Divorce is never an easy situation, but it can be even more stressful when you have no idea what to expect. Before you file your paperwork, it is helpful to learn a little about what to expect during the process and how to prepare for filing.
What Grounds Can I Use To File?
There are two grounds for divorce in Florida. You can either file due to an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or due to the mental incapacity of your spouse. There are no fault-based options in this state, such as adultery or cruelty.
This basically means that you cannot blame the other person for the end of your marriage. You both hold some responsibility, and the court will not consider fault.
How Will We Divide Our Assets?
Florida follows the concept of equitable distribution. The idea is to divide your assets fairly. The court will only divide marital assets.
Marital assets are anything you and your spouse obtained during your marriage. Property you owned prior to your marriage is separate property and belongs to only you. The court will not divide separate property.
You should note that there are some types of marital property that is actually separate property. In general, inheritances and gifts remain separate property.
The court considers a range of factors when dividing assets. These might include your contributions to the marriage, your earning potential, the background on how you obtained an asset, and other similar factors.
Do I Need an Attorney?
According to the American Bar Association, you do not have to hire an attorney, but it is advisable to do so. An attorney will be able to explain the legal aspects of your case to you and help you understand the process.
A divorce attorney Tampa will also look out for your rights and work to help you get an agreement that is fair. Your attorney will assist you with important aspects of your case, such as asset division and child custody.
Can I Get Custody of my Kids?
Besides property division, child custody is another very important aspect of a divorce that often becomes contentious. The court prefers if you and your spouse can come to an agreement without its input.
However, if the court must intervene, it will always look at the situation to determine what is best for the children. It may consider things such as who normally cares for the children the most, who takes them to the doctor’s, who ensures they have clothing and food, and similar factors. It will consider living situations as well. In most cases, the court will try to reach an arrangement that allows the children to have equal and meaningful time with both parents.
By knowing more about the divorce process, you put yourself in control. You can make more informed decisions, and hopefully, reach an outcome that is favorable to you.