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

Chances of divorce may increase with excessive Facebook use

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The internet and social media have done wonders to connect people from all walks of life and from all across the globe. The past 20 years or so of globalization and interconnectivity — spurred by the internet — has been amazing to watch and experience.

Facebook has been at the forefront of changing the way we relate to each other. The social media site says that there are, literally, a billion active users on Facebook every month. So many good things can come from the interconnectivity provided by Facebook; and, yes, there are certainly negative aspects to the site as well (that annoying guy in your news feed always finds unique ways to unknowingly aggravate you).

But why are we talking about Facebook here on a divorce blog? There are two important reasons, and the first involves the social media site and the potential for divorce if you use it too much. The theory comes from a new study that looked at 205 “excessive” Facebook users (the qualifier means they check the site more than once every hour). 79 percent of these Facebook users were involved in a romantic relationship; and the study found that with excessive Facebook use came more troubles with the user’s significant other.

Since such users are more likely to keep tabs on their boyfriend or girlfriend online, “Facebook-induced jealousy,” as the study called it, was more likely. Researchers surmise that such a phenomenon could make divorce more common for married excessive Facebook users.

The other reason Facebook is important to divorce is that, whether you check it excessively or not, the social media site can prove very influential during divorce. Inflammatory or abusive statuses aimed at your soon-to-be-ex can be referenced in family court, which could affect a number of issues, including child custody. Photos and other information can also be used by divorcing spouses, to substantiate certain claims and give credence to why they are asking for certain conditions.

Source: Huffington Post, “Facebook, Divorce Linked In New Study,” June 6, 2013