The Financial and Emotional Costs of a Divorce
In Florida, the average cost of a divorce is about $15,000. But the average cost of a divorce is like the average cost of a house or a car. There is so much difference between the low end and high end that an “average” figure is almost meaningless.
Nevertheless, a divorce almost always costs substantially more than planned. To save financial costs, some people pursue Do-It-Yourself divorces. Frequently, DIY marriage dissolution marginally reduces the financial cost and greatly multiplies the emotional cost.
The best way to limit the emotional and financial costs of divorce is to partner with an experienced Port St. Lucie family law attorney. Only a good lawyer is familiar with all the issues in a divorce. Additionally, an attorney knows the procedural rules and can expedite the matter.
Unless the parties had a premarital agreement, the property division portion of a divorce is usually the most complex and time-consuming part of the case.
Florida’s property classification rules seem straightforward, but they are usually not. By law, any debt or asset acquired before the marriage is nonmarital property, and everything else is marital property subject to an equitable division.
Commingling usually muddies these seemingly clear waters. If Husband used money from his paycheck (marital asset) to pay his student loans (nonmarital debt), Wife might be entitled to substantial reimbursement from Husband.
Additionally, “equitable” is not necessarily the same thing as “equal.” So, rather than splitting everything down the middle, Florida judges usually take a number of factors into account, such as the relative earning power of each spouse, the length of the marriage, and the conservatorship of minor children.
Parenting Time Division
Florida’s co-parenting law presumes that children benefit from frequent and meaningful contact with both parents. Therefore, the traditional every-other-weekend division is not always appropriate. Some different parenting time options have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Block scheduling might be the best example. The children spend a week or two with Parent A, a week or two with Parent B, and then the cycle repeats. Except for some minor accommodations, mostly around major holidays, that pattern remains in effect twelve months a year.
Block scheduling greatly evens the parenting time division. Additionally, block scheduling is very predictable. That benefits both parents and children.
Obviously, this arrangement only works well in some cases. Additionally, in some situations, judges limit parent-child contact. That’s especially true if the child is an infant or there are verified allegations of domestic abuse.
Family Support Obligations
Florida’s alimony laws are quite subjective and Florida’s child support laws are generally objective, at least for the most part.
The amount and duration of spousal support payments is usually a balance between the obligee’s financial need and the obligor’s ability to pay. These things are different from the obligee’s financial preferences and the obligor’s willingness to pay.
Typically, Florida’s child support guidelines determine the child support obligations. These guidelines take a number of factors into account, such as the income of each parent and the parenting time division. Judges have discretion to deviate from these guidelines in some cases.
Reach Out to an Experienced Lawyer
Almost all divorces have significant emotional and financial costs. For a free consultation with an experienced Port St. Lucie divorce lawyer, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle matters throughout the Treasure Coast area.