Dealing with divorce, child custody, and alimony can be stressful. The stress can get worse if you’re uncertain about what the law says regarding your rights.
A family law attorney in Spring Hill, FL can be instrumental in helping you understand how the law applies to your case. However, you might not have a lawyer yet to explain the law. Don’t worry – read on for a comprehensive guide on family law in Spring Hill, Florida.
Filing for Divorce
In Spring Hill, Florida, what many refer to as divorce is legally called dissolution of marriage. Legally dissolving a marriage often gives rise to challenges. These issues usually have to do with things like dividing assets and debt and child custody.
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to dissolving a marriage. That means that the parties don’t have to show proof of wrongdoing to get divorced. Instead, people can file for divorce because the relationship has irreconcilable differences.
An uncontested divorce is one where the parties agree on every issue regarding the dissolution. That includes the following:
- Property and debt division
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
Parties can file for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage in an uncontested divorce.
In a contested divorce, parties are unable to agree on some issues. They can go for a hearing where the judge will determine the case. Each party can present evidence and witnesses during the hearing. The contested divorce route is more costly and time-consuming than the uncontested one. However, it may be necessary to follow that path to protect your rights.
Division of Assets and Debts
The divorcing parties may not reach an agreement on asset and debt division. Thus, the court will have to determine an equitable distribution of assets and debt. Equitable doesn’t mean a 50/50 split. A Florida court may consider the following factors to determine equitable division:
- Length of the marriage
- Each party’s financial situation
- Career or education interruption, if any
- Each party’s contribution
- Any other factors affecting equity and justice
Child Custody and Visitation
Divorcing parties have the opportunity to negotiate the custody of their children. However, they might be unable to agree on the subject. If so, the court will decide to serve the children’s best interests.
There are two major types of custody in Spring Hill, Florida. The court can order the parties to share parenting duties and time. Alternatively, one party may get sole parenting responsibility.
Various factors affect the court’s decision – for example, geographic issues and the moral fitness of each party.
Each party contributes to the children’s needs after a divorce through child support. The law outlines various factors to consider when calculating child support. They include:
- How many children need support
- The income of each parent
- Custody agreements
- Basic needs, e.g., healthcare and education
The purpose of alimony is to offset any unfair economic impacts of the dissolution of a marriage. For example, say one party forwent employment to stay home with the children. They may not be able to support themselves financially after a divorce. There are different types of alimony in Spring Hill.
Bridge-the-gap alimony offers financial support for short-term, transitional needs. It’s granted for up to two years.
Rehabilitative alimony helps one party become self-sufficient. It supports things like education and training.
Durational alimony offers financial support for a given time. It’s not permanent. Permanent alimony offers support to a party that can’t meet their financial needs. It’s often granted after a marriage that lasted for a long time.
Family law often deals with your life’s most critical and sensitive aspects. Understandably, you want to obtain as much information as possible on the subject. Doing so gives you a sense of control and eliminates uncertainty. Now that you know more about family law, you can safeguard your rights.