Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce
Florida is a no fault state, which means you do not need a reason or consent from your spouse to get divorced. As long as you or your spouse has been a resident of the State of Florida for at least six (6) months prior to filing for divorce and your marriage is irretrievably broken, you can get a divorce in Florida. Your divorce may be either uncontested or contested. Uncontested means you and your spouse agree on all the terms of your divorce. Contested means you and your spouse are in disagreement on the terms of your divorce and litigation may become necessary for the court to determine those issues.
Many divorce cases involve issues of time sharing and co-parenting of the children, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, and attorneys' fees. When minor children are involved in divorce proceedings, the parties are require to enter into a Parenting Plan that determines the day-to-day responsibilities, as well as determines a timesharing schedule, a holiday schedule and parental responsibility over the major issues affecting a child’s life, such as, their education, religious upbringing, medical attention and extra-curricular activities.
In Florida, a court can award the parties "Shared Parental Responsibility" or it can award one of the parties "Sole Parental Responsibility". Generally, there is a preference for shared parental responsibility. Shared parental responsibility is a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly. Sole parental responsibility is a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child without consulting the other parent. Furthermore, a court can order shared parental responsibility with ultimate responsibility over one or more aspects of the child’s life to one parent or divided between the parents.
It is important to understand that the parental responsibility order is separate from the time-sharing schedule. A time sharing schedule refers to the calendar schedule detailing where the child will be living from day to day during the year. Our goal is to resolve your case without causing you to lose all of your money and assets, while retaining your dignity and sanity.
Assets and Liabilities
Florida law requires that the division of assets and liabilities in a divorce case is equitable (fair) in value. Accumulated real, tangible and intangible property (such as a house, retirement accounts, art collection, stocks) and debts (such as a mortgage, taxes, credit cards) must be divided between the parties so that each person receives an equitable (fair) value of the marital estate.
The first step in equitable distribution is to identify the value of each asset and each debt. We may be required to use a forensic accountant or property appraiser to provide actual values of the assets and liabilities. Once we know the actual value of the assets and liabilities that you and your spouse accumulated during the marriage, then we discuss your "wish list" of preferred assets and liabilities to receive in your divorce. Our goal is to allow you to keep those assets and not have to liquidate them to pay attorney's fees and costs of litigation.
In Florida, the same laws apply to a military divorce as would a non-military marriage dissolution proceeding. Typically, further complications arise if you are a member of the military or a military spouse. There are additional factors that can affect the divorce proceedings, such as, being deployed or stationed in another country, military compensation packages, pension plans, property division laws, and military protection from divorce proceedings.
The attorneys at Christy L. Hertz, P.A., can assist you through the military divorce process in order to make the best decision for your family.
Contact Christy L. Hertz, P.A
You have options when it comes to managing and resolving your divorce, including mediation and litigation. We want you to be able to get through your divorce in a way that allows you and your children to recover and start a new life as soon as possible. Please contact us either online or by telephone at 305.444.3323 to schedule a consultation.