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What you need to know before considering divorce

| Apr 27, 2020 | Divorce |

Do you find yourself trying to avoid your spouse? Do you constantly bicker when you are together?  All couples struggle; a change in your communication techniques and problem-solving skills may set you back on the right track. 

Unfortunately, you may not be able to save your marriage. Even if you depend on your spouse financially, there is no reason to remain unhappy. If you are thinking about ending your marriage, here are some things you should know. 

The process 

Getting a divorce can be fairly straightforward for Florida residents. First you file a petition for divorce and have your spouse served. Your spouse has 20 days to reply. Couples do not need to establish fault to end the marriage, but doing so may influence property division, spousal support and parenting arrangements. 

You and your spouse then file financial statements and provide the court with other information as requested. The courts may or may not require you to keep paying the bills at the marital home if you move out. However, if your name is on the accounts, discontinuing payments can affect your credit rating. 

Property division 

The courts will attempt to provide an equitable distribution of marital property. Fair distribution begins with accurate valuation, which can be difficult to manage in a tumultuous economy. Certain assets, such as art, collectibles and real estate investments, can make the process extremely complex. You may need the help of forensic accountants or financial analysts. Courts treat marital property differently than individual property, so understand the differences. 

Spousal support  

A judge may order alimony, or spousal support, depending on your circumstances. The award may be temporary, to supplement the income of the lower-earning spouse during the divorce, or the final ruling may include spousal support that lasts for years. 

A judge can take several factors into account, such as the length of your marriage and the gap in your incomes. Courts also consider the contributions you made to the household and to each other’s career. Every household is different, and the judge’s decision should reflect your unique financial situation.