While the presence of children may make divorces more complicated, other factors may cause the divorce process to be a longer one than what may be anticipated. Financial aspects and the division of assets will also often prolong the process of divorce as both parties are trying to be awarded their fair share of what were once shared accounts or property. Divorce can be a process that is expensive, and it can often lead to both parties giving up half of what they may feel their assets may be; these financial aspects will often need to be sorted out.
The presence of a divorce attorney can help both parties to get exactly what assets they are entitled to in cases of divorce, as they are experienced in this field. This will help to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and receive their rightful portion of property or shared finances.
Courts in Florida have adopted the position that what is best for the children takes precedence over the desires of parents. In most family law cases, courts hold that having a strong relationship with both parents is in the best interests of a child. Florida courts achieve this by awarding parents with shared custody, where both parents are involved in major decisions such as decisions related to education and health care. While the child will have a single primary residence in most cases, with the parent awarded physical custody, the courts strive often for a fifty-fifty split of time and responsibility.
However, our office sees cases every day where one parent must fight to maintain sole custody over the children, and in these cases, you need our custody lawyers who know how to represent your interests and litigate on your behalf. Particularly in situations where there exists:
Child Abuse Including Emotional, Physical and Verbal
A Significant Criminal Record
A History of Neglect
In cases where there is reason to believe the child may be unsafe in the custody of one parent, having an effective Florida child custody lawyer on your side to protect your rights and the best interests of your children is critical. Even if you have a previous custody arrangement, we can explore child custody modification options to ensure that your kids are in the best hands.
Any time a relationship does not work out, whether it is a marriage that is dissolving or two people that just do not want to be together anymore, it can get very complicated if those two people share a child. Issues regarding child support are always some of the most difficult to deal with. Both sides need to be treated fairly financially while the child’s needs and welfare are also taken into consideration. It is always in your best interest to consult with a skilled and experienced Florida Child Support Lawyer when addressing any issues regarding child support.
At The Pistorio Law Firm we treat our clients with compassion and care. We understand how sensitive financial and child support issues can be. We will do our best to provide you with the best possible legal representation.
Calculating Child Support in Florida
Child support amounts are primarily determined by a Child Support Formula and Guidelines. Numerous factors such as each parent’s income and expenses related to the children are taken into consideration. Also, the percentage of custody each parent has may impact the amount of monthly child support. Lastly, the number of children involved also helps determine what amount will be paid in child support. Note that this formula is greatly used in other circuits and we can provide you with the skills needed to get what’s fair.
In the event of one parent being intentionally unemployed or underemployed we will do our best to get you and your child the full amount of child support you are entitled to per Florida law. Florida Courts have imputed an income in some situations where evidence has shown that one parent could be making more money but are choosing not to as to avoid paying more child support.
Florida Child Support and Timesharing Modification
Often times, child support amounts need to be modified. They can be either decreased or increased. If either parent experiences a change in lifestyle, income or employability, there may be a legitimate need to alter the current child support amounts. A substantial change in circumstances that was unanticipated at the time of setting the child support is proper grounds for a modification.
A parent can also modify the timesharing arrangement between the parties. If a parent is no longer following the timesharing schedule that is currently in place, it may amount to grounds for a modification.
Florida Alimony Reform 2023
The Florida alimony reform bill was signed into law by Governor Ron Desantis on June 30, 2023. This new bill applies to all initial petitions for dissolution of marriage and certain supplemental petitions to modify, filed as of July 1, 2023. This Bill plays a new significant role in Alimony.
Permanent Alimony is eliminated completely under this Bill.
There will be only Four types of Alimony:
-Temporary Alimony- An award of alimony temporary to last during the duration of the divorce. Usually ends when the divorce is final.
-Bridge the Gap Alimony- may be awarded to assist a party in making the transition from a married lifestyle to a single lifestyle. Its intention is to assist a party with identifiable, short-term needs. The length of of an award under this alimony type may not exceed 2 years.
-Rehabilitative Alimony- is intended to provide education and training that will enable a party to become self-supporting or contribute to their own support. An award under this kind of alimony may not exceed 5 years.
-Durational Alimony- an award of this kind of alimony may not exceed 50% of the length of a short-term marriage, 60% of the length of a moderate-term marriage, and 75% of the length of a long-term marriage. An award for this type of Alimony may be extended under exceptional circumstances based on the 9 factors listed below and consideration of the 4 following factors. First, the extent to which the payees age and employability wholly or partially limit the payees ability to be self supporting. Second, the extent in which the payors available financial resources wholly or partially limit the payors ability to be self supporting. Third, the extent to which a payees mental or physical disability wholly or partially limits the payees ability to be self supporting. Fourth, the extent to which a payee is the caregiver to the parties mentally or physically disabled child. The amount of durational alimony will be the amount that is required to meet the payees reasonable needs, or an amount that does not exceed 35% of the difference between the husband and wife's net incomes, whichever amount is less.
In no case can an alimony award leave the payor with significantly less net income than the net income of the payee, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The court will be authorized to terminate or reduce an award of alimony when the payor has reached the normal retirement age. The normal retirement age will be considered to be the normal retirement age specified by the Social Security Administration. The payor must actually retire or make demonstrable efforts to retire. Retirement must reduce the payors ability to pay. The court will consider 10 factors in determining whether to reduce or terminate alimony:
-The age and health of the payor
- the type of work performed by the payor
-The customary age of retirement in the payors profession
-The likelihood the payor will return to work and the payors motivation for retiring
-The needs of the party receiving alimony and that recipients ability to contribute to his/her own needs
-The impact that the termination or reduction of alimony would have on the payee.
-The parties assets before, during, and after dissolution of marriage, and whether either partied wastefully dissipated assets received at divorce.
-The income earned by the parties during an after the marriage.
-The retirement, pension, and social security benefits received by the parties after marriage
-The payors compliance with his/her alimony obligation.
( A payor may file for modification 6 months prior to the date of retirement)
(Courts can order Alimony to be paid in a lump sum or in periodic payments)
As a divorce attorney in Florida, the Pistorio Law Firm has extensive experience in assisting our clients with Alimony. When deciding on the matter of alimony, the court will look at several factors:
The standard of living that was developed during the marriage
The length of the marriage
The age, physical, and mental condition of the parties.
The income an resources of both parties and the income earned from marital an non marital assets
The earning capacities, education levels, and employability of the parties
The contribution that each of the parties made to the marriage, including education, career building, homemaking, child care.
The responsibilities that each of the parties will have in raising children they have in common.
Any other factor the court should consider in making an alimony award
Adultery of either spouse and its economic impact in determining the alimony award
Duration of Marriage
A short-term marriage will be a marriage that lasts less than 10 years.
A moderate-term marriage will a marriage that lasts between 10-20 years.
A long-term marriage will be considered a marriage lasting longer than 20 years.
The duration of the marriage is from the date of marriage to the date of filing.
A Lawyer Focused on Solutions
When you are working through the family law courts, you want an attorney on your side who is working toward providing you with the best possible outcome. You want solutions, not more problems. Our Florida child custody lawyer has built a strong reputation for providing answers, exploring options and building creative strategies. Whether litigating in court or negotiating with the other side, we can help.