Coming to the conclusion that a divorce is in your future is never an easy decision, especially when children are involved. Before you try to go it alone or decide you want to share a divorce attorney, here are five things you should know about divorce in Florida.
1. Your Debts and Assets are Both Equally Divided
Many people heading into a divorce focus on dividing assets and forget about the debts. Debts are divided equally between both parties unless a it was incurred before the marriage (like a student loan). This includes mortgages and car payments. The only exception is if one party plans on staying in the home with the minor children to raise them, then the mortgage may be ordered to be refinanced into that party’s name.
2. There is a lot of Paperwork
One of the reasons a divorce attorney can be your biggest advocate in the divorce proceedings is because of the paperwork. You have to provide affidavits of marital assets and non-marital assets along with your debts. You need to provide three years of tax returns and come to a decision about filing the current year’s taxes. If minor children are involved, you’ll need to set up a parenting plan, figure out whose medical insurance will cover them, determine child support, and even who will claim the children in subsequent years on their taxes.
3. Spousal Support has Many Qualifications
Even if your spouse made more than you throughout the marriage, you may not be entitled to spousal support, also known as alimony. In Florida, the contributing factors include how long you were married, how much each party makes, standards of living throughout the marriage, if there are children and the age of those children as well as any extenuating circumstances with the children.
4. Child Custody and Support
In most cases, it’s in the best interest of the children to have time with both parents. If you believe that they shouldn’t have unsupervised or overnight visitation with the other parent, you need a divorce attorney to help gather evidence and prepare it for court. The amount of time spent with each parent, in part, determines how much child support one party receives.
5. It’s Always Irreconcilable Differences
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. Although you may have reasons for your separation and divorce, nothing will be stated on the paperwork. As long as you have no children and agree that you both want to dissolve the marriage, once you have agreed on the separation of assets and debts, you can get a divorce fairly quickly. If you have children or don’t agree on things, you may be ordered into counseling and/or mediation.
If you need a divorce attorney to help you through the paperwork and to help you obtain a fair settlement during the process, call Wagstaff Family Law. We’re experienced in Florida divorce law and ready to help. Call (727) 584-8182 to schedule your initial consultation.