Understanding the Requirements for Divorce Part 4 of 6 | Divorce Attorney Fort Myers/Naples
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THE DISSOLUTION: In a dissolution action there are several matters that will usually be settled by the court – in addition to the dissolution itself. These include:
- Parenting Plan: how you will share parental and financial responsibility for your minor children after the end of the marriage.
- Parenting Plan and Time-Sharing… If you and your spouse are unable to agree on parenting arrangements and a time-sharing schedule, a judge will decide for you as part of establishing a Parenting Plan. The judge will decide the parenting arrangements and time-sharing based on the child(ren)’s best interests pursuant to Fl. Stat. 61.13. Regardless of whether there is an agreement, the court reserves jurisdiction to modify issues relating to the minor child(ren).
- The judge may request a parenting plan recommendation or appoint a guardian ad litem in your case. This means that a neutral person will review your situation and report to the judge concerning parenting issues. The purpose of such intervention is to be sure that the best interests of the child(ren) is (are) being served.
- Equitable Distribution: how you will divide the assets (things that you and your spouse own) and liabilities (the debts and bills that you and your spouse owe) that you acquired during and as a result of your marriage.
- Marital/Nonmarital Assets and Liabilities… Florida law requires an equitable distribution of marital assets and marital liabilities. “Equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Many factors, including child support, time-sharing, and alimony awards, may lead the court to make an unequal (but still equitable) distribution of assets and liabilities.
- Nonmarital assets and nonmarital liabilities are those assets and liabilities which the parties agree or the court determines belong to, or are the responsibility of, only one of the parties. If the parties agree or the court finds an asset or liability to be nonmarital, the judge will not consider it when distributing marital assets and liabilities.
- Alimony: your continuing support obligations to each other if any.
- Alimony… Alimony may be awarded to a spouse if the judge finds that he or she has an actual need for it and also findsthat the other spouse has the ability to pay. If you want alimony, you must request it in writing in the original petition or counterpetition. If you do not request alimony in writing before the final hearing, it is waived (you may not request it later). You may request permanent alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, durational alimony, lump sum alimony, or rehabilitative alimony.
- Child Support: your continuing support obligations for the minor children of your marriage.
- Child Support… The court may order one parent to pay child support to assist the other parent in meeting the child(ren)’s material needs. Both parents are required to provide financial support, but one parent may be ordered to pay a portion of his or her support for the child(ren) to the other parent. Florida has adopted guidelines for determining the amount of child support to be paid. These guidelines are based on the combined income of both parents and take into account the financial contributions of both parents. You must file a Family Law Financial Affidavit and your spouse will be required to do the same. From your financial affidavits, we should be able to calculate the amount of child support that should be paid using the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Because the child support guidelines take several factors into consideration, change over time, and vary from state to state, your child support obligation may be more or less than that of other people in seemingly similar situations.
- Attorney fees: obligation for payment of attorney fees for your spouse (or their obligation for the payment of your fees).
- Court Orders: the desirability of restraining orders to stop a party from taking certain actions.
For more information on filing a Dissolution of Marriage please contact us to schedule your free consultation.
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