Couples marry, have children and raise them together. When the kids leave home, however, sometimes the parents find themselves staring at each other, wondering what they have in common. Increasingly, divorce follows. One parent might even have quit working or taken a huge pay cut to stay home with the children. He or she will now need to upgrade their expertise or change careers in this new season of life if they divorce. The spouses will have to go through property division first, dividing such assets as life earnings, such as savings, IRA accounts or real estate. One spouse will often be ordered to pay alimony during this time of transition. But in Florida, a judge can order alimony payments until the spouse who didn't work or made less money remarries or until one of them dies.
The holiday season often prompts us to look back at the year and try to figure out how it all went. For newly-divorced fathers, and even some who have been out of their marriage for years, wondering how the children are doing with their new lives might be a source of anxiety. Divorce is rarely easy and many fathers worry that the "I'm fine, dad" response to questions about home life and school life aren't telling the whole story. Some reassuring words from life-after-divorce columnist Erin Mantz sheds new light on why sharing custody of the children may not be so bad.
How about a wedding where the bridge and groom didn't even have to show up for the ceremony to get hitched? Sounds too good to be true, and it was for a Florida man and his male partner. Iowa allows out-of-state gay couples to marry but there has to be an in-state ceremony with two witnesses. According to police, the men randomly dialed a county courthouse in Iowa and asked about the marriage process. They spoke with a county deputy of the court clerk and she offered to mail the application documents. The clerk told the men that for $150 she would take care of the matter, no ceremony required. In due, time a marriage license appeared at the men's Williston residence.
As the Baby Boom generation heads off into the sunset, more than a few boomers have decided that they want to go alone. Grey Divorce is on the rise. Bowling Green State University in Ohio reports that the divorce rate among 46 to 64 year-olds has jumped 50 percent in the last 20 years. Compare that to the Summer of Love in 1969 when the senior divorce rate hovered around 13 percent. One Florida attorney who specializes in grey divorce says some of his clients say they have "had enough" of their spouse and want out of the marriage.
Infidelity has blown up more marriages than probably any other cause. Most people who catch their partner in the act find a divorce attorney before the "I can explain" makes it out of the cheater's mouth. But it's what the aggrieved partner does next that will make all the difference when the divorce process begins. The temptation is to go ballistic. Those who handle these kinds of cases counsel calm.
"Trepidation" probably best describes the feelings of a couple about to go to court for a child custody hearing. Even though your attorney has the case sewn up tight, it is hard not to wonder how the judge is going to approach the questions about where the children will live, what the visitation rules will be, and all the rest. The experts say the two most important considerations will be the status quo and what is in the best interest of the children.