Legal Concepts

This page has multiple links to information involving what you need to be aware of as far as the legal implications of your divorce.  Please explore the links on this page.

 

Cost-saving measures:

You can retain an attorney to represent you even in an uncontested matter. The cost for such services is generally much less than in a contested case. You can further reduce your attorney’s fees if you ensure that you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all issues that would require the attorney’s work. 

2017, FloridaBar.org - https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/pamphlet010/

 

 

Collaborative Law – If you want to complete your divorce, cooperating with the parent of your children for the best interest of your children, you may choose legal counsel who is trained in Collaborative Law.  The Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals, FACP, says: 

“The Collaborative Divorce Process engages a professional team consisting of a lawyer for each spouse plus financial and facilitation neutrals to help you: learn everything you need to know to make the best decisions about your future; retain control over your divorce or other family matters; keep your dispute private; plan a better future for your re-structured family; instead of battling each other in court.”

 

For more information on Collaborative Divorce go to the following links:

https://www.collaborativepracticeflorida.com/collaborative-divorce/

 

https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-journal/the-collaborative-law-process-rules-this-is-how-we-do-it/

 

Family Mediation - In this process you may or may not have an attorney and each individual involved, for example, you and your child’s parent, are totally in charge of what arrangements you decide are fair and will benefit your children the most.  The trick is, you have to sit down, put all of your “adult” differences aside, focus on what is best for your children and come to an agreement on each point.  The agreement will still have to be approved by the court, but you decide what goes into the agreement. 

 

Each party has an equal say.  It is strongly recommended that you have an attorney, however it is not required.  Resolutions done through mediation can take much less time and be a lot less expensive than those done through the court.  The mediator cannot take sides and everything you discuss in the mediation is confidential, even from the court, with some exceptions such as, but not limited to, child abuse, elder abuse, planning a crime, or ongoing criminal activity.  Did I say, “It is strongly recommended that you have an attorney.” Oh – I did.  Have your own lawyer, not someone who golfs with your spouse.

 

For more detailed information on Mediation go to the following link:

https://www.flcourts.org/Resources-Services/Alternative-Dispute-Resolution/Mediation-in-Florida

 

The Florida Bar Public Consumer Pamphlet was mentioned in the first paragraph of this section.  Please check it out for a clearer understanding of the following topics in your divorce and suggestions of how to find a lawyer.

https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/pamphlet010/

 

Pamphlet Table of Contents

Can your marriage be saved?

Domestic violence

Overview

Collaborative law

Dissolution proceedings through the court

Regular dissolution of marriage

Simplified dissolution of marriage

Parenting plan considerations

Division of assets and debts

Alimony

Tax considerations

Child support

Restoration of former name

Attorneys’ fees and costs

Appeals

Where to get legal help

How to select an attorney

 

Links for other resources found on that page are:

 

FOR THE PUBLIC

FACTORS the Court will Consider

 

Here are a few of the Factors the court will look at if you decide to go to court and have the judge decide what you can do and cannot do, rather than coming to an agreement using another option, such as Collaborative Law or Family Mediation. 

 

Remember, everything about your divorce will affect your children – EVERYTHING.

 

The factors the court will look at are all based on the best interest of the child as “. . .the primary consideration.” in the judgement of the court, not necessarily as what you may think is the best for your children.

 

Some of the factors we are highlighting in this document are listed below.  This is not everything listed in the Statute [F.S. 61.13(3)]

  1. Is each, BOTH, parents willing and able to nurture a close parent-child relationship?  It is important to your child to have a relationship with each of their parents.

  2. Are you BOTH willing to honor the time-sharing schedule?

  3. Are you BOTH willing to “be reasonable” when there are changes needed for the time-sharing schedule?  This goes with creating an atmosphere FOR YOUR CHILDREN that is low conflict, resolvable conflict.  Remember, the most lasting damage to children, in any family, is the level of and continuous conflict.  Think – Children First.

  4. Is each, BOTH parents, willing and able to demonstrate, act upon, the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.  In other words, will you put your child first – go to your child’s recital, ball game, play, instead of going to that “Fabulous party”, a night out with a special person, the bowl game, etc?

  5. Is EACH parent involved in your child’s life now?  Do you know about their, friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things?

  6. Can EACH parent provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime?  As opposed to being the fun parent who lets neglects those responsibilities.  Are you doing that now?

  7. Are you, for the sake of your children, able to communicate with the other parent in the business of creating the best emotional environment for your child?

  8. Do you keep the other parent informed of issues and activities now?

  9. Have you BOTH practice showing a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child?  Do you discuss the issues together to come to a decision that is most empowering and nurturing to your child before discussing issues with the children?

  10. Domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect. 

  11. What did EACH parent do to care for your children before you filed for divorce?  In other words, how have you been dividing parental responsibilities?

  12. What is EACH parent doing to care for children since you have filed? 

  13. What parenting responsibilities are being done by someone else?

  14. Does EACH parent choose to make time to attend your children’s school and other activities?  Do YOU do that?

  15. Is your home free of substance abuse?

  16. EACH parent, BOTH parents, protect your children from your ADULT problems and divorce issues.  Are you showing your child legal documents relating to the divorce or your spouse?

  17. What about criticism of the other parent, or telling the ugly “truth”, as you see it, about the other parent?  If you are talking bad about the other parent or trying to create problems between your child and the other parent in any way, this is a Factor the Court considers.  For the best good of your child, do not do it.

  18. What is the developmental stage and needs of your child?  Can EACH parent show they are able and WILLING to meet the child’s developmental needs?

 

All of the wording for the statute including the Factors the court will look at to decide the fate of your family can be found at the following link, scroll down to section (3):

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2016/61.13

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