When facing a Miami divorce, there are three main issues the court is going to be concerned with: (1) division of property, also known as equitable distribution; (2) financial support, whether alimony or child support; and (3) a Florida parenting plan which lays out how parents will work together to raise their children after separation.  Florida is a no-fault state which basically means you do not need a reason other than irreconcilable differences to petition for dissolution of marriage. There is no minimum separation period in Florida. 


Florida divorce courts generally start with the premise that each party should walk away with half of the debts and half of the assets. A marital asset or debt is defined as being acquired with marital funds from the date of marriage through the date of filing a petition for divorce. As with most rules, there are exceptions that may cause a court to award more than half of an asset or debt to one spouse, and in some instances, the entire asset or debt to one spouse. 


Calculating alimony in a Miami divorce case depends on many factors such as the length of the marriage, the need of the spouse requesting alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay it.  Florida law compensates a spouse who sacrificed his or her own career to advance the other spouse's career. When calculating spousal support, it is important to take into consideration all factors which may maximize or minimize an alimony award.  


The Florida child support guidelines provide a baseline for calculation of a child support amount. There are other factors that should be considered outside the guidelines such as private school tuition, braces, tutoring and other special expenses children may incur. Child support is also dependent upon the visitation schedule - support is adjusted based on how many overnights a parent spends with a child each year. Sometimes it may be appropriate to request financial support for a child beyond the age of majority (18). 


In a Miami child custody case, parenting plans are created with the idea that they are road maps for separated parents to follow until their children turn 18. Two main issues resolved in parenting plans are (1) parental responsibility and (2) time-sharing. Parental responsibility can be shared or sole - shared means the parents have a duty to discuss and agree on major decisions affecting the welfare of their children, while sole means one parent makes all decisions. Time-sharing is also commonly referred to as child custody.  A parenting plan lays out how much time each parent will spend with the children, usually calculated by how many overnights per year a child spends with a parent. 


When you and your spouse have no property or debts to divide, have no children, and there are no support issues, your case may qualify as an uncontested divorce. This essentially means you can file for divorce (with your spouse's cooperation or not) and ask the court for a final hearing date sooner than you would get if your case involved complex issues.  Even if your case involves complex issues, and you and your spouse reached a written agreement on those issues, your case may qualify as uncontested, allowing you to get divorced within weeks depending on the schedule of the judge assigned to your case. 


Having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side is the key to success in your Miami divorce case. Contact Streets Law, LLC for a case plan tailored to the specific circumstances of your case.  Various consultation options are offered to suit your needs. Paid evening and weekend consultation appointments are available upon request.