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Author: Paul E Rice, Jr. - Board Certified Divorce Attorney

The important distinction between wedding and engagement rings is that the engagement ring is considered a gift that occurs before the marriage whereas the wedding rings are viewed as gifts during the marriage. 
A Florida Circuit Court order required one party in a divorce to pay the other's attorney's fees and further ruled that the fee award was not dischargeable in bankruptcy. In a recent ruling, the Third District Court of Appeals reversed that lower court decision stating that the law does not allow a state court to decide the federal issue of discharge prior to the filing of any bankruptcy proceeding. The court explained that the problem with the state court's judgment is that it reached an issue of federal law that is not yet ripe for consideration. A state court is free to place language in a judgment to memorialize factual determinations or legal rulings on questions of state law that may later assist a bankruptcy court in deciding, as a matter of federal law, the dischargeability of obligations created by the judgment.
Generally speaking, a person’s alimony obligation terminates if his or her ex-spouse gets remarried. In some states, such as Florida, laws have been passed allowing alimony to be terminated if one’s former spouse enters into a supportive relationship. A supportive relationship is, simply put, two unrelated persons holding themselves out as spouses who reside together and provide support or services to one another. Florida’s divorce laws notwithstanding, divorcing spouses are free to craft their own agreements as to alimony and the reasons for which it can be terminated.
Pensions and retirement assets are often among the largest and most significant assets at issue in a divorce proceeding. Florida’s equitable distribution law recognizes that some retirement assets are marital, some are non-marital and others are a combination of both.
The Florida legislature attempted to eliminate permanent alimony three times over the past ten years. However, those bills were vetoed twice by then Governor Rick Scott and once by current Governor Ron DeSantis. For better or worse, alimony is alive and well in Florida. As it stands now, alimony in Florida is governed by a law passed in 2011, which substantially overhauled the old alimony law and many court opinions arising from it.
Republican legislators have been trying to reform Florida’s alimony law for nearly a decade. If parties are married 17 years or more in Florida, it’s considered a long term marriage with a presumption for permanent alimony. Permanent can be an awfully long time. A person who was divorced after a 17 year marriage could conceivably pay his or her spouse alimony for next 40 years. That’s not an unheard of scenario.
Prenuptial agreements in Florida are valid and binding if they are well drafted and executed voluntarily after full financial disclosure.
The tiniest of words can have the greatest consequence. An appellate court recently ruled that the word “a,” the smallest of words in the English language, could (and in fact did) mean the difference of a million and a half dollars.
In a December 2018 opinion, a Florida appeals court upheld a trial court’s denial of the former husband’s request to terminate his permanent alimony obligation after his ex-wife remarried. Normally, permanent alimony terminates upon the remarriage or death of the receiving spouse per Florida Statute 61.08.
There’s usually a pretty good reason that a couple is getting divorced. In my experience, one of the spouses is unhappy with the other due to incompatibility, infidelilty or mental health issues. And, if the parties don’t make good marriage partners, then chances are they won’t make good business partners after the marriage is dissolved.