Divorce Trends

Smartphone Apps for Divorce?

Written March 14th, 2014
Categories: Divorce, Divorce Advice, Divorce Trends

ID-10032760Divorcing executives living in Jupiter, Wellington or Palm Beach, Florida, get ready to download a bevy of applications to assist with the separation. In an age where we all know the phrase about having an application for everything, it should come as no surprise that applications for assisting with a professional’s divorce abound. If you are considering settling your relationship woes through whatever smart device you own, be careful.  Carol Bruess, professor of family communication at the University of St. Thomas [said], “Relationships are so incredibly complex. Can an app really offer the complexity we need?”

Katie Humphrey researched applications for Star Tribune of Minneapolis and found some interesting information. Here are a few examples of what she found:

  • Grass is Greener– launched by Pamela Green, is a conversation starter for those pondering divorce. It has 39 multiple choice questions. Green reminds everyone, “We don’t give results. It’s not like a Cosmo quiz. It’s designed to help people think . . .People have to come to that decision on their own.”
  • Sesame Street: Divorce– by title may seem like a strange idea but ask any divorcing parent how they’re going to tell their children and most will show you a startled and terrified look. This app, with assistance from the Sesame Street characters, Grover and Abby Cadabby, helps parents through that daunting process.
  • Calculators and Calendars- Plenty of applications exist that purport to address the issues of calculating asset division and sharing schedules for taking care of the kids.

If you are considering using an application, be sure to check the source. Bruess said, “In the pre-app world we might seek out a book written by experts and it was really clear who wrote that book because you could read about the credentials of that person. How many people really dig for the author of an app?”

For any professional getting divorced, the responsibility of complying with the law is your responsibility. Be sure to verify the sources for whatever tools you use: an online site, an application, a book or journal. Above all, consult a qualified attorney for anything that pertains to Florida divorce laws.



Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is the US ready for Divorce Hotel?

Written May 22nd, 2013
Categories: Divorce, Divorce Trends

Experienced divorce attorneys from Palm Beach Gardens to Boynton Beach constantly seek innovative ways to assist their clients.  However, an enterprising business person has created an innovative way for couples to become divorced.  “A Dutch entrepreneur is planning a luxury destination for couples who want to take a permanent vacation from each other.” (source)

Inspired by a college friend’s divorce, Dutchman Jim Halfens is spearheading a business to allow married couples an “un-do” almost as quickly as a Las Vegas wedding.

“He was losing weight, he was unable to have fun in life and the couple were fighting every time you saw them,” says Halfens. “I was convinced. There has to be another way.”

Halfens, who already has the program in 17 boutique-style hotels in the Netherlands, understands the clientele could be huge in a country where the divorce rate, although recently declining, hovers around 50%. At the same time, he “concedes that only one of every three couples that apply for his program is accepted.” In an effort to help the couples succeed, his staff works to establish that both partners really are willing to divorce and are ready to work with specialized mediators. (source)

The idea is simple says Janet Morrissey, reporter for the NY Times: Couples “check in on Friday, married. Then, with the help of mediators and independent lawyers, check out on Sunday, divorce papers in hand, all for a flat fee.” (source)

Couples attending a weekend stay in separate accommodations and are able to meet with professionals in the law, mediation, finance, psychology and more. Hotel staff is primed for their arrival and trained to walk the delicate line of what they need in the way of discretion and professionalism.

Halfens also “wants to take the idea to the next level by filming couples going through the whole process. He has written a book . . . and has approached high-end hotels in Germany, Italy, England, and the United States as possible location backdrops for the program.” (source)

Whether or not this sounds appealing, one thing is for sure, getting in touch with professionals in law, finance and other areas is a wise decision if ending a marital relationship.


Is A Divorce Auction In Your Future?

Written May 15th, 2013
Categories: Divorce, Divorce Trends

The auctioneer sported a pair of rugged jeans, well-worn chambray shirt and a visor. He hawked a collection that included leather couches, mahogany furniture, artwork, kitchen gadgets and more. He and his wife who helps in the business, live in a small town north of Denver, Colorado, and he’s selling the entire contents of a home whose owners are divorcing.

Divorce auctions are not known by this name in West Palm Beach.  However, CJ Pratt, the warm and welcoming auctioneer said, “Divorce auctions are relatively common, although they’re not often billed as such.” He’s been auctioneering for more than 30 years and this is the first time he advertized a divorce auction. He was wary, thinking customers would be put off by the fact that items came from a divorce. The stigma that may or may not be felt by shoppers didn’t keep them away. The parking lot was full.

So how does a couple come to this decision? Often it is from their indecision. Some couples can’t agree on who gets what or what its worth. They put their household goods up for auction, bid against each other for things they really want and collect proceeds of the rest of what sells. Other divorcees may want to start with a clean slate, sell it all to subdue memories associated with those items. Occasionally, says Pratt, the auction is court ordered when a judge gets tired of a couple not coming to an agreement.

The popularity of divorce auctions has increased in recent years. Pratt thinks it is partly due to the media. The Sex in the City movie included Samantha attending a divorce auction in search of a jeweled butterfly ring.  In addition, the popularity of auction reality tv series may generate more interest, like A&E’s “Storage Wars”.

If you are interested in attending a divorce auction, looking online is a great source for those located along the coast of southeast Florida. If you are divorcing and are interested in considering this as a way of dividing assets, contact a qualified lawyer to help you understand what might be involved.


Divorce and A Three Year Itch?

Written April 24th, 2013
Categories: Divorce, Divorce Trends

Most of you will recognize the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe standing on the city grate in her stunning white dress while the hot air of the city rises and blows her skirt, revealing her smashing legs. What you may not know is the image hails from the play, later made into a movie, “The Seven Year Itch.”   People from Jupiter to Wellington recall the plot that includes the main man, a literary publisher, “proofing a book in which psychiatrist Dr. Brubaker claims that a significant proportion of men have affairs in the seventh year of marriage.” (Source)

In these precarious times of relationships, apparently the “itch” is coming much sooner.  An article from the UK based ParentPages.com says, “Research shows that couples with young children are now most likely to go their separate ways at the three year mark.”

Life is changing. Gender roles are shifting and many couples are marrying later in life. As this happens, couples are tending to have children earlier in their marriage. This may be increasing the pressure felt by a new mom and dad who haven’t had a lot of time to get to know each other before they have their first baby. These facts directly impact the early divorce rate.

Other issues, such as the pace of life, juggling career, parenting, chores and leisure time, also bring more stress to families. Another UKwebsite, Netmums.com, crafted the study and shares how it found couples four and a half times more likely to split at the 3 years mark than at seven. The article surmises that “Struggling parents are now so short of time and money that two in five only managed to go out as a couple ‘two or three’ times a year. A worrying 15% ‘never’ go out as a couple anymore while 14% only have a single night a year together. Only one in 100 parents can now spend quality time together a few nights a week.”

Netmums founder, Siobhan Freegard  says, “taking  time to really listen to each other can be the key to keeping love alive and remind you why you first fell in love.”


You’ve Heard of a Prenuptial Agreement But What’s a Postnuptial Agreement?

Written March 27th, 2013
Categories: Divorce, Divorce Trends

postnuptial agreementDivorce attorneys in West Palm Beach agree that prenuptial agreements have been around and been used before marriages for more than 30 years. (source) For couples who have one or more of the partners with extensive wealth before the marriage or who own a business, a prenuptial can provide important financial structure in the event that a marriage ends in divorce.

A postnuptial agreement is a contract written after the marriage vows are spoken. They typically deal with every-day issues in the relationship, most commonly dealing with financial wrestling between the couple.

Scott Weston an LA attorney who co-authored a book about such agreements and whose high-profile clients have included Robert Iger, chief executive of the Walt Disney Company and boxer Oscar de la Hoya, says “Postnups, while much less common than prenuptial agreements, are gaining in popularity. Nearly 50 percent of attorneys polled by theAmericanAcademy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported an increase in the number of postnups from 2002 to 2007.”

“President of AAML, Ken Altshuler, says that since then, his own informal polling has shown a steady increase in the number of couples across all age groups drafting postnuptial agreements.” (source)

Still, some may wonder why there is a need for such agreements. Isn’t marriage the place to learn, together, how to make decisions about family time, finances and more? Sure, but some couples benefit from the structure that a postnuptial agreement provides.

In another report consistent with the trend, “Other lawyers say a postnup can serve as a sort of reset button for a marriage. If a spouse suddenly comes into a financial windfall—an inheritance, say, or a fancy new salary—he or she (or both of them) may want to reevaluate the financial terms of the relationship.” (source)

If you are married or engaged, there are many ways to decide about finances and other serious issues. Some form of contractual agreement may assist in reducing the stress involved in a crisis or daily decisions. Consulting a qualified attorney is the best way to find out if a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is right for you.

To read more about postnuptial agreements, click here.


Is Speed Divorcing a Fad or a Useful Tool?

Written March 13th, 2013
Categories: Divorce, Divorce Trends

Divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach have heard of speed dating — but speed divorcing?  A new term is making the rounds among experienced divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach.  The term “speed divorcing” often conjures up images of speed dating or speed networking.  In those circumstances, you are given a few minutes to quickly introduce yourself, learn something about the other person and move on.  At the end of the evening, you make the decision of who you may want to approach for a date or, in the case of speed networking, approach as a potential business connection.

Lisa Deker, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, is the creator of speed divorcing.  It is a setting in which a person is given 15 minutes to speak to each professional present.  Instead of meeting a potential date or business partners, you meet attorneys, mediators, financial advisors, investment advisors, mortgage brokers, mental health professionals – all the people you may need to consult with at some point in time prior to or during your divorce.  Divorce is an emotional process upon which society has built an artificial structure of statutes, case law and rules.  A person often does best in a divorce case with professionals that he or she may trust.  Speed divorcing may have a benefit to provide you the opportunity to meet with several individuals and get a sense of your gut reaction towards them.  It also provides you an opportunity to quickly meet many professionals and decide which professionals you may wish to have a more in‑depth consultation.  Speed divorcing has not yet reached Palm Beach County.  However, divorcees from Jupiter to Boca Raton may soon be experiencing speed divorcing.  To learn more about this process, click here:


Getting Divorced After Age 50? Consider Collaborative Divorce

Written February 27th, 2013
Categories: Divorce Collaborative Law, Divorce Trends

Collaborative Divorce After Age 50People in Palm Beach County recognize that divorces are never easy.  Divorcing after 50 can certainly complicate matters. Couples from Jupiter to Wellington tend to have more earnings and estate issues than younger couples. This does not mean, however, that the process can’t be cooperative. Let’s look at a few reasons why Collaborative Divorce benefits older couples.

  • Cost: A collaborative divorce is more cost effective than litigation. Each person involved hires an attorney and the decision-making process is focused on problem solving. Attorneys and individuals are all present and involved, reducing the communication time needed to make decisions and therefore the cost of attorneys’ time.
  • Decision-making:  Emotions usually run high in divorce but decision-making should be done with open communication and balance. An attorney or other “divorce coach can assist the parties in managing stress and emotions” says trained Family Law Mediator Tracy A. Timby, JD,MS. “This allows parties to make clear-headed, forward thinking decisions instead of critical financial or personal decisions based on the heat of the moment.”
  • Children: Many couples over fifty have children, pre-teens to young adults, who will be affected by how they deal with their divorce. According to Merck Family Home Health Handbook, “Children adjust best when parents cooperate with each other and focus on the child’s needs” the Handbook suggests, “Whenever possible, parents should live close to each other, treat each other respectfully in the child’s presence, maintain the other’s involvement in the child’s life, and consider the child’s wishes regarding visitation.” When parents work collaboratively, such as this, children have a much greater chance of working through their grief productively.
  • Privacy: Many people are unaware that a litigated divorce is a public event. Both divorce files and court appearances are open to public view and examination. Disclosed records usually include financials such as income, investments, debt, credit history, mortgage due and home value. While in litigation, attorneys will openly report accusations, involvement with substance abuse and other high-conflict issues. A collaborative divorce is private. Only the final agreements are filed in public records.

Divorce at any age is challenging. Considering collaborative divorce has many benefits, no matter what age. To read more about this topic click here or here.

Divorcing Later in Life

Written January 30th, 2013
Categories: Divorce Life Stages, Divorce Trends, Uncategorized

Although the divorce rate in the US has declined slightly in recent years, one segment of the population has doubled its rate in the past 20 years: the 50+ year old category. Research sociologists Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin of Bowling Green State University will present their findings when they share their paper, “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” at Ohio State University in April.

“In 1990, only one in 10 people who got divorced was 50 or older; by 2009, the number was roughly one in four. More than 600,000 people ages 50 and older got divorced in 2009.” Wall Steet Journal online

So what seems to be the issue? The generation experiencing this trend, the Baby Boomers, have different ideas for the core meaning of marriage. Brown shares this thought, “In the 1970s, there was, for the first time, a focus on marriage needing to make individuals happy, rather than on how well each individual fulfilled their marital roles.” This shift has caused discontent among many couples who are facing empty nests for the first time in many years. They begin pondering life in terms of having an ending and looking at their dreams: fulfilled or unfulfilled.

One common element of those divorcing later in life seems to be a previous marriage. “Fifty-three percent of the people over 50 now getting divorced have done so at least once before. . . Having been married previously doubles the risk of divorce for those ages 50 to 64; for those ages 65 and up, the risk factor quadruples,” says Brown. In addition, simply having less experience at being married may increase the chances for divorce. “Nearly one half of those who divorced in 2009 had been married fewer than 20 years; of those who stayed together, nearly three in five had been married for more than 30 years.”  Family law attorneys from Jupiter to Wellington would agree that divorces in Palm Beach County are also reflecting this national trend.

Divorce: À La Carte

Written September 30th, 2011
Categories: Divorce Trends, Uncategorized


Unbundled legal services for divorce are becoming increasingly popular

With the downturn of the economy, many individuals can no longer afford legal services for their divorce. In order to save money, an increasing number of people are shifting from professional legal aid to “do it yourself” methods. Many experienced divorce attorneys have long offered reduced cost options called unbundled legal services, which are rapidly becoming more popular. This innovative method consists of an agreement between a lawyer and client, in which the lawyer and client agree that the lawyer will undertake certain aspects of a case for a prorated fee, instead of using the more traditional retainer fee and agreement.

Using unbundled legal services for a divorce can benefit prospective clients in the following ways:

    1. Financially: The use of unbundling legal services for a divorce is advantageous to the client, as it is a less expensive alternative to traditional representation. Using this method, a divorce attorney is able provide legal advice without the exorbitant cost associated with a full-fledged representation.


    1. Expeditiously: Unbundled legal services can help a client to complete their case more efficiently and effectively due to the legal assistance provided by the divorce attorney. This service is valuable to the client, and it can help to ensure that they did not make any errors while completing paperwork.


    1. Promoting Freedom: Individuals who use unbundled legal representation methods can acquire a sense of independence, as they can undertake more responsibility than people who use traditional legal representation. When a client assumes more responsibility, they have the power to make superior legal decisions.


Individuals seeking a divorce should be informed of all levels of legal services available to them when looking to hire a divorce attorney, or embark on their Pro Se divorce case. For further information on unbundling legal services at The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A., please call 561/478-0312 or send us an inquiry via the online form. Go here to read more about unbundled legal services, in an article posted by LawyersUSA.


The Ex Factor: Divorced Couples Vacationing Together

Written September 28th, 2011
Categories: Divorce Trends, Uncategorized


Many divorcees are starting to take their ex-spouses (or soon-to-be) on vacations with their children. Divorce can be a difficult time for children, and some divorced parents believe that taking vacations together can help children create pleasant childhood memories. Cost conscious individuals are fascinated with the concept of joint vacationing, and believe that these vacations have substantial benefits. Actor Bruce Willis has taken vacations with ex-wife, Demi Moore, their children, and her current husband, Ashton Kutcher. In an interview with Willis, he stated that Kutcher is his “extended family,” and he is thrilled that Ashton is such a great guy.

Some of the following explanations are reasons why divorced couples decide to take joint vacations together:

    1. Financial Benefits: With the economic downturn, many individuals are trying to save money. Joint vacations have financial benefits, as couples can split the cost of the vacation, including food, accommodations, travel expenses and entertainment.


    1. Childhood Memories: Both parents are able to experience their child’s “firsts” while on vacation. Children can create positive childhood memories, as they are able to spend the same amount of time with both parents.


  1. Less Stress: Divorced parents who go on joint vacations can both supervise their children. This option of joint custody can enable parents to stress less about their children, and enjoy their vacation.

Divorced couples seem to be rethinking their options when planning a vacation. Go here for more information on divorced couples vacationing together.