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Divorce for Professional Athletes

Miami Attorney Skilled in Complex Family Law Matters

While it is a dream job for many people, the life of a professional athlete is not always as easy or as glamorous as the public would like to believe. The job may come with impressive wealth and a degree of fame that people in more traditional careers may not achieve, but there is a price. Physical injuries, the pressure of constant media scrutiny, and frequent absences from home can take their toll on a player’s marriage and family life. The fact is that divorce happens to professional athletes just as it happens to people who have other jobs. Miami divorce lawyer Sandy T. Fox is a Florida Bar Board Certified marital and family law specialist who handles divorce for professional athletes. He understands the unique position of people in pro sports when it comes to matters like property division, child custody, and child support.

The divorce rate for professional athletes is considerably higher than the national average. By some estimates, as many as four out of five professional athletes may be involved in a divorce at some point in their lives. It is not unusual for a player’s reputation to be compromised during a marital dissolution, especially if there have been allegations of physical abuse or domestic violence, even if the allegations are later proven to be false. While Florida is a “no fault” divorce state, in which it is unnecessary for a spouse to prove any specific form of misconduct to get a divorce, it is not unusual for a spouse to attempt to get leverage by airing the couple’s dirty laundry in the court of public opinion.

Dividing Property and Debts and Making Provisions for Children

Florida courts are tasked with the responsibility of making a fair and equitable distribution of a couple’s assets and liabilities if the spouses cannot reach an agreement about these matters on their own. Dividing the assets of a couple in which one of the spouses is a professional athlete can be very contentious. It is likely that one spouse has a much higher earning capacity than the other – but this earning capacity may be only for the short term. Typically, a pro athlete’s earning capacity peaks somewhere in his or her 20s (although this may vary by sport) and rapidly tapers off as he or she ages out of the profession. This leaves a lot of years ahead. If the athlete has been careful and managed their assets well, there may be enough to support them for many years to come. However, poor management, bad decisions, and losing a substantial portion of those hard-earned assets in a divorce can result in a drastic lowering of a player’s standard of living in their post-retirement years. Thus, it is important that a professional athlete receive representation from a knowledgeable divorce attorney to protect their future.

Child custody and support matters also may be handled differently in divorce for professional athletes. The lifestyle of a professional athlete typically involves a lot of travel, which could factor into the court’s decision regarding what is in the best interests of any minor children when it comes to the issue of custody. Child support can be a challenging issue as well, given potential variations in a player’s income not only over the course of his or her career but also during a given year. For example, they might receive bonuses or endorsement deals only in a certain year. Even after a divorce becomes final, it is not unusual for some of the issues in a professional athlete’s divorce to be subject to modification due to a change in the circumstances or financial capacities of the parties in the future.

Contact a Knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer in the Miami Area

In South Florida, we are fortunate to have several professional sports teams, and many of these players make their homes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. If you need assistance regarding a divorce as a professional athlete or the spouse of a professional athlete, you need reliable legal advice directed to your unique situation. For an appointment to discuss your case with an attorney familiar with divorce for professional athletes, call Sandy T. Fox, P.A. today at 800.596.0579 or contact us online. We represent people in Miami, Aventura, Hollywood, and other cities in South Florida.