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Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage


The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart

Divorce (dissolution of marriage in Florida) can be one of the most difficult of all events in a persons life. Listed below are, aside from the purely emotional aspects of a divorce, are two of the most important considerations in obtaining a dissolution of marriage in Florida.

  1. THE CHILDREN. If you have children, the first concern is going to need to be what can be done for the children that is in their best interests. While there may be fighting between the parents, courts are usually going to allow for shared parental responsibility after the divorce. Shared Parental Responsibility will outline in the Marital Settlement Agreement, the Time Sharing between the parents, child support, schooling, decision making for important events and who will have the ultimate responsibility for a decision if the parents disagree. Parents in Florida are required to take parenting classes when obtaining a divorce. The Parenting Classes acknowledge that things will no longer be the same when the parents are separated, living in different homes, and seeing the children at different times
  2. FINANCES. Going from a two person household to a one person household means that there will be less money to go around for everyone. This can be a particular problem if only one of the parties was working and the non-working party now finds themselves living alone, without having had a job in oftentimes many years – particularly for homemakers. When filing for divorce in Florida, both parties are required to fill out a financial affidavit listing all of their assets and liabilities. This Financial Affidavit will form the basis for a judge deciding on child support and spousal support – alimony. Alimony can take many forms in Florida, from lump sum alimony to periodic alimony, or rehabilitative alimony (which allows for alimony while the non-working party obtains the education or experience necessary to enter the work force on their own) or variations. Factors in determining alimony will be the length of the marriage, whether it was a long term marriage or a short term marriage, the lifestyle of the parties during the marriage, and the contributions to the marriage of each party. In a long term marriage alimony is likely to be greater. Courts generally consider marriages above 8-10 years to be the middle of the road when considering between a long-term or short term marriage. Finances will also take into account who will keep the marital home, automobiles and the like. As a general rule in Florida, all income and assets earned during the marriage, other than separate gifts meant to be separate, are considered marital property, subject to equitable distribution in Florida. Equitable distribution is the splitting up of the assets and liabilities between the parties.

For further information call the Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart at 866-438-6574 or see us on the web at