A House Divided: Splitting the Marital Residence in Divorce Mediation

The “Marital residence” is a term used in divorce law to refer to the property where the couple resided together before the breakdown of the marriage. Since the marital residence is often the most valuable asset and a mortgage is often the largest liability, deciding which party keeps the marital residence can be one of the most difficult decisions a couple will make in a divorce. Unlike a bank account, a house cannot be divided in half. For this reason, we often pay special attention to structuring how the marital residence is accounted for in equitable distribution. In a divorce,...Read More

Top Ten Reasons Mediation is Useful in Settling Family Cases in Florida

1. Mediation is often required by court ordered. In most family law cases, the presiding judge will send the parties in family matters to mediation parties before trial and during pending litigation at least once. Depending on the judge, often cases are sent to mediation multiple times during litigation. Mediation is popular with the courts because the judicial system simply doesn’t have the resources to hear every issue in every case and because the judicial system simply prefers not to make decisions relating to children and finances if they don’t have to. Nobody knows your client’s family better than you...Read More

Dividing IRAs in Divorce

Practically every divorce case involves marital assets to be divided between the parties. Of significant concerns are the tax issues involved in these transfers. Under U.S. Code § 1041 - transfers of property between spouses or incident to divorce, are non-taxable events. In order to utilize a “divorce or separation instrument” to divide an IRA, you should be sure that the judgment or settlement agreement includes language that is sufficient to divide the IRA, provides a clear method of division, provides a valuation date as of which the IRA is to be divided, and addressed gains and losses on the...Read More

Top Ten Must Do’s to Prepare For Divorce Settlement Negotiations

There are so many financial and emotional aspects of divorce that have to be balanced that if parties aren’t careful, they can end up in a big mess. As a mediator, cases that settle most smoothly in mediation are those where the parties have done their due diligence and are realistic about settlement. Following these ten tips will help you and your client ensure a more productive mediation to negotiate settlement. Identify the Marital Estate: During the course of the marriage, a couple accumulated assets and liabilities and it must be divided in the divorce. Until your client knows what...Read More

Five Ways the New Tax Laws Will Affect Divorcing Couples

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the most sweeping update to the U.S. tax code in more than thirty (30) years. The recently released bill would lower taxes on businesses and individuals and unleash higher wages, more jobs, and untold opportunity through a larger and more dynamic economy. How will these changes affect divorcing couples? These tax changes sunset in 2025. All marital settlement agreements with minor children should include proper language to handle changes if/when tax laws change. Please send me as message at info@southfloridamediationservices.com and I will gladly send you language to include in agreements addressing...Read More
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