uncontested divorce

Generally, there are two types of divorces in Florida, uncontested and contested divorce. Florida is a “no fault” state, therefore; you won’t have to litigate, provide evidence of adultery, or other reasons to file for divorce. See Florida divorce law. However, there can be extensive litigation over alimony, child custody, and other issues as part of a no-fault divorce in Florida. If you need assistance with a contested or uncontested divorce contact a Tampa family law firm for assistance.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, the two parties reach an agreement on all of the issues prior to filing the case. The major issues that come up in a divorce include division of assets, division of debts (See Florida Statute 61.075), Parenting Plan (including parental responsibility and time sharing, formally known as custody;) child support; alimony; name changes, and other issues.  It is recommended to have a divorce lawyer assist with the case, but it is not required. There are so many complex issues to negotiate, it is best to work with an attorney to ensure everything is addressed and your rights are protected.

Normally, an uncontested divorce will be a lot less expensive and time consuming than a contested case. Most divorce attorneys in Tampa charge $250 – $450 per hour. The more time spent having to negotiate with the other side, attend court hearings, and file documents with the court the more it will cost you. A flat fee divorce can eliminate the need for all of these extra costs. Additionally, it can streamline the divorce process and allow the court to enter the dissolution of marriage much sooner. In many instances, a flat-fee divorce can be completed in as little as 30 – 45 days. For more information about our flat-fee divorce click here.

What is a Contested Divorce?

In a contested divorce, the two parties are unable to reach a full agreement among themselves. If the parties agree on 99% of the issues it will still be considered contested because there is 1% left for the judge to decide. If a Judge needs to get involved, the divorce is classified as contested. The same issues as above will arise, but the Judge will decide the division of assets and debts, the Parenting Plan, child support, alimony, name changes and any other issues that may arise. For more information on the differences between a contested and uncontested divorce contact a family law attorney in Tampa.

Flat -Fee Divorce Law Firm

Florida Law Advisers, P.A., offers a low cost, flat-fee for uncontested divorce cases. The flat-fee amount will vary based on the circumstances of each individual case. Therefore, to get a quote and speak with a  divorce lawyer in Tampa please call us at 800 990 7763. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help!

rehabilitative alimony

There are many types of alimony (spousal support) available under Florida divorce law.  See Florida divorce law 61.08.  Two easily confused types of alimony are Bridge-the-Gap and Rehabilitative alimony.  Bridge-the-Gap alimony is designed to help a person transition to become a head-of-household. On the other hand, rehabilitative alimony is to financially support a specific plan to obtain financial independence. This area of the law can be confusing, please contact a divorce law firm in Tampa for assistance.

Purpose of Florida Rehabilitative Alimony

The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to help a spouse who served in a supportive role learn or develop new skills, so that they can live a fruitful life on their own. See Florida divorce case Canakaris v. Canakaris. Some common examples of rehabilitative spousal support are attending college, trade school, or assistance with obtaining a professional license. In order to receive this form of alimony, you must have a specific plan and intent to execute that plan.

Modifying or Terminating Rehabilitative Spousal Support

Rehabilitative spousal support can be modified or terminated based on the fulfillment or lack of fulfillment of the rehabilitative plan.  For example, if the rehabilitative plan was to go to cosmetology school and the recipient drops out, the rehabilitative alimony may be terminated by law.  Conversely, if one determined that cosmetology school was not for him or her, the rehabilitative plan could be revisited (with the assistance of a divorce law firm ideally) so that a new plan can be established or modified.

Divorce Law Firm in Tampa

Rehabilitative alimony is a complicated topic and there are many types of alimony in the state of Florida.  You should speak with an experienced divorce attorney in Tampa to ensure that you are receiving or paying the right type and amount of alimony for your situation. Florida Law Advisers, P.A. has years of experience in both advocating for and against alimony. Our attorneys know what factors are important to Florida family law judges and can aggressively fight for your rights. If you would like to speak with a divorce lawyer in Tampa call us today at 800 990 7763.

 

divorce in Florida

For many, filing for divorce in Florida can sometimes be a long and tedious process. Florida divorce law has a complex web of statutes  which must be successfully navigated. However, a divorce case in Florida can be summed up in many ways by using the PEACE acronym. The PEACE acronym represents all major parts of a typical divorce in Florida and can help guide you through the process. Each part of the PEACE acronym is important, so if you need assistance contact a divorce law firm in Tampa for assistance.

P:  Parenting Plan

If the parents are able to reach an agreement on the terms of child custody among themselves a judge will typically ratify the agreement, so long as the terms do not conflict with Florida child custody law or policy.  If there is no acceptable agreement, the judge will decide the terms of the parenting plan based on what the judge considers to be in the best interest of the child. Florida law does not give any preference to mothers or fathers when deciding child custody matters. Instead, the custody arrangement will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. See Williams v. Williams.

E:  Equitable Distribution for Divorce in Florida

In a Florida divorce case, marital assets and liabilities are subject to an equitable distribution. Generally, the court will start with the premise of dividing marital assets and debts 50/50. In Florida, the law requires that a court equally distribute a marital asset unless a “legally sufficient justification for an unequal distribution is given based on the relevant statutory factors.” See Hitchcock v. Hitchcock. For advice on how to unequally divide marital assets contact a Tampa divorce attorney to schedule a consultation. Obtaining an unequal distribution of a marital asset in Florida can be difficult without legal counsel.

A:  Alimony

Alimony, which is also frequently referred to as spousal support is payment from one ex-spouse to the other. The fundamental principal guiding an award of alimony is the disparity in financial resources of the two parties. Under Florida divorce law, there are five types of alimony a judge can order as part of a divorce in Florida. The forms of alimony are; temporary, bridge the gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony. See Florida divorce law 61.08. A judge may award any combination of these types of alimony. Further, alimony payments can be made periodically or as a lump sum.

C:  Child Support with Divorce in Florida

In a case involving minor children, Florida courts will defer to the Florida Child Support Guidelines for determining child support. The Guidelines outline how much child support will be required by each parent based on their net income, the number of children involved, and the custody arrangement. In a Florida divorce case, the judge will strictly follow the Florida Child Support Guidelines. However, the court does have some discretion to deviate from the guidelines, when it is appropriate to do so.

E: Everything Else

Do you want your name changed?  Do you need to file bankruptcy in addition to divorce?  There may be parts of your family law case that you didn’t know existed. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer for a comprehensive strategy on how to best handle your case. If you need assistance with divorce case in Florida contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to schedule your free consultation with a family law attorney in Tampa.

 

child custody case

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce or child custody case is the development of a Parenting Plan. The Plan governs the time-sharing and custody rights for each parent.  Florida law is gender neutral, meaning there is no preference for or against the father or mother, or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule in a child custody case. Thus, if you need assistance with a child custody case you should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for counsel. Many law firms in Tampa will offer a free consultation for these types of matters.

Best Interests of Child

In creating a Parenting Plan, it is important to know that Florida favors frequent and continuing contact between both parents and their child after they separate or divorce.  This includes encouraging parents to share the rights, responsibilities and joys of child custody.  In creating a Parenting Plan, the court’s primary concern is the “best interest of the child.”  The court will determine the best interests of the child by evaluating all of the following factors affecting the child and the circumstances of the family:

Factors a Judge Will Consider in a Florida Child Custody Case

The factors considered by judges in a Florida child custody case are located at Florida Statutes section 61.13(2)(c)2 and include the following:

  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor a time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to their own needs or desires
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory home environment, and whether it is the child’s best interest to remain in that environment.
  • The moral fitness of the parents. When considering a parent’s moral fitness, the court will focus on whether the parent’s conduct has had or is reasonably likely to have a direct adverse impact on the child.  The mere possibility of an adverse impact is not enough., see child custody case McKinnon v. Staats.
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court believes the child is reasonably able to express a preference. A child’s preference, however, cannot be the sole factor for the court to determine a parenting plan.  See Florida child custody case, Garvey v. Garvey.
  • Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
  • The particular parenting tasks and division of parental responsibilities customarily performed by each parent before and during the court case, including the extent to which persons other than the parents have exercised parental responsibilities.
  • Whether both parents have demonstrated an ability and willingness to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
  • Any other factor that is relevant to the case and best interests of the child.

Child Custody Law Firm

Your Tampa family law attorney should discuss each of these factors with you in detail so that he or she can present the court with evidence regarding those factors that may apply to your case.  If you would like more information, please contact us to schedule a consultation with a child custody lawyer in Tampa. The Tampa child custody attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. know what judges consider when determining the best interest of the child and use their knowledge of the law and litigation skills to aggressively represent our clients. To speak with a family law attorney call 800 990 7763, we are available 24/7.

rehabilitative alimony in Florida

When determining if rehabilitative alimony in Florida divorce cases, is appropriate a judge will apply the “need and ability to pay” test.  See Guiterrez v. Guiterrez. First, the party seeking rehabilitative alimony will have to establish there is a need for rehabilitative alimony. See Florida Statute 61.08. Under Florida divorce law, “need” does not mean basic living expenses such as, rent, food, and clothing. Instead, the term “need” refers to the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. See Griffin v. Griffin. The standard of living is based primarily on expenditures, not income. However, if a couple lives beyond their financial means, only the expenditures that could have been funded from the income will be included in the standard of living estimation.

Types of Alimony in Florida

Florida family law allows for many different types of alimony, which can vary in duration, amount, and purpose. Rehabilitative alimony in Florida divorce cases is just one type of alimony that may be available. Florida courts have a lot of discretion in awarding alimony and if so, how much. The divorce law firm in Tampa you retain can make a significant impact on the type and amount of alimony that is awarded. Therefore, it is important that you have a trusted Tampa divorce lawyer that is experienced in Florida alimony litigation at your side.

Rehabilitative Alimony in Florida

Rehabilitative alimony in Florida is financial support intended to provide a former spouse with the opportunity to establish the capacity for self-support, proportionate to the standard of living during the marriage. See Florida Statute 61.08. The length of the marriage will play a factor in whether or not rehabilitative alimony is appropriate, but it is not dispositive. Instead, the focus should be on the impact the marriage had on the earning potential of the spouse seeking alimony. For instance, if the party seeking alimony after a 5 year marriage abandoned their career to take care of the couple’s children rehabilitative alimony may be appropriate.

The length of the marriage will play a factor in rehabilitative alimony cases but is not the only significant factor. Typically, the impact of the marriage on the spouse’s career will likely be the driving force. Conversely, if a party is seeking rehabilitative alimony after a 10 year marriage but cannot provide evidence that the marriage hindered their earning capacity rehabilitative alimony should not be awarded.

Rehabilitative alimony in Florida should only be awarded to spouses who truly need it. Thus,  if there was no decline in earning potential due to the marriage it should not be awarded in the divorce. See Ritter v. Kiezkowski. Further, if the spouse cannot show that the rehabilitative alimony will permit economic self-sufficiency it should not be granted. The party seeking rehabilitative alimony must provide a definite, detailed rehabilitation plan. See Cogen v. Cogen. Further, the plan must be feasible and not tentative.

Divorce Law Firm

A skilled rehabilitative alimony in Florida law firm can make a big impact in a divorce litigation. If you are contemplating filing for divorce or your spouse has already filed for divorce, call us today to speak with a Tamp divorce attorney at our firm. The divorce attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against alimony. With years of experience, we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf. To speak with a Tampa divorce lawyer at our firm call us at 800 990 7763.