With such a significant percentage of marriages ending in separation, divorce has become one of the most common ways for people to enter Florida's family court system. While the repercussions of a divorce might not impact your liberty in the same way that a criminal charge does, that does not mean that a divorce is stressful or trivial – on the contrary, divorces are among the most emotional ordeals to go through, and the outcome of your case can have a huge impact on the rest of your life.
To make matters worse, divorces are also very complex. With the help of a divorce attorney like John V. Moore, you can keep things under control and pursue your interests in ways that protect your post-divorce future.
The Divorce Process
There are several different ways for a divorce case to be resolved in Florida. Not all divorces require a trial – if you and your spouse agree that a divorce is in everyone's best interests, then taking your differences through a form of alternative dispute resolution, like mediation or arbitration, can save time, money, and lots of stress. Even if arbitration or mediation do not lead to satisfactory agreements on all issues, they can whittle down the problems that need to be resolved in litigation and a future trial.
The Issues That Need Resolution in a Divorce
Regardless of why you and your spouse have decided to divorce, there will always be a handful of issues that need to be resolved to keep everything orderly as you both move forward. Not all of these issues will apply to every divorce – obviously, neither child support nor custody will apply to a divorcing couple with no children – but those that do can be contentious and will be a huge factor in your future.
Asset Division in a Divorce
Because the law sees a married couple as an individual unit, all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is partially owned by each spouse and forms the marital estate. All of the assets – both positive and negative – in this estate will likely need to be divided in a divorce.
Florida splits the marital estate through the process of equitable distribution, which gives a divorce court judge great leeway in determining what is a fair outcome. While the results often see each spouse receiving about half of the marital estate, numerous factors can add or subtract from that number.
Divorcing spouses with marital children will have to determine where the child will stay for most of the time, and how often the other, non-custodial parent will visit. Just like with asset distribution, a common outcome is that each parent receives approximately equal custody, as that is often what is in the best interests of the child. However, numerous factors can play a role, so an attorney's help can protect you from an outcome that you do not want.
When parenting time is not exactly even or when one parent has a much higher income than the other, child support can be awarded to ensure the child is equally cared for, no matter which parent they are with. As lives move forward, post-divorce, and children grow up, the amount of a child support order can be modified to reflect substantial changes in the circumstances.
Finally, where one spouse has become financially dependent on the other over the course of the marriage, the financially stable spouse may be ordered to pay alimony while the other spouse recovers their career, post-divorce. Often the most contentious issue in a divorce, alimony aims to ensure that both spouses can enjoy the lifestyle they had, during the marriage, while they each sort out their future.
Call Central Florida Divorce Lawyer John V. Moore for Help
At every stage and in every issue that needs to be resolved, the help of a divorce lawyer is essential. Call John V. Moore, a divorce lawyer serving Brevard County, at (321) 426-0209 or contact him online.