People going through a divorce might experience disappointment, pain, and a sense of loss. Trying to handle a complicated legal matter like dissolving a marriage while experiencing intense emotions can be challenging.
A Little Gables divorce lawyer can help you manage the process, which could also help your emotions and expectations. With the steady guidance of a capable family attorney, you can achieve your goals in divorce faster and with less complications.
Divorce Requires Resolving Multiple Issues
Trying to untangle the legal relationship between spouses can be a difficult process, especially if they have young children, complicated finances, or both. However, a Judge will not issue a divorce decree until specific matters are settled.
Ideally, the couple comes to an arrangement that works best for their family. If not, the court will schedule a divorce trial and a Judge will decide critical issues regarding:
- Child custody and visitation;
- Child support;
- Property division.
A couple who agrees on these issues before filing for divorce could have an uncontested divorce. They submit their agreements to the court along with the divorce petition, and if the agreements meet legal requirements, the Judge will issue the decree.
When a couple does not agree, they have a contested divorce. It may take several months for the parties to exchange information about their finances and other related issues. During this time, a Little Gables attorney will negotiate with the other spouse’s attorney to reach a divorce settlement. The spouses might even attend mediation to resolve their differences. As soon as the couple reaches an agreement, they can submit their arrangements to the court and receive a decree. Most contested divorces eventually become uncontested, meaning the couple avoids a trial and develops their own agreements.
Property Division Issues in a Divorce
Divorcing couples must agree about what property belongs to each spouse separately and what property belongs to them as a couple. After sorting this out, they must decide how much marital property each spouse should receive in the divorce.
Separating Marital and Personal Property
Personal property refers to anything the spouse owned before marriage that they did not treat as marital property during the marriage. Inheritances and gifts that are given to one spouse alone are separate property as long as it is not commingled.
Marital property refers to anything either spouse bought or acquired with money they earned while married. It does not matter if only one spouse’s name is on the deed or title. If it was bought during the marriage, with income earned during the marriage, it is marital property.
Equitable Division of Marital Property
Florida requires couples to divide their marital property equitably. Equitable distribution means that property division must be fair under the circumstances, but each spouse is not necessarily entitled to one-half of the marital property.
It is important to consider the length of the marriage, how much each person contributed to it, the value of each spouse’s personal property, and their ability to maintain a lifestyle similar to what they enjoyed while married. If the couple has young children, a property division agreement should ensure the children’s lives are not disrupted and that they can be taken care of financially after a divorce.
Judges Focus on Children’s Best Interests
Judges expect parents to make appropriate parenting plans covering custody, visitation, and child support. If the parents cannot agree on a plan, a Judge will often send them to mediation before scheduling a trial. If mediation is unsuccessful, the Judge will decide these issues after hearing evidence at a divorce trial.
Whether parents form their own parenting plan or a Judge must decide, Florida Statute § 61.13 says that the children’s best interests is one of the most important factors. When reviewing the parents’ agreement and making a decision, Judge will consider the children’s:
- Relationships to both parents;
- Ties to school and the community;
A Little Gables divorce attorney can ensure that all agreements involving a couple’s children is focused on supporting their best interests.
Work with a Little Gables Divorce Attorney by Calling Today
When you are going through a divorce, you need capable and dependable legal counsel. A Little Gables divorce lawyer can provide advice and support to help you meet your goals.
Do not wait to get an aggressive advocate on your side. Reach out to our team today to schedule a free consultation.