Divorce is referred to as “marriage dissolution” in the state of Florida. Not only does divorce end a marriage, it also significantly affects the lifestyles of the parties involved. Divorce laws address the changes in the family dynamics and relationships and set the parameters for asset and liability division, parenting plans, and financial support.
The firm of Glenn & Phanco, P.A. has a prominent presence in the West Palm Beach area and is well-known in the practice of divorce. As aggressive advocates for our client’s rights, our firm is recognized for highly personalized and compassionate representation.
What is a No-Fault Divorce?
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. The only reason required for filing for divorce is “insupportability” and therefore declaring that the marriage is over and irretrievably broken with no hope of being fixed. Although grounds are not needed to obtain a divorce in Florida, if a spouse is able to prove a fault ground for divorce, they may be awarded a more favorable outcome with regard to child support, parenting time, court ordered spousal support, and division of assets. Those fault grounds could include adultery, conviction of a felony, mental illness, abandonment, or abuse. Before considering the pursuit of a fault grounds divorce, it is imperative that you meet with an experienced divorce attorney in West Palm Beach from the firm of Glenn & Phanco, P.A. We will evaluate your case and advise you on all of the possible opportunities and implications with regard to pursuing a fault grounds divorce case.
Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts
Florida courts are required to divide marital assets and debts between the parties under the laws of “equitable distribution.” Equitable distribution means a “fair” division, but doesn’t necessarily mean an “equal” division. Judges consider several factors when deciding equitable distribution, including each spouse’s income and earning potential, the duration of the marriage, minor children involved, career sacrifices made for the other spouse’s education or career, each spouse’s overall health, and any other relevant factors.
Glenn & Phanco, P.A. understands the intricacies of Florida law and has the specialized expertise to ensure that there is a thorough examination of all of the financial factors involved. We know how important it is that our clients’ current and future financial position is protected. We help clients obtain values for the assets accumulated during the marriage, including real estate, retirement funds, business interests, bank accounts, and prized possessions. We will also identify accrued debt and other obligations. Without proper representation, the court’s decision for equitable distribution often results in one or both of the parties being very dissatisfied. Don’t let this happen to you. Seek legal representation to counsel you and negotiate for you right from the very start.
Florida is a community property state. All property that is real or personal that was acquired during a marriage is considered community property and is owned jointly by each partner. It is important to know that pensions, IRAs, 401Ks and retirement plans are treated just like other assets in a divorce. They are considered community property and those values may also be taken into consideration as part of the divorce process.
Florida law also allows for certain property to be considered as separate property under some circumstances. Those instances include:
• Property that was owned by one spouse before the marriage
• Property that was given to one spouse as an inheritance during the marriage
• Awards from certain kinds of personal injury settlements
If you plan to declare something as a separate asset and retain sole possession, it is important to make sure you do not commingle that property or asset with your marital assets, and you should seek the counsel of Glenn & Phanco, P.A., West Palm Beach divorce attorneys right away. Determining separate property is a very important aspect of protecting yourself during divorce. Loose interpretations of separate and community property issues can lead to major disagreements and tough negotiations when there is evidence of commingling.
Any debt acquired during the course of a marriage in Florida belongs to both spouses. Distribution of the debt responsibility can be complex, especially if you do not have proper legal representation. As just one example, there are complicated issues that may need to be addressed regarding credit card and other debts that have only one spouse’s names on it.
Debts incurred before a marriage or after a marriage or separation, may possibly only belong only to the spouse who incurred them. Many disputes arise as to who is responsible for the creation of the debt and who should assume that debt. In cases where there is excessive debt above and beyond a couple’s assets, courts may assign a greater portion of debt to the spouse who is in better financial position to pay off the debts. You will want to have the best divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach on your side to protect your interests.
Child Custody and Visitation
Divorce and family law proceedings address many delicate issues, particularly when children are involved. One of the most difficult aspects for families during divorce is working out visitation rights and a plan that arranges everyday life and realistic schedules to be in the children’s best interest. It is also important to consider the demands on parents’ lives, logistics, and work responsibilities.
In Florida, that plan is called a “parenting plan.” A parenting plan establishes:
- Legal custody – decides who makes the decisions regarding the health, welfare, education, and religious upbringing of the children
- Physical custody – decides who the children live with, including providing for the child’s daily needs, food, shelter, clothing, and transportation to school and to social events
- Parenting time – determines the non-custodial parent’s appropriate time with the children
Options for custody include sole custody, joint custody, and rotating custody. Glenn & Phanco, P.A. will help you develop a sensible, workable parenting plan aligned with the best interests of the children and your goal as a parent.
Florida Child Support Guidelines dictate how child support is calculated. However, some couples have special situations that require a more customized approach. We work to see that child support payments are structured so that both parents pay their fair share of the financial responsibilities.
The crucial factors considered when awarding support to one spouse are determining the extent of a spouse’s inability to be self-supportive, along with the lifestyle previously maintained during the marriage. In a household with only one spouse working, things can get complicated and emotional, but as the West Palm Beach divorce lawyers of Glenn & Phanco, P.A., we know how to manage such issues, keep the emotion out of it, and fight for the best interests of our clients.
Retain the Top Divorce Lawyers in West Palm Beach
If you find yourself facing divorce, seek legal representation as quickly as possible. By working closely with Glenn & Phanco, P.A., you may be able to preserve many of your assets, minimize tax consequences, retain the family home, and create the best parenting plan for you and your children.
We recognize that divorce issues are extremely complex, that there are difficult emotional and financial issues, and the process can be overwhelming for all of the parties involved. However, as your attorneys, we will provide valuable legal guidance and representation, negotiate on your behalf, and take your case to trial if necessary to see that your best interests are protected. We help you gain the stability and certainty you need to move forward with your life during and after divorce. Call Glenn & Phanco, P.A. the divorce lawyers in West Palm Beach today!