There is a great deal of misinformation about how divorce works in Florida. This can cause people undue stress or lead to problems during the divorce process. Here are 7 of the most persistent myths about Florida divorce and the truth behind them:
1. Divorce Is Called Divorce
While everyone calls it divorce, the reality is that Florida law refers to divorce as dissolution of marriage. This is important to know in order to ensure you are making legally accurate statements.
2. The Mother Always Gets Custody
Florida law states that child custody should be dictated by the best interest of the child. In most cases, what is best for the child is a continued relationship with both parents. The mother is not guaranteed more parenting time.
3. Property Is Divided 50-50
Florida law calls for an equitable division of property. While this means a 50-50 split in many cases, the balance can be tipped based on a variety of factors, including each spouse's contributions to the marriage, each spouse's economic circumstances and the duration of the marriage.
4. Leaving The Marital Home Means Losing The Marital Home
Once you have decided to pursue a divorce, you do not necessarily need to stay in the family home in order to maintain a stake in it. The marital home will be subject to equitable division of property like other assets.
5. Alimony Is Guaranteed
There are many different types of alimony in Florida covering a variety of situations. However, there is no guarantee that any of them will be involved in a divorce. Like property division, alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is based on factors such as economic differences and length of marriage.
6. Divorce Requires A Lengthy Trial
People think that divorce always equals a courtroom battle. That is not true. Many divorces are resolved amicably outside of court. Even when there are disputes, they can be resolved through negotiation or a form of alternative dispute resolution like mediation.
7. Divorce Does Not Require A Lawyer
This is actually true. Many people handle their divorce without a lawyer. Of course, many people also end up in messy situations because they were unfamiliar with the law, or with unsatisfactory outcomes because their spouse had a lawyer who took advantage of them. At the outset, it may seem cost-effective to move forward without a lawyer, but in hindsight, the savings do not outweigh the losses suffered.
At Stephen T. Holman, P.A., our goal is to get you through your divorce as efficiently as possible, protecting your interests and pursuing your goals with an eye on your budget. The process begins with a free consultation.