Deciding to end your marriage and separate for good is one of the most challenging decisions. You and your spouse may have built a whole life together, with children, pets, and belongings to keep in mind. With all of these factors to consider, the decision to file for divorce does not necessarily have to be the first option that comes to mind when marriage problems arise. Sometimes, marriages can come back from the brink of divorce.
However, you should not decide to file for divorce alone. We here at Autumn Beck Blackledge PLLC want to help you understand the process of divorce so that you can make the right decision for yourself and your family. We will explore factors such as separation, property division, and what happens when children are in the picture.
Separation vs. Divorce in Florida
Before jumping headfirst into a divorce, consider any other options that might benefit your marriage. If you just need space from your partner and time to make an appropriate decision, separation might be what’s best for you.
In the state of Florida, there is no specific process for legal separation. However, couples can choose to live separately from one another. During separation, spouses typically create a written or verbal temporary agreement that addresses specific issues such as child custody and visitation.
Another way people view separation is as a “trial run” for divorce. Instead of immediately funneling large sums of money into divorce attorneys and lawyers, you can temporarily test if being out of the marriage is what both of you want. If you end up reconciling and choosing to continue your relationship, you can easily come back together and avoid legal fees.
On the other hand, divorce is a finalized process involving financial investments from each spouse to reach an agreement. While some individuals still get remarried after they divorce, separation allows you to briefly experience “single” life and enables you to make a more informed decision.
Property Division in Florida
When considering filing for a divorce, you must never forget the property division process. It may be easy to assume that you and your spouse will each receive half of your property, but this is not always the case. In Florida, the courts support equitable distribution of property. However, this is based on each individuals’ contribution to the marriage.
There are two different types of property within a marriage. First, there is marital property, which is any asset acquired during the marriage. This includes debts, houses, or even family businesses. The other type of property in Florida is separate, which is any asset acquired outside of the marriage or given directly to one spouse.
When filing for a divorce, you will have to go through deciding what property is separate or marital. Furthermore, you should document your separate property to make sure you get what is rightfully yours. Depending on how many assets you own, this can be a long and complex process. However, you can ease your mind knowing that an experienced family law attorney can walk you through the steps.
Child Custody in Florida
Sometimes a marriage will end due to differences in parenting styles. Maybe one spouse does not agree with specific punishment tactics or how their future-ex communicates with their children. This is not an uncommon reason for divorce. However, when determining the best child custody situation, the courts must account for what is best for the child.
Florida courts see the value of children having time to bond with both parents. However, this is not always what is best for the child. The judge will ask questions about each parent’s abilities to support and care for the children to reach a final decision. This means that one parent very well might not receive as much parenting time as the other.
If in the future you run into obstacles regarding your child custody agreement, don’t panic. Child custody orders can change over time. By having an experienced divorce attorney on your side, you can negotiate terms to an agreement that works for you. Always remember that your children should come first.
Pensacola Divorce Attorneys
If you and your spouse are unsure about proceeding with a divorce, let our attorneys at Autumn Beck Blackledge PLLC provide you with the necessary guidance to make good decisions for you and your family. We can walk you through the steps of divorce, allowing you to decide if that is best for you.
Contact our office today at (850) 404-7263 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys!