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Boca Raton Divorce Law Blog

Paternal involvement may keep children from going hungry

Although it may seem as though most Floridians have plenty of food to eat, there are many children in the United States who cannot count on three meals a day. In fact, in 2012 more than 20 percent of children went hungry because of a lack of resources, but a recent study shows that paternal involvement can reduce the risk of food insecurity for children.

New research from Rutgers University confirms that fathers who are involved in their children’s lives, even after a divorce or separation, are less likely to put their children at risk for going hungry. Especially when they spend time with their children in addition to paying child support, fathers may be giving their children’s mothers more time to shop for groceries and prepare nutritious meals for their children. Also, the father’s presence may reduce the single mother’s stress level, which can improve her parenting.

Divorce is on the rise, especially among baby boomers

Divorces and separations have a tremendous impact not only on the couple, but also on their children, relatives, and friends. Because marriages and divorces have such far-reaching effects, it’s not surprising that some Floridians are interested to learn about new research related to the state of marriage and divorce.

Although previous research had led people to believe that the divorce rate has been declining since the 1980s, researchers have developed new methodologies that have proven otherwise. People who get married at a younger age tend to divorce at a higher rate than their slightly older counterparts. Because people tend to marry at an older age than they did several decades ago, researchers adjusted for this difference before they analyzed divorce data over time.

Country singer Trace Adkins plans to end 16-year marriage

Over the course of a long marriage, both spouses typically invest tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money into the partnership. For this reason, divorcing people in Florida may be entitled to the assets they acquired during the marriage, even if one spouse earned more than the other. Alimony can make it easier for some people to get back on their feet after a divorce.

After 16 years of marriage and a long-term battle with alcoholism, country singer Trace Adkins and his wife have decided to divorce. The size of Adkins’ fortune is unknown, but because Adkins has had a successful career in the music industry, it may be quite large. It is possible that Adkins’ estranged wife will try to claim as much of his assets as she can. She has already asked that Adkins make her the beneficiary of his life insurance policy; however, the value of the policy is unknown.

Florida puts off alimony reform for now

For some people in Florida and in the rest of the country, alimony reform has become controversial. Alimony was originally intended to help divorced spouses find their financial footing after the end of their marriage. However, in some cases, people find themselves making lifetime spousal support payments, even if the marriage lasted only a short time. Sometimes the burden of these spousal support payments limits a divorced person’s prospects of retiring or remarrying.

Some Floridians may have expected alimony reform last year, but the governor vetoed a bill that would have placed severe limits on spousal support. His reasons for blocking the bill are unknown. If the governor had decided to sign the bill into law, alimony payments would have been limited based on income and the number of years the couple was married. Also, permanent alimony would have been eliminated.

Parents who share custody must work out tax issues

Now that tax season is here, some divorced parents in Florida are looking for ways to reduce their tax liability. Claiming a child as a dependent lowers their tax bill, but unfortunately, only one divorced parent can claim the children, even if they share child custody.

As more divorced parents choose to share custody of their children, it becomes more difficult to determine which parent will have the right to claim the children as dependents. When one parent has primary custody of the children, the process is simple. However, if the children spend equal time with each parent, the parents will need to determine who has the children for the most number of nights in a given year.

Oil billionaire Harold Hamm to keep premarital assets in divorce

When business owners in Florida and the rest of the country get divorced, the division of their assets can have an impact on not only their family members but also on the company’s shareholders. In many cases, these owners hold large portions of the companies that they operate.

Since he founded his first company in 1966, Harold Hamm, the billionaire owner of Continental Resources, has found considerable success in his career. Unfortunately, his marriage has not thrived as well as his oil company has. Over the last decade, Hamm and his wife have been estranged, and the couple filed for divorce three times. Because Hamm owns about 70 percent of the company’s shares, the couple’s impending divorce has had some shareholders concerned about the couple’s property division.

More Americans seeking late-in-life divorces

Over the last several decades, Florida women have become more likely than ever before to enter the workforce, and to have successful careers. Because many women are now able to support themselves, they may be in a better position to end their marriages even after they retire.

In Florida and elsewhere, some older Americans are finding themselves dissatisfied with their marriages when they reach their retirement years. Rather than spending the last decades of their lives with someone they’re unhappy with, more Americans are opting for divorce late in life. In 1990, only about 10 percent of divorcing people were 50 or older; now, this age group accounts for about 25 percent of all divorces.

As nationís economy recovers, divorce rate ticks upward

During the recent economic recession, many people in Florida and across the country faced unemployment and dropping real estate prices. People who might have otherwise sought a divorce may have waited until economic conditions improved before ending their marriage. With one spouse unemployed or underemployed, it may have been impossible to afford setting up a new household.

As the economy recovers and home prices begin to rise, more people are seeking a divorce. The divorce rate hit a low in 2009 and has been increasing steadily in the last few years. According to one estimate, about 150,000 couples decided to put off their divorce during the recession. Some couples may have even avoided divorce altogether.

Broward County law enforcement hones in on child support violators

Even when parents decide to end their relationship with each other, they’re still obligated to ensure that their child’s needs are met. It is often difficult for children to cope with their parents’ separation. Thankfully, through child support, some custodial parents in Florida find it easier to cover their children’s everyday expenses.

Although child support is intended to help millions of children, only about 10 percent of child support payments are handed over voluntarily in the state of Florida. The authorities are involved in collecting the other 90 percent. They are sometimes able to withhold child support payments from parents’ paychecks, or they can suspend their driver’s licenses. Despite the use of tactics like these, some child support remains unpaid.

Florida laws not likely to require sperm, egg donors to pay child support

In Florida and in the rest of the country, it is becoming more common for couples that are incapable of conceiving their own children to turn to artificial insemination. This procedure enables more people to become parents who provide a stable, loving home for their children. However, there are sometimes unforeseen consequences involved.

Even though sperm and egg donors in some states have faced demands for child support, it is unlikely that donors in Florida will face similar requests. More than ten years ago, a Florida appeals court made it clear that unless a sperm or egg donor requests parental rights, he is to have no involvement in the child that he helped to create, even if the woman performed the insemination outside of a medical facility.

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