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Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Complex Divorce Blog

What factors do judges consider in property division cases?

As you may be aware, Florida follows an equitable distribution model when splitting up assets between two spouses when they divorce. This doesn't mean that any property that you share will be split down the middle though. Your Fort Lauderdale judge will consider various factors when determining how to split up you and your ex's assets among you.

Florida Civil Practice and Procedure ยง 61.075, et seq. spells out exactly which factors a judge may consider when splitting up a couple's debts and assets, both of which are collectively known as their property.

Splitting the collections in a divorce? Let us help

If you're a Fort Lauderdale resident who is seeking a divorce or who has been served with divorce papers, it's important to understand your rights under Florida law.

Since Florida follows the equitable distribution doctrine, the court awards what it deems is fair to both spouses. If you had many hard-to-value, complex assets during the marriage, it is even more challenging to determine ownership going forth.

The family home after divorce: An albatross or haven?

When you go through a divorce, it is a very emotional time. Just when you need to be making the most rational decisions as possible, your emotions are going haywire. Simply getting through each day is a challenge, but now is when you are tasked with determining who will get what assets in your property settlement.

Some Florida residents fight tooth and nail over who gets to keep the family home. But sometimes, those energies could be better redirected at keeping some other asset.

What exactly does a Florida divorce mediator do?

If you and your spouse recently decided to file for divorce, then your ability to communicate with one another may be at the lowest point that it's been in a long time. You two may want to expedite the process, but you may be slowed down by disagreements over child custody or support, alimony and property distribution. If you've tried to talk things through between yourselves and it's not working, then you may want to retain a Fort Lauderdale divorce mediation attorney.

A mediator is a specially trained therapist, attorney or retired judge whose sole focus is to aid you and your ex in resolving your divorce.

What happens to home equity when you divorce?

Even if your divorce is relatively amicable in nature, you and your former partner will still need to work through certain matters before you can make a clean break from one another and move forward with your own separate lives. One such matter involves dividing up your shared assets. If you are like many people going through a divorce, one of your most significant shared assets may be your home.

To find out how much equity you have to divide, the first thing you need to do is schedule an appraisal. In many instances, both parties going through the divorce will get appraisals, because this can give you a better sense of the true, accurate amount of equity you have in your shared home. Once you have this figure, you can determine what to do with it. Most people in your shoes pursue one of three options.

Mediation may help your children with divorce

You know that you want a divorce, and your spouse agrees. Both of you feel that the marriage is not working. It's time to end things.

However, you do have children together. You know that they may feel like they are caught up in the divorce proceedings, which they never asked for, and it can be stressful for them. While the two of you may both want a divorce, that doesn't mean the child custody side of the case will go smoothly. It can be long, complicated and difficult to navigate.

How can the collaborative law process help me resolve my divorce?

Many Fort Lauderdale spouses delay in filing for divorce because they're concerned about their ability to remain civil during discussions about contentious topics such as child custody and splitting up property. The divorce process doesn't have to be so combative or stressful though thanks to the introduction of Florida's Collaborative Divorce Law. This piece of legislation went into effect in the state on July 1, 2017.

The collaborative law process is one that largely does away with the idea that divorces have to be highly contested. It eschews the belief that battles have to be fought in the confines of a courtroom as well.

Divorce tips for stay-at-home moms

Going through the divorce process can be challenging. For stay-at-home moms, it can be particularly challenging figuring out the next steps.

While certain measures in place may prove helpful, it is important to understand how they apply to make the most of them. In that regard, there are a few divorce tips that may benefit stay-at-home moms. 

Addressing a parent's alcoholism in collaborative divorce

Ending a marriage via a collaborative divorce has many advantages. Besides saving time and money, it gives both spouses greater control over the process. It also helps them maintain an amicable relationship and practice working together -- two things that are essential if they have children whom they will be co-parenting.

Even serious and sensitive issues like alcoholism can be dealt with in collaborative divorce. In fact, this process, which also provides greater privacy than a litigated divorce, can help couples deal with these issues more honestly and constructively.

Don't sabotage communication trying to make it easier

During your divorce, if you go the mediation route and try to reduce conflict, odds are you will need to have some tough conversations. They may just be about your desire to get divorced in the first place. They could be about how to split up parenting time with your children. Divorce requires these types of conversations as you work things out, no matter how hard they may be.

To minimize conflict, there are a number of things you definitely want to avoid saying at the beginning of these conversations. These include:

  • "I hope that this does not upset you."
  • "I don't want to make you angry."
  • "I hope you won't take this the wrong way."
  • "No offense, but..."
  • "I'm only being honest."

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