Will There Be A Court Order Instructing The Other Spouse To Pay Child Support From The Time Of Separation?
It’s important to know that there is no “separation time period” in the state of Florida; the courts look at the date of marriage and the date of filing. Once the case is filed, we can move for child support and ask the court to adjudicate child support. Arrears can be established up to two years prior to the date of filing or the date of separation, whichever is less but not exceeding two years. For example, if ongoing child support is $1,000 per month, then the outstanding amount owed in arrears for the one year of separation prior to the filing of divorce would be $12,000. The parent who is paying child support would have to pay 20 percent of the ongoing child support amount each month in addition to the ongoing child support.
Should Mediation Always Be Considered As The First Option In A Divorce In Florida?
For any family law proceeding in the state of Florida, the courts require the parties to go to mediation. Generally speaking, I don’t think that mediation prior to filing for divorce is productive, because mandatory disclosures and financial affidavits of the parties are necessary in order to properly determine and adjudicate the equitable distribution, child support, and financial ability to pay attorney fees and alimony. These documents are generally needed and assist in helping the parties resolve all of their differences at mediation. Mediations are very helpful and a lot of cases do settle at mediation, which is why the courts require parties to attend mediation.
Why Might It Be More Challenging For The Stay-At-Home Parent Or The Spouse Who’s Not Working To Initiate A Divorce?
Stay-at-home parents who don’t have employment per se may have difficulty obtaining the funds necessary to retain an attorney. I’ve represented a number of stay-at-parents, and one of the most common issues is that once the divorce has been filed, the other party may move out of the home or stop putting the funds into the joint account. Sometimes it’s difficult to get in front of the judge to get an adjudication of alimony, child support, or financial relief, which is often necessary in order for a stay-at-home parent to continue supporting themselves and/or their children.
During our initial consults with clients, we determine whether there are funds that need to be distributed just prior to filing, or whether the stay-at-home parent has access to credit cards to ensure that they and/or their children do not go completely without access to funds during the time leading up to the court date. It is very important for stay-at-home parents to contact an attorney and schedule a consultation in order to ensure that they remain financially sound.
I’m A Stay-At-Home Parent, My Spouse Wants A Divorce, And They Control All Of The Finances; How Can I Afford A Qualified Divorce Attorney?
During the course of the proceedings, a party can file motions requesting temporary relief. For a stay-at-home parent who needs access to a qualified attorney, we would file a motion for temporary attorney fees. The courts can adjudicate during the course of proceedings as to whether or not the other spouse will be paying for attorney fees. Throughout the proceedings, the stay-at-home parent could also file motions for child support or alimony; if granted, those funds would greatly assist in retaining a qualified attorney.
As A Stay-At-Home Parent Who Is Now Facing Divorce, Will I Receive A Fair Division Of Assets And Financial Support For Myself And My Children, Even If I Didn’t Financially Contribute To Our Income?
The courts will look at the contributions to the marriage. One of the major factors is whether or not one person sacrificed a career to take care of the children so that the other party could work and earn income. The courts will not determine that simply because one spouse stayed at home, they are not entitled to receive financial benefits or equitable distribution of the property. Clearly, staying home to take care of the household and the children is a way of contributing to the marriage.
In the state of Florida, the equitable distribution is clear that a spouse will receive half of the assets and liabilities no matter whose name they are in. Equitable distribution does not take into account whether or not someone is “earning income,” which means the stay-at-home parent would be entitled to a fair division of assets and liabilities. With regard to financial support, the courts look at the income and contributions of the parties, the standard of living, the length of the marriage, the physical and mental health of the parties, and several other factors to determine whether or not alimony should be awarded.
I’ve Been A Stay-At-Home Parent Throughout Our Marriage And We’re Now Divorcing; Will I Be Able To Continue Staying At Home And Raising Our Children Here?
Each case is different, so it’s important to schedule a consultation with an attorney who can review the specifics of your case and circumstances. Without a consultation, it is very difficult to determine whether the stay-at-home parent will be able to continue living in the home and raising the children. However, generally speaking, if the parties have agreed that one party will stay home to care for the children, then there must be some way to pay for that scenario to continue, and there must be a need for the financial support in order to continue raising the children. In addition to many others, these are the standards that the courts consider. It is very important to contact an attorney to discuss the individual facts of the case.
For more information on Stay At Home Parents’ Divorce In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (239) 334-4383 today.