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The parenting plan shall be developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by a court or, if the parents cannot agree, established by the court. Both you and your spouse have a responsibility to support your children in accordance with the children's needs and your individual financial abilities. Support may be by direct payment or by indirect benefits, such as mortgage payments, or insurance. In addition, reasonable medical and dental insurance is added to the basic child support amount.

Divorce in Florida: How Much Does It Cost and How Long Does It Take?

Uncovered medical expenses can be shared on a pro-rata basis proportional to the income of each individual parent. Ordinarily, the obligation to support your child ends when that child reaches 18, marries, or becomes financially independent. The parties can agree to pay beyond 18 years of age or in regards to a child's college education. The courts use the Florida Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support.

The guidelines consider the incomes of the parties and the number of children that they have. After you have a court order for child support or visitation Time Sharing or if there is a substantial change in circumstances regarding these issues or if you have a problem getting support payments from your spouse or former spouse, or visitation time sharing and access to your child is denied, you should bring this matter to the attention of the court. It is not a proper reason for withholding visitation or child support payments because of any wrongdoing by your spouse or former spouse.

Also, you might be able to modify the existing child support, time sharing schedule order that is in place. Read more information on Father's Rights in Child Support. One of the most difficult and complex areas of dissolution process is the division of marital property, sometimes called the marital estate.

The amount of any pay down in the mortgage and note on a non-marital home is now considered a marital asset subject to distribution if the mortgage was paid with marital funds. Additionally any appreciation of the home during the marriage would be considered a marital asset. In essence, the marital property should be divided fairly or equitably not necessarily equally between the parties regardless of how the property in question may be titled.

The division is based upon all facts of the case and the contribution of both spouses to the marriage. The division of marital property or estate as sometimes called is any asset acquired during the marriage by the efforts of one or both parties. This property is considered in conjunction with all other monetary awards such as alimony and interests in property. Other factors include If you cannot agree, the court will divide the property after a trial. Some forms of alimony are for a temporary period. Rehabilitative alimony may be for a limited period of time to assist in redeveloping skills and financial independence.

Permanent alimony continues until the spouse that is receiving the alimony remarries or upon the death of either party. Also the court may order lump-sum alimony. That is where one party pays the other party a lump-sum payment of money or property. Although adultery does not bar an award of alimony, the court may consider the adultery of either spouse, and the circumstances of that adultery, in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded. The court has the option of considering any other factor it deems necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

You have the right to find out about all your spouse's income and assets through the use of discovery procedures before entering into a settlement agreement or going to trial. Money spent litigating can be directed to your children if you and your spouse were able to agree at an early stage of the dissolution process. At an initial meeting, your attorney should be able to provide an estimate of the total cost of a dissolution based on the information you provide.

The cost will depend on how contested the issues that you cannot resolve become. You and your lawyer will enter into a retainer agreement. The lawyer is responsible to move your case along and represent your interests. The lawyer expects you to pay his fees and the costs of litigation in accordance with the agreement you make. Occasionally the court will order your spouse to pay part or all of your fee and costs, but such awards are unpredictable and cannot be relied upon.

You are primarily responsible for the payment of your legal fees that are incurred on your behalf in accordance with your retainer agreement.

Divorce Laws in Florida

In a Florida divorce, it is illegal for an attorney to work on a contingency fee basis. For instance the lawyer cannot charge a fee that is a percentage of the property you recover in the dissolution of marriage. You may go to court yourself for an injunction to protect yourself or a family member against assault, battery or sexual battery by your spouse whether you are separated or not or your former spouse. If you feel you are the victim of such domestic violence , you should immediately contact the office of the clerk of the circuit court in your county for information and assistance.

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  • Florida vs. Illinois Divorce Laws - Russell D. Knight | Family Lawyer.
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The parties must consider the tax consequences of divorce and the distribution of assets and liabilities. You must consider the dependency deduction for children, taxability and deductibility of child support and alimony, and effects of property transfers. It is important to find out how these laws affect you before you get divorced. Afterwards, it may be too late to correct mistakes that have been made. Sometimes an accountant or financial planner needs to be consulted in conjunction with your attorney. The question of who should pay mortgage payments, income tax liabilities, credit card debts, personal loans, car payments and other debts must be considered and dealt with.

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  2. Can You Save Your Marriage?!
  3. Ten Things Florida Residents Should Know About Divorce |
  4. After a regular dissolution of marriage that has been decided by a judge, if you feel the judge's decision was incorrect, you may appeal that decision, provided that certain procedural steps are taken. Judges have broad discretion in divorce cases. Just because you do not like the judge's decision is not a reason for an appeal. The reasons why a marriage fails and the parties divorce are numerous. However, this does not mean that the actions of the parties prior to a divorce are irrelevant.

    For example, whether one party engaged in adultery can be considered by a court as it makes various decisions and determinations throughout the course of a typical divorce. Simply put, adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another who is not his or her spouse. If the other person is also married, then that person is also committing adultery. In Florida, adultery is technically a crime although it is rarely prosecuted.

    So for example, suppose Russell and Janelle are married to one another. Russell has a girlfriend, Kami, that Janelle does not know about. Russell and Kami frequently have sexual intercourse. In this case, Russell is committing adultery by having sexual intercourse with Kami. Kami is not guilty of adultery — even if she has a boyfriend or is in a committed relationship — as she is not married note, though, that if Kami was married, she would also be committing adultery by engaging in sexual intercourse with Russell. A closer question may exist if, for instance, Russell and Kami only engage in oral sex.

    Note that divorcing parties are considered married until they are pronounced divorced by the court. In other words, a party does not become divorced just because he or she has filed for divorce. This means that any sexual relationship a party engages in during the pendency of the divorce is technically an adulterous relationship. Divorcing parties should be careful about using marital assets to support such a relationship during the pendency of the divorce.

    Her divorce petition should allege that the two of them are not compatible, and she will be entitled to a divorce.

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    In general, Florida courts will divide marital property between the divorcing spouses in a fair and equitable manner. This usually results in both spouses being awarded property that, in sum, is generally of a similar value. The court has a great deal of discretion in making this division, so long as the parties are treated in an equitable manner. In most cases, the wrongdoing of one party during the course of the marriage does not impact how the court chooses to divide the marital property.

    For instance, the fact that the husband was lazy during the marriage or the wife withheld herself sexually from the husband will not likely impact the manner in which the court decides to split the marital property. Adultery, however, can have an impact on the division of the marital estate depending on the nature of the adulterous relationship. If those assets are not divided equally , the court MUST explain why in written findings. In Illinois, equitably means whatever the judge wants it to mean.

    In Illinois, there is no alimony. Instead, people receive a large sum of money every month that is, instead, called spousal maintenance.

    Illinois has guidelines spousal maintenance. This is all pre-tax money! There is a cap, though. If an Illinois judge deviates from these guidelines, the Illinois judge has to issue written findings and possibly be appealed because of them. Illinois maintenance lasts a specified amount of time according a long, byzantine schedule that the Illinois legislature keeps amending.

    What to Expect in a Florida Divorce?

    The longer the marriage, the longer the spousal maintenance until 20 years where maintenance becomes permanent. In Florida, alimony is whatever a judge wants it to be. There are two tests involved in Florida alimony. How the courts arrive at the best interests of the child in both states is usually done with the help of an outsider.

    What to Expect in a Florida Divorce?

    In Florida a child custody evaluator is appointed to meet with both parents, the children and anyone else associated with the case. The child custody evaluator is usually a therapist, child psychologist or some other professional whose professional expertise can be relied on by the court. Obviously, attorneys are more expensive than therapists so Illinois has a more expensive process. In Florida. Each parent who pays for health insurance or child care then gets a credit against or for the child support owed. Florida has no alimony formula for amount or time.

    This means that in Florida, you are really relying on the quality of your attorney to set your alimony. The division of assets in Illinois is more flexible than it is in Florida.