What to Expect When You’re Extricating
Divorce is always one of those eventualities you don’t plan for. Nobody would willingly do so from the outset of the marriage, right? But because 40-50% of married Americans will encounter divorce, ensuring that you understand the basics makes a big difference in how successful you are on the other side of it all. Here are four questions to ask any Florida Family Law Lawyer when you do an initial intake consultation. Hopefully, they will help limit the number of dark days you have in The Sunshine State.
1. Do I qualify for Florida Divorce Proceedings?
Believe it or not, this is one of the most common holdups in Florida Divorce cases. Before you petition for divorce in Florida, it’s important to be sure you qualify. Either you or your spouse must be a full-time resident, having lived in the state of Florida for at least six months. Armed service members stationed in Florida for six months time qualify as well.
If this baseline requirement is met, both parties must be in agreement that the marriage is “beyond reconciliation.” If you have moved to Florida in the last year, or are a part-time resident who may require residential verification, seek out an experienced Florida Family Law Attorney to verify your status under Florida state law.
2. Do We Need To Go To Trial?
If you and your spouse are able to agree on how to equitably divide your estate the divorce may not need to go to trial. Things tend to get more complicated when children are in the picture. If you and your spouse are able to agree across the board on both child-sharing responsibilities and estate division, it is generally recommended that you file without going to trial. Each spousal case will be different of course, often exposing fundamental differences between the two parties that can and should be supervised by a Florida family court. In any Florida divorce where clients do not see eye to eye regarding property division or time-sharing responsibilities, it is recommended that the entire divorce proceeding be a petition of the court.
In anticipation of court proceedings, Brodie & Friedman, P.A. recommend you save yourself time and money by making copies of tax returns, bank statements, mortgage documents, and any other financial information possible. It is also wise to create a record of any major possessions and expenditures.
3. Can I Keep The Property I Owned From Before Marriage?
In Florida, anything acquired during the legally recognized term of marriage will be split in a manner deemed equitable by a judge between you and your former spouse. This includes the debt of financial responsibility and investment. Anything acquired prior to marriage will generally be retained by the original owner. This process is simple enough when it comes to collectibles and housewares, but deciding on a house that belonged exclusively to one spouse might be another issue. In particular, when a party is interested in keeping the home, other considerations, such as children, could be cause for ‘unequal distribution.’
If you were a homeowner who married and had kids but is now facing a divorce, it is important to gain legal counsel as soon as possible to protect your real estate assets from being unfairly targeted in divorce proceedings.
4. Will I Need to Pay Alimony?
Judges review alimony candidacy based on several factors, including lifestyle, length of the marriage, and the health of your spouse. A judge may see fit to order alimony payments that range from “bridge-the-gap” to permanent. The type and amount of alimony payments vary widely, but have potentially huge financial implications, and are cause enough to seek legal help. Working with a lawyer or paralegal can help avoid errors in the forms—which once submitted, cannot be altered.
With over 20 years of combined experience, Jason Brodie Esq. and Joshua Friedman Esq. will guide you toward realistic goals and provide committed advocacy toward achieving them. They are known throughout South Florida for dedicated client service, tenacity and success in complex divorce litigation involving property division, child custody and spousal support.
To get a better understanding of the qualities our reputation is built on, contact our office in Boca Raton to schedule your initial phone consultation (561) 392-5100