Helping You Understand All Aspects Involved With A Florida Divorce

There are five areas to consider when getting a divorce in Florida: Parenting, Equitable distribution, Alimony, Child support and Everything else.

At Thompson Family Law, P.A., in Fort Myers, Florida, our attorneys are committed to helping clients resolve issues arising out of divorce. To schedule a consultation, contact us today. Call 239-243-9297 or toll free at 888-550-6071.

Experienced Fort Myers Attorneys Helping You Understand Your Options

If you are considering getting a divorce in Florida, we will carefully and thoroughly explain your options regarding:

Parenting

There are two main concepts to consider regarding parenting:

  • Making major decisions about each child:
    • Are you and the other parent able and willing to share making major decisions about each child (shared parental responsibility)?
    • Would it be better if some major decisions were made by one parent (e.g., education, choice of school) and other major decisions were made by the other parent (e.g., medical)?
    • If you and the other parent are not able and willing to share making major decisions, is just one parent going to make the major decisions (sole parental responsibility)?
  • What is the schedule for each child to see each parent (parenting schedule)?

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is the dividing up of what you own (assets) and owe (liabilities). The court seeks to divide up your belongings in an equitable, or fair, way, following these four basic steps:

  • Identify all assets and liabilities owned by both spouses. We make a list on your financial affidavit.
  • Put a value on each item; fair market value, not replacement value.
  • Return nonmarital property to the spouse who owns it.
  • Divide up the marital property in a fair way, starting with 50/50.

Marital Vs. Nonmarital


Wedding date                                   MARITAL* Date filed for divorce

Nonmarital |----------------------------------------------------------------------- | Nonmarital

(premarital)                                                                                             (postmarital)

50/50 unless special circumstances apply

*Exceptions:

  • Inheritance, if you kept it separate
  • Gifts from someone other than your spouse to just one of you
  • Nonmarital property traded in during the marriage

Alimony: Need And Ability To Pay

Alimony is based upon the general idea that one spouse has an actual need for money to live, and the other spouse has the ability to pay some money to the other spouse. Each spouse must file a financial affidavit listing income, expenses, assets and liabilities. These financial affidavits are an important part of determining need and ability to pay.

Not all cases are appropriate for alimony. Even if alimony is appropriate in your case, there are several types of alimony to consider:

  • Temporary: during the case, before the final judgment
  • Bridge-the-gap: up to two years
  • Rehabilitative: education or training to obtain a career
  • Durational: no longer than the length of your marriage
  • Permanent: until death or remarriage
  • Lump sum: special circumstances

Florida statutes provide additional factors for the court to consider in determining whether alimony is appropriate in your case.

Child Support

Child support is primarily a mathematical equation, based primarily on each spouses' income. The court also considers the cost of health insurance for the parents and each child, as well as the cost of child care. Other costs can also be taken into consideration.

Everything Else About Getting A Divorce In Florida

The three main issues that arise in this category are attorney's fees (who pays); life insurance to make sure child support, alimony or both get paid after the paying spouse's death; and tax returns (e.g., filing jointly, filing separately, refunds, payments).

  • Attorney's fees are based largely on need and ability to pay, much like alimony.
  • Life insurance as security for child support, alimony or both depends in large part on the ability and cost to obtain life insurance.
  • Tax returns are based upon the financial impact of the various options.

Contact Our Fort Myers, Florida, Child Support Alimony Law Firm

We are here to help you consider your options and make the best decisions for you and your family. Contact our Fort Myers equitable distribution lawyers today to schedule an appointment.