Family is often the main center of our lives so when an incident such as a divorce threatens that family bond, highly-charged emotions can get involved. One of the most contentious parts of most divorces involves the division of marital property and debt between spouses. Other issues that must be resolved in a divorce decree include child custody, child support and alimony.
Although Florida is a no-fault state so it’s easier for spouses to be eligible for a divorce, it doesn’t mean you won’t need legal guidance throughout the divorce process. It’s very possible you and your ex-spouse may be unable to compromise on a marital issue. If this occurs, having legal representation is well-advised as your ex-spouse may wish to continue negotiations through their attorney, or both of you will be forced to go to court to remedy the issue. A knowledgeable law attorney can help navigate the pitfalls and unexpected revelations in any divorce proceeding.
Florida Divorce Rights Attorney | Broward County
If you or someone you know is in the process of or is considering divorce, it’s important to seek skilled legal guidance. At Bacchus Law Firm, our Broward County divorce lawyers carry many years of experience helping clients through the divorce process including the matter of property division, child support, and alimony. We can help you obtain the best outcome possible for your case.
Call (954) 500-5555 as soon as possible to discuss what are the best choices for your specific situation. Our divorce attorneys will provide you with the legal care you need. Bacchus Law Firm accepts cases throughout the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area in counties like Collier County, Palm Beach County, Hendry County, and Miami-Dade County.
- Dissolution of Marriage in Florida
- What Are My Rights in a Divorce in Florida?
- Marital Assets vs. Non-Marital Assets in Florida
- Additional Resources
In Florida, divorce is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage.” Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that an individual seeking a divorce from their spouse does not need to prove any kind of fault or wrongdoing on their partner’s end. Therefore, a couple can easily obtain a simple dissolution of marriage without needing proof of fault.
A couple may qualify for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in Florida if all of the following statements are true:
- The parties agree that the marriage cannot be saved
- The parties have no minor or dependent child(ren) together
- The wife does not have any minor or dependent children born during the marriage
- The wife is not currently pregnant
- The parties have worked out how they will divide their assets, who will pay what part of the money they both owe (liabilities), and how satisfied they with this division
- The wife is not seeking support (alimony) from her spouse, and vice versa
- The parties are willing to give up their right to trial and appeal
- The parties are both willing to go into the clerk’s office to sign the petition (not necessarily together).
- The parties are both willing to go to the final hearing (at the same time).
Additionally, both parties must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months. If the couple does not meet the criteria above, they must file a regular petition for dissolution of marriage.
One of the most complex areas of a divorce is the division of assets and debts. Assets can include cars, bonds, bank accounts, personal property, business interests, and cash. Debts, also referred to as liabilities, include mortgages, credit card accounts, car loans and any additional money owed to third parties.
Florida law requires an equitable and fair distribution of all marital assets and debts if a pre-marital agreement does not exist. Equitable distribution is based on several relevant factors the court must consider, including but not limited to the following:
- The duration of the marriage
- Both parties’ economic circumstances
- Any interruption in either parties’ educational or career opportunities
- Both parties’ wrongful conduct during the marriage
- Both parties’ contribution to the marriage as a homemaker or parent
- Liabilities incurred by both parties
- Both parties’ contribution to increasing income
- Any intentional acts of dissipation, waste, or destruction of marital assets after filing a petition, or within two years prior to filing
- Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Florida law specifies the differences between martial assets and non-marital assets when considering what property each party should acquire. As stated previously, only marital assets are divided when two spouses divorce.
According to Florida Statutes. § 61.075, marital assets and liabilities include the following:
- Interspousal gifts given during the marriage
- Assets and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them
- The enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage, from contributing efforts from both parties, or from the use of marital assets, funds, or both
- All real property held as tenants by the entireties, whether acquired prior to or during the marriage
- All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in any profit-sharing agreement, pension, retirement, annuity, deferred compensation, or insurance plan program
- Personal property titled jointly by the parties as tenants by the entireties, whether acquired prior to or during the marriage
According to Florida Statutes. § 61.075, nonmarital property include the following:
- All income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a nonmarital asset
- Assets acquired separately by either party in exchange for interspousal gifts, bequests, devise
- Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage, and assets acquired, and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities
- Assets and liabilities excluded from marital assets and liabilities by valid written agreement of the parties, and assets acquired, and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities
- Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse
- Assets acquired separately by either party by non-interspousal gift, bequest, devise, or descent
Florida Bar: Divorce in Florida – Follow the link provided to visit the Florida Bar website and read about divorce. You can learn about the collaborative law, domestic violence, alimony, child support, and division of assets/debts. The webpage also explains how to file in a Florida court for a dissolution of marriage.
Florida Statutes: Dissolution of Marriage – Access the Florida Statutes website to read about dissolution of marriage. Click the link to learn how the State of Florida addresses several topics such as alimony, child support, and parental relocation with a child.
Fort Lauderdale Divorce Rights Lawyer, FL
Due to the complexity of a divorce, it’s advisable you hire a skilled family law attorney that can offer experienced legal counsel. If you or someone you know is in need of a divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL, contact Bacchus Law Firm to speak to an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer to address your concerns. Bacchus Law Firm has years of experience fighting for those who are having troublesome divorces and separations.
Going through any family matter can be a sensitive and difficult time so do not suffer alone. Call (954) 500-5555 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers as soon as possible. Bacchus Law Firm serves clients in Broward County, Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, Collier County, and Hendry County, Florida.