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Fort Myers Florida Family Law Legal Blog

How is equitable distribution handled in a contested divorce?

In some Florida divorces, both sides agree on the need to part ways and are able to amicably negotiate the issues. Other cases, however, are more contentious and the sides are unable or unwilling to negotiate and agree on various matters. With a contested dissolution, it is unlikely that the parties will be able to reach an agreement. Knowing how the court will oversee these concerns is key to a case.

In a contested divorce, the court will gauge the facts and come to a decision. The judgment will be based on the evidence presented. The court will then divide the assets and liabilities according to the facts of the case.

What is the timeline of a divorce case?

Many people in Florida who are thinking about getting a divorce probably have more questions than answers when it comes to the legal process. They know that their marriage is at the end of the line, but they don't know much about how the legal case will proceed. Nonetheless, understanding the basic framework and timeline of a divorce case is crucial.

What is the timeline for a typical divorce case in Florida? In many situations, the case starts when one of the spouses sits down with a divorce attorney and drafts the appropriate paperwork to file the case in family law court. The initial paperwork will inform the court and the other spouse of the reason why a divorce is necessary, as well as how the spouse who is initiating the case proposes to settle many of the issues that will come up in the case. This can include property division, child custody and child support.

Divorcing with a special needs child? Read this.

Of the approximately one million divorces that take place annually in the United States between parents with children, some will naturally be between parents of kids who have disabilities.

Divorce affects all children, even those who are already grown. But it can affect disabled kids even more than usual. If you find yourself in this situation, below is some advice to consider when proceeding with your divorce.

The pros and cons of litigation in a high net worth divorce

While probably less common than most people realize, contentious divorce cases do occur in Florida. In these types of cases, the parties may come into the process full of vitriol and ready to fight over every last detail of the divorce. Issues such as child custody, child support, and alimony are usually part of these cases, but in high net worth divorce cases in particular, property division can be the most contentious issue of all.

High net worth divorce cases can involve more than just money. Business assets, real estate, and even valuable artwork can be part of the property division puzzle that needs to be solved. When people feel like everything they ever worked for is at risk in a divorce case, they oftentimes feel compelled to litigate this issue and fight tooth and nail for what they believe they should get in the property division process.

An overview of the mediation process

One of the biggest mental hurdles that Florida residents need to get over when they are contemplating a divorce is the perception that the legal process will be drawn out, time consuming and emotionally draining. While that is certainly the case in some divorces, the fact is that many divorcing couples are able to amicably work through the variety of legal issues that they need to address in the divorce case and put the whole ordeal behind them in a rather timely process. "Mediation" is often the key.

Mediation is a way to resolve legal cases without the need for prolonged litigation or courtroom stress. If, for example, a divorcing couple is able to understand that they simply need to get through the legal issues in the case, such as property division, alimony, child custody and child support, and then get on with their lives, mediation may be an option. The crucial part of mediation is the "mediator" - a neutral third-party individual who will go back-and-forth between the parties as they attempt to reach resolutions to the divorce issues that are present in any given case.

Collaborative law lessen the emotional effect of divorce

The emotional effect of just thinking about getting a divorce can be crushing for some people, and then actually initiating the legal proceedings can be a whole different emotional gut-punch. Simply put, a divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster, as one recent news article pointed out.

In the recent article, several points about the emotions that come up in a divorce were discussed. When a divorce becomes seemingly inevitable, some people think, "Maybe I didn't try hard enough." Others think, "Maybe I should have made more compromises." The "ifs" and "buts" can be enough to cause any Florida resident to think about whether or not it is even worth the emotional turmoil to go through a divorce.

What should one know about equitable distribution?

Anyone in Florida who is contemplating a divorce or who is at the beginning stages of a divorce has probably heard the term, "equitable distribution," when it comes to the property division part of the case. The legalese-sounding term may seem straightforward enough, but, like many terms in the legal realm, there are nuances to how the term is interpreted. So, what should one know about the "equitable distribution" of assets in a divorce?

Well, for starters, there is one important concept to understand: "equitable" is not the same as "equal." Those who are getting ready to begin a divorce case and who believe that their assets and debts will be split 50/50 may be in for a rude awakening. The facts of any given case, and the needs of the parties involved, will determine what is "equitable." An even split down the middle is unlikely, in general.

I had an affair. She had a baby. Now what?

You had a bit too much fun on a business trip and cheated on your wife. A year after you stepped out of your marriage for a night of passion, your affair partner notified you that she had your baby. What happens next?

Certainly, your world is rocked. It's understandable that you may be struggling to process this life-changing bit of information. Below is some information that can guide you when determining your future course of action.

Working together with an ex-spouse during divorce

Why do couples get divorced? The answer to that question can be quite varied. However, once the decision to get a divorce is made, it is oftentimes a final decision. The couple knows that they are on a one-way road to ending their marriage. But, is it still possible to work together with a soon-to-be ex-spouse in a divorce case?

If the answer to that question is, "yes" or even "maybe," a collaborative approach to the divorce case may be an option. Sure, spouses are ending a marriage, but there is a legal process that obviously must be accomplished and, if both realize that it might be in their best interests to attempt to work something out in out-of-court negotiations, collaborative law may be an option that would be worth getting more information about.

Are there signs your marriage is headed for a divorce?

Each year thousands of married couples in Florida go through a divorce. Some of these cases are even high net worth divorces, in which millions of dollars in assets are on the line. In some cases, the signs that a divorce may be looming have been present for years. What are some of the signs that a marriage might be headed for a divorce?

A recent article examined this question, and came back with certain signposts that may let a couple know that an end to the marriage might be on the horizon. Some may seem trivial, but might be signs nonetheless. For example, the recent article noted that, if you and your spouse are not eating dinner together, you may be missing a key point of connection time in any given day. That can result in a relationship becoming disjointed.

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