Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Importance of Realistic Expectations

The reality of divorce is that no matter whether you choose to settle your divorce without the assistance of a Judge, or whether you take all of your issues before a Judge, you probably won't be 100% happy with the result. Whether you are in a no fault state like Florida, or whether you live in a state that takes adultery or other faults into account when determining alimony and equitable distribution, at the end of the day, everyone is going to be giving something up. Keeping that in mind, you must prepare yourself with realistic expectations when it comes to the financial side of divorce. If you do not have realistic expectations and your divorce attorney does not prepare you for the financial reality of divorce, you will be shocked and ill-prepared when you don't get what you "want" out of your divorce settlement or decree. Being prepared and planning accordingly can help you get you into the financial mindset that you will need once your divorce is finalized.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Web Site To Help Women Through Divorce Seeks Funding

Getting through a divorce and learning how to pick up the pieces emotionally and financially after your divorce is finalized can sometimes leave someone feeling desperate for direction and assistance in how to move on. This is especially true for some women. Dawn Haynes, a woman here in Florida, is trying to get a website up and running called ReDesigning Women that will be a site for women to look to when figuring out the piles of "to dos" which are involved with divorce. The site has not yet been launched, but they are seeking funding in order to make this website concept a reality. I cannot speak to the content of the site, or the credentials of the people who are trying to get the web site up in running. What I can speak to is that the more credible, helpful and accurate information that is out there concerning divorce, the better.

To read about this new website, see the following article:,0,5091170.story

Friday, January 25, 2008

Injunctions To Freeze Assets

There are very few issues when presented to a court in Florida that are considered an emergency when a couple is going through a divorce. Generally you have to go to mediation before a Judge will hear any of the issues in your divorce. However, if you have clear evidence that your soon to be ex-spouse is hiding marital assets or funneling off assets to another unknown place, you can file an emergency motion for temporary injunction to freeze assets or request that certain assets are not dissipated or moved. It appears that Hulk Hogan's wife has filed such a motion. To read about this news item, see the following:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Careful What You Sign

Many people decide to enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement to resolve all the issues that arise out of their marriage. Often times a settlement comes as a result of mediation or a settlement conference and you sign something quickly believing it to be your understanding of what you have verbally agreed to. It is important that both you and your attorney read the agreement thoroughly to insure that there is nothing in there that you haven't agreed to, or that there are no errors in the terms. Once a Marital Settlement Agreement is signed, its very hard to undo that agreement, therefore READ what you are signing. The following story is about a person who signed a settlement agreement thinking that he agreed to pay $14,000.00 per month for child support, when in fact he had agreed to pay $14,000.00 per child. The case is still in litigation.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Remaining Friends with an Ex's Family

Divorce is something that effects not only the husband, wife and children, but in-laws and extended family. People often times become close to their in-laws and although the legal ties are severed by divorce, people try to keep the emotional ties together. The following article talks about the benefits and pitfalls from remaining close with your in-laws.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Don't Ruin Your Credit In A Divorce

One of the main concerns that people have before deciding to file for divorce is how that divorce is going to affect them financially. In cases where you and your spouse have a tremendous amount of debt, it is doubly concerning when the issue of whether your credit will be ruined comes into play. The following article gives some helpful suggestions on how to insure that your credit isn't negatively affected in a divorce:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Failure to Sign Prenup Reason Not To Get Married

There are many reasons why someone may decide not to get married. When someone has a large estate or children from a previous marriage, it may be a good idea to discuss the possibility of entering into a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets and/or children. What happens when you don't want to sign a prenuptial agreement and your soon to be spouse will not marry you without one? This is something that many couples face especially as more and more people are waiting until later on in life to get married or have children from a previous relationship. The best idea is to make sure that you understand what you are signing and that the Agreement is fair and reasonable. Whether or not you are willing to sign a Prenup or are going to require someone to sign a Prenup before you get married is a decision that only you can make. For some people, it is a deal breaker, as it seems to be with actor, Eddie Murphy and his girlfriend Tracey Edmonds.

If you would like to read the article about Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds, please see the following:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beware of Quickie Divorce Scams

I am always wary of websites or people who claim they can get your divorce pushed through the courts quickly. However, I never thought that the clerks in the court would take advantage of people to scam them out of money. The following story is about a clerk in the domestic court in Miami who charged people money and made promises that they would get their divorce through the court system quickly. This is illegal behavior and a lesson for all of you out there who may be trying to complete your divorce in the least costly manner.,court-clerk-charged-with-divorce-scam.html

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Divorce Literature

In my spare time, I try to read and often times people give me books to read that I may relate to. This year I was given, "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I had seen the book in Borders and Barnes & Noble, but for some reason, I never picked up this book or gave it any thought. Through some of my blog research, I learned that this book is about a woman's journey after a difficult divorce. It is next on my stack of books to be read and I promise to give the book a review after I have finished it. If anyone has any suggestions for good fiction or non-fiction books which deal with the issue of divorce, please post your suggestions.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Keeping An Eye on Child Welfare System

Every now and then I come across an article about someone who abuses a state's adoption or foster care system in order to obtain money from the state. What always baffles me is how things can get so bad, that a person is making the news because of the frauds they have committed on the state and/or the abuse that a child had to suffer before people take notice. The following article is about a women who adopted many children to collect child welfare checks, and she may be responsible for killing one of the children that she adopted. While I understand that the state is heavily bogged down with issues related to children who are abused, neglected or abandoned by their natural parents, there must be a way to insure that a child is safe when they are released to the care of a third party.

The following article concerns a former Queens woman charged in an adoption scam who may have killed one of the 11 children she took into her care:,0,6228311.story

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reasons for Divorcing

The following article contains information taken from a National Poll siting the reasons why couples want to divorce. Its interesting to see the differences between the reasons men divorce and the reasons women divorce.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Is Your Marriage Broken?

I have written before on this blog about the difference between the emotional divorce and the legal divorce and how many times they are separate and apart from one another. Because Florida is a no fault state, a couple need only show that their marriage is irretrievably broken and that one or both of the parties has been a resident of the state of Florida for the six months prior to the date of filing. Generally speaking if one party doesn't believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may order counseling or possibly continue the divorce proceeding for a maximum of three months to enable the parties to reconcile. This allows the parties time to reconcile, or in some cases allows time to insure that the marriage is indeed broken. If you believe that your marriage can be saved, and your spouse has already filed for divorce, upon your statement that the marriage is not broken, the court may order that you obtain marriage counseling which could provide you with some time to determine whether your marriage is indeed irretrievably broken.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Should You Stick It Out?

The week after Christmas is historically a very busy year for divorce attorneys as people have gotten their families through the holidays and decide that there is no time like the present to get out of a bad marriage. I've read many articles about how too many couples are throwing in the marriage towel too soon and how more couples should try sticking it out. How do you know if your marriage is worth saving? Unfortunately, as an attorney and not a trained marriage counselor, I don't have an answer to that question. Although, from my experience, once someone has made the decision to seek the counsel of a divorce attorney, the wheels of progress are not often reversed. Knowing when it's "truly over" is trickier than it looks. In The Case for Marriage, Americans Linda J Waite and Maggie Gallagher (Doubleday 2000), quote from the American National Survey of Families and Households in which 86% of unhappily married couples who "stuck it out" found that five years later their marriages were "happier". Only 15% of those who initially said they were unhappily married continued to say their marriages were very unhappy. Whether to stick it out is a personal decision that should not be made lightly.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Government Helping to Stop Rate of Divorce

Divorce continues to remain prominent in our American society and there are some government officials who are thinking of ways to try to curb the rate of divorce. In Mississippi, discouraging divorce is what is high on his agenda list for Lt. Gov.-elect Phil Bryant. To read the story about what Mr. Bryant is attempting to do in order to try to save marriages, see the following:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Britney's First Meltdown of 2008

It seems that Britney Spears is again making headlines with a standoff concerning visitation and her refusal to return her children to their father. Yesterday I made some predictions about Hollywood divorces that would continue to make headlines in 2008, and has promised Ms. Spears has not disappointed. To read about Britney Spear's latest antics, see the following:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008 Predictions

In light of the new year, I thought it would be fun to acknowledge some Hollywood divorce headlines which are most likely to endure through 2008 and into 2009.

BRITNEY SPEARS AND KEVIN FEDERLINE- It seems that Britney has recently fired her current attorneys, and its likely that her deposition will be taken early on in 2008. However, since she still has supervised visitations, and her life still seems to be on the verge of total disaster, its unlikely that her custody battle will come to an ultimate conclusion in 2008. The amount of publicity that this litigation will get is unlimited.

HEATHER MILLS MCCARTNEY AND PAUL MCCARTNEY- This case has been pending for a long time, and with the latest firing of attorneys and public slandering of Paul McCartney by Heather Mills, an end to this bitter divorce is not likely in 2008 without some major movement to be reasonable by Ms. Mills.

DENISE RICHARDS AND CHARLIE SHEEN- I would be surprised if this celebrity custody battle ended in 2008. This couple has been battling over their children since before their second daughter was even born. It seems unlikely that they will be able to work out their differences and I predict at least 3 headlines concerning this matter in 2008.

KIM BASINGER AND ALEC BALDWIN- They divorced over five years ago, yet their battle over their 11 year old daughter seems to persist. I predict that their battles will continue until their daughter reaches the age of eighteen. Why settle and move on after five years when you can fight an argue your kid's childhood away??

Let's hope that some of the newest celebrity couple break-ups do not have the enduring power of those listed above.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year, New Blog, Same Stories

It has been exactly one year since I posted my first blog here on this blogspot. In 2007, I provided readers with over 300 different blogs on various issues that arise in family law matters from child custody to protecting assets in divorce. Over the past few months I have seen an increase in the amount of traffic that this site gets, and have also seen more and more people posting their comments on the different things that I have written about. I hope to continue to provide my readers, new and old, more information and insight into all things family law in 2008. Thank you for your continued interest and feel free to forward me any stories or interesting sites you may come across on family law and divorce. Happy New Year to you all!!!