There are many different and important things to know about divorce in Florida. If you want to learn more, you should click here.

Studies have shown that 12.6% of married couples in Florida will wind up getting divorced. If you find yourself potentially facing a divorce in Florida, it’s important to know the ins-and-outs of the state’s law to better equip yourself of what may be ahead. Whether your divorce is ending with feelings of betrayal or indifference, you’ll need to know exactly what rights you have under Florida state law in order to come to an amicable agreement in which both parties receive exactly what they deserve.

If you’re going through or about to go through a divorce in Florida and would like to learn more about what to expect read on for some important information on what your divorce proceedings may entail.

1. What to Consider When Going Through a Divorce in Florida

Before diving into the following laws, it’s important to try and have a clear and mature conversation with your former spouse in order to reach a peaceful agreement.

Divorce is known to come with its fair share of hurt feelings, especially when children are involved. For the sake of all parties involved, being able to have a civil conversation is always the best option.

In the event the civil conversation is not possible, it’s best to speak directly with your lawyer to avoid any further confusion or problems from arising.

2. The Amount of Time Spent in Florida

Whether or not Florida state laws on divorce apply to you depends on the amount of time that you’ve been living in Florida. However, this does not necessarily mean that you had to live in Florida as a couple. At least one of the divorcing parties is expected to provide proof of them living in Florida for a minimum of six months before the divorce petition was filed in order for the Florida state laws to apply.

3. Divorce Court or Family Court

When it comes to determining whether or not your divorce is a matter for standard divorce court or family court, it’s a simple matter as to whether or not there are children or minor children involved.

The State of Florida considers the matter of child custody in the best interest of the child to be of the utmost importance and in divorce cases which is why the presence of children or miners would dramatically influence the proceedings of a divorce.  Being able to come to a strong agreement over custody and joint parenting outside of court, with or without the help of legal counsel, is one of the best things you can do to help reduce the emotional effects of the divorce on your children.

If there are no children shared between the married party, then the couple may apply for a simple dissolution of marriage application. From there the divorcing parties can come to an agreement on what will be done with their remaining assets and discuss alimony and further payments. In this case, the family court is not necessary.

If the divorcing party has trouble reaching an agreement on such matters, then divorce court may be an option worth pursuing.

There are still some factors that come into play for whether or not a couple is eligible for a simplified dissolution.

These factors include

  •  whether or not the wife is currently pregnant
  •  whether there any minors or dependent
  •  whether or not both parties can agree that the marriage is broken
  •  no partners are requesting alimony
  •  no partners are requesting information aside from the court-approved financial affidavit (more on this below)
  •  both Partners have surrendered their right to an appeal
  • both partners are willing to go and sign the petition
  • and both partners are present at the final court hearing

If all of these factors are approved, the couple may be eligible to dissolve their marriage.

It’s important to remember that the only two grounds accepted by Florida law for the dissolution of marriage state that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that one of the spouses has been mentally incapacitated for over 3 years.

4. Matters of Custody

In the event that there are children and custody needs to be negotiated, this decision is typically decided among the couple. In the event that the couple cannot come to a shared agreement as to how the custody of the child will be divided, the courts may appoint a mediator or counselor to help make the final decision.

The opinion of the mediator or counselor will then be presented to the judge who will appoint custody to one or both of the parties.

A custody agreement will also include other important decisions such as the amount of child support that may be ordered, visitation schedules, and who will be in charge of primary decision-making over the child.

Once again, if the couple is unable to make this decision together, the court will have to make one on behalf of what is healthiest for the child.

5. The Division of Assets

When it comes to dividing assets between the couple, it’s best to have any documentation that proves liabilities, transactions, and original ownership. These documents will be used to assess what’s fairly divided among the couple.

These documents may also be used with a tax attorney as your current tax status and filing situation may be affected once the divorce is complete.

Some factors the court may look into while determining the division of remaining assets include

  •  the partner’s contributions are sacrifices that were made during the marriage.
  •  how long the marriage lasted
  •  if either partner contributed towards the enhancement of the others career or education
  • Deteriorating a business or home when there is a dependent child
  •  any acts of waste or destruction that were done after filing for divorce or two years prior to filing from one party to another
  •  any additional factors that may be defined as equity

If required, the court may also need to look into testimonies provided as character witnesses or in the form of provided documents.

6. Submitting an Affidavit

Couples divorcing in the state of Florida are required to submit an affidavit. This is a document that contains all of their financial information in order to ensure the division of assets and finances is done so in a clear and transparent manner.

This affidavit is used as the basis for determining the amount of alimony, child support, and how the division of other assets may be computed.

7. Divorce and Taxes

Among the financial documents that may be submitted, tax returns dating up to 3 years ago may also be submitted with the affidavit.

This is to fully take into account all expenses and earnings that may have taken place among the couple.

It’s suggested to speak with a tax accountant if you have any questions on pending tax matters post-divorce.

8. Remaining debt

In the State of Florida, all debt such as mortgages and car payments are typically divided evenly among the divorcing parties.

Still, it’s important to remember the debts that had occurred before the couple came together are typically exempt from being divided. This may include things like student loans or business loans that were taken out and can be easily traced to before the date of marriage.

9. College Payments

While alimony and child support may be enforced by the court, the state of Florida plays no part in determining whether or not either parent is required to pay for college.

This is a matter that must be agreed upon between the couple and must be recorded in the original divorce agreement.

Finding Legal Counsel You Need

Divorce in Florida can be messy enough without issues being dragged into court. However, in the event that your divorce requires a court proceeding or you find it necessary to fight to receive the adequate amount of alimony or child support, it’s in your best interest to find the legal counsel that can help.

It’s important to have a lawyer behind you that understands the ins and outs of the Florida state laws, and that can adequately assess the documents and affidavit provided to help you claim what’s rightfully yours.

From child custody to dealing with issues of alimony our team is here to help you every step of the way. We understand the emotional rollercoaster that comes with divorce and are here to bring you some peace of mind while fighting on your behalf.

If you would like to learn more about how our team can help you both in and out of the divorce court contact us today for more information on how we can be of assistance.

 

 

3 Things Happy Couples Do That You Should Too

There are many reasons why relationships work or don’t work for the individuals involved. Making relationships work requires more than just pointing the finger, but also taking accountability for each person’s part in whatever relationship problems persist. There are several happy relationships to model after, using their ‘secrets’ to being in a successful relationship. However, if there are issues that are going unnoticed, there are remedies to help bring these concerns to the surface and also provide a resolution. Also, if there aren’t any current relationship problems, people can benefit from knowing how to prevent future dilemmas and improve their confidence in their union.

Couples Therapy

There’s been quite some controversy on the effectiveness of couples therapy when it comes to healing relationship problems. Some people go into these sessions with the intent of making their relationships work, but end up realizing that it’s probably best to split. In fact, some studies report that up to 38 percent of couples who receive marriage counseling get divorced within 4 years of finishing therapy. This is not to say that the counseling is ineffective because it is also important to note that research done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists shows that 97 percent of families and couples who have attended family and couples therapy session said that they received the help that they needed (Tasker, n.d.).

A huge reason why couples therapy is unsuccessful for some couples is that they use it as the final resort. When some individuals choose to try couples therapy, it is not necessarily about how to make relationships work. Instead, it is to see if their relationship can survive the months and many times years of unaddressed dissatisfaction and/or traumas. Therapy doesn’t and shouldn’t be an option someone considers after exhausting all of their choices. It is proven to be very beneficial as it allows a specialist who is qualified to manage the complex relationship dynamics and tackle individual issues. In many cases, a couple may take their arguments to a family member or friend which results in a very biased interaction in many cases. Having a mediator and outside perspective from someone who holds no preconceived biases can offer the couple the objective and critical advice needed to improve their communication.

When looking for a specialist, both individuals should make sure that they both find a therapist that they can agree upon and resonate with. Couples therapy should be utilized at the beginning of a relationship to build an understand and establish a healthy foundation of communication between the two parties involved. One person may be predisposed to walking away during a heated argument, whilst the other just wants to talk immediately. A couples therapist can help create standards and boundaries for future arguments so that communication improves to prevent any plausible long-term resentment or discontentment. Be mindful that therapy doesn’t need to be frequent, but consistent.

Small Romantic Gestures

There is the idea that after a couple surpasses the ‘honeymoon phase’ of their initial relationship, everything seems to mellow out and become dull. For some reason, it’s very common that after a few years of involvement, happy couples grow a bit distant of each other. When a couple first gets together, there is usually this concept of courting where there are endless dates, long conversations on the phone, romantic weekends, and intimate gifts. The overall cadence of a new relationship brings forth new and refreshing energies. This doesn’t have to stop as couples progress through their engagement. Small romantic gestures are one of the many traits that produce and maintain happy relationships. Small romantic gestures that are consistent demonstrates a continued commitment to the partnership(Verdolin, 2015). Romance shouldn’t just be reserved for Valentine’s day or rare occasions. Instead, in making relationships work and prosper, couples can do small, everyday actions to show their appreciation and love to their partner.

Types of romantic gestures:

  • Dancing (attending a concert or a workshop)
  • Help carry bags to show one another appreciation and cooperation
  • Massages after a long day at work to display appreciation
  • Exchange gifts (something that is personal to them)
  • Hold hands in public as a symbol of appreciation and reassurance
  • Give compliments to each other
  • Prioritize time together by arranging a date or movie night

Maintain Identity

As mentioned above, during the honeymoon phase, many happy couples can’t resist but to be around each other constantly. At first, it can be an overall exciting and intimate experience. However, as time passes, these happy relationships undergo a bit of exhaustion and the two parties want their space. Too much of anything is not healthy. In fact, there are plenty of happy couples that have their own rooms. When sharing a space with someone every day, it doesn’t give a person much room to be alone with their thoughts. Everywhere they turn, they likely see this person which can be especially problematic after an intense argument or disagreement. Lack of personal space can lead to feeling fatigued, feeling overwhelmed, and/or feeling trapped. Making relationships work does require communication, but communication is not needed at all times. Sometimes making relationships work demands a little distance to look at the relationship problems from afar.

It is not just emotional space that is necessary, but physical space is also significant in providing a sense of independence for both which allows the relationship to grow and flourish. If the relationship is based on ‘completing each other’, then that is called codependence which stunts growth and is also called meshment (Kim, 2018). To make relationships work, it is important to have a healthy perspective on self-love and acceptance which requires a person to become a whole piece themselves instead of seeking their ‘other half’. Happy couples understand the magnitude of self-love. Too often people hold the belief that someone outside of themselves is supposed to complete them and in pursuing that ideal, they find themselves filling a void with people who carry many of the same traits that they were familiar with since childhood. These partners that they attract can exhibit dysfunction, but because it is so familiar, the individual subconsciously repeats the same ‘cycle’ of trauma. Being conscientious of oneself as well as knowing one’s personal boundaries within as a singular person is highly recommended in making relationships work prior to being in the union to ensure the partnership is genuine.

Happy relationships do take conscious effort and a little compromise. Making relationships work, however, doesn’t mean that someone compromises themselves or their independence. It’s okay to maintain individualism within the partnership while also reassuring the partner through romantic actions. Making relationships work means not just being honest with each other but with one’s self. If a person is unaware of what they want out of the relationship, it can result in a host of problems. Chemistry doesn’t equate to compatibility one must be sure of their own interests and standards in making relationships work effectively. By emulating the traits of people in happy partnership, both people will find how easy it is in making relationships work in their favor with little to no tension and a lot of love, understanding, and empathy.

As much as we want your relationship to workout, sometimes divorce IS the right answer.

Contact us to schedule a FREE Consultation with Attorney Morse over the phone.
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4 Tips For A Strong and Healthy Marriage

Many people that are at the end of their marriage often wonder where things went wrong. Should they blame their partner? Would it have been possible to avoid divorce altogether? While it depends on each person’s situation, there are a few things every married couple should be doing to build a stronger relationship.

Secrets to a Healthy Marriage

Marriage isn’t easy–the sheer number of divorces in Orlando proves that. However difficult it may be to maintain a marriage, it isn’t impossible. The best way to keep a marriage together is to take steps to keep the relationship strong. Hoping to build a better marriage? Consider the following tips:

1. Focus on Clear Communication

In a marriage, communication is one of the most important ways to create intimacy, as well as gauge the stability of the relationship. While clear communication is essential, it is often far from easy. While each partner has their own preferred method of communication, both people have to actively work together to try to understand each other and build a better relationship.

If miscommunication is always the common denominator in a couple’s relationship issues, this is a sign that both partners aren’t quite on the same page. Instead of focusing on the miscommunication itself, try to find ways to start speaking the same language. Many couples find that they are able to understand each other better by setting aside uninterrupted time to really hear each other out. For 30 minutes to an hour each day, couples should try to spend time just talking to one another.

2. Discuss Budgets and Financial Expectations

Conversations about money are essential to the health of a marriage. However, these financial discussions can quickly do more damage. To ensure these financial discussions help to strengthen the marriage, both partners need to recognize and understand each other’s various expectations and money mindsets.

Married couples often have contrasting ideas regarding spending and saving. While this isn’t a bad thing, both partners need to learn to work alongside these differences when handling money. Couples can begin to do this by agreeing on a budget, deciding on how to approach debt, and learning to live within their means. While these discussions are often difficult to navigate, talking about money is a guaranteed way to build a better relationship and to prevent divorce.

3. Find the Balance

Balance is key in all relationships–especially marriages. Whether both partners are newlyweds or they both have been together since they met in college in Orlando, finding the balance in their marriage is essential to making it work and to prevent divorce. Just as it is important to communicate with each other and build intimacy, it is essential for both partners to take some time away from each other to focus on their individual needs.

As each partner tries to create the right balance, it’s important to consider the other partner’s needs. The healthiest relationship will be one where both partners are getting the alone time they need without sacrificing the time that they spend together.

4. Don’t Stop Dating

Marriages often end soon after the dating does. Though a couple may be married to each other, that doesn’t mean they should stop having date nights. These dates can be a night out in Downtown Orlando or a quiet evening having dinner at the house. Regardless of what activity a couple decides to do, the idea is to set time aside to focus on getting to know each other all over again.

As couples work to maintain their marriage, it’s essential that they never stop trying to build a better relationship. Each person is a work in progress, so it’s important to keep trying to improve. With these four tips, couples working to prevent divorce will be able to strengthen their marriage and fall in love all over again.

Contact Us Now

Let us handle the paperwork for you. Our Orlando Divorce Team at the Law Offices of
Erin Morse will guide you through the paperwork process, file your paperwork with the
courts, and give you a thorough review of the ramifications of the decisions/agreements
you made. Again, we are your fastest path to “Finding your new normal”. Call Us Today!


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