Whether you are thinking about leaving your marriage or have just been served with divorce papers, when you have the wrong information about what to expect, this already tense situation becomes more difficult. However, by knowing some of the common myths about Florida divorce, you can avoid unnecessary stress and confusion.
Committing Adultery Means Losing Everything
Florida is a "no-fault" divorce state which means that neither party's role in causing the marriage to end will be a basis for filing for divorce. This does not mean, however, that adultery is irrelevant during a Florida divorce. If the unfaithful party has used marital resources in connection with their affair, the court can consider this fact when deciding how to divide the couple’s property and debts. Additionally, the court can look at the financial harm which the unfaithful spouse caused the other when determining whether or not to award alimony. Lastly, under certain circumstances, an extramarital relationship may also impact the adulterous parent’s custody and visitation rights.
I Will Lose my House
When a couple divorces, Florida law requires that their marital property be divided according to the principle of "equitable distribution." This process involves looking at different variables and apportioning the couple’s assets fairly. When the divorcing parties own a home together, they usually will have two choices: (1) Someone gets the house, assumes the mortgage, and pays the other for some of the equity in the property; or (2) The couple sells the house and splits any proceeds or expenses. How the assets are divided will come down to what is reasonable in the context of other factors in the case.
The Mother will Always get Primary Custody of the Children
While a mother’s relationship with the children will be important to a court when deciding parental responsibility and time-sharing, the father’s connection will be as well. Florida law presumes that shared parental responsibility and equal time-sharing are in the best interest of a child absent any evidence to the contrary. The law also provides numerous “best interest” factors for the court to examine while reaching its decisions. When it is shown that a father has a positive and healthy relationship with his child, it is probable that he will allowed to spend equal time with them and have an active role in making important decisions regarding their care and education.
Divorce has to End in Trial
Despite how legal cases are depicted on television and in film dramatic courtroom battles are not common. This is especially true in divorce cases. Parties tend to prefer settling their issues rather than leaving choices about their personal lives up to a court. There are different ways to settle and you do have the option of going to trial. However, regardless of how you choose to proceed, you will need the advice of an experienced family law attorney to protect your interest.
At the Draper Firm, we have experienced divorce attorneys who can evaluate your case, answer your questions, explain the process and what to expect, and advocate for you. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.