Florida divorce law can be complicated. Court proceedings can be long and difficult to navigate without proper guidance and education. Realizing that divorce is necessary and in your future is never an easy time. Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences you will ever have to face, whether or not children are involved. Most people don’t know or understand all the options and outcomes available to them. Future litigation is avoidable through proper representation and careful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You need a vigorous advocate throughout your mediation and/or trial. Everyone’s definition of “fair” is different. I work hard to reduce the level of conflict between the divorcing parties, settle when possible, and prepare you for litigation when necessary. However your divorce plays out, I will make sure that you are prepared and ready for each new development in the procedure.
Child Custody. Florida divorce law no longer uses the word “custody”. Instead, you are required to agree on a Parenting Plan. The Plan addresses which parent is responsible for what aspect of the child’s life. Shared parental responsibility is presumed to be in the child’s best interest. The Parenting Plan must contain a Time Sharing Schedule which describes the periods children spend with each parent. Parenting issues are always the most difficult to resolve in divorce cases. I will explain Florida law and assist you in developing a Parenting Plan and a Time Sharing Schedule that works for you and your children. Should you fail to reach an agreement, a Judge will establish a Parenting Plan and a Time Sharing Schedule.
Property Distribution. Florida divorce law provides that when you divorce, your assets and debts are an issue. Each asset and debt is identified and described. The asset or debt is classified as marital or non marital. The asset or debt is valued. Finally, the asset is distributed between the spouses equitably, which usually means equally. The complication in divorce is in valuing assets that are difficult to value and identifying and tracing claims of non marital assets, such as inheritances, gifts, or assets acquired prior to the marriage. Each debt is identified and classified as marital or non marital. The debt is allocated equitably between the spouses, which again usually means equally. I will help you develop an equitable distribution schedule that is most advantageous to you.
Alimony. Issues relating to alimony can be some of the most difficult to resolve. Judges have wide discretion on whether to award any alimony, what kind of alimony to award, and for how long. Alimony can be temporary, permanent, lump-sum or for a specified period of time. The factors in awarding alimony include the need of the receiving spouse, ability of the paying spouse, the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage, work history, length of the marriage, and contributions to the marriage, among other factors. I will assist you to determine your entitlement to alimony or exposure to pay alimony.
Child Support. Once a Parenting Plan containing a Time Sharing Schedule is established, child support is calculated. Child support is based on the parents’ combined income, the costs of child care and health insurance and the time sharing schedule. I will explain Florida’s Child Support Guidelines to you.
Attorney’s Fees.Either spouse can ask for attorney’s fees and costs on a temporary or permanent basis. Attorney’s fees are awarded based on a number of factors, including need and ability to pay.
I will explain the legal proceedings, Florida divorce law and the involved legal language. Florida divorce law is complex. You are concerned about the process, cost, and changes you are facing. I am your ally throughout the duration of the divorce process to ease the transition to your life’s new chapter.