Going through a divorce can be the single most stressful and emotionally draining periods in a person’s life. There are many important decisions to be made during the divorce process that can be difficult to make without competent, knowledgeable legal representation. You should select a lawyer with whom you feel you can trust. Your lawyer is your advocate. It is imperative for you to feel that you can talk openly with your lawyer and that your lawyer is furthering your objectives in the dissolution proceeding so long as your objectives are supported by the law.
Divorce in Florida
There are a few basic rules that apply to everyone seeking a divorce in Florida, including military families:
Residency: In order to seek a divorce in Florida, one or both parties must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. Fault: Florida is a no fault state: you do not need to prove that someone was at fault, only that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
People commonly think of property division as the division of personal property: Who will live in the home? Who will have the car? How will the furniture be divided?
But there are a number of other, longer-term issues that must be considered as well. We can help you understand the full implications of dividing your marital property.
Divorcing parents will need to create an appropriate parenting plan that serves in the child’s best interests. Ultimately, it is best for the parents to work together to come up with a parenting plan. However, if the parents cannot agree to a parenting plan, Florida courts require the parents to participate in mediation before a court will make a final decision in the matter. Florida also requires the parents to complete a parenting class that is offered in the county where the case has been filed.
Calculating & Paying Child Support
One of the parents may be ordered to pay child support. The state of Florida has child support guidelines and worksheets/calculations which specify the amount of support that should be paid based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the incomes of the parents, the visitation schedule, daycare and medical insurance costs.
Alimony in Florida
In a divorce proceeding, the court may grant alimony to either party. There are five types of alimony in divorce cases: permanent, rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, temporary and lump sum alimony.
In determining a proper award of alimony in your divorce, the Florida court shall consider all relevant economic factors, including but not limited to:
The standard of living established during the marriage.
The duration of the marriage.
The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
The financial resources of each party, the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
All sources of income available to either party.
The court may also consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties. Florida Statute §61.08.
Requesting or defending a claim for any type of alimony in a divorce proceeding can be a complex process. If specific procedures are not followed, a request for alimony in Florida may be denied. At the the Bowes Law Group we have extensive knowledge of the legal requirements for all types of alimony. With our experience we will effectively guide you through the process and protect your rights with regard to all types of alimony.
As a general rule, in the state of Florida, property acquired during the marriage is split evenly, regardless of whose name the property is in. As with any general rule, there are exceptions. The courts can change the percentage depending on the parties’ specific circumstances.
First, you must consider whether you need an attorney. Some divorces are not complicated and can be concluded with little disagreement. For example, if there is no or little property, no children and you and your spouse are in agreement. However, when there is property or children, most divorce proceedings begin with one party contacting a lawyer. That lawyer will prepare the petition, which starts the legal process. The lawyer files the petition with the court and serves a copy on the other spouse. The other spouse is then required to answer the complaint within a certain time, which often results in that other spouse seeking a lawyer.
The lawyers will engage in “discovery.” Discovery is the exchange between each spouse’s lawyer of documents and other information that are relevant to the divorce proceedings. During this period, the spouses, through their lawyers, will attempt to reach an agreed upon resolution in all matters. If an agreement is reached, it is submitted to the Court for approval. If the Court does not approve the agreement, or more often, if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case will go to trial.
If the case goes to trial, lawyers for both spouses will present testimony and evidence to the Court. The Court will then make the decisions about alimony, child support, child visitation, etc. The Court’s decision can be appealed to a higher court.