Assisting clients before, during and after divorces
Few times in one’s life are as stressful and emotionally devastating as the dissolution of a marriage. Nonetheless, it is important to realize that decisions affecting the rest of the person’s life moving forward are going to be made during this time. The Law Firm of Steven W. Bowden can explain the issues.
Florida is what is considered a “no fault” divorce state; according to a Pensacola family lawyer, this means either spouse can file for divorce with a sworn admission that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Despite this, a family judge in Florida has wide discretion to use whatever evidence they feel is relevant in making their final orders.
When a marriage begins to fail, it is natural to be filled with uncertainty.
Get the answers to your questions. Call Steven Bowden at (850) 898-9850
The concept the judge is guided by is referred to by Steven W. Bowden, a Pensacola family lawyer as “equitable distribution.” It should be noted that equitable does not mean equal and many factors will be considered.
Before dividing property, the Law Firm of Steven W. Bowden will determine whether either spouse owns any of the property separately. Separate, or “non-marital,” property is not subject to division in divorce. Property is separate if one spouse owned it before marriage or acquired it during marriage as a gift (not including gifts from the other spouse) or by inheritance.
What is Marital Property in Florida?
Unless a couple has a valid written agreement stating otherwise, marital property in Florida includes all assets and debts either spouse acquires during the marriage. It doesn’t matter if the property or debt is titled jointly or is only in one spouse’s name. For example, if your spouse opens a credit card account and your name is not on it, you are still jointly responsible for the charges on the card, even if your spouse did all the spending.
Florida family law courts are strongly interested in the care and well-being of minor children and require a parenting plan that describes how the child will be cared for.
The law presumes each parent has equal rights in parental decision making regarding how the child is raised. One of the primary matters to be considered is the visitation arrangement, which is also called a “time-sharing schedule.”
The following factors will be considered by the court in child custody decisions:
- Capacity of each parent to maintain a close relationship with the child
- Capacity of each parent to place the needs of the child first
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The preference of the child, if of an appropriate age
- Moral fitness of each parent and the capacity of each to maintain a substance free household
Any prior incidents of physical or mental abuse or history of criminal behavior or drug or alcohol abuse will seriously impact a parent’s custody and visitation rights.
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