While divorce is unique to each family and situation, there are several divorce factors that are common in many cases. Below are some examples of basic things to consider. Always keep in mind that many other divorce factors can and do come up during a divorce.
In Florida, equitable distribution is the legal term to describe the division of assets and liabilities during a divorce proceeding. This is the time in the process where a detailed analysis of how all assets (cars, real property, retirement accounts, bank accounts, businesses, personal property, etc.) and liabilities (loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc.) will be divided between each spouse. In some cases this is relatively simple, but in others it can be very complex. Examples of some more complex matters involve businesses, trusts, complex pensions, complex investments, military benefits, stock options, investment property or non-United States assets and liabilities. [Read more about divorce equitable distribution]
Premarital/Non-Marital Assets or Liabilities
If either spouse has assets or liabilities that were established prior to the marriage that may be a premarital or non-marital, these should be identified early on and prior to equitable distribution. Loans (such as student loans) taken prior to marriage or gifts given to either spouse before or during the marriage from a third party (including inheritance) that are kept separate from marital funds are often considered non-marital.
If either partner is in need of financial assistance (ie, child support or alimony) during the divorce process this can be requested and awarded to the spouse in need during the pendency of the process. The partner in need has to demonstrate that the other spouse has the ability to meet that financial need.
Alimony is a complex area of dissolution of marriage law. There several different types of alimony that can be awarded in multiple combinations. Alimony must be requested prior to the final judgment of divorce being entered. [Read more about alimony in divorce ]
Special Needs For Spouse
If either spouse has any special needs or long term health issues this should be addressed in the divorce process.
Divorce Factors Related To Children
Children have a special set of needs for a family going through divorce. Consequently, Florida requires that couples create a plan to support and care for their children after divorce. Here are some of the most common considerations:
Divorcing couples with minor children are required by law to have a parenting plan with time-sharing schedule. The plan can be created by agreement or judicial ruling and lays out the important issues as it relates to their children. The state of Florida has a Supreme Court form which provides a parenting plan template that addresses many important factors related to parenting: regular time-sharing, holiday time-sharing, travel, medical, schooling, communication and expense sharing of extra-curricular activities. [Read more about parenting plans in divorce ]
Child support must be calculated in all divorce cases with minor children. In Florida, child support is largely a mathematical formula set by law. The calculation takes into consideration five primary factors: each parents income, the time-sharing schedule as established in the parenting plan, the amount of medical costs paid by a parent and the amount of child care expenses. There are of course many possible exceptions and deviations. [Read more about child support divorce factors ]
The state of Florida requires that all divorcing parents with minor children take a four hour parenting course. In general it can be taken on line, but in some courts a live course is required. Each parent will receive a certificate for completion of the course which must be filed with the clerk of court.
Children’s Special Needs
Special needs of children need to also be considered as it relates to time-sharing and child support.
Again, this information only describes some of the basic factors and considerations.
Next Step: Take some time to learn more details about some very specific divorce factors:
You can also return to our divorce home page to view other topics.