Frequently Asked Divorce Questions
How is child support calculated?
A formula is used by the court in child support calculations that takes into account the number of children in the house and the net income of each parent. Some of the areas considered in the formula include:
- Salary/wage of each parent
- Income from self-employment, partnerships, etc.
- All workers compensation, social security, disability benefits
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, tips
- Interest and dividends
Regardless of who has custody of the child, both parents can be responsible to cover the finances of the child's needs. Support can be agreed upon by the couple or the court may need to step in, as is often the case to make a final judgment. It is often paid in monthly sums until the child is 18 years old.
How is alimony awarded?
This can be under the terms of the divorcing couple, or the court can review the case to determine if they believe alimony should be awarded. It is given to the spouse that is deemed as "dependent." This may be that they make significantly less or they are unemployed. They may have contributed to the marriage in other ways and now that it is ending they are unable to support themselves. The court can choose to give alimony on a differing basis. It may be awarded more ongoing for an individual that is unable to be competitive in the job market or can be on a short term basis that is dependent on when the individual is able to retain a job or finish school. Modifications can also be sought in these cases if it is believed that the original terms are no longer satisfactory for the current situation.
What is uncontested divorce?
When both parties agree on the major issues such as child custody,
property division and
spousal support, the divorce is considered to be uncontested. Any topics which cannot be resolved without
divorce mediation or
divorce litigation will lead to a contested divorce. Even in an uncontested divorce, a Tampa divorce lawyer can assist in the filing of paperwork and in drafting legally binding agreements for the parenting plan and alimony as well as in
modifications of a court order after the settlement.
How do I get visitation?
Florida courts believe in the best interests of the child being paramount when it comes to visitation matters. They will always address what will serve the child best when it comes to determining a plan for both parents to share in custody and provide for the wellbeing of the child. You have this fact working in your favor. When seeking visitation it is important to show that it will not be a hindrance for the child and that you are able to continually keep up this relationship. If you and the other parent are able to come to an agreement and develop a parenting plan, this will often be an easier route. If that is not an option then you will need to show the court why they should give you these rights. A petition should be filed with the court and the other parent will need to be served with papers.
How will our property be divided?
Under Florida law, any non-marital assets and liabilities will be left in the possession of the party who owned such property before the marriage. Marital assets, meaning anything acquired by the couple during the marriage, will be divided by the court with a focus on equitable division. There is a set of guidelines set out in Chapter 61 of the state statute regarding divorce which the judge will use in the distribution of marital property, including factors such as the relative contributions of each partner to the marriage.
How much will my divorce cost?
The price of your divorce will depend entirely upon how quickly it can be completed. Uncontested divorces are typically far less expensive than contested divorces. It is wise to do everything you can to work things out between you and your ex-spouse swiftly and efficiently. An effective divorce attorney can make a significant difference in this.
How long will it take?
Any divorce is subject to a 60 day waiting period, beginning when you file for divorce. If there is no contest, at the end of this period your divorce will be finalized. Contested divorces can take substantially longer.
Can I change the terms of my divorce?
There are a few areas that you are able to seek a change be made to. A modification allows adjustments to be requested in areas such as alimony, child support, visitation and child custody. It will need to be clearly shown to the court that there was a change in circumstances that is substantial enough for the modification. This can be used to both increase or decrease payments and either party can petition the court for a modification. It is always best to seek a legal change rather than making the change yourself. Failing to adhere to divorce terms can lead to issues with the court. If you and your spouse come to an agreement together it is still better to make it official to protect yourself.
What if my spouse isn't following the divorce agreement?
This is a common problem that many people face, when they are the only one that is following the terms set in the divorce. This can be in regards to visitation, child custody, child support, relocation or spousal support. When the court makes a ruling, it is a legally binding decision. Failing to carry out the terms of the court order can lead to various legal ramifications that can be costly and time consuming for those that are guilty. The court is not always on top of enforcing orders so they often need to be presented with the issue rather than them learning about it on their own. If a spouse is failing to observe an order, it is often necessary for legal action to be taken.
As a father do I have a less likely chance of gaining custody?
If you are a father that is looking for any type of rights, you have come to the right place. We have a particular interest in these situations and we exert our legal skill when looking to gain fathers' rights that may not always be readily given to them. Many mothers have often been given favor in the past and even with the cultural changes the adjustment has not always been seen. The past model of a stay at home wife and a husband that is off at work and detached from the lives of the children is no longer the set standard. More fathers are staying home to care for their kids or are still actively involved in their lives, while both they and the mother continue in their career. Fathers are seeking to gain more rights when it comes to spousal support, child custody and visitation and with more pressure on the courts, many of them have been able to receive these.