Financial “Ins and Outs” to Know Before You File for a Divorce

Divorce Lawyers in Naples: Financial “Ins and Outs” to Know Before You File for a Divorce

An attorney behind a gravel

When filing for a divorce, financial stability should be one of your top priorities. According to the divorce lawyers in Naples at Long & Associates, a divorce involves some of the most critical financial decisions you may ever encounter. Many of these decisions that you make regarding your finances cannot be changed in the future – which is what makes them so profound. At Long & Associates, our divorce attorneys in Naples understand that you have a lot going on, which is why we are here to help. We want to share some essential steps to guarantee nominal damage and financial stability:

Get Financially OrganizedLet’s face it, divorce is complicated. At Long & Associates, we believe the key to protecting yourself and your finances is remaining organized, gaining clarity and making informed decisions. 

Putting together your entire marital financial picture can be overwhelming, however, full and frank financial disclosure is required. Even if you are not completely sure of all the assets and liabilities that exist, your attorney can obtain information that you would not otherwise know existed through investigation, subpoenas and other forms of discovery, to ensure that you have a comprehensive identification of all of your debts and assets. Some things you will want to make sure are on your list include:

  • Deeds to Real Property
  • Financial statements
  • Tax returns (Corporate and Personal)
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment and Retirement Accounts
  • Credit card accounts
  • Insurance policies
  • Mortgage statements
  • Car loans
  • Last Will & Testament and Trust Documents

If you run into any confusion or have any questions, you can consult with an experienced high asset divorce attorney in Naples to make certain that no financial stone is left unturned. We know that divorce can be mentally draining, but you must be as thorough as possible.

Be Aware of Your Debts: It is necessary that you understand the debts that you and your spouse hold. A divorce attorney in Naples at Long & Associates wants to make sure you understand that liabilities don’t just vanish into thin air while getting a divorce – they must be allocated to one or both parties. Debts can include:

  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Lines of Credit
  • Car loans
  • Mortgages
  • Personal Guarantees, etc.

Find a Divorce Lawyer in Naples Who Understands You: Even if you and your partner both agree on a divorce, it is still vital that you consult experienced divorce lawyers in Naples who can correctly handle complex financial circumstances. There is always a chance that your soon-to-be ex-spouse could flip a switch, and if that situation were to arise you want a skilled divorce lawyer on your side to protect your rights and assets. When you work side-by-side with the attorneys at Long & Associates, they will help you understand the complex financial matters and how they impact the dissolution of your marriage, while also defending your interests and working to meet your objectives.

Contact Divorce Lawyers in Naples

Don’t fight this battle alone. Make sure every box is checked off when filing for divorce by working with Long & Associates. Our team of experienced divorce lawyers in Naples can help you build a strong case that benefits you and your family. Your rights and best interest will always be at the forefront as we work to resolve your divorce as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

To schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney in Naples, please call us at 239-316-1600 or visit


Learn About The New Family Law Rules in Florida – Long & Associates

Family Lawyers in Naples Explain the New Family Law Rules in Florida

A book that says Family Law

The Florida Supreme Court has announced an updated set of rules and procedures that pertain to family law cases. The new rules will start being enforced in the coming year. These reforms specifically include:

  1. Amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure – Forms 12.985 (a)-(g)
  2. Amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure – 2020 Regular Cycle Report

It’s important to take note of these changes because they could have significant implications for your case. Our family law attorneys in Naples have highlighted some of the relevant changes that have been made to family law rules in Florida:

  • Updated Collaborative Law Forms: The collaborative law process assists couples who are seeking a divorce to end their marriage in a non-adversarial or cooperative manner. There are always ways the system can be improved- which is why The Florida Supreme Court has added some updates to ensure that the process of divorce cases is efficient and smooth. At Long & Associates, we have family lawyers in Naples that are readily available to answer any questions you may have about how the updated collaborative law forms work.
  • Dismissal for Unpaid Service Fees: In the updated version of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.060(c) makes sure there is consistency with the state’s other civil procedure rules. According to this updated rule, the courts are required to dismiss an action without prejudice if the service fee is not paid within 30 days.
  • Mandatory Disclosures: There are certain financial details that you must disclose to your partner while getting a divorce. Fortunately, the new family law rule has brought more clarity as to what must be disclosed. You are required to submit three years of tax returns, six months of pay stubs, and possibly a credit report at the time of your divorce.
  • Grandparent Visitation Rights: A new form has been added to grandparent visitation rights. The added form is called the Petition for Grandparent Visitation with Minor Children. This updated form allows grandparents to file a petition for visitation rights under the limiting circumstances permitted by the Florida state statutes.


Need Help? Call Our Family Attorney in Naples

We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to decipher and understand family laws. If you need any assistance or have questions, please contact our experienced family lawyers in Naples at Long & Associates. Our family attorneys in Naples are well-versed in these updated rules so that they can properly assist you and your family.

To schedule a fully confidential consultation to review your case, feel free to call us at 239-316-1600 or visit Our family lawyers in Naples at Long & Associates serve communities throughout the region.

Divorce Lawyers News

What Are The Kinds of Cases That Family Lawyers Take?

What Kinds of Cases do Family Lawyers Handle?

Family of paper cut out family

Family turmoil is something nobody should ever have to go through, but unfortunately, issues within the family are very common and sometimes unavoidable. When major family problems arise, you want to make sure they are handled and taken care of correctly – with love and care. Experienced family lawyers at Long and Associates can help guide you through the legal process of your family problems and help you to find safe, long-term solutions. As family lawyers in Naples, we handle the following kinds of cases:


  1. Divorce Cases in Naples: Whether there are children involved or not, divorce is a very difficult thing for any family to have to endure. Luckily, a family attorney at Long and Associates in Naples can help act as an advisor to assist you in finding rational solutions within Florida Family Law. If you are about to file for divorce or are considering filing for a divorce, then you should contact a divorce attorney at Long and Associates in Naples for help and guidance.
  2. Child Custody Cases in Naples: When children are involved in a divorce, things can become very complicated, very quickly. Reaching an agreement on child custody and parenting time can be tiring and heartbreaking. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that the child’s best interests are being taken care of and that your children are safe. The team of family attorneys at Long and Associates in Naples can help prepare a Parenting Plan in which both parents agree on the terms of how their child/children will be raised now that they are separated.
  3. Represent Litigants in Naples: Not all family disputes end up at trial, in front of a judge who doesn’t know the specifics about your family like you do.  Family lawyers can help mediate and resolve issues without having to bring your personal issues to court. However, if the litigation gets out of hand or somehow worsens, the Family Lawyers at Long and Associates in Naples can help ensure that your legal positions are effectively presented to the Judge. The main goal of a Family Law Attorney handling a case like this is to help litigants (the individuals being sued) receive justice. The team at Long and Associates in Naples sees these kinds of cases daily, therefore, we have the proper experience to assist clients in prevailing at trial

Contact the Family Attorney’s at Long and Associates in Naples at 239-316-1600

Family lawyers are essential to handling difficult and complicated family matters. It is best to not try and make matters worse and instead find a family attorney who can help you calmly and rationally find a resolution. The Family Attorneys at Long and Associates can do just that. Our team of lawyers has the knowledge and expertise to help families settle legal issues like:

  • Dissolution of Marriage/Divorce
  • Alimony/Spousal Support
  • Parenting Plans/Child Custody
  • Equitable Distribution
  • Paternity Cases
  • Relocation Cases
  • Domestic Violence

To learn more about the family lawyers at Long and Associates in Naples and how they can help you resolve your family legal issues, schedule a consultation today. To schedule a consultation, you can call us at 239-316-1600 or visit


School Choice – Do you really have one?

School Choice – Do you really have one?

School Choice Right While Getting Divorce

School Choice – Do you really have one?

In the majority of Dissolution of Marriage cases involving children, Shared Parental Responsibility (“SPR”) is awarded to both parties.  SPR has nothing to do with Parenting Time or Visitation.  SPR addresses each parent’s decision-making authority over their children’s such as their health, education and general welfare.  One can imagine the difficulties this can raise after a contested divorce in trying to get on the same page with your former spouse on critical issues about your children’s future.

Where your child attends school, as an example, has been a hotly contested issue between divorced parents and can sometimes result in litigation and trial.  Children may have issues in their current school and want to change schools, a parent may move without consulting the other parent and that could impact the school zone and where the children can attend school, are a few examples illustrating the complexities involved.  Making this issue even more difficult is if you have a disagreement with your spouse as to where your children attend school, a parent cannot simply go to Court and ask the judge to decide which school the children should attend because the judge will not make that decision.  What the Court will address, is whether one parent is better suited to making the educational decisions on behalf of the children than the other parent; that is called Sole Parental Responsibility or Ultimate Decision-Making Authority.  The Court tends to narrow the scope of what decision-making authority it awards one of the parents to insure that the other parent isn’t at a significant disadvantage in raising his or her children.

If you’re having difficulties reaching decisions about your children with your former spouse, give us a call. We are here to help.


Social Media and Family Law

“Sharenting”-Sharing Online about Parenting

Social Media and Family Law - Naples Florida

Social Media and Family Law: How to Help Your Ex Win Their Case

Can your Facebook posts be used against you in court? Absolutely. All too frequently we see clients held in contempt for bad-mouthing or threatening their current or soon-to-be former spouse on social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram. A picture is worth a thousand words, and pictures of that lavish Caribbean vacation you just took and posted online will be used against you to show the Court that you really can afford to make those alimony and child support payments. It should also go without saying that if you’re abusing alcohol or drugs and posting evidence of this online, you should expect those pictures to rear their ugly head in court when your spouse accuses you of bad parenting and wants to modify the Parenting Plan.

The internet is not a private place, and we tend to forget that our “friends” on these social media platforms may not necessarily be our actual friends. We live in an age where the internet has made it possible for anyone and everyone to voice their opinions, and if your “friend” does not agree with that particularly brutal character assassination you just posted of your Ex – you may be in trouble. In Chace v. Loisel, Jr., 170 So.3d 802 (5th DCA), the Fifth District Court of Appeal poignantly explained the nature of Facebook relationships as follows:

“The word “friend” on Facebook is a term of art.  A number of words or phrases could more aptly describe the concept, including acquaintance and, sometimes, virtual stranger.  A Facebook friendship does not necessarily signify the existence of a close relationship. Other than the public nature of the internet, there is no difference between a Facebook “friend” and any other friendship a judge might have.” Id. At 803-804.

Social Media and Family Law

Trust us when we say that you will regret that post you made about that “lying, cheating, son of a ______ who isn’t paying child support.”   Posts and pictures can be downloaded and/or shared instantly (via text messages, e-mail, screenshots, etc.) by anyone who has access to your posts. Privacy settings do not prevent your friends or followers from sharing your posts. That same friend who commented and offered their unequivocal support for your cause can turn around in an instant and share that post of you slamming your Ex with the rest of the world.

In sum, make good choices. Think before you post. Once you hit “submit,” it’s game over.  It may feel fantastic to vent to the virtual world your list of grievances against your Ex, but know that those 30 seconds of euphoria you felt when Facebook united behind your cause will likely result in you getting an expedited meeting with the Judge presiding over your case and that they most likely will not be pleased with your use of social media.

Long & Associates, P.A. represent clients in all areas of family law litigation. This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation. Please contact Long & Associates, P.A. at 239-316-1600 or e-mail us at to set a confidential appointment with one of our Naples Family Law attorneys today.


“Sharenting”-Sharing Online about Parenting

“Sharenting”-Sharing Online about Parenting

Naples Divorce Law

Before you share that picture of your child online, or submit that post complaining about your child’s other parent, consider the consequences. In the article below, University of Florida Law Professor Stacey Steinberg addresses “sharenting,” or online sharing about parenting, and the potentially damaging effects our social media habits can have on our kids. We, as a culture, tend to share pictures of our children online without any thought or consideration to their privacy. Posts you shared online during your divorce that critique your former spouse will inevitably be seen by your children when they’re older, and we need to be more cognizant of how our online behavior is shaping our children.  Long & Associates, P.A. represent clients in all areas of family law litigation. Please contact Long & Associates, P.A. at 239-316-1600 or e-mail us at to set a confidential appointment with one of our Naples Family Law attorneys today.



Modifying your parenting plan or child support

Modifying your parenting plan or child support

Sharenting -Sharing Online about Parenting _ Get Best Divorce Advice

Divorce in another state? Modifying your parenting plan or child support may not be as easy you think.

Did you and your kids move to Florida after divorcing in another State? Unfortunately, current State and Federal laws may make modifying your out-of-state parenting plan or child support order difficult to accomplish and force you to litigate in more than one State. Sounds crazy, right? But in Kessinger v. Kessinger, 228 So.3d 1201 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017), the Second District recently reversed a trial court’s judgment domesticating an out-of-state divorce judgment and child custody order for lack of jurisdiction (legal authority to modify) even though Dad and child lived together in Florida.

In Kessinger, the parties divorced in the State of New York in 2011. The parties’ Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage incorporated a custody arrangement declaring the Mother as the primary residential parent and required the Father to provide child support for the parties’ three (3) minor children until age 21.

Both parties eventually moved out of New York. The Father moved to Florida, and the Mother moved to Georgia. In 2015, the Father filed a petition to domesticate and modify the New York judgment based child custody and support orders.  He filed the petition in Florida.  At the time he filed, two of the parties’ children were 18 and the youngest lived with the Father in Florida. Understandably, the Father wanted to recalculate child support and modify his parenting plan to reflect the current timesharing arrangement.

Seems like a no-brainer, right? If Dad and the youngest child live here, why shouldn’t he be able to modify the old, no longer relevant, court order(s) to reflect the parties’ current arrangement?  Proper jurisdiction matters, and the First District Court of Appeals had to reverse and vacate the trial court’s order granting the Father’s Petition, and dismiss the Father’s petition, because Florida simply did not have jurisdiction to grant the relief requested by the Father.

So, what happened, and why?

Mistake #1: Trying to modify timesharing in Florida.  As it relates the Father’s request to modify the parenting plan, the First District pointed out that at the time of filing, Florida was not yet the child’s home state. Subject matter jurisdiction over child custody matters is governed in Florida by what is called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”). Fla. Stat. §§61.501-61.542 (2017). Under Fla. Stat. §61.503, Florida is the child’s “home state” once the child has lived in Florida for at least six (6) consecutive months immediately before commencement of a child custody proceeding. Kessinger doesn’t tell us how long the child had been living with the Father in Florida but based on the appellate’ s court’s ruling, we can assume it was less than 6 months before the Father filed.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the UCCJEA does not govern interstate child support matters. Florida has adopted into its laws a federal law known as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”). Fla. Stat. §§ 88.0011-88.9031.  UIFSA is intended to provide uniformity amongst the states for child support procedures, but as discussed below, it makes little practical sense when applying it to modern day scenarios. Which leads us to…

Mistake #2: Trying to modify child support in Florida. Fla. Stat. §88.6131 allows modification of a foreign (out-of-state) child support order only if both parties reside in Florida.  If only one (1) party resides in Florida, Fla. Stat §88.6111 applies and will allow Florida to modify the foreign child support order if the party requesting modification (petitioner) is NOT a Florida resident or if both parties sign a consent giving Florida jurisdiction. Come again? You read that right.  In Kessinger, because the Father was a resident of the State of Florida, he was forbidden from modifying child support here unless the Mother consented to Florida’s jurisdiction (which obviously, she did not).

You’re not alone if you think this defies common sense:

“The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, mandated by federal legislation, became effective July 1, 1997. It contains possible the most cumbersome, redundancy filled, unscholarly, confusing and poorly written set of civil remedies imaginable.” Trawick’s Florida Practice and Procedure (2005).

In short, the Father in Kessinger will be stuck litigating timesharing in Florida and child support in Georgia. The only way to modify his child support obligation through a Court here in Florida is if the Mother moves to Florida, or if she signs a document consenting to Florida’s jurisdiction to modify support.

Kessinger teaches us that we must proceed with caution before attempting to litigate an out-of-state Order. A complete understanding of both State and Federal laws is necessary to avoid the Court dismissing your case for lack of jurisdiction. Long & Associates, P.A. represent clients in all areas of family law litigation. Please contact Long & Associates, P.A. at 239-316-1600 or e-mail us at to set a confidential appointment with one of our Naples Family Law attorneys today.

Florida State Statutes

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act


Tax code related to child support

Tax code related to child support

Tax code related to child support

With the new tax code changes this past year, it is good to keep up on the impact that the child tax credit has on your potential settlement agreements as it relates to child support and children’s financial issues. Feel free to contact our office to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your options. We are here to assist you with your marital and family law matters. – What The Expanded Child Tax Credit Looks Like After Tax Reform

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Alimony After the 2017 Tax Act


Alimony After the 2017 Tax Act

Alimony After the 2017 Tax Act

Alimony After the 2017 Tax Act - Get More Information at Lanaples

Alimony After the 2017 Tax Act

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law tax reform legislation (Pub. L. No. 115-97, the “Act”) that repeals the long-standing tax treatment of alimony payments as deductible to the paying spouse. What does this (Alimony After the 2017 Tax Act) mean, and how could it affect your divorce?

FWell, generally speaking, effective January 1, 2019 a payor spouse will no longer be able to deduct alimony payments from their gross income. Alimony is almost always a highly contentious and emotional subject during divorce negotiations, and the Act has singlehandedly destroyed any leverage a payee spouse had to negotiate a higher alimony award.  Why, you say? Payor spouses are generally in higher tax brackets than alimony recipients, and the Act has taken away the amount of tax savings the payor spouse previously received by deducting alimony payments. The Act has disincentivized the payor spouse from paying a higher alimony amount because ultimately, there will be less money in the pot at the end of the day to divvy up.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the Act can also apply to divorce or separation “instruments” entered into on or before December 31, 2018 and modified after that date, so long as the modification expressly provides that the Act should apply to the modification. Scratching your head?

Here’s the practical application: You and your Ex-Spouse amicably settled your divorce out of Court, entered into the terms of a Marital Settlement Agreement, and divorced in 2010. You move the Court to modify the terms of the Marital Settlement Agreement (the “Agreement”) to decrease alimony payments. Under the terms of the Agreement, the alimony payments are currently classified as taxable to your Ex-Spouse, and deductible to you. If the Court grants your request, the Court now has the discretion to either apply the Act and tax YOU on the alimony payments or continue to classify the payments as taxable and deductible. The point is – it’s up to the Court, not you.

And what about prenuptial agreements? Does a prenuptial agreement qualify as a “divorce or separation instrument?” It’s still up for debate, but in all likelihood, probably not. Current tax law defines a divorce or separation instrument as:

  • “A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to that decree;
  • A written separation agreement, or
  • A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse.” See L. No.504

If your prenuptial agreement includes terms governing alimony that are no longer in line with current law, you should strongly consider revisiting your prenup to determine the extent to which you, or your spouse, may have greater tax obligations once the deduction for alimony is removed.

Concerned about the way your prenup handles alimony? Long & Associates, P.A. represent clients in all areas of family law litigation. Please contact Long & Associates, P.A. at 239-316-1600 or e-mail us at to set a confidential appointment with one of our Naples Family Law attorneys today.


How to File for Divorce in Naples, Florida

How to File for Divorce in Naples, Florida

How to file for divorce in Naples Florida - Contact Long & Associates

How to file for divorce in Naples Florida

Divorce is so much more than just a difficult emotional decision. It is also a difficult legal and financial decision that can have an impact on various aspects of your life. The decisions you make during your divorce can affect how your assets and debts will be divided, where your children will live, your retirement plan and your savings and investments. If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Naples, Florida, you may want to speak to a divorce law firm like Long & Associates, P.A. today.  Our divorce law firm can evaluate your situation, help you understand your legal options and rights, and assist you in developing the best strategy moving forward. The decisions you make during your divorce in Florida can impact your family for years to come.  Getting proper legal counsel before you agree to a divorce settlement or before you finalize your divorce may be wise.

Regular vs. Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in Florida

In Florida, there are two ways you can file for divorce: by using Florida’s regular dissolution of marriage process or by using the simplified dissolution of marriage process. Dissolution of marriage is the term used by the courts to describe divorce. Couples who agree about all aspects of their divorce and those who do not have children may be able to use the simplified dissolution of marriage process. While it is possible to file for a simplified dissolution of marriage without the assistance of a lawyer or attorney, before you choose this option, it may still be wise to speak to a Family Law Attorney. Couples who file for a simplified dissolution of marriage process in Florida surrender certain rights, including the right to cross-examine witnesses and the right to receive disclosures about each married party’s assets, liabilities and finances. If you are a high-net worth individual or if you have substantial property, debts, or assets, a simplified divorce may not be the best option for you.

Who can file for a simplified divorce? According to the Florida Bar, couples can file for a simplified divorce if both parties agree to proceed with the simplified divorce, if there are no minor or dependent children in the marriage, if neither party is pregnant, if both parties agree about how to divide their assets and debts, if neither party wants alimony, and if both parties agree that the marriage is over.  In order to file for a simplified dissolution of marriage, one party must have resided in Florida for at least six (6) months prior to filing for divorce in order to meet Florida’s residency requirements.

However, if you and your partner have children, if you have significant assets or debts and need to make decisions about how these assets will be divided, or if you need assistance with the divorce process, a regular dissolution of marriage may be best suited for you. During the regular dissolution of marriage process, both parties are required to make financial disclosures.  If you plan to seek alimony, the regular dissolution of marriage process should also be used. Finally, with the regular dissolution of marriage process, both parties can go to court to resolve their differences about how to divide assets, property, and debt.

Divorce can have major implications for your financial life. Even if you think that you and your partner agree about how to divide assets and even if you qualify for a simplified divorce in Florida, it is highly recommended that both parties seek legal counsel before finalizing their divorce or even before filing.  Do you have questions about whether a simplified or regular dissolution of marriage procedure is right for you?  Do you have questions about how to divide assets and debts during your divorce, and your legal rights regarding these matters?   If so, reach out to Long & Associates, P.A., a divorce law firm in Naples, Florida today. Our attorneys can review your situation, help you understand your legal rights and options under the law, and assist you with the next steps. You are not alone. Long & Associates, P.A. may be able to help you.

Other Factors That May Need to Be Considered in Your Florida Divorce

If you and your partner have children, you’ll need to make decisions about where the children will reside and how major decisions for the children will be made. It will need to be determined whether one parent will have the majority of the parenting time or you will have equal parenting time.  There are also decisions about child support and related support issues such as extracurricular activities that need to be resolved.  Some of the most challenging aspects of any divorce can be those that involve parenting time and support.  This is why it is important to have a divorce and child custody lawyer on your side, helping you understand the law and your rights under the law. Long & Associates, P.A. is a divorce law firm in Naples, Florida that works closely with individuals during this understandably difficult time to help them get the best possible divorce settlement permitted under the law. Reach out to Long & Associates today or connect with Long & Associates, P.A.  to schedule an appointment with one of the Family Law

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Things to Consider If You’re Getting Divorced During the Coronavirus Pandemic