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Seminole County Family Law Blog

You aren't alone: Making sense of the questions facing families about to adopt

While adoption is one of the most exciting and rewarding steps a family can take, it is also terrifying on many levels. There are so many variables, unknowns and risks associated with this process. No matter how sure you and your spouse are about this decision, there will still be moments of doubt and concern.

However, it is important to know that you are not alone. Other families on the verge of adopting are in your same shoes, as were the families ahead of you that successfully adopted. They were successful, and you can be, too.

Why collaborative divorce might be right for you

When people hear the term divorce, the words that most often come to mind are disrespect, mendacity, anger, frustration, and, of course, conflict. What if, however, the words that came to mind when a person thought of divorce were the exact opposite, meaning respect, honesty, dignity, fairness and cooperation.

While this may seem like an impossibility, it is actually the reality for countless couples who elected to end their marriage outside of the traditional litigation model via a process known as collaborative divorce.

Important considerations for women who outearn their spouse

In the not too-distant past, social norms dictated that when it came to family and work, there was a very distinct pattern to which married couples should adhere. Indeed, the role of primary breadwinner was to be filled by the husband, while the role of primary caregiver was to be filled by the wife.

Fast forward to the present day and these social norms have mercifully been largely abandoned by modern society. Indeed, where there are still many families in which the husband serves as the primary breadwinner, there are also many families in which both parents serve as the primary breadwinners and many families in which the wife serves as the primary breadwinner.

Is the increasing divorce rate responsible for the decline in U.S. migration?

While chances are good that some of your closest friends, next-door neighbors or fellow co-workers are transplants, meaning at some point they packed up and moved here to Florida from another state, chances are also good that you've met increasingly fewer of these transplants over the years.

As it turns out, this decline in migration is not unique to Florida, but rather evident throughout the entire country. Indeed, statistics show that Americans are now moving only about half as much as they did 50 years ago. As for the reason why, a researcher from the University of Connecticut has advanced a fascinating theory: the increase in the divorce rate.

Served with a domestic violence injunction? How to deal

They say that anger is almost always a secondary emotion--dig deep and you will find that anger is really fueled by fear, betrayal or sadness. When a couple goes from loving each other to calling it quits, it is usually due to a series of disappointments, failed expectations and recriminations. No one walks down the aisle believing their marriage is temporary. So when you reach the point where you choose to no longer to be a couple, it is usually accompanied by a great deal of hurt.

Feeling down about your divorce is normal. And most couples work together--one way or another--to settle their differences, move on and start a new life. But there are times when one party is so full of acrimony that all reason is lost. Bank accounts may be emptied, property may be destroyed and accusations of domestic violence may swirl.

How QDROs factor into the division of retirement assets - III

In today's post, we'll conclude our ongoing discussion of qualified domestic relations orders, meaning the legally binding documents establishing the right of a former spouse -- referred to as the "alternate payee" -- to receive their share of ERISA-qualified retirement assets.  

In particular, we'll spend some time answering one of the more common questions to arise in the context of QDROs: What happens in the event of either ex-spouse's untimely passing?

3 necessities of a successful parenting plan

The most important decisions you will make during your divorce are the ones that affect your children. When you and the other parent let marital struggles cloud your judgment, your kids become equally impacted by the emotional tumult and the court's proceedings. By considering your children's needs throughout the separation, you have the ability to make the whole ordeal far less difficult. One of the ways to achieve this is to use a parenting plan.

To put together a successful parenting plan, you and the other parent need to work together to decide what's best for your children. Your kids aren't just assets that can be equally divided, and a thoughtful and practical parenting plan is the best way to acknowledge that. It's impossible to keep the disruption of your separation from affecting your children, but a purposeful agreement that contains the following components can minimize the hardship of their experience.

How QDROs factor into the division of retirement assets - II

Last time, our blog began discussing how those couples who have been married longer have generally accumulated more assets, including retirement funds. We also discussed how if these couples someday make the difficult decision to legally dissolve their marriage, they should know that any division of these retirement funds -- from 401(k)s to profit sharing plans and pensions -- must be accompanied by what is known as a qualified domestic relation order.

To recap, a QDRO is a legally binding document establishing the right of the former spouse, otherwise known as the "alternate payee," to receive either a portion or the entirety of ERISA-qualified retirement assets.   

How QDROs factor into the division of retirement assets

It perhaps goes without saying that the longer a couple has been married, the more complicated their divorce is likely to be. That's because they may have children, they may have arranged for one spouse to exit the workforce to help raise their children, and, of course, they may have accumulated more assets.

Indeed, chances are good that these spouses have built a not insubstantial retirement nest egg consisting of funds held in everything from 401(k)s and profit sharing plans to IRAs and pension plans. It's important to understand, however, that any division of these retirement assets, whether achieved via a prolonged courtroom battle or an amicable settlement, must be accompanied by what is known as a qualified domestic relation order -- or QDRO. 

6 Back-to-school tips for newly single parents

School starts soon and many will be facing the return to classes as divorced families for the first time. For those who divorced during the spring or summer, this can represent logistical and emotional challenges for both parents and children.

If you find yourself in this situation, just remember that whether you have joint custody or sole custody, whether you are on friendly terms or not, your children need the efforts of both parents to help make their school year a success. Mind-set, communication, organization and love are the key elements in adjusting to a new school year as a split family. Here are six tips for ensuring that your children adapt and thrive despite your divorce.

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Frank Family Law Practice
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