Regardless of the cause or what the final straw was, you may now find yourself in the middle of a divorce. You may or may not have hired a divorce attorney, but you want to learn more about your rights.
Here is a list of some things you should be aware of while going through your divorce, and to get you started.
What Happens to My Home?
Like many married couples, you probably have purchased a home or other property as a joint investment. When it’s time to consider a divorce and begin the process, you might be wondering what will happen to your home. Three things can happen to the marital home when you get divorced:
1) You stay there
2) Your spouse stays there
3) You sell the home to a third party and both spouses split the sale.
Options 1 and 2 require buyouts by the other spouse. If you sell the house, the net proceeds (or debt) will likely be split down the middle—after the mortgage(s), taxes, and other expenses are paid.
What if I Have Other Assets or Debts?
This “other” category encompasses just about everything, which can include:
- Other real estate or property
- Investment accounts
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Other personal property
In Florida, a couple’s total marital estate will be divided equally. The same goes for all debts. The presumption in Florida is that the combined value of assets and debts will be split equally for both parties. However, there are some exceptions, and you should discuss these possible exceptions with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
What if We Have Children?
Both you and your co-parent have rights when it comes to parenting your children—even after a divorce. A parenting plan and time sharing agreement will detail a parenting schedule and responsibilities that each parent must follow. This time sharing agreement will become an official court document that goes along with your divorce.
Who Will Receive Support?
Child Support: You may be entitled to receive child and/or spousal support from your ex. Child support is determined by guidelines set by the Florida legislature and is essentially a formula that takes into consideration your income, your co-parent’s income, the cost of childcare and healthcare (for the children only), and the percentage of time each parent has care of the children.
Spousal Support (Alimony): Spousal support is not so black and white. You are not automatically entitled to spousal support—even if your spouse committed adultery. The court will consider a number of factors in determining whether to award spousal support including the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of the parties, the health and age of the parties, and other factors. Before accepting an offer of alimony or waiving your right to alimony altogether, it is very important that you speak with an attorney.
Also Read : How to Understand Alimony in Florida
It is also important to note that child support and spousal support may be modified over time if a substantial change in circumstances occurs that was not foreseen at the time of divorce. But, the burden of proof is significant. Moreover, once a property division has been agreed upon or court-ordered, it cannot be modified (unless you can prove fraud).
Consult with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney
This is why it is crucial that you know your rights when going through your divorce. You may not think you need one, but consulting with an experienced family law attorney will help you better understand your rights, and ensure they are protected, call at 305-358-2330.