Family and divorce law combines some unique legal rules with an emotional burden that often comes with decisions associated with this area of the law. This often includes decisions about some of the most private aspects of your life, like your spousal relationship and your children.
For example, divorce touches a number of other family law issues. Below are some of the basic considerations that you need to know about family and divorce law in Florida.
Requirements for Divorce in Florida
It is important to note that Florida refers to divorce as a “dissolution of marriage.” Like many states, Florida first requires that either you or your spouse are a resident of Florida to file for divorce.
You or your spouse could also be stationed there with the armed forces and meet this requirement. Either of these require that the resident has been in Florida for at least six months.
Second, you or your spouse must prove that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” There isn’t much to this standard. It can be due to a variety of reasons, but to simply grant the dissolution of marriage, the Court may not even need to know why you want a divorce.
However, the reason for the breakdown might be relevant to other decisions related to the divorce such as alimony, distribution of property, and creating parenting plan if you have children.
Read more about the divorce requirements in Florida.
Dividing Property in a Dissolution of Marriage
In Florida, your property is divided as equitably as possible in a dissolution of marriage. Generally, that means that all of the property acquired during the marriage will be divided in half. This is not always possible, and the Court may need to make some adjustments to make it as fair as possible.
Visit this site here to know about the division of property and assets in a Florida divorce.
If you have property or assets that you acquired before the marriage, then those assets typically don’t get thrown into the mix of marital assets; instead, those assets or property are not affected at all by the divorce.
Examples of other non-marital property might include:
- Property that was excluded by conditions in a prenuptial agreement
- Personal injury proceeds
- Gifts to just one of the spouses
If you and your spouse agree on how to divide the property from your marriage, then there is no need to have trial. However, it often takes the skilled negotiation skills of Miami divorce attorney to determine how property should be divided.
Awarding Alimony or Spousal Support
Alimony is a monetary award where one spouse pays the other on a regular basis. Courts often award alimony because one spouse’s earnings or property are significantly higher than the other. In some situations, an award of alimony could also be in a lump sum.
In Florida, there are several times of alimony that could be awarded:
- Bridge-the-Gap: This type of alimony is awarded just to satisfy a short-term need. It could be as short as a few months or it may last several years. Usually, it is simply a method to allow the spouse to “get back on their feet again.” For example, if one spouse was working outside the home, and the other was not, the other spouse may need funds while they look for a job. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to meet this type of need.
- Rehabilitative: This type of alimony is similar to bridge-the-gap alimony, but it may be longer in duration. This alimony allows the spouse that was not able to support themselves at the time of the divorce to gain the skills and knowledge needed to be able to support themselves after the divorce. This often involves one spouse going back to school or receiving additional job training.
- Durational: This type of alimony is used in situations where permanent alimony may not be appropriate. You would often see this type of alimony in shorter marriages. Durational alimony cannot last longer than the marriage.
- Permanent: This type of alimony is used as a way to balance out unequal earning capacities or potential. As the name implies, it is permanent, and will last until one of the spouses dies or the spouse receiving the alimony remarries.
There is some debate right now about whether permanent alimony will continue in Florida. In fact, as of April 12, 2016, a bill is sitting on the Governor’s desk to abolish permanent alimony. Read more about that here.
Child Support and Child Custody
Child custody is always an emotionally charged issue in a divorce. If the parents cannot come to an agreement about custody, the Court will consider what type of arrangement would be “in the best interests of the child.” This is an extremely fact-intensive analysis, and an extremely difficult decision in many cases.
Read more about child custody here.
The Court may also award child support in situations where one parent is caring for the child the majority of the time. This award is based on the relative income of the spouses, the age of the child, and the child’s needs. The Florida family law court will look to the standard needs table for guidance.
Getting Legal Help from a Florida Family and Divorce Lawyer
You may not need an attorney if you and your spouse can agree to everything that flows from a divorce. However, these situations are often just wishful thinking for many former couples. You need a Miami divorce lawyer who focuses on Florida family and divorce law to help.
Visit here to get started with a Miami divorce lawyer today.