Florida is a no fault divorce state.  That means that there does not need to be a reason for the dissolution of the marriage.  Someone may file for divorce if the marriage has become “irretrievably broken” of if the spouse has been “mentally incapacitated.”  Because there needn’t be a particular reason to divorce, the methods of adjudicating alimony, maintenance, and custody will fall back upon legal algorithms that determine a settlement or payments that are “reasonable”.  The change in divorce culture within the legal system had as much to do with creating less acrimony in divorce cases where children are involved, as well as, lobbying by those who have more to lose from a financial perspective from a divorce.  While it is certainly everyone’s hope that all parties will be fair and honest, when a long-term relationship dissolves sometimes people do not behave their best and will seek to subvert the system by hiding assets and other unscrupulous means of avoiding a fair settlement.  This is why so many people are using Sarasota divorce lawyers to get what they deserve from marriage.

Divorce Requirements

To obtain a divorce in Florida one spouse must be a resident for at least six months and is required to file in the court district in which he or she lives.  The individual or couple must show that the marriage is broken and un-fixable or that one party is mentally incapacitated.

Division of Property or Why You Need A Sarasota Divorce Lawyer

Unfortunately, when money is involved there are always incentives to withhold as much as possible for oneself.  This is double true when one party feels wronged or has moved on emotionally.  Divorce lawyers routinely must pursue investigations into finances because the court system has not the capacity to track down all of the various assets individuals attempt to shield or withhold from a divorce.

Florida is an equitable distribution state that begins with equal distribution of assets and then works backwards from there should there be extenuating circumstances.  Many marriages have their property divided prior to attending court, while others require the courts to review the circumstances and portion the assets.  The courts will take into consideration both spouses occupations, whether one helped the other through school, as well as, length of marriage and other criteria that may influence the fair distribution.  Child support is another area where there are set guidelines for financial obligations that a court will demand.  Child custody can be settled outside of court, but it cannot be less than the state minimum requirements.

Child Custody

Even moreso than property division, child custody cases can become serious and drawn out.  Florida obligates the courts to put aside the sex of the parents and choose the best home for the child.  Judges look at which parent shows more willingness to allow visitation, which parent has the greater bond with the children, and the child’s material needs before making a decision.  All too often parents use children as a way to get revenge on their spouse and this is another area where lawyers must jump in with passion to prevent the child from being used as a tool of harm.

Sarasota divorce lawyers must not just be an advocate for their client but also provide a means of settling a legal dispute in such a way that there is no acrimony or injustice.  It is our job to help families overcome the difficulties of divorce and move on to a place of healing.