Thursday, February 28, 2008

Internets Affect On Divorce

The birth of Internet means that everyone has information at their fingertips. This also means that people have access to chat rooms, pornography sites, and other ways to cause problems in a marriage. The following article addresses the affect that the Internet has had on divorce.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Viagra and Divorce

It seems that Viagra is now jumping into the blame game for divorce. Prior to the birth of Viagra and other male impotence pills, couples were faced with serious problems in the bedroom, which often times meant the road to divorce. Now, it seems that men who are taking this "miracle" drug, are leaving their wives because they have found their sexual stride in old age. While I don't know whether there is truly a tie between divorce and Viagra, I feel that it is troubling to know that some couples are replacing one problem just for another and still ending up in divorce court.

To read the article upon which this blog is based, please see the following:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Getting A Good Divorce

Every now and then I come across articles that provide really good information and advice on how to help people get through a divorce with the least amount of angst. The following article provides practical advice on this very subject and is worth the read.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sex and Divorce

A South Florida pastor seems to believe that there is a link between divorce and the lack of sex in some marriages. He has challenged his married members to thirty days of sex in order to help couples reconnect and avoid divorce. Its interesting that a member of the clergy is devising such a challenge, and I'm curious to know whether this actually helps troubled marriages. To read about this pastor and his mission, see the following:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gay Marriage and Value Voters

I have recently written that Floridians will be voting in November about whether or not to ban gay marriage in our state. This is a controversial subject and most conservative people are for the ban on gay marriage. The following article discusses whether or not true value voters should be supportive of any marriage.,0,5164987.column

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Emails As Evidence In Divorce

With the electronic age, more and more people are using emails to check up on their spouses and using emails and other electronic proof in their divorce proceedings. The following article addresses the pitfalls and warns people to be careful what you put in an email because it can be used against you in a divorce proceeding.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Claiming The Kids On Your Taxes

One of the issues that arises in divorce, no matter what tax bracket you are in, is who is going to get to claim the kids on their taxes. The person paying child support believes that they should be entitled to that deduction and the person who is the primary residential parent for the child also believes they are entitled to that deduction. Who is right? Well, according to Federal Law, the person who is designated as the primary parent, or the person with whom the children primarily reside, is allowed the dependency exemption. However, this is always subject to negotiation, and more often than not, the parties agree to alternate the deduction on an every other year basis. This is always used as a negotiation tool and can be used as leverage for other things that you may want in the divorce. Before you stall the divorce process because you want the dependency exemption and your spouse is refusing to give it up, you may want to see whether the exemption is actually going to be beneficial to you or not. The following blog from a Pennsylvania Family Law website explains how the exemption and the child tax credit works. However, as in any major financial decision, you should consult with a financial planner or CPA before agreeing to waive any right to a dependency exemption.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Gay Marriage Ban In Florida

It looks like Florida voters are going to be able to vote on a State Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage in November. Many other states have attempted to pass this type of amendment as well, and with a heated presidential election to be on the ballot this fall, people may be coming out in droves to vote on this contested issue.

You can read about this at the following link:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pastors Getting Divorced

Married pastors who founded the Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida have announced that they are getting divorced. The decision to get a divorce does not come lightly for any couple, but it is probably even harder for people whose job may be affected by their divorce. Whether it is appropriate or not, our communities hold our leaders, both spiritual and social, to higher standards than the average American. The following article addresses the repercussions of the decision of these pastors to get a divorce.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Groom Taking Bride's Last Name

Its not often that a groom wants to take a bride's last name in marriage, and in Florida, it requires a judicial order rather than just filling in the blanks on a government form and showing proof of your marriage. The following question and answer article discusses groom name change and also a quick little lesson on the rules of "fault" in divorce here in Florida.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Divorce Cake

Many people consider their divorces something to be celebrated and there is a growing trend to actively celebrate the finalization of a divorce. There is a baker here in Orange County, Florida who makes divorce cakes, similar to wedding cakes in taste, but not in style. I feel the need every now and then to turn our attention towards the lighter side of divorce. Enjoy the following article and corresponding picture.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Are My Alimony Payments Taxable?

I recently received a phone call from an individual wondering whether alimony payments are taxable when there is no language in the Marital Settlement Agreement that states that the payments are to be taxable to the recipient. If you are having questions about whether your alimony payments are taxable or whether you can deduct the payments you make from your gross income, I suggest you speak with independent tax counsel who may be better versed in this area. However, if you are wondering what the rule is with respect to whether or not your alimony is taxable, I have the following information for you.

Rykiel v. Rykiel, 838 So.2d 508 (Fla. 2003). This case stated that gross income is taxable and that gross income includes alimony, therefore, alimony is taxable. Alimony is defined as "monetary payments made to a spouse pursuant to a divorce instrument, unless that instrument says that the payments are not includible in gross income and not allowable as a deduction". Further, it stated that if a divorce instrument stated the payments are not deductible and not includible in gross income, then the payments are not alimony and not included in gross income.

The usual treatment of alimony is for it to be taxable to the recipient and deductible to the payor. Based on the Rykiel case above, it seems absent language stating that the payments are not taxable or deductible, any payments received pursuant to a divorce instrument will be considered alimony and therefore taxable to the recipient. Therefore, it seems that if you are trying to avoid a tax liability on your alimony payments, you must specifically spell out that the payments are not taxable or deductible.

If any of my readers is an expert on this subject and has a different interpretation of the law, I welcome any comments or clarifications on this issue.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Florida Parenting Course

One of the requirements to get a divorce here in Florida, if you have children, is to complete a parenting course. The goal of the course is to provide people with helpful information and advice on coping with visitation and parenting problems that sometimes arise after a couple decides to divorce. I often times wonder how useful this parenting course is and whether or not the parties actually gain any knowledge from the course. From time to time, a Judge will ask one of my clients whether they thought that the course was useful, and my clients always say yes. I'm not sure whether this is because they are afraid to tell a Judge that they don't think the course is useful, or whether they actually believe that the course provide them with some insight. For anyone who has taken the mandatory Florida parenting course, please let me know whether you found the course useful and that it should continued to be required in order to obtain a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Divorce and the Cinema

Divorce and bickering couples have been the fodder of Hollywood films for years. From Kramer v. Kramer and Irreconcilable Differences to The War of the Roses couples have fought it out on film. Another film staring Kate Hudson has recently been released named Fools Gold that again centers around a couple fighting it out in the midst of a possible divorce. Many of these films are terribly off base with the realities of divorce or simply poke fun at the realities that couples face when they are dissolving their marriage. It appears that Fools Gold again has missed the mark. I invite any feedback from my readers as to what movie they feel their divorce is most similar to and/or which movie they feel realistically portrays the divorce process.