ARTICLES | Sharing Valuable Insight

Steps after the Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) is Signed

Just because the ink has dried on the Marital Settlement Agreement (“MSA”), doesn’t mean everything is settled and you can freely move on to the next phase of your life.  There are many things that need to be handled once your divorce is finalized.  While the list below is not comprehensive, it is a good starting point and may also enable you to think about additional items that may need to be addressed.

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Child Support: Parenting Plans & Substantial Time-Sharing

The legal standard in every child support case is for the court to approve a time-sharing plan that operates in the child’s best interest. The court will consider several factors to determine this parenting plan, such as financial and daily decision-making responsibilities.  The following is an excerpt from Florida Statute 61.13 pertaining to a parenting plan:

 61.13 (2)(b)  A parenting plan approved by the court must, at a minimum:

  1. Describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child;
  2. Include the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent;
  3. Designate who will be responsible for: (a) Any and all forms of health care. If the court orders shared parental responsibility over health care decisions, the parenting plan must provide that either parent may consent to mental health treatment for the child; (b) School-related matters, including the address to be used for school-boundary determination and registration.
  4. Other activities; and
  5. Describe in adequate detail the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.

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New Trends for Florida Divorcing Couples

Divorcing couples in Florida often rely on the services of a forensic accountant to help resolve their hotly debated financial issues.  When spouses are unable to reach financial agreements, Florida’s domestic relations courts have a duty to determine spousal support and divide the marital assets, which often include the valuation of a business.  The forensic accountant provides business valuation services to assist the court with the proper division of assets and liabilities.  Following is an overview of how equitable distribution and alimony support payments work for divorcing couples in Florida.

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Florida Retroactive Alimony Modifications

Recently in Florida, there have been major proposal changes by the Senate concerning alimony support payments for divorcing couples.  On February 8, 2013, a bill was introduced which would have amended the current laws in Florida and called for the elimination of permanent alimony awards in the state.  Alimony is typically a monthly payment that is made to provide for the maintenance and support of a spouse after a divorce.  For long-term marriages, alimony payments may be permanent in nature (until a material change in circumstances occurs).

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