Co-parenting is a method of parenting in cohesion with your ex-spouse or partner where both parties are able to make decisions regarding the welfare of the child together and with minimal conflict. Co-parenting, although ideal, can be difficult to maintain during such an emotionally charged time, especially if the divorce is considered “high conflict.”

For those who cannot co-parent, parallel parenting is recommended. Parallel parenting is a method by which to make decisions with your ex but with a bit of disengagement to prevent emotions from clouding judgement and/or behavior. Parallel parenting enables both parents of a child to follow the same set of parenting rules while keeping their feelings in check when making decisions together for the best of the children.

If you and your ex have difficulties working together in person or verbally, here are a few guidelines for both parties to follow when parallel parenting.

  1. Conduct all communication in a formal setting. Use emails or texting to communicate and only about subjects relating to your children. Minimal face to face communication reduces the risk of an argument taking place in front of the kids. When you do have to talk in person (like at a school or sporting event) remain business-like and cordial and do not engage in conversation that does not directly relate to the welfare of the children.
  2. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all”. This is most true after a high-conflict divorce. Keep your feelings about your ex-spouse to yourself; do not project your feelings about your spouse onto your children and avoid speaking ill of your ex in front of or near your children. Divorces are difficult for children, sometimes more so, and hearing bad things about someone they love can make it harder.
  3. Children are not messengers. Do not use your children to communicate messages to your ex or as a source for information. If your ex has started dating or made a large purchase, don’t ask for details from your child and don’t ask your child to inform your ex-spouse about a change in an upcoming event—their new social life is not any of your business and you should send an email or text update about the schedule change.
  4. Create a shared, digital calendar. Schedules should list with whom the child will be with on which days, any upcoming school events, and extracurricular activities. Both parents should have access to it and changes to the calendar should alert the other party. There are many websites and apps designed for communication and event tracking for parents engaged in parallel parenting.
  5. Pre-approve modifications in advance and in writing. If either party requests a temporary change in the visitation schedule or handling of a particular responsibility, these changes should be made well in advanced and be sent to the other parent in writing (emails, texts, and digital forms count). Not only does this provide documentation the change was approved but it also provides ample time for both parents to make any necessary plans to accommodate the change.

Over time, successful parallel parenting can lead to parents to move past their emotions and learn how to come together and co-parent. If not, these parallel parenting guidelines serve as an excellent means to keep emotions from taking over and causing the child or children involved to feel as if they are in the middle of conflict.

Source: Divorce Magazine, “What is the difference between co-parenting and parallel parenting?”, accessed Dec 4, 2016

Moving a loved one to senior housing facility may not be the easiest topic to address but may be necessary for some families. Usually, a move to a senior housing facility is prompted by the death of the senior’s spouse, an accident, or a poor health diagnosis. Apart from the emotional toll, finding suitable housing may prove difficult as well.


Here are some steps that might make the transition a little easier on families considering long-term senior housing:


Contact Legacy Law of Florida for assistance in planning the long-term care of your senior loved one. We are well experienced in Estate Planning and Elder Law, making us an ideal law firm to help you with your senior housing concerns.

In the State of Florida, the marital or non-marital nature of assets and liabilities must be determined in the divorce process. Florida law requires the equitable (not to be miss-construed as equal) division of marital assets and liabilities with the ultimate goal of being fair to both parties but also ensuring the support needs of the parties and any children are met to the best extent possible.

What is the difference between marital and non-marital assets and liabilities?

Marital assets can include properties, homes, savings and bank accounts, art and other collections of high value, stocks, and jewelry accumulated throughout the marriage. Marital liabilities are debts amassed throughout the marriage—car or home loans and credit card debt included.


Non-marital assets or liabilities can include any assets or debts secured or accrued prior to the marriage. Under certain circumstances, some non-marital assets/liabilities may become marital. This can be the case when a new spouse is added to the deed of a home or lives in the home for a significant amount of time and contributes to its upkeep and/or mortgage without being on the deed.


Also, not all assets or liabilities gained during a marriage may be considered marital. Courts may determine an inheritance, business ownership, gift from one spouse to the other, or an accruement of debt to remain the sole responsibility of the receiving spouse.


Division of Marriage Assets and Liabilities

Legacy Law of Florida will aid in determining what is a marital and non-marital asset and/or liability as well as assist in protecting your property from becoming a marital asset unjustly.

Assets and liabilities are not distributed equally in the state of Florida; however, they are distributed equitably, or fairly, based on the couple’s specific circumstances. Considerations that are made can include:

We will review and discuss all potential outcomes and asset arrangements, working diligently to get you the equitable division you deserve during your divorce.

Co-parenting is when two parents who have divorced, are not living together, or are no longer involved romantically are able to raise their children together with minimal conflict. Typically, parents who co-parent are able to make decisions regarding the children together, each have their own relationship with their children, modify visitations with relative ease, and attend functions (sporting events, birthdays, visitation exchange, etc.) without disruption or conflict but rather with cordial, respectful behavior.

Co-parenting is one of the best ways to continue to raise your children after a divorce but it can also be emotionally taxing because of how closely you would have to work with your ex. Experts agree that if parents are able to co-parent effectively, there are several benefits for their child(ren):

Legacy Law of Florida can assist you with filing for divorce, navigating custody issues or questions, or developing a parenting plan that encourages co-parenting. Our attorneys are experienced family law practitioners who always put the best interest of the child above all others in each case we handle.

Source: Divorce Magazine, “What is the difference between co-parenting and parallel parenting?”, accessed Dec 4, 2016

Although a prenup may be a difficult subject to address, it is an important aspect of marriage that should be considered before tying the knot. Research has shown that nearly half of all marriages will end in divorce and one of the leading causes is finances. For marriages to last, couples need to be on the same page with handling their finances and a prenuptial agreement can help.

If any of the following are true for your and/or your future spouse, then you should consider a prenuptial agreement.

  1. You have children from a prior relationship.

Prenups are not only used in the event of a divorce but also in the event of a spouse’s passing. A prenup can protect the inheritance of your children from a prior relationship by detailing how you want to have your estate distributed amongst all of your children. Florida laws do not protect the inheritance rights of stepchildren, so a prenup can also enable you or your future spouse to specify benefits for any stepchildren.

  1. You own your own business.

If you own your own business (whether from before meeting your fiancé or while you began dating) or you will be inheriting some or all of a family business, a prenup can help protect the business from your spouse if they attempt to make a claim for ownership during divorce proceedings. A prenup can also set guidelines for the income that stems from the business, especially if it is the main source of income for your family.

  1. Only one of you will be working.

Being a stay at home parent is a full-time job without pay or benefits, so a prenuptial agreement can establish how much support and for how long the income-earning spouse is responsible for providing support in the event of a divorce.

  1. You or your fiancé have previous debt or savings.

Whether its school loans or a shopping addiction, one spouse may enter the marriage with a significant more amount of debt than the other. A prenuptial agreement can help protect the other spouse from having to continue to pay off a debt that they didn’t rack up themselves. On the reverse side, one spouse may have a significant amount in savings stashed away that they set aside prior to meeting their spouse. A prenup could help protect those funds during divorce proceedings.

  1. You will be receiving a large inheritance.

If you know you will be receiving a large inheritance, including it in a prenuptial agreement can help protect it should you ever use the funds on community property during your marriage, like the purchase of a house.

Source: How common is divorce and what are the reasons? accessed Dec 03, 2016

Cheat Sheet, “Marriage: 5 Signs You Need a Prenuptial Agreement,” Megan Elliott, accessed Dec. 02, 2016

Whether a divorce is where your marriage has been heading for a while or you were surprised by your partner’s request for a divorce, it’s important to try to set aside your emotions.  Instead, try to apply these tips in preparation for the journey in front of you.

  1. Get Help. Navigating through a divorce by yourself can be stressful and extremely emotional, even if you aren’t surprised by the divorce. At the very least, you should hire a divorce attorney to help with paperwork, sort your finances, deal with the other party, and to fight for your rights and needs throughout the process.
  2. Get Organized. Gather up all the paperwork for any marital property you share with your spouse including bank statements, credit card statements, appraisals for expensive items, retirement funds, tax documents, real estate, and investment documents. Also, locate and review your pre- or post-nuptial agreement if you and your spouse had one. Getting organized prior to the divorce proceedings will help reduce your stress and keep the proceedings moving forward quickly. It can also show you are willing to cooperate and help prevent your spouse from attempting to hide any assets.
  3. Get Your Credit Report. Doing so will help separate your debt from your spouse’s. If you are an authorized user on any of their lines of credit, take the necessary steps to be removed so that their debt does not reflect poorly on you. Contact your own credit card companies to have your spouse removed as an authorized user on your lines of credit so that you are not responsible for any of their future purchases. Also, locate which debts are shared, like a mortgage or car purchase, so that the responsibility of the debt can be settled during the divorce proceedings.
  4. Apply For Your Own Credit Card. It is common for credit scores to drop after a divorce if credit lines are shared during a marriage, so it is important to strengthen your score by yourself. Open the card, make small, affordable purchases, and pay it off each month to help boost your credit.
  5. Review Your Beneficiaries.  Be sure to remove your soon-to-be-ex-spouse as the beneficiary of any life insurance policies, retirement accounts, or wills and replace them with another designee. Review other important documents such as Power of Attorney, living will, or heath care proxy forms and replace your spouse on these forms as well. You don’t want them to stand to inherit your assets or oversee your medical care.
  6. Remember That Equitable Does Not Mean Equal. Yes, your financial and property assets will be divided between you and your spouse but not necessarily as a 50-50 split. Also keep in mind, fighting to keep the house (or other item) may not be worth it if later down the line you can no longer afford it on your income alone.
  7. Review Your Finances. Your expenses won’t be cut in half just because you are now half of a couple—create a new budget based on your income alone. Don’t include alimony or child support since they are not guaranteed sources of income. Its best knowing what you can afford going forward without your spouse. It’s also wise to hold off on any big purchases or sales as many people make rash financial decisions after a divorce that can have long term financial consequences.

Source: U.S. News. “7 Financial Steps to Take When Getting a Divorce”, accessed Dec 4, 2016

Whether it was your spouse or a parent or someone else close to you, mourning the loss of a loved one is a difficult time for anyone. Having to settle the financial and legal issues amidst your time of mourning can add to the stress you are already weighed down with. It is important to remember to take your time to grieve; these issues can wait a week or two without any repercussions. When you do find yourself ready to settle your loved one’s estate, here are a few helpful steps to guide you through this difficult time.

If you have been named the personal representative in the will for your loved one, bring the original will, the original death certificate, and the inventory of assets to your complimentary initial meeting with the probate attorney of Legacy Law of Florida.

When most people think of estate planning, they think “wills.” However, there is much more to estate planning than just creating a will. There are five components of a complete estate plan that will cover all areas of your life and death as well as protect your assets upon passing.

1.  Wills

A will is a legally binding statement that dictates who will receive your property upon your passing. It is important to know a will only covers probate property which is property that is in an individual’s estate. Property that is jointly owned or has a named beneficiary, like life insurance, 401(k), or an IRA, can usually be settled without a will by automatically passing to the named beneficiary. A will can also name a guardian of any minor children you have.

2. Trusts

A trust involves the transfer of property from one person (settlor) to the control of another person (trustee) to be held and used for the benefit of a third person (beneficiary). The settlor and trustee can be the same person.

Trusts can have multiple sets of beneficiaries—for example, a set of grandparents can be both the settlors and the trustees with their children named as the direct beneficiaries and their grandchildren as the next set of beneficiaries who stand to benefit from the trust when their parents pass away. There are many different forms of trusts and reasons to have trusts varying from tax planning and asset protection to ensuring for the care of a dependent or disabled adult child. Trusts can even result in tax advantages for both the trustee and the beneficiaries. Many small business owners, those who own more than one parcel of real estate, or individuals with investment accounts may benefit from trust planning.

3. Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney, or attorney-in-fact, allows you to appoint someone to act in your stead on financial and medical matters if you were to ever become incapacitated. Establishing a Power of Attorney in advance saves valuable time and money to avoid the expensive process of guardianship after you become incapacitated. There is also the risk someone other than whom you would have chosen could become your guardian if you do not designate this person yourself with a Power of Attorney.

4. Medical Directives

Depending on your state’s laws and the choices that you make, a medical directive can include several types of documents including:

Medical directives – Medical instructions should you become seriously ill and cannot direct your own health care.

4. Beneficiary Designations

When creating your estate plan, you should also ensure any policy you own including life insurance, retirement plans, or 401(k) have beneficiaries listed, is up to date, and complete. The only way to ensure the money and assets you leave behind go to whom you want, is to ensure you have named beneficiaries. Naming beneficiaries on the direct policy can expedite receipt of benefits and reduce confusion compared to only naming beneficiaries in your will.

Planning Your Estate Around Your Blended Family

In today’s day and age, many families consist of a combination of stepparents, stepchildren, and/or half-siblings—commonly referred to as a blended family. Proper estate planning becomes especially important if you are a part of a blended family to ensure your estate is distributed as you desire. Under Florida’s intestate inheritance law, stepchildren do not have the same inheritance rights as naturally born or legally adopted children do, so the wording of the will also must be specific to include stepchildren. Simply listing that your estate should pass to “your children” can legally leave a stepchild out of the inheritance.

divorce, Brandon, FL
Copyright 2020 Legacy Law of Florida. All Right Reserved
Built By MerchantSide
Legacy Law Family Law, Brandon, FL
This website is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. Using this site or communicating with Legacy Law of Florida through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising. Please review the full disclaimer for more information.