Pregnant women may need permission to move

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Florida fathers are often overlooked in the child custody proceedings that decide their kids’ future. This is particularly true when the fathers live some distance away from the mothers of their children. A new child custody case that involves Olympic skier Bode Miller could create a resolution to this type of dispute, however, as fathers may now be able to protest the movements of women who are pregnant with their children. This could improve fathers’ rights to child custody considerations, especially among those who end up living states away from their youngsters.

Miller’s romantic dealings with the mother of his child started when they went on several dates and eventually slept together. Although the pair decided to forego a long-term relationship, the woman ended up pregnant, and she chose to leave the state of California. The woman, a former Marine, departed for New York to attend Columbia University. Miller, who initially seemed ambivalent about the child custody scenario, eventually chose to file for paternity and custody, and Miller was awarded custody of the child.

Now, that ruling out of New York has been overturned by a higher court, which argued that women’s movements and decisions to relocate cannot be limited strictly because they are pregnant. In other words, women who are pregnant would have to seek the permission of the person who impregnated them before they could move to another state, or potentially even within the same region.

Understandably, the pending appeal in the case is meeting with substantial opposition from women’s groups, though fathers argue that they should not be shut out of visitation just because of a pregnant woman’s decision. Fathers’ rights deserve to be considered even when a woman is just pregnant with a child – after all, her subsequent decisions can lead to major changes in the family’s life. Fathers who are seeking assistance with their child custody cases should consider seeking the assistance of a qualified Florida attorney who can help them draft a custody agreement that serves the best interests of the child.

Source: www.care2.com, “Pregnant? You may need the baby’s father’s permission to move” Robin Marty, Nov. 27, 2013

Stay or get a gray divorce?

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The rate of divorce is rising for people over the age of 50. “Gray divorces” don’t come with the common issues that a younger couple might have to deal with, such as child support and visitation, but they do have some special issues, and these areas of dispute can complicate a situation even more and cause further acrimony.

Older couples have seen their share of triumphs and tragedies. They’ve raised children, had careers and possibly wrestled with financial hardship. By the time they reach the retirement years, one would think it would be clear sailing. Or time to relax on the porch. But therein lies part of the problem: If one half of the couple wants to literally sail off into the sunset on a cruise, while the other wants to enjoy the golden years rocking the days away at home, conflict can arise, and in some cases, a divorce is the end result.

The one thing most retired couples can agree on is that they want to enjoy the years after they’ve worked and raised their children. But most couples do not discuss how they want to spend their retirement years while they are still working, so when it comes time to retire, they discover they are not on the same page. Discussing your retirement desires and dreams ahead of time can stave off the shock of realizing that you and your spouse have completely different retirement goals.

There’s also the financial aspect. Conflict can arise if one spouse wants to spend their retirement money, but the other wants to leave something behind for the kids. Also, if one half of the couple always handled the finances, the other half might not be aware how well they can live during retirement. Even with wealthy couples, one spouse might not know their financial standing. Finding out that a retirement dream is or is not attainable can cause additional stress on a relationship, so it is important that the couple be completely aware of the financial situation. For those who find themselves still contemplating a divorce, understanding their legal options when it comes to divorce can help make their decision clearer.

Source: Reuters, “Stern Advice – Till death (not retirement) do us part” Linda Stern, Oct. 09, 2013

Litigious divorce can be avoided if you prepare

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Orlando residents are well aware of the national divorce rate, which hovers around 50 percent. So many people get divorced these days that it pays (quite literally) to be prepared. That’s why the idea of a prenuptial agreement is no longer taboo when a couple gets married; and it is also why couples who are doing well after they get a divorce were prepared for their split.

This will sound bizarre, but to some people who are entering divorce proceedings, the whole thing is essentially a game. They take pride in “winning” the divorce, more so than they care about the actual aspects of the divorce. For example, if a prized asset is at the center of a dispute between you and your spouse — an asset he or she does not really care about, but you do — they may spur costly (and unnecessary) litigation just to try to “win” that aspect of the divorce. It could also be that this litigation is an attempt to make you cave in on the divorce.

Of course, there are also extremely litigious divorces that have meaning — where property, bank accounts, retirement accounts and numerous other things are on the line. For a spouse who may not be in control of things before the divorce, they need to prepare so that they can be in the best possible position after it.

This means closing any joint accounts that you and your spouse share. Get your own credit cards and accounts so that you can handle everything once the divorce is over. Also, make copies of important documents pertaining to your marriage. It will help you navigate the divorce more smoothly.

Source: USA Today, “Protect your finances while divorcing a bully,” Elizabeth MacBride, June 23, 2013