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Hernando County Law Blog

Splitting up or paying off debt when you divorce

Couples in Florida who get separated and plan to divorce know they will have to go through the process of splitting up their assets. In addition, they will also have to decide how to split up any joint debt. This may not always be an easy task, especially if the couple may be in need of serious debt relief help such as via a bankruptcy. Understanding how debt is viewed during and after a divorce is important prior to making any final decisions.

As Money Management International explains, a person cannot rely on the provisions of a divorce decree to protect them from creditors. If a debt was in both spouses' names, then the creditor has the right to pursue both people to receive payment regardless of who the divorce agreement said was responsible for the debt. That said, the person not liable per the decree may be able to legally pursue recourse from their former spouse but there would be a cost associated with that. 

Dividing retirement assets during divorce

You work hard to fulfill your work-related responsibilities in Hernando County. For the most part, that effort is individual. Thus, you likely understand the surprise that many of those who come to see us here at the Day Law Office display when they learn that their work-sponsored retirement plans are considered marital property (and therefore subject to property division during divorce proceedings). If the funds placed into a retirement plan are only available due to your own efforts, why then would your soon-to-be ex-spouse have any claim to them? 

Section 61.076 of the Florida state statutes says that all retirement benefits are indeed subject to equitable distribution. A closer analysis of the source of the assets that fund these accounts reveals why. Whatever income either you or your spouse earns during your marriage is determined to be marital property. The funds contributed to a retirement account during that same time (whether it be a 401k, an IRA or an employee pension plan) typically come from that income (or from employee benefits, which by definition is also a form of compensation). For that reason, those contributions (not necessarily the entire value of the accounts themselves) are classified as shared assets. 

Is your ex-spouse a Disneyland parent?

If you have children with your ex-spouse, then your divorce in Hernando County is hardly the end of your association. You must continue to work together in the raising of your kids. When parents divorce, the temptation is ever-present to be known as "the fun parent." While you want your children to enjoy their time with you, order and discipline also must be maintained. If you are finding that you are the one enforcing rules and expectations while you ex-spouse lets your kids do whatever they want during their custody time, then you have a "Disneyland Parent" on your hands. 

The term "Disneyland Parent" is assigned to those divorced parents that make their custodial time all about having fun. When with a Disneyland Parent, the kids are taken on trips, given gifts and not asked to obey any household rules. Oftentimes, the motives for parents who allow this goes beyond simply wanting their kids to enjoy their time together; they also might be trying to undermine the authority of the other parent. 

Revoking the probate of a will

The process of estate administration in Hernando County can be quite complex. Because of this, beneficiaries or other interested parties to an estate will want to time to research any and all estate planning instruments to fully understand the testator's intentions. At the same time, the personal representative may be anxious to initiate the probate process in order to avoid delays and additional expenses that could deplete the estate's overall value. This sense of urgency may prompt some to submit the estate to probate prior to all of the aforementioned concerns being addressed. 

Those who may still have unresolved issues with the estate need not necessarily worry if this happens, however; state law does indeed provide a way for those who have such concerns to ask that the probate of an estate be revoked. What this does is revoke the earlier decree admitting the will to probate. Section 733.109 of the Florida state statutes says that this action can be taken at any time prior to the discharge of the personal representative. 

What can a power of attorney really do?

When it comes to planning for your future care, designating someone as power of attorney may seem like a difficult choice. First off, what can a power of attorney do? Does it mean you give up all your rights to the person you designate?

Knowing what a power of attorney can and cannot do is the first step in deciding the person (or people) who will carry this responsibility for you.

3 tips for choosing a guardian for your children

After having children, a will becomes even more critical to draft. Why? For starters, you need to ensure your children get the financial and physical care they need if you are unavailable for whatever reason.

One of the biggest decisions when drafting a will is designating a guardian for your children. Choosing the person or people charged with caring for your kids should the unthinkable occur requires a certain amount of thought and discussion. Follow these tips to help get the process going.

Couple finalizes divorce via social media app

The concepts of marriage and divorce in Hernando County remain the same; it may instead be the complications that couples experience that have changed. As technology essentially makes the world smaller, people are allowed to engage with each other socially in ways totally different than those witnessed 50, 25 or even 10 years ago. Should it come as a shock, then, that divorce proceedings have also been affected by technology. Where legal requirements used to slow proceedings down due to limited access to records, lack of electronic resources and even participant availability, new technologies may actually serve to facilitate cases being resolved more quickly. 

One need look no further than a recent case involving a divorcing couple separated by continents to order to confirm this. The pair was originally from India, yet lived together for many years in Michigan. After separating, the husband returned to India and initiated divorce proceedings there. However, the wife was not able to secure a visa to return and participate in the proceedings. Despite the split being consensual and the couple having all necessary documentation prepared, the case remained at an impasse due to her not being able to confirm her desires in person. 

How can I address student loan debt?

For recent graduates in Florida, student loan debt can seem overwhelming. Entry-level positions, which are common post-graduation, may not always provide a sufficient level of pay. As a result, chipping away at debt may seem like an uphill battle, which can be very disheartening. In this case, Forbes offers the following advice.

Pay more when you can

What is a codicil?

If you have heeded the advice of estate planning experts in Hernando County, then you have likely already drafted your will. Yet there is indeed one issue that creating a will early on in your life presents: what happens as your material and/or familial circumstances change? They are almost certainly going to, and the odds are that those changes will influence your decisions regarding how you want your assets dispersed. Does this mean that you need to create an entirely new will? 

You actually do not; a codicil will do the trick. Codicils are viewed differently in different states. Some view them as alternatives or replacements for wills already created. Others (among which Florida is included) simply view them as tools that amend your will. Indeed, Section 732.5105 of Florida's state statutes says that amending a codicil to a will effectively serves to republish the will (with the modifications introduced by the codicil). 

How can I cope with the post-holiday blues?

The end of the holidays can be a real let down. This is especially true of divorced parents in Florida, who may experience sadness at the end of the holidays, which could mean seeing kids less. In this case, there are steps you can take to combat the post-holiday blues and approach your life with renewed vigor. WebMD offers the following advice so you can do just that.

De-clutter your home

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Day Law Your Hometown Attorneys

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Toll Free: 888-326-9553
Phone: 352-200-2382
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