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5 Helpful Things to Know About Florida Family and Divorce Law
Life changes can sometimes feel overwhelming and divorce is definitely not excused from this likelihood. Before you file for you begin looking for a Miami divorce attorney, there are a few things you should know that will save finances and time in the long run.
Florida Divorce Requirements
Have you or your spouse decided it’s time to go your separate ways and one of the two of you live in Florida? If one of you isn’t a resident of Florida, you must be stationed on a military base within the state. If you both agree that the marriage is over, you can cite “irreconcilable differences” and mutually put it in writing that the marriage is over.
If either of you denies that the marriage is beyond repair or a child is involved the court will likely order the two of you seek marriage counseling for up to 90 days.
Beginning the Divorce Process in Florida
Divorces are also referred to as a dissolution of marriage. In Florida, your divorce begins legally at the point when you or your spouse go to the Family Department to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the local circuit court. The non-filing spouse will be served with the divorce papers. He or she will be given time to answer the suit.
There has to be an agreement between both parties of the marriage on multiple factors. First, debt has to be divided and agreed upon just the same as property. If there are any children from the marriage, if custody of the child and visitation have been agreed upon and put in writing by both parties, there won’t be a need for a trial in order to finalize the divorce.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the court will give both parties (and their legal representation) an assigned time for the hearing.
Assets from the Marriage
Assets and debts that are collected over the time of the marriage are called marital assets. The debts are divided equitably as are any assets. Any property a party owned prior to the marriage is non-marital assets only if the property was kept separate from the marital assets. Both parties in the divorce can retain their non-marital assets.
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is an obligation for the provisional partner in the marriage to continue to support the other financially. In Florida divorce court, the court can order spousal support. The factors that will be taken into consideration are:
- how long did the marriage last
- what was the couples’ standard of living
- age and health of each spouse
If the two parties in a divorce cannot come to an agreement on who will be the custodial parent, the court will decide where the child will live according to his/her/their best interest. Unless it is found to be a harm to the child’s development and upbringing, the court will normally award shared custody. The court will take into consideration who can provide the best primary residence and education. Depending on the child’s age, his/her preference will matter as well.
Child Support Paid by the Non-custodial Parent
Florida divorce laws have jurisdiction over child support guidelines. Judges follow these guidelines in order to decide how much support is needed to properly take care of the child and what portion the non-custodial parent will pay to the custodial parent. Both parents’ income will be taken into consideration as well as the child’s medical and daycare costs. The court may also choose to set aside assets in a trust fund for the child’s future support and educational costs.