Family Law Practice Areas – Boca Raton Divorce Attorney
An action for dissolution of marriage, or divorce, terminates the contract of marriage between husband and wife via a final judgment from the appropriate circuit court. The state of Florida is a pure no-fault state which means a divorcing spouse does not need to prove or provide grounds for filing an action for dissolution of marriage. Instead, the spouse seeking the divorce simply states that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or in limited situations, may cite mental incapacity of the other spouse if certain requirements are met.
Property division in Florida is governed by an equitable distribution scheme which views marriage as an equal partnership. An equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities must begin with the presumption that the division of property should be equal, unless there is justification for an unequal distribution based on several statutory factors. All assets and liabilities must go through the same analysis for equitable distribution: identification, classification as separate or marital or a combination thereof, setting aside of the non-marital property; and finally, the valuation and distribution of significant marital assets and liabilities between the parties.
It is the public policy of Florida to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved. To ensure this goal is achieved, Florida law requires that a parenting plan be filed in all cases involving a minor child. A parenting plan governs the relationship between the parties relating to the decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must include a time sharing schedule. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan.
In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which may be in the form of bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational or permanent in nature; or any combination thereof. . Spousal support requires two separate determinations: (1) entitlement and (2) amount. The primary factors for entitlement are need and ability to pay. The statutory amendments effective July 1, 2010 provide that the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony, the court shall consider the enumerated statutory factors.
Child support is a right belonging to the child and each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child. This means that parents cannot contract away their child’s right to support, nor waive it by acquiescence to nonpayment. Child support in Florida is determined by guidelines based on the parents’ combined net income estimated to have been allocated to the child as if the parents and children were living in an intact household. The court may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than 5 percent from the guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordering payment of the guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate.
No one can predict the future. After entering into a Final Judgment or Agreement, there remains the possibility that you will need effective legal representation to deal with subsequent changes in circumstances. When such changes, such as job loss, injury, promotion, and increase in quality or availability of educational opportunities for your children occur; this affects the applicability of prior court orders relating to child support, timesharing, and spousal support.
Like any other contract, Florida prenuptial agreements and marital settlement agreements must be the result of a meeting of the minds. Also as with any other other contract, Florida prenuptial agreements and marital settlement agreements must be supported by consideration. Florida prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties.