All happy stories begin with meeting a soulmate, you fall in love with them deep into the oceans, get engaged, have a wedding of a lifetime, and maybe even have children. Unfortunately, some don’t always go the happy route, and not all marriages end up working out. In fact, approximately 50% of married couples today end up in divorce.
After spending years trying to build a marriage, the end is undoubtedly emotional for both parties. Even more, financial and legal trouble creep in as you both settle for splitting assets accumulated together during the marriage. If you have kids, divorce also affects the structure they will continue to grow in. Before embarking on this challenging journey, it’s essential to know everything that lies ahead in the Florida divorce process.
Residency Eligibility and Requirements
Divorce law in Florida requires that at least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing with the court. The court will consider your case if you are a military member living in the state but working outside the state. You are also required to file your divorce case in the same county within Florida, where one of the spouses lives.
The law in Florida tends to align with the principle of “equitable distribution” of assets and property gathered during the union. What does this mean? By equitable distribution, the assets and property are required to be divided fairly rather than equally.
Only “marital property,” or assets that were purchased or acquired during the marriage are able to be distributed. Property that was bought or gathered prior to marriage is not subject to division, and is considered to be “separate property.” Separate property also includes gifts and inheritances that one spouse obtained even if it was during the marriage.
In cases where partners disagree, the court will have to examine their property and how much they both accrued. They will then determine how the assets and debts will be divided.
Another often disputed issue is alimony, also known as spousal maintenance. This is supplemental income that is paid by one spouse to the other to assist the party requesting it with additional income to help them get back on their feet while they are looking for a job or other income.
The court determines the validity of alimony once either spouse requests for it. The court will consider factors such as your spouse’s ability to pay for alimony, the length of the marriage, the living standards sustained during the union, and other necessary justifications that warrant the need to be granted alimony.
Child Custody and Support
Children are pivotal in a union, which makes divorce a crucial aspect of their lives. The court will determine who of the two parents deserves to live with the children, how visitations will be awarded, and how much should be channeled to child support and welfare.
When making these decisions, the court will look at numerous factors to determine the best interests of the child.
Some factors the court looks at include:
The parent’s age, physical health, and mental health
The finances of each parent
Where the child is currently living
Whether there is a history of domestic or substance abuse
How far the parents live from one another
The relationship between each parent and the child
The parent’s willingness to work together on custody and visitation matters
Any other factor the court deems relevant
Essentially, the court’s number one priority is making sure that children are in a safe and loving environment that fosters their health and growth in a positive manner.
Our Bartow Divorce Lawyer is Here For You
When going through a divorce, a Bartow divorce lawyer can assist through each and every aspect of the process. Because a divorce includes many components including finances and child custody matters, it’s essential to request competent legal counsel from an attorney you can trust. At Advocate Law Firm, P.A., our lawyer is dedicated to walking you through every step of the process while protecting your rights and interests.
Are you going through divorce proceedings? Visit Advocate Law Firm, P.A. today online or call us at (863) 644-5566 to learn about how our Bartow divorce attorney can assist you.