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.
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.