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South Florida Family Law Blog

How does spousal support work in Florida?

Divorcing couples looking to determine what their post-marriage lives will look like are often concerned about how their assets will be divided and how much money will be left for them. The question of spousal support comes to mind, particularly in a high-asset divorce.

Here are a few things to know about spousal support in Florida.

Is fighting for the house truly worth it?

Divorcing spouses frequently consider the home to be at the core of asset division, especially because a house may have the highest value among a couple's possessions. However, the greatest motivation to fight for the house is often its sentimental value. At such a tumultuous or uncertain time in life, divorcees may wish to hold on to the security and familiarity of their house.

Despite the personal or monetary value that the house could have, keeping a property isn't always advantageous. As with most decisions in a divorce settlement, it's important to consider the big picture.

Consider a trust if a family member has serious addiction issues

Creating a financial legacy can take many years. You often need to work hard and plan frugally to build up a substantial nest egg during your working life. After all those years of hard work, the ability to leave something behind for your loved ones is a beautiful reward.

Sadly, many people must now worry about how their heirs and loved ones will handle receiving a large sum of money as an inheritance. Addiction has always been an issue, but our society is struggling with unprecedented high levels of opiate, opioid and heroin addiction.

5 tips for saving on back-to-school shopping

While not quite over yet, the telltale signs of summer's end are starting to make their appearances. Department stores are replacing patio furniture with pencils, pens and notebooks. The tourist season is winding down in Southern Florida. Schools have started sending out back-to-school notices and the all-important list of school supplies children will need this year.

Unlike in years past, though, this year you'll be covering school supplies solo. As a divorced or single parent, are you ready to brave back-to-school shopping?

Turning norms of shared parenting around

Florida is not among the states in the U.S. that make a presumption of equal time when it comes to creating parenting plans in divorce. The Legislature approved such a measure several years ago, but the governor vetoed it. His reason for the action was that adopting the premise runs the risk of prioritizing the wants of parents over the best interests of the children.

The standard of the child's best interests does prevail in Florida, but that does not mean the concept of equally shared parenting time is off the table. Parents can propose a schedule that includes equally divided time with the children. The key to seeing it approved is to make sure the plan's provisions clearly articulate how they serve the children's best interests.

Short-term custody options for deployed single parents

Military parents know that their country could call them to serve across seas. Despite distance, the nature of this job does not necessarily conflict with raising children. However, separated parents might not have a spouse at home who would continue to care for their children until their return.

Because active servicemembers might require long travel periods for work, state law now offers temporary child custody and support agreements. Parents may appoint a trustworthy adult to care for their children in the meantime. This person may commonly be a grandparent, relative or the other parent depending on the situation.

High income divorces may deviate from child support standards

For couples with minor children who think the worst is in their future, the topic of child support is often an emotional one. One parent may want to punish the other by seeking as much money as possible, while the other may want to withhold funds for the same reason. Although Florida uses a simple formula for determining child support, many people will do anything in their power to manipulate the outcome of that process, including providing inaccurate information or leaving a job.

Some people imagine that only lower-income families struggle with decisions about child support, but that simply is not true. Families that have higher overall income, especially when one spouse makes significantly more than the other, often have conflict about child support amounts. Understanding how Florida determines child support, as well as how your income could affect the outcome of your divorce, is important for your financial future.

When one spouse wants to fight, but the other can’t afford it

Spouses may share resources in marriage, but they might not stay on a level playing field once the relationship turns sour. Such is often the case for couples that have widely differing incomes and for stay-at-home parents.

Unfortunately, the higher-earning spouse could try to take advantage of the other spouse’s limited budget. They may try to draw out the battle in court to gain more assets or parental control. They may also hide or destroy assets, knowing that the other spouse can’t afford to investigate missing money.

Signs that a child needs extra mental support through divorce

Sadly, some children and teens have an especially difficult time both during and after their parents separate. They may experience deep emotions of abandonment or worry for the future. Even if both parents love and care for their child, the transition itself could be overwhelming.

Childhood mental health has become a major concern in the past decade. Too many young lives have been wounded or lost to mental illnesses. While not every child who experiences parental divorce will develop these serious issues, parents should pay close attention to this possibility.

Divorcing with a disability poses unique questions

As with many things in life, Florida residents with disabilities may need to adapt the divorce process to suit their needs. The presence of a disability may or may not be part of the reason for divorcing a spouse, but it certainly impacts the outcome.

Divorce is never one-size-fits-all. Ability level will likely be one of many factors that changes how you and your spouse approach this process. In this post, we will discuss the key issues that pertain to disabled divorcees.