Largo Divorce Attorney
The marriage dissolution rate has declined over the past several years, mostly because the marriage rate has declined as well. However, the divorce rate is still about twice as high as it was a generation ago. The average marriage which ends in divorce lasts a little over seven years. So, these divorces usually involve complex emotional and financial issues. More on these things below.
A Florida court may grant a divorce based on irretrievable breakdown (irreconcilable differences) or the complete mental incapacity of one spouse. Almost all marriage dissolutions in the Sunshine State are no-fault divorces. Annulment may be available in some cases as well. The waiting period for a Florida divorce is twenty days. Almost all divorces require more time than that, unless one spouse has abandoned the marriage.
The experienced Largo divorce attorneys at The Reep Law Firm are very familiar with the emotional and financial issues these families face. Many of the people on our professional team have also gone through a divorce in Florida. We are committed to resolving your divorce as quickly, and as fairly, as possible. Because of this commitment, as well as our experience, we are usually able to settle marriage dissolution matters out of court. So, we’re able to avoid an emotional courtroom showdown that no one really wants.
Like most other jurisdictions, Florida is an equitable distribution state. The marital estate, which includes both assets and liabilities, must be equitably divided between the spouses. “Equitably” is usually, but not always, the same thing as “equally.”
Essentially, there’s a presumption in Florida law that the marital estate be divided equally. A judge could order a disproportionate division, based on factors like:
- Length of the marriage,
- Relative future earning capacity of each spouse,
- Standard of living during the marriage,
- Nonmarital property awards, and
- The “homemaker” factor (e.g. did one spouse give up significant earning opportunities to become a full-time caregiver).
Roughly these same factors apply to spousal support matters. Essentially, the judge must balance the obligee’s economic need against the obligor’s ability to pay. Most judges award durational or rehabilitative alimony. These payments usually last a maximum of ten years following divorce.
Child support is different. Generally, a set formula, which considers the income of both spouses, the overnight visitation proportion and a few other factors, determines the amount of payments.
As a general rule, a Largo divorce attorney should modify child support and spousal support orders about once every four years, so the orders reflect the family’s current status.
Child custody is usually the most important emotional issue in a divorce matter. These orders must be in the best interests of the children. To determine best interests, judges look at several factors, including:
- Current informal arrangement,
- Child’s preference,
- Age of the child,
- Parent’s preference, and
- Each parent’s ability to co-parent.
Move-away modifications are the most common parenting time modifications in Florida. Short-distance moves may not require court approval. Even if court approval isn’t technically required, it’s usually best. Unless the orders are legally modified, one parent may unilaterally go back to the way things were before, and the other parent has no recourse.
Count on a Diligent Pinellas County Divorce Attorney
Family law matters usually involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Largo, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. We routinely handle matters in Hillsborough County and nearby jurisdictions.