Divorce can be complicated and involve a number of issues, but can be broken down into five main parts (PEACE):
p – Parenting:
Timesharing and parenting plans. When there is a divorce with children, the most important and priority is to determine who gets the kids, when and for how long. Of course, every situation is different, but the main variable the courts take into account, if not otherwise agreed to by the parties, is the children’s best interests, as outlined in Fla. Stat. 61.13.
E – Equitable Distribution:
The distribution of assets and liabilities accumulated during the marriage. During the marriage, typically, the parties acquire marital assets and debts that need to be distributed upon divorce. Examples of assets are: marital homes, cars, bank accounts, retirement accounts, boats, pensions, and the like. Liabilities range from credit card debt, the mortgage on your marital home, the amount owed on your car, loans owed to third parties, and anything else which can be owed to another individual or entity. The goal of equitable distribution is to make things equal; or, in other words, to make sure the parties each acquire the same value in amount of assets, and the same debt. How this occurs can be very complex, which is why having an experienced divorce attorney in your corner like Wilson Law can make this easier.
Alimony (also called spousal support or spousal maintenance) is the amount one ex-spouse pays to the other after a divorce. “Temporary” alimony may also be paid while a divorce is pending so that the receiving spouse has sufficient funds for expenses during the proceeding. In Florida, husbands and wives are both eligible, but not all spouses will receive alimony. An experienced Sarasota lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible to receive alimony. Several factors determine eligibility and amounts, but Florida law specifies no “equation” or formula for alimony payments. Facts a court may consider when determining alimony can include but are not limited to:
- the length of the marriage
- the age and health of the spouses
- finances and other contributions to the marriage by each spouse
- the financial resources of each spouse
- the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
Under Florida Law, several types of alimony may be awarded:
- Rehabilitative Alimony: To help a spouse transition back into the work force.
- Temporary Alimony: To help a spouse until a final judgment or settlement is made.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: To help “bridge the gap” after a marriage of 7 years or less.
- Durational Alimony: After a 7-to-17-year marriage, for the same duration as the marriage.
- Permanent Alimony: After a long-term marriage (17 or more years) when a spouse is not or cannot become self-supporting.
Support owed for children common to the parties of the action. Florida has created a bright line calculation in determining how much child support is owed by one party to another. The three main factors the courts take into account are 1) the parties’ income, 2) the amount of timesharing experienced by each party, and 3) the mandatory expenses paid for the benefit of the minor child(ren)
E- Everything Else:
Attorneys’ fees, and any issues not covered by the above.
Choosing the right Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer is the first step in protecting your rights in family court. Divorces can become complex very quickly, so hiring an experienced family law attorney who can handle every aspect of your divorce action is essential. At Lindsey Wilson, we fight aggressively to win favorable terms and settlements for every client. We uncover any hidden assets and make certain that property is fairly divided. We advocate for your children’s best interests regarding custody, visitation, and support. We also represent clients when custody, timesharing, and support orders need modification. A divorce may be your first exposure to the Florida legal system, and the divorce process can seem overwhelming. If you believe that divorce is your next step, contact Lindsey Wilson at (954) 399-2821 to speak with a South Florida family lawyer.