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Pros and Cons of Filing for Divorce First in Florida

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a bunch of people ask me whether there is an advantage to filing for divorce first. This is added to my series of blog posts that answer frequently asked questions about the Florida divorce process.In this post, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of being the first to file for divorce in Florida. Whether you are considering filing for divorce or simply curious about how the divorce process would start, this post will provide valuable insights into the pros and cons of taking the first step.So, does filing for divorce first in...

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Can My Spouse Take My Retirement In A Divorce In FL?

In Florida, retirement benefits including, vested and non vested benefits, rights, and funds received during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs are marital assets subject to equitable distribution. See § 61.076(1), Florida Statutes. In other words, if one spouse received retirement benefits during the marriage, then those assets are likely to be classified as marital property and therefore susceptible to distribution to the other spouse upon divorce.  Under Florida law, however, the portion of retirement benefits that a spouse receives prior to the marriage are not marital property. In order to determine the...

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What You Need To Know About Enforcing Time Sharing In Florida

If you have minor children, and have gone through family court, and now have a parenting plan, then you may have wondered: What Happens If The Other Parent Violates Our Court Ordered Parenting Plan? There may be serious consequences for parents that violate their court ordered parenting plan. In fact, Florida has a specific law that covers this situation. Once a time-sharing schedule has been developed and approved by the court, it's considered an actual Court Order. Judge's have a variety of tools that they can use to enforce their previous orders. As mentioned above there is a specific statute that gives...

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Permanent Alimony: What to know

Unlike some states around the country, Florida law gives judges the power to award permanent alimony or spousal support in certain divorces. There is no bright line rule or formula to determine one’s entitlement to permanent alimony. Instead, judges must examine the facts of each divorce case. To fully understand how permanent alimony is treated in Florida, it may be helpful to review a few details about alimony in general.  Alimony or “spousal support” describes a court ordered payment from one spouse to another spouse after divorce (or sometimes while the divorce is pending). Note that alimony is separate and distinct...

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What is Non-Marital Property in Florida?

In Florida non-marital property is clearly defined by § 61.075(6)(b), Florida Statutes. In general, Florida law provides that non-marital property includes any assets acquired or liabilities (debts) incurred by either the husband or wife prior to the marriage, including assets acquired or liabilities incurred in exchange for those pre-marital assets or liabilities. Assets that one spouse receives during the marriage that are either "noninterspousal” gifts (meaning not a gift from the other spouse) or an inheritance will be non-marital property. Any income that comes from non-marital assets is non-marital property, unless that income was treated, used, or relied upon by...

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What is considered marital property in Florida?

Florida law explicitly states that marital property is comprised of those “[a]ssets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them.” § 61.075(6)(a), Florida Statutes. Typically this means that identifying an asset or liability as “marital” or “nonmarital” will in part come down to determining when the asset was acquired.  Marital assets are subject to distribution, while nonmarital assets are not subject to distribution. Assets or liabilities that are incurred while the divorce proceeding is pending, but before the divorce is finalized, are typically considered “non marital” assets.  In addition to property acquired during the marriage,...

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