Archive: September 2022

September 23, 2022

What to Know about Dividing Marital Property in Florida

Equitable division does not necessarily mean that each spouse will receive an equal share of the assets. Instead, the court will consider a number of factors when dividing marital property, including each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the financial circumstances of each spouse.

If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about how your marital property will be divided, you should speak to an experienced Florida divorce attorney. Your attorney can help you understand the equitable division process and can advocate for you during negotiations or in court.

To give you a better understanding of how marital property division works, here is everything you need to know.

What Counts as Marital Property?

In Florida, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered marital property. This includes assets and debts acquired before the marriage, but it only applies to the increase in value of those assets and debts. For example, if you owned a home before getting married, and the home’s value increased during the marriage, that increase in value would be considered marital property.

However, if you owned a home before getting married, and the home’s value decreased during the marriage, that decrease in value would not be considered marital property.

Here are some assets that count as marital property:

  • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
  • Property
  • Bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Automobiles
  • Retirement accounts
  • IRAs
  • Investments
  • Businesses
  • Income
  • Artwork and other collectible items
  • Antiques

What Counts as Separate Property?

As we touched upon, an item is considered to be marital property when two people are married and they purchase an item together. This means that if the two people were to get divorced, the item would be divided equally between them.

Conversely, if one person were to purchase an item with their own money and or before the marriage, then the item would be considered to be their separate property and would not be divided in the event of a divorce.

Here are some assets that could count as separate property:

  • Income from separate property
  • Separate assets and debts defined in a prenuptial agreement
  • Items purchased with or exchanged for separate property

How Is Marital Property Divided?

In Florida, the court will consider a number of factors when dividing marital property, including each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the financial circumstances of each spouse.

The court will also look at the nature and value of the assets and debts being divided. Generally, the court will try to divide the assets and debts in a way that is fair and equitable to both spouses. However, this does not always mean that each spouse will receive an equal share.

Can I Dispute the Division of Marital Property?

Yes, you can dispute the division of marital property. However, the court will not necessarily change its decision just because you do not agree with it. The court will only change its decision if it finds that the division is not fair and equitable.

Conclusion

The division of marital property can be a complicated process. If you are going through a divorce and have questions about how your property will be divided, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney.

For more resources on a division of marital property, Dorsey Law JAX can help. We provide family law services, covering everything you need to know to build a case. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

September 16, 2022

Essential Things to Know About Child Custody in Florida

Child custody laws vary from state to state, but there are two general custody arrangements: physical and legal. A parent can have both physical and legal custody of their child, or they can have one or the other.

In today’s article, let’s look at child custody in Florida. Here’s what you need to know:

Child Custody in Florida

Time-Sharing

Florida recently changed the terminology it uses to refer to child custody. The state now uses the term “time-sharing” to refer to what was previously known as child custody.

The change in terminology is part of a larger effort by the state to reduce conflict between parents and promote cooperative parenting. The new time-sharing arrangement is designed to give parents equal time with their children.

Under the old child custody arrangement, one parent would typically be designated as the primary custodial parent, while the other would have visitation rights. This often led to conflict between the parents, as the custodial parent would feel they were not getting enough time with their children.

Parenting Plan

In the state of Florida, child custody is determined by what is in the child’s best interests. There are many factors that a court will consider when making this determination, but the most important factor is always the child’s safety. In some cases, the court may find that it is in the child’s best interests to be placed with one parent, while in other cases, the court may find that it is in the best interests of the child to be placed with both parents.

When the court is deciding about child custody, they will first look at the parenting plan that the parents have created. The parenting plan should be created with the child’s best interests in mind and should be created by both parents. The parenting plan should include a schedule of when the child will be with each parent and a plan for how the parents will make decisions about the child’s upbringing.

Equal Time-Sharing

It’s important to note that the state favors equal time-sharing between parents when possible. This means the child will spend approximately the same time with each parent.

The court will try to make a decision that is in the child’s best interests. They will look at things like the child’s age, relationship with each parent, and each parent’s work schedule to make their decision.

The court will also consider any history of domestic violence or abuse when deciding on child custody. If there is a history of abuse, the court will not award joint custody to the abusive parent.

The Bottom Line

Deciding who will have primary custody of a child or children following a divorce or other legal separation can be difficult, but the main goal is to ensure the child’s well-being. In Florida, new changes have been made to reach this goal better. If you are going through a divorce or child custody proceeding in Florida, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.

If you need professional law advice and services, we are here to help you. Dorsey Law JAX is a law firm that specializes in family law, criminal law, and personal injury. We can help you get what you deserve. Feel free to contact us anytime.

September 9, 2022

How to Make Long-Distance Child Custody Work in Florida

Parents living more than 50 miles apart are considered to be sharing long-distance custody in Florida. It makes no difference whether the distance is within the state or if one parent lives out of state. Floridians must use the Long-Distance Parenting Plan to manage long-distance child custody. 

Read on as we discuss more long-distance parenting plans and what you need to consider. 

What Is a Long-Distance Parenting Plan? 

A long-distance parenting plan is a detailed agreement between the parents outlining how they will continue co-parenting their children even though they live in different cities or states. Here, both parents agree on a schedule for when the child will be with each parent. 

This is important because it provides stability and certainty for the child, who would otherwise have to adjust to a constantly changing schedule. This allows the child to maintain relationships with both parents.

Finally, a long-distance parenting plan can help reduce conflict between the parents. If the parents can agree on a schedule, they are less likely to argue about custody arrangements. This can provide some peace of mind for both parents and the child. 

What Are the Things to Consider in a Long-Distance Parenting Plan? 

1. Communication

As a long-distance parent, you must be proactive about communication. You can’t just rely on chance encounters or spontaneous phone calls. It is vital to set up a regular communication schedule. This will help ensure that both parents can stay up-to-date on what is going on in the child’s life. You should also decide which method of communication you will use. 

It is also important to decide what information you will share. Will you share school grades? Medical information? Daily activities? You need to be sure that both parents are comfortable with the level of communication that will take place. 

2. Decision Making 

Decision-making can be difficult when you are a long-distance parent. You may not be there for every little decision your child makes, but you can still have a say in the big decisions. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you are involved in the decision-making process.

A parenting plan will give you and the other parent an outline of what decisions need to be completed and who will be responsible for making them. If possible, try to agree on major decisions before they need to be made. This way, there will be no surprises, and everyone will know what is expected of them. 

3. Scheduling and Holidays 

Scheduling and holidays can be tough to navigate when you have a long-distance custody parenting plan. Here are some tips to make the process a little easier: 

  • Talk to your co-parent about your holiday plans well in advance. This will give you time to plan and ensure you’re on the same page.
  • Be flexible with your schedule. You may not be able to celebrate every holiday together, but try to be flexible and work with your co-parent to devise a plan that works for both of you.

Conclusion 

Long-distance child custody in Florida can be challenging to manage, but it is possible with proper planning and communication. If you are a parent facing this situation, contact an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the process and protect your rights.

If you need a good family lawyer, contact Dorsey Law JAX. Top Jacksonville Attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury are available. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

September 2, 2022

What You Need to Know about Property Division in a Divorce

All assets and liabilities are divided between the parties in a divorce. This process can be complex, especially when there is a lot of support or a business to divide. It’s essential to clearly understand all the assets and debts that must be divided in a divorce.

The Process of Equitable Distribution in Florida

The Florida StatutesTitle VI, Chapter 61, governs the equitable distribution process in the State of Florida. During a divorce, equitable distribution refers to the division of assets and liabilities between spouses.

The Court presumes that all assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage are marital assets and liabilities subject to equitable distribution. This includes all income and earnings, regardless of how they are titled.

But there are some exceptions to this general rule. Inheritances, gifts, and property acquired before marriage are typically considered separate property and are not subject to equitable distribution. Additionally, any increases in the value of the respective property are not subject to equitable distribution, with a few exceptions.

Equitable distribution begins with each spouse disclosing all assets and liabilities to the other. After all assets and liabilities have been revealed, the court will determine which assets are marital and which are separate. The Court will then assign a value to all marital property.

Factors That Courts Consider When Dividing Property

State courts divide property according to the laws of the state in which the divorce is filed. However, there are some general factors that courts consider when dividing property.

The first factor courts consider is whether the property is marital or separate. Any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of who purchased it or who is on the title, is considered marital property. Separate property consists of all assets acquired before or after marriage.

Another factor courts consider there is the value of the property. This includes both the sentimental value and the monetary value. Courts may evaluate replacement cost, fair market value, unique meaning, and usefulness when valuing a property.

Finally, courts must also consider the needs of each spouse when dividing property. This includes things like employment, health, education, and child-rearing. Courts will try to divide property to leave each spouse with the resources they need to maintain their standard of living after the divorce.

How to Protect Your Assets in a Florida Divorce

Florida is a no-fault divorce state, meaning a spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong to get a divorce. Florida law does, however, require that the couple live apart for at least six months before a divorce can be granted.

Understanding how state laws protect your assets during a divorce in Florida is crucial. Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally between the parties. When dividing assets, the court will consider several factors, such as each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, financial needs, and child custody arrangements.

If protecting your assets concerns you, you must speak with an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer can help you understand the state’s laws and protect your interests during the divorce process.

Conclusion

Understanding the basics of property division in Florida divorce cases is essential. This includes knowing what is considered marital property and what is not, as well as how the courts divide property between spouses.

Contact an experienced family law attorney today if you are seeking a divorce in Florida and are concerned about the processes and payments. Dorsey Law Firm aims to achieve the best possible outcome. Our goal is to provide expert representation while keeping our clients informed of the status of their cases at all times. Contact us today!

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