If you have a question about divorce, child custody, alimony or other family law issue, we’ve answered hundreds of common questions we’ve been asked over the years right on this website.

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It’s common to forget to address the division all of your marital property in a divorce settlement, and one of the most common issues involves taxes.

When many couples are dividing property, they think of homes, vehicles, bank accounts, and retirement accounts.

What many people forget, unless they have experienced divorce attorneys and financial professionals working with them through the process, are intangible assets.

One common example of a valuable intangible asset is a tax credit or a capital loss carryover.

A tax credit reduces the taxes you owe dollar for dollar.

For example, if you added solar panels to your home, you may have received an energy tax credit for $5,000. That credit can often be refunded or used in future years to reduce tax liability.

You may also have capital loss carryovers. If your capital losses in one year exceed your capital gains, and exceed the tax deduction allowable for a single year, the loss can be carried over to future years.

If you received either tax credits or capital loss carryovers during the marriage, those should be addressed in the divorce settlement.

They may only be valuable to one spouse, but can be used as a bargaining tool, and can be divided like marital property in the settlement.

Although getting a $15,000 tax credit in a divorce may not sound as exciting as the boat or a bank account, in many cases tax credits and deductions are worth more.

If you are divorcing in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He can help you with your divorce questions.

Call today to learn more or to schedule a consultation on your case.


When a couple divorces, often one or both spouses may fail to count an asset like a country club membership among the divisible assets.

Only one spouse may be an avid golfer or may not use the membership at all, so the other spouse may not even consider asking for the membership.

However, country club memberships, if purchased during the marriage, are considered marital property, and can be divided like any other marital asset.

Courts that have looked at that issue have ruled that country club memberships are marital property, so long as they can be transferred or exchanged, and have an amount of value.

Therefore, if you own a country club membership, it needs to be evaluated to see what the restrictions are.

If a country club membership cannot be exchanged, it may not be considered marital property.

If it can be sold or transferred for money, it can be considered a part of the marital property and can be divided.

If it cannot be transferred to someone else’s name, then normally it is not marital property.

If you are currently considering divorce, and you are not sure what steps you should take, or what assets are considered marital assets that are subject to division in a divorce, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at

He can help advise you on what steps to take.

Call today to learn more if you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough County.


It can be tricky to divide hedge funds in a divorce.

Generally, hedge funds are similar to mutual funds. However, they are not regulated by the SEC, but do require a special status by the investors, which means that the investors must normally have an annual net worth of over a million dollars.

When attempting to divide hedge funds as part of a divorce, it’s important to know that each hedge fund is different, and some may have certain periods during which funds cannot be redeemed or sold.

Sometimes that period can last for over a year. Others are open-ended, which means the funds can be withdrawn throughout the year.

The structure of the hedge fund can affect the timing of the withdrawal.

Hedge funds can also be very difficult to value.

They may be a mix of closely-held securities and publicly traded securities.

Some of the closely-held securities may be very difficult to value, especially if they haven’t been traded recently.

Some hedge funds may require a special valuation by an expert.

Finally, it’s important when looking at hedge funds that they aren’t confused with private equity investments.

They may look similar, but they are very different types of investments. They can be valued differently, and the accounting for each is done differently.

If your divorce involves a hedge fund, there are special issues of which you need to be aware.

Call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, and can help in your divorce.

Call today to schedule a consultation.


Military retirement health insurance is a valuable asset in a military member’s retirement package.

Military members that serve for 20 years or more are typically able to receive retirement pay.

Active duty retirement pay entitles the military member to health insurance for the member and his or her dependents.

In a divorce among military spouses, the non-military spouse can qualify to keep the same medical benefits they received while married, including health care.

In order to qualify, they must meet the 20/20/20 rule.

The non-military spouse must be married to the service member for 20 years or more, the service member must have been in the military for at least 20 years, and there must be an overlap of 20 years or more between the military service and the marriage.

There is also a 20/20/15 rule – if the first two requirements are met, but only 15 years of the marriage overlapped with military service, the spouse is only entitled to one year of medical coverage.

Spouses who do not qualify under either of those rules are still eligible for health insurance under COBRA.

COBRA provides 36 months of insurance with a private provider, but the spouse has to pay a premium for the coverage.

Because of these rules, it’s important if a long-term military marriage is involved, to carefully evaluate the timing of the divorce.

If you are one year away from meeting the 20/20/20 rule, and you decide to divorce, it may be worth delaying the divorce in order to keep the lifelong health insurance.

The length of marriage is calculated based on the final judgment of dissolution of the marriage.

If you have any questions about divorce and are in Florida, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.

Call today to schedule a consultation.


Divorcing your spouse can be very expensive.

The costs involved do not only include attorneys.

There are also court fees and fees for experts during your divorce to determine issues such as the valuation of property and guardianship of the children.

Despite the fact that divorce can be expensive, there are some things you can do to lessen the costs.

Here are some tips that can help reduce your divorce costs in Florida:

– Cooperate with your attorney. If your attorney asks for some documentation of something, provide it in an organized format. Most attorneys charge hourly, and the less time he or she has to spend looking for paperwork from you, the less expensive the divorce will be.

– If your attorney asks you to provide discovery as part of the case, such as producing documents or answering interrogatories, be as responsive and detailed as you can be. Again, that reduces the amount of time that must be spent, and also reduces your legal fees.

– Do not call your attorney with every question you have or every thought that runs through your mind. Unless it’s an emergency situation, wait until you have several questions, and then ask them at once in one phone call. Again, in most cases every time you pick up the phone you are subjecting yourself to fees.

– Do not fight over every single issue. The less contentious the divorce, the cheaper it is. Maybe you want to keep the dishes and the washer and dryer, but are they worth dragging the divorce out over and potentially subjecting yourself to more legal fees? Ask your attorney what is worth fighting over, and take his or her advice.

– If at all possible, avoid litigation. You may consider mediation during your divorce case instead or working with your spouse to determine the issues you agree on. Litigation is necessary in some cases, but it is very expensive and can be emotionally damaging, and can hurt relationships.

If you are facing a divorce in Florida, and you live in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He can help. He is an experienced divorce attorney, and can advise you on the best course of action to take.


That is a very common question.

Once one spouse finds out another has cheated, if they decide to divorce, the cheated-on spouse frequently wants to make the cheating spouse financially pay for the affair through the divorce process.

Unfortunately for the cheated-on spouse, most divorce courts do not care about cheating in dividing up the assets during a divorce case.

The vast majority of divorces are no-fault divorces, which means that courts do not care about blame or whose infidelity ended the marriage.

Normally, the assets are simply divided according to a formula.

In addition, a fairly significant percentage of divorces end because of cheating, so courts can become immune to cheating and its impact.

There are a few situations where cheating could impact the outcome of a divorce.

The first is when the cheater has spent a lot of money on his or her boyfriend or girlfriend.

The cheating spouse may have spent marital money on the affair, and that can impact the settlement.

It’s important to obtain documentation, which could involve a private investigator or an accountant.

Another situation is one in which there is a prenuptial agreement that addresses affairs.

Finally, if the affair involved extremely offensive behavior, the cheater may end up paying more.

The end of a marriage because of an affair can be extremely emotionally difficult, but do not let your anger at the situation cloud your judgment about the best course of action to take.

Contact an experienced divorce attorney, who can advise you on the best way to proceed with your divorce.

If you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties in Florida, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He can help.

Call today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.


Divorce filings typically reach their high in January and February.

There are a number of suspected reasons for that – many people want to wait until after the holidays to divorce, especially if they have children.

Some people have had their fill of the relationship, and holiday stress may push the relationship over the edge.

Also, many people feel that they have waited long enough trying to hold on to a bad marriage, but may want a fresh start in the New Year.

The holiday season is full of triggers that can push a shaky marriage over the edge.

A couple usually spends more time together and typically extended family members are involved.

The holidays can cause a high amount of stress and high expectations. There may be more alcohol involved at holiday parties than at other times of the year.

As a divorce attorney, I can’t tell you whether or not to file for divorce at all or when to file.

However, I can tell you that divorce will change your life for the rest of your life, and normally once you file the marriage will not be able to be saved.

If you are considering filing for divorce, keep in mind that for anyone the holidays can be super stressful – it may be best to settle back into normal life and see how it is before filing.

Also, you should be sure that you are doing everything possible to save your marriage, especially if you have children.

Therapy or simply talking can make a difference in many cases.

Finally, make a plan.

Know that once you file for divorce life will probably get worse before it gets better, so take a look at your finances, kids, home, and make a plan before taking any steps in that direction.

If you are certain you want to file for divorce, or if you at least want to talk about your legal options, call
Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.

Call to learn more or to schedule a consultation.


There are many people who believe that their divorce will be simple and easy and that there aren’t any issues to decide.

In many cases, they may get a form book about how to do a DIY divorce, and believe that they can do their own divorces and save tons of money in legal fees.

Books on how to do your own divorce are readily available, and they can lead people to think that divorces can be quick and easy and painless and there is no need to involve attorneys.

However, as a divorce attorney, I very rarely see a divorce that is truly simple, with no undecided issues.

In most cases, couples that try to negotiate their divorce details and then draft their own agreements end up disagreeing about issues, making a mess of the paperwork involved, and incorrectly filing the paperwork with the necessary courts or carrying it through to its necessary conclusion.

Some people think they have an easy divorce because they weren’t married long, or don’t have many assets or debts, or have no children.

Even though that sounds like an easy situation, there are still some issues that could be involved that could lead to a contested divorce, like potential alimony or the division of whatever assets or debts the couple does have.

If a couple has children, the issues become even more complicated – how are custody and visitation handled? What about child support? What about spousal support?

In some cases, divorcing spouses may reach a decision on most issues, but when they draft their own agreement, the document is poorly written and provisions in it may conflict with each other.

That could lead to more litigation that could end up costing more money than if attorneys had been involved in the first place.

If you are considering divorce in Florida, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.

There may be some options you may have available to make it less expensive.

Call today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.


Although not talked about much, domestic violence is a serious public health problem.

About one in three women have been physically abused by an intimate partner.

A woman is assaulted or beaten in the U.S. every nine seconds.

Divorce can be a very scary time for women who are victims of domestic abuse.

Their husbands’ anger may escalate, and it may be the first time these women stand up to their husbands’ control and abuse. They may be afraid for their physical safety and their finances in the future.

A husband’s violent behavior in the past can make a big difference in divorce proceedings.

Someone who has a history of domestic violence is unlikely to receive custody of the children.

The wife may need to take out an order of protection, depending on the level of abuse and the circumstances.

If the husband has prevented the wife from working during the marriage, which is common in many abusive situations, the wife’s alimony award could be significantly increased.

If you are in an abusive relationship, do not let your fear about your financial future or fears for your physical safety stop you from leaving.

Call a domestic abuse hotline, or create a safety plan for leaving the abusive relationship.

You should also speak with an attorney about your legal options for leaving the marriage.

If you file for divorce, you can ask for temporary alimony, child support, and temporary custody of the home, which will allow you to get financially on your feet again.

If you are in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He can help advise you on the best way to handle your situation.


Although it is not a common arrangement, some divorcing parents allow the children to stay in the family home, while the parents switch back and forth out of the family home.

While not in the family home, the parents may rent an apartment to share or sleep at a friend’s or relative’s house.

Some couples choose this arrangement, rather than the more traditional arrangement of sending the children back and forth between houses, to give the children more stability.

Many children feel unsettled by shuttling their things back and forth between two houses, and this arrangement allows the children to stay in one home.

It also allows divorcing parents to postpone making a decision about selling the family home.

Although the arrangement sounds good, many therapists do not believe that type of arrangement actually benefits the
children or the parents.

During a divorce, parents need to establish their own lives and routines, and this may put a damper on them being able to move on.

Also, it may be confusing for the children to see their divorcing parents still so deeply involved with each other.

In addition, it can be extremely hard to work together and the divorce must be amicable.

Therapists say the most damaging thing for children of divorce is conflict, and this living arrangement raises the possibility that the children would witness more conflict than they would if the parents had separate living spaces.

This arrangement can work, but there must be very strict household rules about housework and handing the children off.

There also should be an end date to the arrangement – for some that may be when the children leave for college.

Divorces today are coming in a variety of different forms, with different living arrangements that are often focused on what’s best for the child.

If you live in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, and you have questions about divorce, call

Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.

He can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.