FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
Our experience in Florida divorce has led us to help many families in the midst of the most challenging circumstances of their lives. Many of them find us and hire us because we have answers to the questions they are most worried about–and because we understand that every case is unique and deserves to be treated that way.
You probably have a lot of questions–and we’re happy to answer them. We’ve compiled a few of the most common questions we hear from our new clients here, but we’re happy to speak with you directly about your case as well.
FLORIDA DIVORCE AND FINANCES
Will I Get Alimony in My Divorce?
Alimony in Florida is not based on a straightforward equation or calculation, but it can be ordered by the court depending on the circumstances of your marriage. Either spouse can receive alimony, but it depends both on the length of your marriage and a list of factors that the court has to take into consideration. The court can order four types of alimony, from temporary support while the divorce is pending to permanent alimony based on the lifestyle you had during your marriage.
If you believe that you deserve alimony, we can certainly discuss your individual situation and see how it fits the criteria of the Florida courts.
Who Will Get the Pension in the Divorce?
Pensions, retirement accounts, and other benefits will be divided among divorcing spouses based on whether or not they were marital or non-marital assets. If the pension income was earned during the marriage, the court may determine that it is a marital asset and divide it equally. If it was earned before the marriage and kept separate, those benefits may be considered non-marital assets and kept out of the financial settlement.
We work with a team of experts to determine what assets and property can be considered marital property and what cannot, to ensure that you get a fair and equitable settlement when your divorce is final.
Will My Spouse Get My Inheritance in the Divorce?
As with other marital assets and property, the answer to this question determines on whether or not the inheritance will be considered a marital asset. We may be able to argue that your inheritance is not a part of the divorce settlement if the funds or property were given to you alone and were not co-mingled with your marital assets.
Who Will Get the House in the Divorce?
This question is, by far, one of the most frequently asked among our divorce clients. Your home is the foundation of your family, and the thought of leaving it behind when so many other things are changing can be particularly painful.
A house is a very difficult asset to divide for the court, because you cannot simply split it in half and give a piece to each spouse. Many divorcing couples decide to sell the house and split any equity after the expenses of the sale have been taken out. That may not be what you want to do, but it’s often the easiest course of action if you’re looking to equally divide the marital assets.
However, you can also consider other options, like buying out the other spouse or agreeing to be co-owners. Whatever you decide you want to do, if you’re determined to stay in your home you’re most likely to be able to do that if you negotiate the terms of your financial settlement outside the courtroom. You’ll also need to make sure that you can handle the financial burden of the house on your income.
FLORIDA DIVORCE AND CHILDREN
Can I File for Divorce When I'm Pregnant?
You can file for divorce while pregnant, yes, but the divorce will not be finalized until after the baby is born. Because Florida law assumes that any baby born within a marriage is the legal child of both spouses, Florida courts will not finalize any agreements until the child is born so that custody and child support arrangements can be a part of the final order.
How is Custody Decided in Florida?
Florida courts are always looking at the best interests of the child when making decisions about custody (called time-sharing in Florida) and child support. You can read more about how those decisions are made here, but the best case scenario is when a parenting plan can be decided out of court. Custody trials can be incredibly difficult, especially for children, and we try to shield the kids involved as much as we can.
Will I Get Child Support After My Divorce?
Child support is considered a right of the child or children involved, not a negotiated agreement between parents. However, unlike alimony, child support is calculated fairly easily using the net incomes of both parents that takes into account certain expenses directly related to taking care of kids (day care, health insurance, etc.). Because it is a basic right of a child, the court doesn’t take into account any other expenses because the child’s needs should always come first.
The goal of child support is to make sure that a child’s basic needs are met, that the child can share in the good fortune of his or her parents, and that his or her lifestyle stays basically the same from household to household. Even if a child lives with each parent for equal time, if one parent makes much more than the other, child support may be ordered by the court.
If your child was born outside of your marriage, not during it, you may need to establish paternity before asking for child support. We can help you with that process as well as with any child support petitions.
THE PAZOS APPROACH TO FLORIDA DIVORCE
We believe that divorce doesn’t have to be a devastating fight that turns your life into a war zone. Yes, you’ll certainly have issues to work out and disagreements to get through. At Pazos Law Group, though, we believe that the best option is the most peaceful option.
We work hard to help you come to a settlement by negotiating with the other side and calling in mediators when necessary. Ultimately, you’ll get more of what you want through skillful negotiation, and that’s our specialty. We’ll help you keep your focus on your family and your new life, not on fighting courtroom battles.
When an out-of-court settlement can’t happen, our Florida divorce attorneys are ready to advocate for you in court with energy and integrity. We want you to come through your divorce with a positive path forward, focused on what’s next rather than what happened in the past.
You can schedule an initial consultation with us by filling out the contact form below or by calling (954) 719-5557.
Managing Partner Nadia Pazos explains the Pazos Law Group’s philosophy on divorce and family law.