Legal Requirements for Divorce:
The State of Florida only has two legal requirements to obtain a divorce:
- A resident of the State of Florida for a period of six months prior to filing of your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
- Your marriage is irretrievably broken
The law does not require you to have been married in the State of Florida in order to obtain a divorce. For example, if you were married to your spouse in another state or another country you would still be entitled to obtain a divorce in the State of Florida provided you meet the above two legal requirements.
The State of Florida has established a formula on how to calculate each parent’s child support obligation for the support and maintenance of their child(ren).
In order to determine your child support obligation the Court will first determine each party’s net income. Your net income is determined by subtracting allowable deductions (federal taxes, Medicare, your health insurance, mandatory union dues, and mandatory retirement) from your gross income.
A party’s housing expense, car payment, utilities, etc. are NOT considered when calculating child support. However, if someone is self-employed reasonable, ordinary, and necessary expenses for the business may be considered when determining the business owner’s net income.
Your child(ren)’s health insurance premiums and daycare/after care expenses are also part of the child support calculation.
The other main factor that is considered when calculating child support is the timesharing arrangement between you and your spouse. For example, if a Father has more than 72 overnights per year than his child support obligation would be adjusted based on the number of overnights that he has with the child(ren). Therefore, the more overnights (over 72) that a spouse has with the child(ren) could reduce the amount of child support.
The State of Florida no longer makes a custody determination between the parents. Instead, the Court establishes a parenting plan, whereby each parent has timesharing with his or her child(ren). Some of the factors the Court will consider in determining the timesharing schedule between the parents are work schedules, living accommodations, parent’s criminal history, etc. That while these are only three examples there are many more factors that the Court will take into consideration, the most important factor being your child(ren)’s best interest.
In the State of Florida there are two types of parental responsibility:
- Shared Parental Responsibility
- Sole Parental Responsibility
Shared Parental Responsibility is when two parents discuss and mutually agree on all major issues (i.e., medical, education, religion) in regard to their child(ren)’s well being. In the event you and your spouse cannot mutually agree on a major decision for your child(ren) then either party may petition the Court in order for the Judge to make the determination for you. The Judge will base their decision on what is in the best interest of your child(ren).
Sole Parental Responsibility is when one parent solely makes the decision on all major issues (i.e., medical, education, religion) in regard to their child(ren) well being. This designation of sole parental responsibility is granted in limited, special circumstances. For example, if a parent has abandoned their child, or is incarcerated it is difficult for the parents to communicate in regarding to their child.
The term equitable distribution is generally used when either party has obtained assets and/or liabilities during their marriage. There are many factors that will be considered when evaluating your case, including but not limited to, assets obtained or liabilities incurred prior to your marriage, or if any of your assets were inherited. We will also consider whether either party wrongfully dissipated any assets during your marriage. It is important to note that in most instances, if either party acquired an asset solely in their name or incurred a debt solely in their name during the marriage, it will likely be considered a marital asset or a marital liability.
That depending on the circumstances unique to your family in addition to child support and equitable distribution you may also be entitled to alimony. Alimony is monies that either spouse may be entitled to receive from their spouse for their support and maintenance.
There are various factors that determine whether a spouse may be entitled to receive alimony. The two main factors are:
- One spouse’s need for financial support; and
- The others spouse’s ability to pay the financial support.
There are various types of alimony: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, permanent, and lump sum. The length of your marriage is a factor in determining which type(s) of alimony you may be entitled to receive from your spouse.
We have the knowledge and experience to address all of your legal needs in order to protect you and your family.
For more information regarding issues specific to your situation/circustances please contact our office for a free consultation. You can contact us 24/7 at (305) 557-1750.