Understanding the Emotional and Financial Issues of Divorce
The average length of a first marriage upon divorce is just over eight years. During that time period, most couples borrow money, acquire assets, and have children. As a result, almost all first-time divorces involve financial and emotional issues. Unless the couple had a solid premarital agreement, these issues are often rather complex.
An experienced Orlando divorce lawyer keeps certain overall principles in mind with regard to these emotional and financial issues. Overall, child custody decisions must be in the best interests of the children and the marital estate, including both assets and debts, must be divided equitably.
Financial Issues in a Divorce
Property division, alimony, and child support payments dominate this part of an Orange County divorce.
As mentioned, property must be divided equitably. That’s not necessarily the same thing as equally. Nevertheless, there is a presumption that a 50-50 division is appropriate. Evidence of income inequality is relevant here. For example, if Husband is much older and less educated than Wife, his future earning potential is lower. Therefore, a disproportionate division might be appropriate.
Florida’s alimony laws are quite subjective. Judges base the amount and duration of payments on the obligor’s ability to pay and the obligee’s economic need. Typically, spousal support helps the obligee become economically self-sufficient. In rare cases, alimony permanently equalizes the standard of living between the former spouses.
In contrast, Florida’s child support laws are quite objective. The guideline amount, which is based on income, parenting time division, and some other factors, is presumptively reasonable. Deviations are appropriate if the child has special needs or another exception is present.
Marriage Dissolution and Emotional Issues
The old days of managing and possessory conservatorships are gone. Florida now has a co-parenting law. This law presumes that children benefit from meaningful and consistent contact with both parents.
Therefore, in most cases, the law expects both parents to take an active role in the child-rearing process. Some factors to consider include the current parenting time arrangement, the preferences of the parents, the division of labor (“caregiver” vs. “breadwinner”) during the marriage, and the preferences of the child.
For some families, co-parenting means a more even timeshare division that the traditional every-other-weekend arrangement provides. Block scheduling is a popular alternative. The children spend two weeks with Parent A, two weeks with Parent B, and the cycle repeats.
Divorce usually involves a number of intricate issues. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Orlando, contact The DeWitt Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.