Settling down with the one you love can be a rewarding and fulfilling decision. The intention is that you will grow old with this other person and have a lifetime of memories to share. Sometimes, however, a marriage doesn’t work out. Whether the reason is the two people drifted apart or there was an indiscretion, coming to the terms that a marriage is over can be a painful realization.
When the decision has been made to file for divorce, it’s often a wise choice, regardless of how amicable the split, to gain sound legal direction from an attorney.
Nothing can hurt parents more, perhaps, than seeing children scared or hurt because mom and dad are planning to divorce. Steps can be made; however, to help the children adjust.
In Florida, it is necessary for parents to devise a parenting plan. This is an agreement between the parents to help determine child custody and support. resources are also available through the court system to help children adapt to the transition of divorce.
Florida has two forms of child custody: legal and physical. Each of these types can be sole or joint. When both spouses can agree on custody and visitation, arrangements can be decided by the parents rather than the court. A judge has the ability to intervene, however, if parents are not in agreement on child custody issues.
As a final effort before a court proceeding, a judge might make child custody mediation mandatory. This method can help parents deal with objections from the other spouse and arrive at a mutually agreeable result.
The Florida court system holds the position that children should benefit from the income of both parents, despite a divorce. There are many factors that are considered in calculating child support, but some of the key points include:
- The amount of parenting time or overnight stays
- The income of each spouse
- The number of children
In many instances, the parent with the higher income will pay child support to the other parent. The court follows specific guidelines in assessing support payments, yet also has the power to deviate from the normal standards as appropriate.
Property in Florida is divided in an equitable manner. The court first determines what items can be defined as separate assets or joint property. Any property or debt that was acquired in the marriage is dispersed between the two spouses in divorce; items designated as separate are not split between each spouse. Equitable distribution means the court will divide assets and debts fairly between the spouses rather than perfectly evenly.
Division Of Property
Property division can be more complicated when items have been combined, for instance, when a spouse uses separate assets to contribute to the purchase of the family home. Commingled property is an area where the court has some discretion.
Common items that belong to both parties include:
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- The family home and other real estate
- Clothing and household items
- Retirement accounts
- Credit card debt and other marital liabilities
Some examples of separate property might include a gift, an inheritance or a bank account that was taken out before the marriage and wasn’t commingled or funded by a marital source. Every situation is different and, therefore, it’s a wise choice to get legal advice on property matters before signing binding agreements.
In Florida, it is not necessary to establish fault of a spouse to be granted a divorce. Instead, the couples can simply state the marriage is irretrievably broken with no hope for repair. The methods for ending a Daytona Beach marriage include dissolution of marriage, a simple dissolution of marriage and an annulment.
A simple dissolution of marriage is a streamlined filing option for those that meet certain requirements, including:
- There must be no children under the age of 18 in the marriage.
- The wife is not pregnant.
- Both parties agree to no alimony.
- All the issues in the divorce are uncontested.
- The six-month residency requirement is met.
In the simple divorce option, couples are not required to disclose financial information to one another like in a regular dissolution of marriage.
Annulment As A Divorce Alternative
An annulment is a way to end the marriage and have the union declared “void” or “voidable.” Very specific grounds need to be met in order to have the court annul a marriage. The conditions are:
- A person was under the age of 18 when he or she married.
- One spouse was already legally married at the time of the marriage.
- A person was forced into marriage.
- The people who are married are close blood relatives.
- A person committed fraud.
- A person was mentally incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol.
Annulments are not readily granted without clear proof. An experienced divorce attorney can inform you on the types of evidence you will need if you chose to file an annulment.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
In the divorce process, mediation can be an advantageous method by which to resolve issues. A neutral third party will help you and your spouse find reasonable solutions to matters such as child custody and property division, among other issues. Some of the main benefits of ADR include that it:
- Saves time
- Preserves relationships
- Is cost effective
- Offers a wide range of solutions
- Is conducted in an informal environment
Why Hire A Daytona Beach Divorce Attorney
Dividing assets, determining child custody and establishing alimony can be complex. The decisions that are made in a divorce can affect life for years to come. Whether you have questions on how the state of Florida views separate property or you are concerned about how a family business will be divided, a Daytona Beach divorce attorney can be a source for trusted legal information.
How To Choose A Divorce Lawyer
When selecting a lawyer to represent your best interests it’s wise to choose one with sound experience in family law, rather than a general practice attorney. The attorney you hire can make an impact in the outcome of your situation. Take the time to find a lawyer who will listen to the goals you have for the future.