Holding it Together in Divorce

Holding it Together in Divorce

As a divorce attorney, I am in a unique position to witness the impact of the divorce process on people’s lives. People going through divorce should never underestimate the physical, emotional, financial and spiritual toll of the divorce process. While it is next to impossible to eliminate all of the stress associated with divorce process, what you do or don’t do can have a significant impact both on you and your case. Based on my experience, if you follow the suggestions below, you will minimize the negative impact of the divorce process on your life.

Physical Health in Divorce

It is common for individuals facing a stressful situation or life event, such as divorce, to engage in bad health habits such as increased alcohol or junk food consumption. However, as most of us know, reliance on vice, is counter-productive. Instead, channel the negative emotion associated with divorce into exercise and healthy eating.

Exercise is probably the best thing you can do to alleviate the stress of divorce. A long run or walk will reduce physical tension created in the body from stressful situations. Stretching and yoga are also effective tools for stress reduction. Whatever form of exercise you choose, it is important to do it on a regular basis. I recommend at least three times per week.

Financial Issues

Divorce can have a major impact on finances. In most cases, divorce courts require that you equitably divide your assets, which means there is going to be less for both parties after the divorce process is complete. Given the economic realities of divorce, it is important to live as frugally as possible when going through the divorce process. People in the divorce should resist the urge to make “feel good” major purchases, such as a new car or wardrobe, during the divorce process. Instead, save your money to be prepared to establish a new household.

Obtain Legal Representation

The divorce process is more complex than most people realize. If assets and liabilities are not properly transferred, you run the risk of sustaining even greater losses in the divorce process. A lawyer can assist you with the technical legal issues associated with the divorce process. In some cases, a divorce lawyer can end up saving you money.

A lawyer’s objective opinion and neutrality can be just as important as assistance with legal issues. In most cases, people experience a high level emotion in the divorce process. When addressing parenting time issues involving children, or dividing property that an individual has worked their adult lives to accumulate, it is difficult not to get emotional. A good divorce lawyer can provide a realistic expectation of how a court might decide important issues, such as child custody, so you can know what is fair and reasonable. A lawyer can also help communicate your position in the courtroom and in settlement negotiations.

How to Hire a Divorce Lawyer

There are numerous divorce lawyers in Jacksonville, FL; the area in which I practice. Sorting through the different lawyers and law firms in your area can be daunting task. I suggest interviewing at least three different lawyers before making a decision.

While interviewing potential lawyers, take notes about substantive issues, such as fees, experience and the lawyer’s practice philosophy. Here are some questions to ask:

1) How long have you been practicing divorce and family law?

2) Will you be handling my case or will someone else?

3) What is your hourly fee?

4) Do you require a retainer before starting representation?

While a lawyer’s education and experience are important considerations, just as important, is whether you are comfortable with your lawyer. Your lawyer will be your guide, counselor and advocate. Pay close attention to how the lawyer makes you feel. Is the lawyer someone you can trust? Remember, you will likely be telling the lawyer very personal details about your life.

Parting Thoughts about Friends and Family

Maintaining a connection with friends and family during the divorce process is just as important as the tips listed above. Make time for old friends and family. By staying connected to the people who are close to you, you will not be going through the divorce process alone.

Getting in Touch with The Taylor Law Office

If you have questions about your divorce or  family law case, please contact us at 904-339-5298 or click on the Contact page above.   Your first consultation is free



Floirida Alimony Reform Vetoed

Governor Scott vetoed Senate Bill 718 a/k/a the “alimony reform bill. ”

Governor Scott’s Letter Explaining His Veto Decision

Governor Scott’s cited the retroactive application of the bill because it “tampers with settled economic expectation” of the parties. Governor Scott also stated that “[a]limony has long been a key component of our domestic relations law. It represents an important remedy for our judiciary to use in providing support to families as they adjust to changes in life circumstances.” Please click on the following link to read Governor Scott’s letter.

Florida Alimony Reform’s Reaction

The leading Florida alimony reform group,  Florida Alimony Reform (“FAR”), was disappointed stating:

GOVERNOR SCOTT PUTS HALT TO ALIMONY REFORM and Vetoes the Alimony Reform Bill SB718.  It is an understatement to say we are EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED!”

Alimony Reform Legislation Will Likely Be Back Next Year

Considering the wide support for alimony reform in the Legislature, another reform bill will likely be back next year. FAR is a very proactive organization with allies in the Florida Legislature.  I doubt they will wait long before lobbying for a new bill for next year’s legislative session.

The problem with this year’s bill, in my opinion, was that it was too broad. As Governor Scott indicated, it had retroactive application that could disrupt settled economic expectations.   The bill also made changes to child time-sharing (a/k/a custody) laws and changes to short term alimony that were problematic. The bill should have focused on permanent alimony.

Contact The Taylor Law Office

If you have questions about alimony in the Jacksonville, Florida area, please contact us at 904-339-5298 or through this website. Your first consultation is free.