Under Florida law, a husband or wife does not use traditional fault grounds such as adultery or abandonment when seeking to dissolve the union.
Either spouse can file for divorce only on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that the other spouse suffers from mental incapacity. However, evidence of improper behavior might be considered during alimony or asset division determinations.
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By working with a lawyer, you will have access to a firm with an ethical responsibility to get the job done for you. It can also be a wise decision to work with a team that is obligated to let you know when certain choices might cause a challenge later on after the divorce or might improperly fail to account for some important matter. Whenever possible, parents should try to find common ground that fosters healthy communication for the years to come. Each situation is unique and it takes a full understanding of the circumstances to make an informed assessment regarding alimony.
A key factor is how long the marriage lasted, with unions of at least 17 years qualifying for long-term status under state law. Wives or husbands who have taken care of the household and children for long periods of time are more likely to be given some support while they work to regain their earning ability.
As an equitable distribution state, Florida gives its judges wide latitude to decide what is fair when dividing marital assets and debts.
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Couples who wish to protect their assets and create clear terms concerning property division and alimony can do so through prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. The language used in these documents is often honored by courts but can be disregarded if the agreement was signed under duress or as a result of fraud.
Unless there is a reason that it would be detrimental to your childs upbringing, the court will usually grant shared responsibility. Sometimes the court will give one parent responsibility over specific aspects of a childs welfare, such as primary residence, education or medical care.
The court will consider the moral fitness of you and your spouse as parents, your abilities to provide for the child and the preference of the child, among other factors. Divorce laws in Florida include child support guidelines that judges use to figure out the support needed for a child and how much each parent has to pay.
The court looks at both parents incomes and the childs health and child care costs. Floridas standard needs table lists support amounts based on the childs age and the parents income. The court can also set aside joint or separate assets of the parents in a trust or fund for future support and education for the children. The court will need to know about all of your assets in order to divide them.
Make copies of tax returns, bank statements, mortgage documents and any other financial information possible. This will save you time and money down the road. You should also take inventory of your major household and family possessions. A detailed household budget will help the court determine how much temporary support can be paid as well as if either you or your spouse can realistically afford your marital home on your own.
Any debt incurred before the marriage, such as educational debt, is not considered while dividing debts. Like assets, the debts will be divided equitably. If you have a mortgage, the court may order both of you to split the debt; if you stay in the home, the mortgage may be restructured to make you the sole owner and borrower. It is important to think about how a divorce, for Florida residents, will change your taxes.
Property transfers, taxability of alimony payments and dependency deductions for children may all affect your tax filing status.
How to File for Divorce for Free in Florida
Working with an accountant along with your lawyer will help you avoid making mistakes you may not be able to fix after the divorce. Site Map.
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