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Realizing that divorce is necessary and in your future is never an easy time. Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences you will ever have to face, whether or not children are involved. The divorce process can be long and complicated and divorce law can be difficult to navigate without proper guidance and education on the matter. Most individuals going through divorce do not know or understand all the options and outcomes available to them, which can lead to more contention and future litigation; this is avoidable through proper representation by an experienced divorce attorney who will carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You need a vigorous advocate throughout your mediation, negotiation, settlement or divorce trial. Everyone’s definition of “fair” is different.

Potential Issues During Divorce

Child Custody. For example, Florida no longer uses the word “custody” in its divorce law. Instead, Florida requires divorcing parents to agree on a Parenting Plan. The Plan addresses which parent is responsible for what aspect of the child’s life. Shared parental responsibility is presumed to be in the child’s best interest. The Parenting Plan must contain a Time Sharing Schedule which describes the periods children spend with each respective parent. Parenting issues are always the most difficult to resolve in divorce cases. An lawyer will explain Florida law and assist you in developing a Parenting Plan and a Time Sharing Schedule that works for you and your children. Should the parents fail to reach an agreement, a Judge must establish a Parenting Plan and a Time Sharing Schedule.

Property Distribution. When you divorce, what happens to your assets and debts are an issue. Each asset is first identified and described. The asset is classified as marital or non marital. The asset is then valued. Finally, the asset is distributed between the spouses equitably, which usually means equally. The complication in divorce arises from valuing assets that are difficult to value and identifying and tracing claims of non marital assets, such as inheritances, gifts, or assets acquired prior to the marriage. Each debt is identified and classified as marital or non marital. The amount of the debt is determined and the debt allocated equitably between the spouses, which usually means equally. An lawyer will help you develop an equitable distribution schedule that is most advantageous to you.

Alimony. Issues relating to alimony can be some of the most difficult to resolve. Judges have wide discretion on whether to award any alimony, what kind of alimony to award, and for how long. Alimony can be temporary, permanent, lump-sum or for a specified period of time. The factors in awarding alimony include the need of the recipient spouse, ability of the payor spouse to pay, the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage, work history, length of the marriage, and contributions to the marriage. An lawyer can assist you to determine your entitlement to alimony or exposure to pay alimony.

Child Support. Once a Parenting Plan and containing a Time Sharing Schedule is established, child support is calculated. Child support is based on the parents’ combined income, the costs of child care and health insurance and the time sharing schedule. An lawyer will explain Child Support Guidelines to you.

Attorney’s Fees. Either spouse can ask for attorney’s fees and costs on a temporary or permanent basis. Attorney’s fees are awarded based on a number of factors, including need and ability to pay.

An lawyer will explain the legal proceedings, law governing families, and the involved legal language. Divorce law is complex. You are concerned about the process, cost, and changes you are facing, and and lawyer is your ally throughout the duration of the process to ease the transition to a new chapter in your life.

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