Florida Divorce Basics You Need to Know
Going through a divorce, especially in Florida, can be a long, tedious process. The state has several complex statutes that you must navigate successfully, that’s why you shouldn’t try to go through the process alone. The Orlando contested divorce attorneys at O’Mara Law Group have the experience to help you get through the process as quickly and as stress free as possible. In the meantime, the following includes a number of important issues about the divorce basics in Florida. Mark is Board Certified in Marital and Family Law, and we have a great team to help you through these difficult times.
Children are the primary concern for the Court to address, and must remain the focus of the divorcing spouses and the attorneys. If the parents are able to agree on how parenting and timesharing will be handled between the two of them, a Florida judge will likely agree with the arrangement, as long as the terms of it don’t conflict with Florida Shared Parenting laws. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, mediation in the next step, or, if necessary, the judge will make a determination of parenting and visitation based on what they consider to be in the best interest of the child. Florida law does not give one parent preference over the other when determining child parenting issues. Instead, the child parenting and visitation plans will depend on the circumstances and facts of each specific case.
Equitable Distribution of Assets
In Florida, all marital liabilities and assets will be subjected to equitable distribution. Florida law require this distribution unless there is legal justification for distributing the assets and debts unequally based on relevant statutory factors. A divorce attorney will be able to help you determine how your assets may be divided. While premarital assets may be maintained as truly premarital, if they are comingled with marital assets, they may lose their individual nature. As an example, an inheritance, if kept in a separate account, will stay non-marital. But if you take that same inheritance and put it into a joint account, or continually use it for marital purposes, it may become marital and subject to distribution.
This is also referred to as spousal support and is the payment of money to one ex-spouse from the other. Florida law gives the option of awarding five types of alimony during a divorce – temporary, rehabilitative, bridge the gap, durational, and permanent. A judge can also award a combination of these types of alimony and the payments may be made periodically or in one lump sum. Basically, if there is a significant differential income between the spouses and the marriage is of sufficient length, the Court can award alimony.
If minor children are involved in the divorce, the judge will also make a determination for child support. How much the child support will be is based on the net income of the parents, the time sharing arrangement, and the number of children involved. The judge will follow the Child Support Guidelines of the state, however, they do have the discretion to deviate from the guidelines.
Contact a Florida Divorce Attorney Today
In addition to the above Florida divorce basics, you may have additional things to consider. Do you need to file bankruptcy with your divorce? Do you want your name changed? There are many dynamics involved in divorces that most people do not understand. Many times spouses will threaten criminal prosecution, or to disclose acts such as drug use or non-payment of taxes, thinking that will lead to an advantage, when often the opposite is true. The attorneys at O’Mara Law Group can help ensure that every aspect is taken care of if you are facing divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.