When you are going through a divorce, every exchange with your ex can feel confrontational. With all of the intense feelings between you, it can be tempting to make every effort to hurt and fight the other person at every turn. While you can choose to wage war on your former partner during your divorce, it can save you time, money, and much aggravation if you focus your energy on the matters which are worth your efforts.
Florida is an “equitable distribution” state which means that the property and debt a couple has will be divided in a fair manner during divorce. While the allocation may result in each party getting approximately half of everything the couple owns and owes, it is not a guaranteed result. The court does not have a specific formula for dividing assets and liabilities but will instead look at multiple factors to reach its decision. For instance, issues such as the duration of the marriage, each person’s earning potential, whether one person stayed home to raise children, and the pair’s respective contributions during the marriage may all be considered. The court is going to try and leave each person in a fair and relatively equal position. However, if you believe there are reasons you should be awarded more marital assets, it may be worth pursuing.
There are few things which can be more acrimonious during a divorce than a child custody dispute. Florida courts are required to make custody and parenting time decisions which are in the best interest of the child. While you may not like your ex, what happened between you may not have anything to do with his or her parenting abilities. If this is the case, the court is most likely going to approve a parenting plan which allows you both equal decision-making and as much time as possible with your child. If you have reason to think your ex presents a danger to your child you will need to be ready to work with an experienced attorney who can help you present evidence to support this allegation.
Florida law does provide the court with discretion to order one spouse to pay alimony or maintenance to the other. This support can be temporary or permanent and varies according to circumstances. The idea behind maintenance is to create equity between the parties, not to punish one side. Maintenance is more likely to be ordered when a couple has been married for several years, and there is a significant difference in their resources. When you are the potentially obligated party, having to pay your former spouse may seem unfair. If you are the individual in need of support, having these funds may be necessary to meet your needs. In both instances, it would be best to consult with your attorney about this possibility and determine what you need to do next.
At the Draper Firm, we have experienced divorce attorneys who can evaluate your case, answer your questions, and help you identify and understand the issues which are worth fighting over. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.