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Orlando Divorce Law Blog

Can I relocate with my child to a new state?

Imagine you have a 10-year-old son. You're a single mother sharing physical and legal custody with the father of your child. He spends half the time with you and half the time with his dad. However, you just got the job offer of your dreams, making triple your normal salary. The problem is: The job is out of state and your custody orders say you can't move out of state without permission from the other parent.

Your dilemma wouldn't be a dilemma if you didn't have to consider the opinion of your child's father, and the court. However, the law is the law and if you try to move out of state without permission, you will violate your child custody orders and probably lose your parental rights.

How will Howell versus Howell affect my military divorce?

The Supreme Court ruling in Howell vs. Howell last month could affect the way disabled military retirees split their pensions with ex-spouses. The ruling may allow disabled retirees to pay less to their exes.

In military divorces, the spouses of service members are often entitled to receive a portion of the service member's retirement benefits. However, some disabled veterans are able to exchange part of their retirement pension money for disability benefits. Since disability benefits are not classified as marital assets, some veterans were being required to pay additional money to their ex-spouses to make up the difference. However, in the middle of May, the Supreme Court ruled in Howell vs. Howell that state courts cannot force veterans to pay extra money to their exes.

3 tips for reentering the workforce

Divorce is stressful enough without anything else to worry about, but for many stay-at-home moms, separation also means that you must prepare to reenter the workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70.5 percent of women with children participated in the workforce in 2016. Despite the frequency of this situation, it can be a difficult adjustment. Here are a few tips for making it a smooth transition.

Complete vocational evaluation and training

Tired of hearing everyone talk about the rise of "grey divorce"?

In our agist society, where less experienced young people are chosen for new jobs over more experienced older employees, it's easy to understand why people have become fixated on the "gray" divorce. The fact is, the baby boomer generation has long been one to do things differently -- so why would any baby boomer choose to stay in a bad marriage just because of the idea that older people aren't supposed to get divorced?

At Mercedes R. Wechsler, PA, we are highly sensitive to the fact that every human being has the right to change his or her life and take control of their situation -- whether the divorce was your idea or not -- and turn it into a winning scenario. Furthermore, it doesn't matter how young or old you are. Every divorce will have certain similarities, and every divorce will be entirely unique.

Financial infidelity: The problem of hidden assets in divorce

Marriages do not always end well, and when it's time for a divorce, people can sometimes get desperate. Hidden assets in divorce proceedings are more common than you might think. In fact, some spouses will even build a stash of cash in secret before they finally pull the trigger on the divorce process.

The National Endowment for Financial Education says that two out of every three marriages results in hidden assets. Furthermore, nine out of ten divorce attorneys say that their clients actively investigate whether their spouses have been hiding money. They might look through their soon-to-be ex's emails, check for PayPal messages or look at their social media accounts for the tell-tale signs of financial infidelity.

Can I appeal my divorce decision?

If you're not happy with the decision made in your divorce case, you might be able to appeal the decision -- but only if the ruling was clearly unlawful. It's important to keep in mind that appeals courts only rarely overturn a family law judge's decision following a divorce ruling.

When you appeal any kind of ruling, you have to write an appellate brief. A lawyer can help you draft and file this legal pleading. Your brief will include legal arguments backed up by appropriate statutes and case law. The arguments in the brief will attempt to show why the law was inappropriately applied in your divorce ruling. The opposing party will have a chance to respond to your appellate brief in a brief of his or her own that offers arguments as to why the previous ruling should stand. Both sides may be permitted to give oral arguments.

Senior citizen divorces and collaborative law

Orlando senior citizens considering divorce tend to be some of the bravest clients we've represented at Mercedes R. Wechsler, PA. We always take great pride in representing the older members of our communities in divorce proceedings. That's because they tend to be some of the most emotionally and financially stable, wise and calm individuals we get to represent in divorce proceedings.

Nevertheless, all the life-wisdom in the world will not make a divorce after the age of 60 particularly easy. It will just make the process a little easier to navigate from an emotional and diplomatic perspective, which can sometimes be the biggest challenge for younger couples.

Divorce rates have risen for female military service members

Getting married can benefit couples when one person is in the military. Spousal benefits can be quite attractive, and when one spouse is stationed overseas, the military may pay for the other spouse to join. However, divorce rates have increased for female military service members in recent years.

The divorce rate for male troops in 2016 was 2.6 percent, which is relatively unchanged since 2013. Meanwhile, the divorce rate for female service members has increased from 6.2 percent in 2015 up to 6.6 percent in 2016. Overall, the divorce rate was 3.1 percent in 2016, which does not represent a significant change from 2015 the divorce rate of 3.

Dividing employee stock options in a divorce

Orlando executives can earn a lot of money in employee stock options. These options, technically speaking, don't have any value until they're executed and converted into stock. In some cases, they could even have negative value if the options have yet to vest or if they're underwater and not "in the money."

Essentially, when you own stock options, you will have the right to purchase company stock at a specific price and at a specific date in the future. When the options have "vested," you have the right -- and not the obligation -- to exercise the options and put money forward to buy the stock. Until the options become vested and you have exercised them, they don't have an actual value. That said, they may hold the promise of some future value depending on the performance of your company.

Recommendations for using your maintenance payments wisely

Florida's spousal maintenance laws may benefit you as you go through the divorce. After all, you took care of the house and the kids, and supported your husband to make it easier for him to pursue and advance his career. Laws change, though, and according to the Orlando Sentinel, legislators are again attempting to pass a bill that could affect your alimony.

With the future uncertain, it may not be the best idea to rely too heavily on your ex for support. While the payments are coming, you may want to prepare yourself for the day they may stop. Spending the money wisely may set you up to take care of yourself so that you can be ready for any changes.


Mercedes R. Wechsler, P.A.
1212 E. Ridgewood Street
Orlando, FL 32803

Phone: 407-440-0878
Fax: 407-839-0263
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