What is Equitable Distribution?

Equitable distribution is a legal term that refers to the division of a couple’s assets and liabilities during a divorce. Equitable vs. Equal One of the more contentious issues facing a divorce court is the meaning of the word “equitable.” In Florida, the law takes this concept one step further and attempts to define the word “equitable” as being, in most cases, equal. This can be seen as both a way to guide a court and provide some security for the litigants. While the word “equitable” may be taken by some as a synonym for equal, in reality it is a highly subjective term that leaves much of the decision-making to the discretion of the court. Note this does not imply all settlements or judgments will be equal. What the Florida statues emphasize is fairness. It would seem the idea is to start from the most objectively “fair” standard, which is equality, and to work towards a subjectively fair standard as the case progresses. Who Owns What? Property that can be claimed by one or the other spouse can be classified as “separate property” in the state of Florida. In these kinds of cases, property can be automatically awarded to one or the other spouse on the grounds it was never jointly owned in the first place. As strange as it may seem, this can be considered a first step towards an “equitable” solution to a property dispute in a divorce case. For all intents and purposes, under Florida law, property acquired during the marriage is considered “marital property.” Everything Gets Distributed One concept many people miss when filing...

The Reality Of Alimony In Florida

Alimony is when one spouse is awarded to pay financial compensation to the other spouse. The purpose is to give the alimony recipient time to be able to take care of their personal expenses without financial assistance. Many Florida residents may think alimony is something that is only paid on a monthly basis. Alimony is actually something that can be paid in a lump sum or done using a combination of both payment methods. A divorce court will determine if alimony is to be awarded to you. It will take a number of non-monetary factors into consideration before making this decision. Types Of Alimony In Florida The divorce laws in Florida provide five different types of alimony a spouse can receive. A judge can award a single form of alimony or any combination of them. This decision will be based on what a judge believes is fair under the circumstances. It is also possible for spouses to agree with one another on terms and conditions of their own alimony arrangement. This type of agreement is often successful when legal professionals are involved during the negotiation process. Temporary Alimony Florida courts will commonly award a spouse temporary alimony during the time the divorce is pending. This is done in cases where one spouse needs to have financial support during the time the divorce process takes place. This form of alimony is designed to stop once the divorce is final. Durational Alimony Should no other form of alimony meet the financial needs of the spouse receiving it, a Florida judge may award durational alimony. The maximum length of time durational alimony...

Divorce while Pregnant

Those who are pregnant but are planning on getting a divorce in the state of Florida may seem challenged by the legal process. It can be difficult to know or understand the Florida laws when a couple is expecting a child but are divorcing. Florida is a “no fault” divorce state that allows both parties to divorce without providing any reason. The state also has two types of divorce, which includes regular and simplified. Although some states do not allow married couples to divorce while pregnant, Florida permits the divorce before the child is born, but it can be difficult to finalize. Birth Certificate According to Florida law, the man that you are married to will have his name appear on the birth certificate once the baby is born even if the divorce is finalized. In some cases, a DNA test may have to be performed to prove that the ex-husband is the father of the child before child support is paid. If the wife becomes pregnant by another man, the husband will still legally be responsible for the child until the right documents are processed. Child Custody Once the baby is born, child custody may be divided between the two parents. If the mother is breastfeeding, she will likely need to provide milk to the father. The biological father will also have to establish paternity to ensure that he can obtain visitation rights or custody. It’s also important to establish a child support amount through the courts with a timesharing plan before the child is born for a smoother process. Divorce Those who are attempting to divorce while...