- Do I need an attorney if I'm getting divorced?
It’s advisable you consult an attorney. Sometimes divorce cases involve complex matters such as physical and emotional abuse, child custody and child visitation, spousal support, and division of assets, which you may not be able to figure out on your own. The attorney can discuss the legal aspects of your particular divorce case and answer any ongoing questions you may have. Divorce can also bring to the surface feelings of anger and resentment. An attorney can take a look at the facts more objectively and ensure your your rights and the rights of your children are fully protected.
- What are the legal grounds for obtaining a divorce in Florida?
Florida is a “no fault” divorce state, which means neither the husband or the wife can be blamed for the separation. Either spouse can seek a divorce without having to actually prove the reasons why they don’t want to remain together any longer. All they have to do is show the marriage is irreparable. To get divorce in Florida, even members of the armed forces, must live in the state for at least half a year.
- How is child custody determined?
Courts in Florida use the best interest of the children in order to determine issues related to child custody. Some of the most common factors considered include:
- Each parent’s capacity to provide for the children.
- Collaboration between parents.
- How long has the child lived in a stable environment.
- Proof of abuse.
- Substance abuse.
- Both parents’ mental and physical health.
- Child’s records.
- Whether the parenting plan is geographically suitable.
You may have to convince the court that your children will enjoy a more stable environment with you and also disprove your spouse’s false allegations.
Note: The term “custody” is no longer used in Florida Courts. Judges now focus more on a timesharing schedule and Parenting Plan. They no longer award “custody” but rather focus on the child’s best interest.
- Explain joint custody
Joint custody can be either joint legal custody or joint physical custody:
- Joint legal custody - This is when parents share all responsibilities and important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing such as school, health care, religious beliefs, etc. Extracurricular activities can also be included as well as methods of discipline, dating age, etc.
- Joint physical custody - It concentrates more on the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Parents who live relatively close may want their children to spend equal time with them. The amount of time is flexible and it can be adapted to your specific circumstances.
- How is child support determined?
Child support guidelines help calculate child support obligations in Florida. They help determine the amount of child support the child needs and how much child support the parent is responsible to provide. These guidelines can be changed at any time. Some of the most important things these guidelines take into consideration are the parents’ income, costs associated with healthcare, and the child’s basic needs.