The process of a divorce is not only emotionally draining, but can be financially draining, as well.  There are the normal expenses that occur because of a divorce; child support, lost income, and spousal support.  But, according to Samantha Fraelich, vice president of Bernard R. Wolfe & Associates, a wealth management firm out of Chevy Chase, Maryland, there are other ways in which divorce affects finances.  In an article on latimes.com, Fraelich lists the five most common ways divorce affects one’s finances.

  • Legal Expenses:  Even if the divorce is amicable it will cost you thousands of dollars.  In the case of a contested divorce, plan to spend much, much more.
  • Taxes:  There are tax breaks a married couple receive that an individual filing single will not receive.  Expect an increase in your income taxes once you are no longer married.
  • Childcare Expenses:  Expect to pay more in childcare expenses for your former spouse will not be as accessible as he/she was when you were living in the same house.  The majority of divorced parents find they are paying more in childcare expenses than they were when they were married.
  • Insurance:  When a couple is married, the one with the better health insurance plan covers the family.  This coverage usually extends to short-term and long-term care insurance and life insurance, as well.  Once you are divorced, your former spouse will no longer be covering you  and you will need to purchase these types of policies.
  • Retirement: When married, you have two people contributing to retirement accounts.  However, once you divorce, expect those contributions to increase if you expect to have a comfortable  income when you retire.  It pays to seek professional advice when planning for your retirement.

When you have made the difficult decision to file for divorce, seek the advice of an experienced Florida divorce attorney.  An experienced, dedicated attorney will not only assist you in resolving your differences, but will protect your interests as well.

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On April 4, the Florida Senate voted 29-11 in favor of Senate Bill 718, which is also known as the alimony reform bill. 

Bill 718 eliminates permanent alimony, which requires one spouse, usually the male, to pay alimony for the rest of his life.  Permanent alimony was instituted years ago when the husband was the money maker of the family, and the wife stayed home to raise the children.  In the majority of modern marriages, both spouses work and, thus, in the event of a divorce, have  means of support other than alimony.

According to an article on yahoo.com, the bill “replaces permanent alimony with bridge-the gap, rehabilitative, or durational alimony to consistently ensure swift resolution for families.”

With the passing of the bill, the former spouse must prove they have a need for alimony and must also prove the obligor has the ability to pay alimony, as well.

Senate Bill 718 was sponsored by Senator Kelli Stargel because she felt the state needed a fair way to deal with this emotional issue.  “This bill creates guidelines for our judges to follow, but maintains judicial discretion,” Senator Stargel said.

A not for profit organization, Family Law Reform, fought for passage of the bill.  Alan Frisher, co-founder and president of the organization, said that while the bill is not perfect, it is fair and equitable and updates Florida’s antiquated alimony laws.

House Bill 231, which is  companion legislation to Senate Bill 718, will go to the House for a full vote next week.

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