Think you don’t need a prenup? Think again

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A lot of Orlando couples will get engaged his holiday season. After the glow of the proposal and acceptance wear off and the wedding planning begins, increasingly another discussion is taking place between engaged couples. What about a prenup?

Prenups are no longer the sole provinces of wealthy and high-profile couples. Now many people who are relatively young and not necessarily wealthy have them. In a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of divorce attorneys reported an increase in the number of prenups they have encountered in the past few years. By far, the main reason given for the agreement is “protection of separate property.”

Why get a prenup if you don’t have a tremendous amount of money or assets going into the marriage? For one thing, you may stand to inherit a good deal of money or property from your parents or other relatives. That could all end up being split with an ex-spouse.

If you are divorced or widowed and going into a new marriage, a prenup is highly recommended – particularly if you have children. Whether the marriage ends in death or divorce, you most likely want to ensure that your children get all or part of your estate, even if it’s just some sentimental family heirlooms.

Another advantage of writing a prenup is that it gets couples talking about finances – not just how they want to handle what they bring into the marriage, but what they earn and purchase afterwards. A prenup does not have to be solely about money. Some couples include a clause, for example, saying that they will get couples therapy before ending their marriage.

You may need to broach the subject with your intended spouse carefully if you are not sure how he or she will react. It’s not easy to tell someone you love and are committing to spend the rest of your life with that if it all goes south, you want to make sure he or she doesn’t get the vacation home on Fisher Island your great-aunt is leaving you.

An attorney can guide couples through the process of developing a prenup and help them discuss and decide on things they may not have considered. Then, once that’s out of the way, they can get on with the wedding planning.

Source: moneynews.com, “Three Things to Consider Before You Ask for a Prenup” No author given, Nov. 27, 2013

Possible correlation between divorce and accidental death

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When a marriage approaches a premature end, the time leading up to when the couple decides to end the marriage can be stressful, and stress can lead to a variety of medical conditions, from ulcers to heart attacks. But a recent study is providing information that seems to indicate that a person who has been through a divorce has a greater risk of falling victim of an accidental death.

The study, which followed 1.3 million Americans over the age of 18 who either survived or died in accidents 1996 to 2006, shows that a divorced person is twice as likely to die from a preventable cause, such as poisoning or fire than a married person. No explanation was given, but it could be the concept that two heads are better than one, so if two people are looking for hazards accidents could be more easily prevented than if just one person is looking out for themselves.

Interestingly enough, the same statistic holds true for single people. They are also twice as likely to die from a preventable cause than a married person. There was no different between married, divorced or single people who died from accidents out of their control, such as plane crashes.

Does this mean that two people should stay married even though they are miserable in order to prevent such accident from happening? No, but it does remind us that we need to be careful of the things we do and of the things around us.

In a divorce it is important to get back to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible. For anyone who is going through a divorce, speaking with a legal professional can help the person protect their rights to assets or secure alimony or child support so their new lives can begin on a positive note.

Source: My Fox Austin, “Divorce may raise risk of accidental death” No author given, Nov. 12, 2013

Kim Rothstein files for divorce

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Filing for divorce is a stressful experience, and many couples retreat from their personal life while they go through the process. However, for a high-profile couple, this is not always possible. Our Orlando readers may be interested to know that one half of a couple that has frequently been in the news has filed for divorce.

Kim Rothstein, wife of Scott Rothstein, who is serving a jail sentence in an undisclosed location, has filed for divorce. Court records state that she cites mental and physical abuse as reasons for the filing. She also claims that her husband kept her in the dark about his financial scheme and that he guarded every move she made, essentially controlling every aspect of her life.

This includes, according to her filing, her involvement in hiding assets from federal authorities. She claims that it was her husband that told her to hide $1 million in jewelry and assets and that from his secret prison location, he instructed her how to sell the assets and hide the money. She stated that when she realized that she was in serious legal trouble for participating, she admitted everything to the authorities and helped them capture several others who were part of the scheme.

Scott Rothstein is currently serving a 50-year sentence for being the mastermind behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. His location is unknown because he has been working with authorities to help convict others in hope of taking time off his own sentence. For her part in hiding of assets, Ms. Rothstein is facing a jail sentence of three to four years, but could be sentenced to less time since she did cooperate with authorities.

Although many marriages end in divorce, most don’t include the complications that this particular marriage had. However, anyone who has decided to end their marriage should speak to a legal representative who is experienced in handling divorces so a person’s assets can be protected.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Kim Rothstein files for divorce, says it was Scott’s idea to hide jewelry” Paula McMahon, Nov. 08, 2013

Divorce more prevalent in some places than others

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Although the divorce rate remains relatively high all over the country, it would seem some areas of the country are more prone to divorce than others. For couples who are in the process or working out agreements regarding property division, assets valuation and determining child support or alimony, it’s an interesting question to ponder if the location of a marriage was a contributing factor to its eventual end. Orlando readers will be interested to know that although the state didn’t rank high on the list, one particular city in Florida did.

According to a study completed by the American Community Survey and the Daily Beast, Panama City, Florida, has the most divorces in the United States. In second place is Sierra Vista. As for states, Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Alabama and Arizona have the highest divorce rates in the country. For example, the state of Arizona’s data shows that roughly 11 to 13 people out of 1,000 end up filing for divorce.

No matter what state you live in, getting divorced can be a complicated matter, especially if there are substantial amounts of assets to consider. The more material possessions a couple has between them, the more complicated the divorce can be. This is especially true if the couple cannot agree on how to split the assets. When you factor in children, child support and alimony, the process becomes even more complicated and runs the risk of becoming acrimonious as well.

This is why it is important that anyone who is considering getting divorced seek the advice of experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. A legal professional can help a person who is ending their marriage protect their assets.

Source: ABC 15, “Divorce rates high in Arizona, according to study” Weslie Swift, Nov. 05, 2013

Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr split after 3 years of marriage

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When a couple decides to go their separate ways, it is often a sad and painful period in each person’s life. During this time, it would be easy for one of the other spouse to become angry or bitter, and lash out at the other spouse. The animosity can increase dramatically if children are involved, and if there are significant assets involved. As if all that isn’t enough to deal with, for ahigh-profile couple, much of the divorce proceedings play out in the public eye.

But even with all those issues, some couples stay determined to keep the breakup as amicable as possible. Thus is the case with Orlando Bloom and his wife, Miranda Kerr. After three years of marriage, the couple released a joint statement announcing their separation and impending divorce. The couple has a two-year-old son.

Realizing that the two are forever tied to each other because of their son, the “Lord of the Rings” star and the Victoria Secret model have chosen to focus on their friendship and love of their son. The pair married in July, 2010, but according to sources, they have been separated for several months.

Choosing to be amicable during their divorce proceeding is a very wise move. Creating animosity will just cause unnecessary pain for everyone involved, including the child. Parents who decide to end their marriages must ensure that both parents are as involved with their children’s lives as possible, since that is only fair to the child.

For those who are considering a divorce or who are in the process and want to ensure their rights are protected regarding alimony, child support or visitation, speaking with a legal professional experienced in family law can help.

Source: People.com, “Orlando Bloom Speaks Out About Miranda Kerr Split” Sheila Cosgrove Baylis, Oct. 31, 2013