Divorce FAQs

What should I do to prepare myself if I am thinking about divorce?

When it comes to preparing for a divorce, it is important to take your time and have everything in order. You will want to collect all your financial information so you can establish the net worth of your marital estate. You will want to make sure you can provide for yourself and any children involved; therefore, financial stability is important. When it comes to children and custody, it is best to hire a lawyer that has years of experience dealing in divorce and custody cases.

How is custody decided in Florida?

There are many factors that are considered when it comes to the amount of custody each party receives. More specifically, there are 19 factors that are considered when it comes to custody splits. The court looks at these aspects, then decides custody based on which individual has the best situation to take on the majority of child care. If most factors weigh heavily to one side, it is likely that side will get the majority of the timeshare.

Is it difficult for a man to win custody in Florida?

It can be hard to win timeshare majority; however, it is not unheard of. If a man better serves as a nurturing parent and provider, then the judge may quickly see this and award sole custody or the majority of custody to the father. It is best to hire a lawyer who has had experience working with divorce and custody with men.

How is child support calculated in Florida?

Child support is calculated using income and the majority of timeshare, which considers the overnight periods that a parent has the child in their care. Other factors included in the calculation of child support include: health insurance, the amount the father pays for himself and his children will factor into the final child support number. Day care is also credited when it comes to working out how much child support is paid. When it comes to ongoing overtime being paid to a party, this will be factored into the amount calculated for child support as well. In general, all forms of income are included in the child support calculation.

Can I dispute the amount of child support I pay in Florida?

Child support amounts can be disputed. If you believe your spouse is earning more income than the amount being reported or your children are spending more time with you and you are supporting them during this time, you may return to court to dispute amounts. The courts have the ability to change the child support number within 5% or more if there is proof that one party is being disadvantaged.

Can a father have visitation rights in Florida if he is not paying child support?

Just by placing your name on the birth certificate does not automatically mean you will have parenting rights, one would need to go to court to get your name placed legally as the parent. Likewise, visitation or parental rights are not automatically given with the payment of child support. Just because you are paying child support does not mean you have automatic rights to your child. You must go to court to have legal access to your child.

How does the court decide the division of marital assets and marital debts?

Equitable distribution is when the court divides marital assets and liabilities. A timeline is used to decide which assets and liabilities were gained within the marriage period. Division starts at 50/50. If you are disputing the right for your spouse to receive certain assets, you will need to fight this in court. This may include money made or given to you outside of the marriage, such as family inheritances, during the marriage period.

What do I need to do to relocate with my children?

There is a relocation statute that was put into place in Florida to stop one parent from taking the child outside of the local area without permission. The regulated area is a maximum of 50 miles. If you wish to relocate further than 50 miles, the relocation statute will kick in. If you do not have paternity, you will need to go to court and have this set up before you can consider relocation. If you do wish to relocate, you will be required to have the other parent’s permission. Getting this in writing will allow you to avoid going to court. If you do not get permission, you will need to attend court. Relocating without permission can result in contempt and loss of access to your child.

How do I establish paternal rights?

Paternal rights must be established by the courts. Having your name on the birth certificate or paying child support does not automatically give you paternal rights. You must attend court and have your paternal rights officially noted before you can claim any parenting rights.

What is an injunction?

An injunction is a restriction that the court places on people and property. If you have a no contact injunction, you cannot contact the other party at any time. Injunctions can last from six months to a year and breaking the injunction can result in a misdemeanor. An injunction can be cancelled or changed if you can prove that you will not show harm to the other party.

Bounce Back: Tips to help men navigate family law

Written by Kenny Leigh
All cases cited in this book are Florida cases and should not be considered advice for any other state.

Divorce can be horrible. For most people, it’s the most stressful event in their lives —more stressful than the death of a family member. And not only is the experience itself often loathsome, but the consequences of terminating a marriage can be devastating. Divorce has permanently damaged the careers, net worth and valued relationships of countless men. If you are looking at this book, you are likely about to enter the most trying and difficult phase of your life. And if your case is not handled properly, you’ve got a lot to lose.