NUPTIAL AGREEMENT: Couples sometimes choose to enter into an agreement/contract that sets forth their rights in the event of a dissolution of marriage. These agreements can be drafted prior to or after marriage. Prenuptial agreements are prepared while the parties contemplate marriage while postnuptial agreements are entered into after the parties have married. These types of agreement can be beneficial in preventing a lengthy and costly legal battle.
DIVORCE: Divorces are difficult and often time traumatic on all those involved including minor children. As a result, I often find that my clients want the process of finalizing their divorce to be as quick and painless as possible. However, it is so important that you know your rights and obligations as the final judgment will determine your rights and responsibilities moving forward. Specifically, some of the most common issues addressed throughout a divorce, including equitable distribution, alimony, parenting plans, and child support, are discussed below in more detail.
EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION (PROPERTY DIVISION): Equitable distribution is governed by Florida Statutes, Section 61.075. Florida law states that the court must distribute the marital assets and liabilities. The first determination that must be made by the court is what will be considered a "marital" asset and "marital" liability. This is normally anything acquired during the span of the marriage regardless of whether title is owned jointly. Once the court makes this assessment, it then determines how the distribution will be made. The court must begin with the premise that the distribution should be "equal". However, the court will consider the statutory factors listed in Florida Statutes, Section 61.075(1) in order to achieve a just and equitable distribution.
ALIMONY (SPOUSAL SUPPORT/MAINTENANCE): The court will consider a request for alimony only after equitable distribution has been made. Florida Statutes, Section 61.08(1) authorizes the court to award an ex-spouse any combination of permanent periodic, durational, rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, and lump sum alimony. The court must first determine if there is an actual need for alimony by one spouse and if the other has the ability to give the financial support. The next step is to determine the proper type and amount of alimony. To accomplish this, the court will consider the statutory factors listed in Florida Statutes, Section 61.08(2).