Our firm will guide you through the divorce process with empathy and understanding. We will be with you through each step of your case. You can count of our firm to handle the demands of a divorce action. With your input and information, and we will work together to make the process as easy as possible, while you get on with your life.
CONTESTED DIVORCE AND UNCONTESTED DIVORCE
Under Florida law, divorce is a no-fault action. This means you do not need a reason or consent from your spouse to get divorced. To file for divorce in Florida you or your spouse must have been a resident of the State for at least six (6) months prior to filing the Petition for divorce. If you have been a resident for at least six (6) months, and your marriage is irretrievably broken, then you can get a divorce in Florida. Your divorce may be either uncontested or contested.
Uncontested means you and your spouse have come to an Agreement on all the terms of your divorce. This must include an agreement as to the division of assets and debt, custody and visitation, child support (if there are children of the marriage) and alimony.
Contested means you and your spouse are in disagreement on the terms of your divorce and a divorce action will become necessary for the court to determine those issues.
If you and your spouse have children, issue involving time-sharing and parental responsibility will be a part of the proceeding. Issues such as child support and when the children live, or visit with which parent arise.
Parents going through a divorce will be required to enter into a Parenting Plan. This Plan determines the day-to-day responsibilities of the parents for the children. The Plan also determines a daily/weekly/monthly time-sharing schedule, and a holiday schedule. The Plan also determines questions that may arise over the issues that affect a child’s life, for instance their education, religious upbringing, non-emergency medical decisions and extra-curricular activities.
The Florida courts can award "Shared Parental Responsibility", award one of the parties "Sole Parental Responsibility". Generally, the courts prefer shared parental responsibility.
“Shared Parental Responsibility” is a court-ordered relationship in which both parents have full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to the children. This assumes that both parents will confer with each other so that decisions affecting the welfare of the children will be determined jointly.
“Sole Parental Responsibility” is a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child without consulting the other parent.
As an option, the court can order shared parental responsibility with ultimate responsibility over one or more aspects of the child’s life to one parent or divided between the parents.
Note that determining “parental responsibility” is separate from the parental time-sharing schedule. A time-sharing schedule refers to the time the child will be spending with each parent and details where the child will be living from day to day during the year.
ASSETS AND LIABILITIES
Every state is different with regard to how the state handles the division of assets and debts in a divorce. In Florida, the law requires that the division of assets and liabilities in a divorce case is equitable (fair) in value. Real, tangible and intangible property (such as a house, bank accounts, retirement accounts, art collection, stocks, jewelry) accumulated during the marriage, and debts (credit cards, mortgages, taxes, etc.) accumulated during the marriage will be divided between the parties so that each person receives an equitable (fair) value of the marital estate.
In order to be “equitable”, it’s important to have a clear picture of the value of each asset and each debt. Sometimes it’s necessary to hire a forensic accountant or property appraiser to provide real, actual values of the assets and liabilities. Once the firm has knowledge as to the actual value of the assets and liabilities that were accumulated during the marriage, then we need to determine what you would like to keep, and what you do not want. This is your list of preferred assets and liabilities that you would like to retain in your divorce.
SERVICE MEMBER (MILITARY) DIVORCE
In Florida, the same laws apply to divorces that involve service members as they do to civilians. There are generally some complications that may arise if you or your spouse is in one of the military services. These can be jurisdiction issues if the service member is deployed in another country. Other issues include valuations of military compensation packages, pension plans, and property division laws.
Lisa York, Attorney and Counselor at Law, P.L. will be there every step of the way to assist you through the issues that can arise in a divorce involving a military service member.
Call Lisa York, Attorney and Counselor at Law today! Get an appointment to talk to an experienced family law attorney about your divorce case.
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