Divorce Tricks

Failing the Smell Test

Court documents outline how the Los Angeles bond king — who later joined Janus Capital — left the home in Laguna Beach “in a state of utter chaos and disrepair” following the couple’s divorce. California’s tax assessor values the home at more than $11 million.

Photos published by the paper from the case show a lineup of foul smelling sprays, including “puke smell” and “fart prank,” that were allegedly used by Bill.

Sue also alleges the 74-year-old hired an “army of spies” to monitor and harass her and her family members, the paper reported. It also reported that a source close to Bill “denied the house was left in disarray.”

Smell a Rat

Last month, Sue testified that she fooled her ex-husband into thinking he was sleeping in the presence of a Picasso painting for several months after she swapped the priceless piece of art for a fake she had created herself.

Their court documents also include a restraining order, showing acrimony between Bill and Sue Gross, even as they’ve agreed to at least some of the financial aspects of their parting.

Days before the divorce was finalized, Bill Gross was granted a temporary restraining order that bars 67-year-old Sue Gross from approaching him or entering properties where he is living or working.

The order also calls for Sue Gross to stay away from her ex-husband’s girlfriend, Amy Schwartz. Bill Gross said in a court declaration filed in January:

“Sue’s escalating harassment of me and my employees has crossed the line into danger and my inability to feel safe in my own home”

A representative for Sue Gross responded by saying Bill Gross was the aggressor:

“The last year has been painful … since she became the target of Bill’s bullying and threatening behavior in the divorce proceedings. Sadly, as (was) heavily documented around his departure from Pimco, Bill has clearly suffered from paranoia and rage since well before … the separation.”

Florida Dirty Divorce Tricks

I’ve written about behavior and dirty divorce tricks before. They can seriously backfire. A couple of common tricks to watch out for:

  • Refuse to pay household bills until you are forced to do it by the court to “Starve Out the Other Spouse”. The goal is to get the other spouse in a financial position where he or she, out of desperation, will accept an unfair settlement.
  • Wait until the latest possible day to pay support money, even if you’ve got the money to send. Never mind that your spouse just might need the money to pay bills or buy things for the children.
  • Petition the court for sole custody of your children when you will actually agree to a shared custody and equal timesharing. The real purpose for the request is to strike fear into the heart of your spouse and use it to coerce financial concessions.
  • Refuse to speak with your spouse about anything, including the children. This helps to create conflict, court hearings, and increase legal fees to wear the other side down.
  • File a fraudulent domestic violence petition to have your spouse excluded from the family home.

Yes, sadly these are cases of what people have actually done during the pressures of a divorce, and all of these instances are documented. Consider the stress family cases have on everyone and show some respect to others.

Come Out Smelling Like a Rose?

The fighting has prompted Sue Gross to step down from the board of the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation to form her own as-yet-unnamed charity.

It is unclear how her absence will affect the family organization, of which Bill Gross once described her as “the boss.”

The foundation, with reported assets of $355 million, has helped finance causes as diverse as UC Irvine’s nursing program and Doctors Without Borders.

The Orange County Register article is here.

 

Avoid the American Hustle

As if divorce wasn’t bad enough, the FBI warns the most common targets of dating scams are divorced women over 40. Women are courted online, and after weeks of intimacy, money is missing. This post contains a few post-divorce tips to protect yourself

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

According to an Atlantic magazine article, scams are abundant, and Derek Alldred seems to have scammed at least a dozen women out of about $1 million since 2010.

He used different names and occupations, but the identities he took on always had an element of financial prestige or manly valor: decorated veteran, surgeon, air marshal, investment banker.

Con artists have long known that a uniform bolsters an illusion, and Derek was fond of dressing up in scrubs and military fatigues. He tended to look for women in their 40s or 50s, preferably divorced, preferably with a couple of kids and a dog or two.

The age of the internet, with its infinitude of strangers and swiftly evolving social mores, has also been good for con men. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, which tracks internet-facilitated criminal activity, received nearly 300,000 complaints in 2016.

Of those scams, more than 14,500 were for relationship fraud, a number that has more than doubled since 2011.

Divorce Tips

I’ve written about practical tips after your divorce before. Consider that once the lawyers, are gone, who is there to guide you on the many questions? There are some immediate steps to take to ensure your hard-fought interests are protected – and your financial documents reflect your new marital status.

Once your divorce is final – meaning a final judgment is entered – you should review and revise, if necessary, the following legal and estate planning documents:

  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney (property, healthcare, HIPAA, etc.)
  • Will
  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement accounts

What can happen if you don’t?

One example is common. If your ex-spouse remains the beneficiary of your life insurance policy and you pass away, the proceeds will go to your ex-spouse instead your children.

The opposite can also be true. In Florida, the plain language of the documents controls. To the extent your or your former spouse claimed a right to remain as the beneficiary under a life insurance policy – as a condition of the dissolution of marriage – your rights can be waived.

The Sting

The FBI warns that in many scams, women are courted online by men who claim to be deployed in Afghanistan or tending an offshore oil rig in Qatar. After weeks or months of intimate emails, texts, and phone calls, the putative boyfriend will urgently need money to replace a broken laptop or buy a plane ticket home.

According to the Justice Department, only 15% of fraud victims report the crimes to law enforcement, largely due to shame, guilt, embarrassment, and disbelief:

You feel really crappy about yourself,” Missi told me, then slipped into a tone that sounded like the mean voice that lives inside her head: “I’m a stupid woman; I’m a dumb, dumb, dumbass.

One excellent way to dispel yourself of any con-man fantasies, however, is to spend some time with the people they’ve hurt. Their victims are negotiating ruined credit scores and calls from collection agencies.

Several were so flattened by the experience, they’ve had old medical problems flare up or have struggled to go back to work.

The Atlantic magazine article is here.

 

Child Name Changes

For various reasons, some parents want to change their child’s name after a divorce or paternity case. The “best interests of the child” standard is what Florida courts rely on for determining child related issues. How can a child’s name run afoul of the best interests of the child test?

From Elias Alley to Faisel Ali Maqableh

In Kentucky, Ali Al-Maqablh wanted to change the name of his biological child. The Family Court changed the name of his biological child from “Elias Miles Alley” to “Elias Miles Ali Alley”, but Al-Maqablh wanted to change the name to “Faisel Ali Maqableh”.

After the child was born, Alley named him “Elias Miles Alley.” Al-Maqalblh sought to change the child’s name to “Faisel Ali Maqableh” because of the cultural importance of the child’s middle and last names.

Alley argued that the name Maqableh could result in the child’s being socially ostracized due to the prejudice inherent in her small community; she also noted that many people would probably mispronounce it. Alley argued Al-Maqablh currently refers to the child as Faisel while around friends and relatives, and he could continue to do so.

The family court found that changing the child’s name could increase the bond between the child and Al-Maqablh, would not alter Alley’s relationship with the child, would not result in insecurity or lack of identity for the child and could increase a sense of identity for the child, but the proposed name would likely result in regular misspellings and mispronunciations.

It noted potential bullying or harassment in child’s rural community was a factor to consider with regard to the best interest of the child and changing the surname from that of Alley, the current custodial parent, could result in some embarrassment or inconvenience to Alley.

On appeal, Al-Maqablh argued that the family court’s order was culturally insensitive because it rejected giving the child his surname because the people in Trimble County might have difficulty pronouncing it or be racist.

The appeals court found that the trial judge properly applied the best interest test because it considered the child’s stability, fostering familial bonds and minimizing contention between the parents in determining the child’s name.

It made a specific factual finding against Al-Maqablh’s claim that Alley consented to raise the child in accordance with his cultural traditions and, thus, name him in accordance with those traditions.

Florida Name Changes

I’ve written about various tips on Florida divorce law and paternity law. Florida is actually pretty strict about changing a child’s name. Simply because the parents are divorcing, or paternity is at issue, is generally not a sufficient reason on which to grant a change in a child’s surname.

Instead, a child’s surname may be modified only where the change is required for the welfare of the minor. Additionally, the parent petitioning to change a child’s name has the burden to prove that changing the child’s surname is in the child’s best interest.

The Worst Name Changes

It is bad enough that some people are given a last name that sounds weird. But some people willingly create names that make everyone scratch their heads. The following are the best examples of these names:

  • Tyler Gold legally changed his name to “Tyrannosaurus Rex”
  • Steve Bolton changed his name to “Buzz Lightyear”
  • Andrew Wilson changed his name to “They”

The Kentucky appellate case is here.

 

What if a Spouse Dies During the Divorce?

Well this is a gloomy post: it’s about death and divorce. In November 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” If roughly half of marriages end in divorce, there are some odds that a spouse will die during the divorce case. What happens legally and emotionally when a spouse dies during the divorce?

Emotional Roller Coaster

As the Washington Post reports, a couple of years after a wife and husband separated — but before he reached a divorce settlement — he died of a heart attack at age 57.

Overnight, the wife went from almost-ex-wife to widow. But, nearly six years later, I still feel as if I was widowed on a technicality. A real widow doesn’t have a divorce lawyer and a Match profile. A real widow is pining for her spouse, inconsolable.

Sometimes she calls herself a “partial widow.” To make her point, she mentioned a friend whose fiancé died three weeks before their wedding. “She doesn’t get to call herself a widow and I do?” “That’s ridiculous.”

Misplaced Emotions

“It’s called disenfranchised grief,” and it is also referred to as the grief that has no voice, because it’s a grief that our society typically does not recognize.”

It occurs in situations that fall outside the norm and might also include, for example, mourning the death of a former spouse or an extramarital lover. A widow who was about to be divorced has no defined place in society, so we often don’t know what we’re supposed to do.

Even responding to condolences can be awkward because there’s an element of not wanting to accept sympathy for something that is a misconception on their part. Others feel for the surviving spouse in a way that doesn’t feel accurate to the experience. It’s a different kind of pain than they’re assuming.

Legal Implications

I’ve written about divorce problems before. When a spouse dies during a divorce, the death of the spouse can have major legal implications that extend far beyond the mixed feelings you may have about losing your soon-to-be ex spouse.

Divorces are unlike other civil cases. It is true that in ordinary civil cases, the death of a party does not deprive a court of the power to enter a judgment after the death of a party. This means a court can still rule. This happens frequently in breach of contract actions, and especially in personal injury cases.

However, the general principle does not apply to divorce actions since the death itself has already terminated the marriage.

In Florida, the general rule for divorce is that there can be no judgment of divorce rendered after the death of either of the parties, since that event of itself terminates the status of marriage.

This immediate stopping of the divorce when a spouse dies during the divorce process can cause a lot of problems. This is especially true in divorce cases in which the parties are elderly, or sick, and death is a very real possibility. In those cases, the parties should seriously consider ways to avoid the court losing jurisdiction because of death.

The Washington Post article is here.

 

Chris Rock’s Divorce Tips

Chris Rock has headed out on his newest “Total Blackout Tour” in February, marking his first full-scale world tour in nine years. He also recently divorced his ex-wife, Malaak Compton-Rock in 2016. What Chris has said about his divorce experience may surprise you.

Chris gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine recently, and though he jokingly calls his latest tour his “alimony tour,” he gets serious when talking about life after divorce.

“Getting divorced, you have to f–king start over,” he said. “You get to reset. It’s not a breakdown, but something in your life broke down.”

Communication between Ex-Spouses

However, instead of blaming his ex-wife – like he used to in some of his older comedy shows – he claims now that he has changed his mentality.

There are several reasons Rock has toned down the negativity when it comes to discussing his divorce and ex-wife.

For one, he said, “I asked myself, ‘Do I want to be angry for a year?’ It’s not a cool place to be. It’s not healthy.”

Secondly, he claims it’s not fair that he can go out and bash his ex, but that his ex doesn’t have a platform to defend herself. “It’s not fair”. “I have a mic, she doesn’t. God forbid people are bugging her in the supermarket. That’s not cool. I’m going to have to see her at weddings and graduations.”

Custody Battles

Rock, like other fathers going through divorce, had a rough time dealing with custody issues. Not just the battles with his ex-wife, but with himself and the children too.

For example, he spoke candidly about his emotions, that he cried once, “during the custody battle” over  his two daughters, Zahra and Lola Rock.

In order to be a more involved father, he moved closer to his children.

“All my friends assume I moved into the city after my divorce, away from my girls. When I say I bought a house around the corner, it blows their minds.”

Rock also spoke about the angry feelings his children express. In fact, at one point in the Rolling Stone interview, rock got candid and admitted: “My own daughter has blocked me on Instagram. They grow up so quick.”

I’ve written about Chris Rock’s divorce before, because his comments on his divorce have been both funny and surprising. For example, while his divorce was a custody battle (he claimed that his ex-wife had “repeatedly refused to permit him normal and usual access to the children) he also said:

“When you see me on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ . . . I’m not on crack, that’s just alimony!”

The Rolling Stone article is here.