Tips For The Vulnerable Spouse

TIPS FOR THE VULNERABLE SPOUSE WHEN NEGOTIATING DIVORCE AGREEMENTS

In the twenty seven years that I have been negotiating divorce agreements for clients, often times there is a spouse who is being overly generous with support issues and property distribution or there is a spouse who is taking on the “victim” role and who “doesn’t want to take him or her for everything.” For example, there is Husband who in a long term marriage feels incredibly responsible and guilty for leaving his wife and in an effort to ease guilt is willing to “give away the farm.” Then there is the Wife who even through the divorce process continues in her role to “protect her man” and wants to make sure that the Husband is going to be left with enough financial resources to “live.”

I am very sensitive to my client’s goals but as a client advocate it is my job to ensure my client’s financial future. There is a fine line between advocating my client’s position, respecting it and looking out for my client’s best interest. Often times I will tell a client to take a few days to really ponder his or her decision and not to rush into an agreement that is not financially sound. Often times, it all boils down to timing and some event will trigger an emotion which surprisingly will change my client’s mind. For example, a Wife may become angry when she finds out that the Husband is spending money on a girlfriend’s child while making an issue about paying one half of extra curricular activities for his own children. A Husband may decide not to be generous with his alimony offers when he realizes that he will not always want to live in a one room apartment and he may actually like to have a nice place to take his children.

Although I am not a counselor, I do counsel my clients and make them think about the future and how their decisions to day could negatively impact, not only their lives, but the lives of their loved ones in the future. I am able to counsel clients and give them examples based on real live cases I have handled over the years. Experience in this area of the law is very important so call Marina Taylor, a Brandon/Riverview divorce and family law lawyer for a free consultation.

Tips For Negotiating Divorce Agreements

Divorce Agreements

Divorce Agreements

Tips For Negotiating a Divorce

In the twenty seven years that I have been negotiating divorce agreements for clients, often times there is a spouse who is being overly generous with support issues and property distribution or there is a spouse who is taking on the “victim” role and who “doesn’t want to take him or her for everything.” For example, there is Husband who in a long term marriage feels incredibly responsible and guilty for leaving his wife and in an effort to ease guilt is willing to “give away the farm.” Then there is the Wife who even through the divorce process continues in her role to “protect her man” and wants to make sure that the Husband is going to be left with enough financial resources to “live.”

I am very sensitive to my client’s goals but as a client advocate it is my job to ensure my client’s financial future. There is a fine line between advocating my client’s position, respecting it and looking out for my client’s best interest. Often times I will tell a client to take a few days to really ponder his or her decision and not to rush into a divorce agreement that is not financially sound. Often times, it all boils down to timing and some event will trigger an emotion which surprisingly will change my client’s mind. For example, a Wife may become angry when she finds out that the Husband is spending money on a girlfriend’s child while making an issue about paying one half of extra curricular activities for his own children. A Husband may decide not to be generous with his alimony offers when he realizes that he will not always want to live in a one room apartment and he may actually like to have a nice place to take his children.

Although I am not a counselor, I do counsel my clients and make them think about the future and how their decisions to day could negatively impact, not only their lives, but the lives of their loved ones in the future. I am able to counsel clients and give them examples based on real live cases I have handled over the years. Experience in this area of the law is very important so call Marina Taylor, a Brandon divorce lawyer and Brandon family lawyer for a free consultation.

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Negotiating Divorce Settlements

Negotiating Divorce Settlementsnegotiating divorce settlements

FEDERAL INCOME TAX AND IT’S IMPACT ON YOUR DIVORCE SETTLEMENTS

negotiating divorce settlements It’s tax time again and for those of you that are negotiating divorce settlements don’t forget to consider the tax implication of your agreement.   For example, if you are receiving alimony, you need to consider how much of it will be owed in taxes.   You then need to come up with strategies to minimize the tax affect such as retaining the marital home so you have mortgage interest that you can deduct from your alimony.    Although,  tax issues are usually dealt with by your tax adviser, Marina Taylor, an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Brandon/Riverview Florida can help you with this general tax advice.

The other tax implications that should be considered for those who have children is who is going to take the child tax dependency deduction yearly.   Generally speaking, parents alternate it yearly but depending on the financial positions of the parent, it may be that one parent will not benefit from it so giving it solely to the parent that needs it may be a good negotiating point.

Finally, when distributing property, don’t forget to consider what assets have tax implications when sold versus those assets which have been purchased with after tax dollars.    For example, a 401 (k) plan may appear to be valued higher than the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy but the difference is that the 401(k) is funded with before tax dollars and typically the life insurance is funded with after tax dollars.   Marina Taylor, an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Brandon, Florida will give you general advise on this matter and refer you to a CPA to give you an opinion on your potential tax liability on various property distribution scenarios before you sign on the dotted line.

 

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Divorce Attorney Brandon

Divorce Attorney

Divorce Attorney brandonSo you are getting a divorce  and you have no idea where to start. So you start asking your friends who are divorced what they did and for every 10 people you speak to you get 10 different answers…..from ”you need to file first”….to “don’t leave your home because that’s considered abandonment” to “pay all the bills and don’t leave too much money around to be divided” to “stop funding your 401(k) plan….. get the advice from a reputable Divorce Attorney

Some advice may be good but some may lead you down the wrong path to disaster and once you have made certain decisions there is no going back. There is; however, some general advice that you should consider. In finding a good divorce lawyer, personal referrals are always preferable but if not, an internet search can result in finding an attorney who dedicates their practice to family law and many consultations are free.

Before getting curbside advice, consult with at least three attorneys. You will be surprised to see that all three may have different approaches and depending on your circumstances you will either choose someone who is negotiated minded or someone who has a very aggressive adversarial approach. Before hiring someone aggressive who wants to run to a judge for every issue, speak with an attorney who will propose a global settlement offer that you can approach your spouse with from how to handle parenting issues to distributing property to handling spousal or child support issues. You can then take this proposal to your spouse and if he or she finds it to be a solid basis to negotiate further, you can save yourself a lot of time and money. This is because you will now utilize an attorney to help negotiate and draft an agreement which will encompass all divorce issues from support to distribution of property.

Once an agreement is drafted and revised a few times, you will be pleasantly surprised to see an end product in the form of a marital settlement agreement which is acceptable to both of you. Now the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed contemporaneously with the agreement considered an uncontested divorce because all the issues are resolved. To hire an attorney to handle this pre-suit type of negotiations resulting in a total agreement may cost you a total of $1500.00 to $2500.00 in comparison to a full blown contested case which could easily run you $10,000.00 for the same result.

Of course there are those isolated cases where no negotiations are not going to work because emotions run high and greed and egos get in the way. In my experience those cases comprise about 5% of total cases.

In conclusion, very rare is the occasion that a spouse has to serve the other party with papers unless an agreement cannot be reached and even then, with diligent effort of both attorneys, a settlement most often can be reached after filing.

If you are getting a divorce, you owe it to yourself to hire a divorce attorney that has a settlement minded approach prior to filing in order to save yourself time and money.

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Military Divorce – Share of Military Retired Pay

military divorce PayMilitary Divorce Pay

PROTECTING THE NON MEMBER’S SHARE OF MILITARY RETIRED PAY AFTER MILITARY DIVORCE

If you are the spouse of a military member and entitled to a percentage of his/her military divorce pay, you will want to make sure that your military divorce  settlement agreement is drafted in a manner which will protect your entitlement from a future election of a VA waiver taken on behalf of your soon to be ex spouse.

So what is a VA waiver? Retired service members, as they become older, can develop disabilities which if proven to be “service-connected”, can qualify for disability pay. These disabilities can range from hearing loss to arthritis to a nervous condition and as long as they can be associated to years of service in the armed forces, the member can receive disability pay. Disability pay is non taxable unlike retirement pay. Retired members therefore have to “waive” their retirement benefits dollar for dollar in order to receive the same amount of money in form of disability.

When this happens, the former spouse gets short changed and his/her retirement benefits are reduced. For example if the member now receives $400.00 in disability pay, then the former spouse’s retirement benefits are reduced by $200.00 and in extreme cases his or her retirement benefit may completely disappear. It is very costly to hire attorneys and go back to court to redeem this money and in some instances impossible.

So what can be done to prevent this from happening? Careful drafting of the military divorce settlement agreement to include an indemnification clause or an automatic establishment of alimony to make the former spouse “whole” is crucial and can save the former spouse from losing his/her home to foreclosure and other life altering events. Call Brandon/Riverview divorce attorney, Marina Taylor, and learn how you can protect your share of military retirement in a military divorce.

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Brandon Child Custody

Child Custody

Brandon Child Custody THE HISTORY OF THE MISCONCEPTION THAT 50/50 OR “EQUAL” TIME SHARING IN FLORIDA IN CHILD CUSTODY CASES IS THE STANDARD AND IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN
Thirty years ago, it was standard for judges to grant child custody of minor children to mothers just on the basis that the children were of a young age. There was the “custodial” and “noncustodial” parent and the “noncustodial parent”, who more often than not was the father, was granted visitation rights. “Joint Child Custody” or “Rotating Child Custody” was frowned upon and very rarely granted as it was the feeling of the times that the children needed to be in a stable environment.

As the years went on, the “custodial” and “noncustodial” parent label was replaced by the “primary residential parent” and “secondary residential parent” with the same overall theme that one parent provided the more stable home environment than the other parent.

Finally, in 2008, the legislature, in an attempt to neutralize the powers of either parent over the other, came up with the idea of a “parenting plan” where neither party was assigned any label but a specific schedule with a specific number of overnights per year had to be assigned to each parent. The child support statute was also redesigned so that child support is now calculated based upon overnights each parent has with the children. The higher percentage of overnights that the higher income earning parent has equates to a lesser amount of child support that he or she has to pay to the other parent. As a result, higher income earning parents are pursuing 50/50 timesharing arrangements even if not in the best interest of the children; that is, even when historically during the marriage, that parent’s role was of “bread-winner” versus “homemaker.”

Since the 2008 amendment, there was a bill proposed, but not passed, that would have supported the proposition that it is in the best interest of minor children of divorced and/or separated parents to have their time equally split between the parents; that is, 50/50 time sharing. This would have meant that 50/50 would be automatic unless fought in court. As a result, there is a MISCONCEPTION that 50/50 time sharing in Florida is the standard and automatic.

The lesser income parent should not fall into this “trap” when negotiating parenting plans. The courts still are analyzing cases on an individual basis and if the lesser income parent has been the traditional homemaker then 50/50 is probably not in the best interest of the minor children. It is very important, before coming to any agreement on a parenting plan that you consult with a divorce attorney Tampa as agreeing to 50/50 could jeopardize the quality of time the children are used to having with each parent as well as their financial well being when spending time with the lesser income earning parent.

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Distribution of Property

Distribution of Property

distribution of property
Distribution of property may partially occur during the pendency of a dissolution of marriage case, may be resolved by agreement of the parties, or can be determined in its entirety at trial. In distributing assets or property to each spouse, the court will consider, among other factors, each party’s contribution to the marriage, the economic circumstances of each party, the duration of the marriage and the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement and improvement of both, marital and non-marital. The desirability of retaining a marital home as a residence for minor children and the intentional dissipation of marital assets by a spouse within two years prior to the date of filing or after the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage are also factors that will be considered.

There is no cause of action for legal separation in Florida. You may pursue your rights for support unconnected with dissolution of marriage, whether child support or alimony, if you wish to be separated but do not wish to dissolve your marriage.

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Alimony, Lawyer in Brandon

A spouse has a right to receive support from the other so long as the receiving spouse has the need and the other spouse has the financial ability to contribute. There are several factors that the court will take into consideration in determining a party’s entitlement to alimony. A spouse has a right to receive support from the other so long as the receiving spouse has the need and the other spouse has the financial ability to contribute. There are several factors that the court will take into consideration in determining a party’s entitlement to alimony.

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3 Tips for a Divorce in Brandon Florida

What are the rules for a legal divorce in Brandon?

  • Residence within the state of Florida not less than six months time will be eligible for a divorce in the state of Florida, even if your husband or wife doesn’t reside in Florida.
  • What are the grounds to get Divorce in Brandon ? Basic grounds for a divorce could possibly be irretrievably destroyed. Additionally, Florida is a “no fault” divorce state.
  • How much time will a divorce take? The usual straightforward divorce might take between 3 to 6 months. If uncontested and all of concerns will be agreed to in advance, it might take just a few weeks. Please be aware, a divorce is aggressively contested, concerning complicated legal issues, will take more than a year.

Divorce in Brandon Florida

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Divorce By Yourself

Attempting to do a ” Divorce by Yourself ” puts you at a major Disadvantage!

divorce attorney in brandonMost people dealing with divorce attempt to go for it without having attorneys. Though it may be certainly inexpensive, they in some way believe that it makes the procedure friendlier. In reality, there is a reason that the majority of people choose to have legal representation.

Done correctly using a divorce lawyer will  help you to get through the legal process of terminating your marriage, but it will also help you to do so in a way that safeguards you and your family. The reasons below why you should not think about doing a divorce by yourself. 

  • Protecting Yourself:  Should you ever step foot inside the court room, you might want counsel. Law school are difficult for good reasonthe divorce law is complex, and people who don’t know how to wield it effectively are frequently at a disadvantage. When you as well as your soon-to-be ex could possibly have made agreements previously, you never know if she or he may seek out counsel. If you’re caught as the one without a lawyer, you are going to almost certainly find themselves in a much worse situation compared to might otherwise be possible. Your main goal, then, ought to be to get the best representation possible.
  • The Difficulties: There is no such thing as a simple separation and divorce. While you may think that you may terminate the relationship on friendly conditions all by yourself, would likely not have thought every little thing through. Big issues like child custody or whom gets the house may easy to remember, but have you considered exactly who may get the household pets? Exactly who is allowed to take the children on vacations, and who gets the television? These types of problems can easily make things switch unpleasant, and having an attorney out there can assist you to make certain you deal with matters before the most detrimental comes to pass.
  • Remaining Civil: Probably the greatest factors to engage a divorce attorney would be to make sure that your divorce process essentially stays civil. The speedier which you can get through the procedure, the unlikely it’s that things will go from negative to worse. A very good divorce lawyer will help you to make sure that you are able to get everything performed lawfully and efficiently, and should cover the cost sure that you are able to finally end up the process before issues may become far more acrimonious. While legal professional are often believed to make things worse, they can actually try to make sure that things are done professionally.

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Divorce Mediation Attorney in Brandon

Brandon Divorce Mediation

is a process where a mediator or neutral party facilitates the negotiation of a settlement agreement. The parties are usually required by the court to attend mediation prior to trial for the purpose of resolving all or some of the pending issues in a more expeditious, practical and less costly manner. Mediation effectively resolves family law and civil disputes, reduces the costs of litigation and empowers the parties to resolve their own issues without the need for trial.

Marina is a problem solver and a true professional with a unique set of skills, talents and experiences that has molded her character to be a different kind of lawyer. Marina greatest strength is to artfully negotiate an out-of-court-settlements for the best interests of her clients. She understands the tough situations that life can surprise us and cause hurt and pain. There is nothing more emotional and stressful than an intense divorce or custody dispute. Hence, the reason you want to hire Marina Taylor and her unique method of practice using Artful Negotiations as the family mediation tool to get results that align with your goals. If you are interested in settling your case in mediation in as short a time as possible and with as least amount of money as possible then a free consultation to learn more about mediation is worth your time.

She is focused on solving your problem quickly and according to your goals by executing the most cost effective tactics and using the most appropriate legal options available including mediation or litigation. Marina Taylor’s demeanor and performance is the result of a conscientious work ethic of serving people, drawing on her many years of experience as a Family Law negotiator as well as litigator. Her goal is to get you the best possible outcome in your Family Law case.

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Dissolution of Marriage

What is Dissolution of Marriage

brandon divorceFlorida is a no-fault divorce state. What this means to you is that it is not required that you prove that you are seeking a divorce due to the fault of the other party. It is only required that you state that your marriage is completely broken, hence the phrase Dissolution of Marriage .

Dissolution of Marriage or Divorce cases usually require the resolution of issues such as equitable distribution of property, time sharing, custody and parenting issues, child support, alimony and entitlement to attorney’s fees and costs. If the parties are unable to agree on every single issue prior to the date of filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage, the divorce will be contested.

At the Law Office of Marina Taylor, P.A., we analyze our client’s goals and work with our clients to help them make the right decisions.

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Child Support Help

Child Support Help

Parents have an obligation to support their children according to their means. A parent’s child support obligation arises primarily in the context of dissolution of marriage and paternity actions. Child support is based on the combined net income of the parties, and is based on the Florida Child Support Guidelines.

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Alimony Divorce Lawyer near Brandon

A spouse has a right to receive support from the other so long as the receiving spouse has the need and the other spouse has the financial ability to contribute. There are several factors that the court will take into consideration in determining a party’s entitlement to alimony. A spouse has a right to receive support from the other so long as the receiving spouse has the need and the other spouse has the financial ability to contribute. There are several factors that the court will take into consideration in determining a party’s entitlement to alimony.

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What is Parental Relocation-Brandon Divorce Attorney

Get help with Parental Relocation

A parent may be prohibited from relocating a child’s residence more than 50 miles from their current residence if certain conditions apply. Parents who wish to relocate outside of the permissible radius (50 miles) and who do not have the written consent of the other parent, must file a petition for relocation and comply with the statutory requirements prior to obtaining a court order allowing said relocation.

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Military Divorce – Different than a Traditional Divorce

Military Divorce

military divorce Military divorce is different from a civilian divorce. There are many common issues that can be treated the same such as the division of assets, dividing debts, child custody, child support, visitation, relocation, and alimony. However, military personnel have special complications that include dealing with an overseas or out of state spouse. These special circumstances may lead to new issues of child custody, visitation and may include expensive travel arrangements. It’s important to get an experienced lawyer that has done many military divorces. Marina Taylor’s expertise includes best-practices to dealing with the military divorce process for over 25 years.

There are critical areas that Brandon divorce lawyer has addressed many times with military divorce cases. These areas include: military pension, retirement benefits, relocation, travel, child custody, child support and visitation. Military pensions and benefits are considered part of the marital estate and subject to division under Florida’s equitable distribution laws. You want Marina Taylor, PA, a very experienced military divorce lawyer on your side with the skills to solve problems that span all aspects of military divorce. Marina will protect your interests in both the military and civilian worlds and ensure you are properly represented with aggressive agenda to achieve your goals.

military divorce

What is Distribution of Property-Brandon Divorce Attorney

What is Distribution of property ?

Distribution of property may partially occur during the pendency of a dissolution of marriage case, may be resolved by agreement of the parties, or can be determined in its entirety at trial. In distributing assets or property to each spouse, the court will consider, among other factors, each party’s contribution to the marriage, the economic circumstances of each party, the duration of the marriage and the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement and improvement of both, marital and non-marital. The desirability of retaining a marital home as a residence for minor children and the intentional dissipation of marital assets by a spouse within two years prior to the date of filing or after the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage are also factors that will be considered.

There is no cause of action for legal separation in Florida. You may pursue your rights for support unconnected with dissolution of marriage, whether child support or alimony, if you wish to be separated but do not wish to dissolve your marriage.

distribution of property

Child Custody Lawyer in Brandon, Florida

Did you know Child Custody Laws have changed!

The term Child Custody , has been abolished by Florida law. However, an extended family member may still obtain temporary custody of a minor child if the child’s parents consent or the best interests of the child so requires. In the context of dissolution of marriage and paternity cases, Child Custody has been replaced by the concepts of parental time-sharing and parental responsibility.

As part of his or her right to exercise parental responsibility, a parent is entitled to participate in the major decisions that affect the welfare of the child(ren), such as decisions regarding choice of education, health care, religion, etc. These issues must be agreed upon by the parties prior to the final hearing, or will be determined by a judge at trial in a contested case to establish paternity or dissolve a marriage.

Child Custody

Types of Family Law Cases

There are many Types of Family Law Cases

family law

Family Law -Modification and Enforcement of Prior Order
Orders may be enforced or modified by subsequent court order. Once an order has been entered and a party has failed to comply with said court order and family law statues, the available remedy may be to seek enforcement of that order. In the case where a change in circumstances has occurred since the entry of a prior order, a party may seek a modification of the prior order by filing a supplemental petition for modification.

Family Law -Name Change
How to change your change? This is a question not only frequently asked, but a very popular legal service. Minors and adults may apply to the court for a name change. A petition for name change may be granted if the person seeking a name change has not filed for bankruptcy, has never had his or her civil rights revoked, and does not want to obtain a name change for an inappropriate purpose such as defeating the right of a creditor.

Family Law – Paternity
Unmarried parents of minor children establish their rights and obligations with respect to their minor children by filing a lawsuit to establish paternity. A paternity case is usually initiated by a father that wishes to establish his rights to share time with his children and participate in decisions that affect the welfare of the children, or by a mother who seeks to establish the father’s child support obligation. Florida law also provides for the disestablishment of paternity of fathers, provided that certain requirements are met.

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