Florida Divorce Guide

One thing I tell all of my clients considering divorce is to be prepared as much as possible prior to filing for divorce. It drastically cuts costs in legal fees and takes away some of the stress of divorce when you have planned beforehand.

FOUR topics to consider before filing your divorce case in Florida are listed below. Crucial questions to consider when planning for the best possible outcome for you in your divorce are also spelled out below. Thinking about these items now ensures you keep a clear and rational head to come up with a solid plan on how to move forward with your life after divorce.

Most importantly, you will have access to all documents needed during a divorce case in Florida before you file. I have provided a handy list of these documents that may be needed for each topic so that you can prepare in advance.

A. PARENTING PLAN

Divorces with children involved primarily focus on the parenting plan first. The parenting plan determines numerous factors in raising your children and will be the document most referred to after the divorce is finalized. It is important that the plan is tailored to you and your children and accounts for the best interest of the children. Before filing for divorce, you should consider whether you would like to request one of the following:

  • Shared Parental Responsibility: Both parents confer and jointly make all major decisions affecting the welfare of the children, such as education, healthcare, etc.
  • Shared Parental Responsibility with Decision Making Authority: Both parents attempt to agree on major decisions, but one parent will have the ultimate decision-making authority.
  • Sole Parental Responsibility: One parent has the sole authority to make major decisions for the children and it is proven detrimental to the children to have shared parental responsibility.

Other details to consider when formulating a parenting plan:

(for more details on a Parenting Plan including the documents needed and the complete Florida Divorce Guide be sure and download the document)

B. EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION

Divorces in Florida typically split the parties’ assets and liabilities down the middle as much as possible. Determining what is a marital asset or liability or a non-marital asset or liability can be key to whether an asset or liability will be considered in the calculations. Before filing for divorce, you should consider the following items when thinking about equitable distribution:

(for more details on Equitable Distribution including the documents needed and the complete Florida Divorce Guide be sure and download the document)

C. ALIMONY

That dreaded word in a divorce: Alimony. Alimony is determined by the court after looking at one party’s actual need versus one party’s ability to pay. After equitable distribution is determined, the court reviews what money is left over, if anything, and considers the parties’ circumstances to come up with a fair award. Some questions to answer:

(for more details on Alimony including the documents needed and the complete Florida Divorce Guide be sure and download the document)

D. CHILD SUPPORT

Child support is calculated according to the Florida statutory guidelines. However, there are factors the court considers that can raise or lower child support. To calculate child support, the court looks at the total gross income of the parties and subtract any deductions to come up with the net income used in calculations. Important factors that the Court will consider:

(for more details on Child Support including the documents needed and the complete Florida Divorce Guide be sure and download the document)

Download the Florida Divorce Guide for more information as well as a
CHECKLIST OF DIVORCE DOCUMENTS