There have recently been attempts to reform Florida’s alimony laws. The stated goal was to create uniformity and predictability in determining alimony. The unspoken purpose was to eliminate permanent alimony.
The best case to make for a pre-nuptial agreement is that it’s insurance. People who get married don’t imagine that they’ll get divorced, but with roughly half of marriages ending in divorce, it’s certainly a strong possibility. And if a couple does get divorced, a pre-nuptial agreement that clearly states what happens to both parties’ assets and income can ensure that the couple won’t get into a long, costly, possibly contentious courtroom battle over those assets and income. Continue reading
There’s been a lot of talk about the new Star Wars movie in the last few weeks. Those familiar with the franchise know that there’s a powerful, universal energy in this world called “The Force,” and the advice given from the Jedi Masters who are training up-and-coming Jedi is to “trust your feelings.” But they also advise against tapping into feelings of fear, which can lead to anger, and hate, and destructive behavior aligned with what’s called “the Dark Side.” Continue reading
An increasing number of Americans are starting their own businesses, joining the record numbers of Americans who already own and operate businesses. That’s simply the way the American workforce is moving, and on the whole, I believe it’s a positive thing. Continue reading
There’s a viral video that’s been circulating recently, from a 6-year-old girl talking to her mom about the divorce they’re all in the midst of experiencing. It’s, first and foremost, a plea for her parents to be nice to one another, and to emerge from the negotiations as friends. She talks earnestly about trying to do her best to be nice, and in encouraging her parents to do the same, so that everyone can emerge as friends. In her world, people who are nice to each other are doing the right thing, and people who are mean are “monsters.” There’s not a gray area for her; being nice is a situation where you either are or aren’t, and that’s crucial to future happiness. Continue reading
I recently had the opportunity to join some of my family law colleagues from the Florida Collaborative Trainers (lawyer Rosemarie Roth, mental health professional Lana Stern, and financial professional Edward Sachs) for an extended interview on WLRN’s Tropical Currents. It was a fantastic opportunity to talk about Collaborative law with host Bonnie Berman and people who called in with their questions about divorce. Continue reading
It wasn’t so long ago we thought of the family attorney as someone who is supposed to “win” for his or her client. Though L.A. Law’s Arnie Becker was a fictional character meant to be a little larger than life, he fit the public’s expectations of a “pit bull” divorce lawyer. To be a good family attorney in that mold, you have to go after the other side relentlessly, destroy them, and then take the spoils of war when you’re done. Continue reading
Some people think that once their divorce is being litigated, or is being mediated, that they’re bound to that decision until the divorce becomes final. And people who think they’re stuck with that first choice might come to regret it.
Deciding to litigate a divorce, for example, might feel good in the heat of the moment – especially when responding to adultery or some other immediate, painful disruption to a marriage. Continue reading
One of the most concerning things I’ve found in my years of practicing family law – especially with my decision to move entirely away from litigation – is that not all lawyers who claim to be collaborative lawyers are actually Collaborative lawyers.
Some lawyers feel that the word “collaborative” has marketing value, and that it sounds friendly and welcoming, so they use that word without acknowledging that Collaborative law is a particular branch of family law with its own specific set of rules. Continue reading
A recent NPR story noted that Americans over 50 today are twice as likely to get divorced compared to their counterparts 20 years ago. There are a lot of reasons why – divorce isn’t as stigmatized as it used to be, more women are financially independent, and people are more active and living longer and regard 50 differently.
One of the biggest issues facing older couples divorcing in Florida is the presumption of permanent alimony. While many couples over 50 will be married at least the necessary amount of time for alimony to be rewarded, retirement can affect the court’s determination of how much is to be paid and whether alimony is to be reduced or terminated. Continue reading