The sad truth is that relationships do fail and, when that relationship is a legally binding marriage, it’s necessary to file for a divorce. That, in itself, is an unsettling process, largely because most people don’t know what to expect. They fear losing everything and, where there are minor children involved, the idea of having their children taken from them is a devastating thought.
Learning about the laws and consulting an experienced Tampa divorce lawyer can give you a better grasp on your situation. For instance, the division of property in the marriage must be equal, according to Florida Statute Section 61.075. While you may not get everything you hope for, you also will be protected against losing everything.
In most cases, a judge will divide everything equally between the divorcing spouses. There may be exceptions made, depending on specific circumstances. One party will have to provide proof and documentation that shows why some property should not be divided equally and, in that situation, the court may allow a deviation from the law.
What About the Children
While finances and the division of property are large concerns in a divorce, the determination of child custody often takes importance. While one spouse may sue for sole custody, that type of request is rarely granted, except in extreme circumstances. The general rule of thumb for family courts in Florida is to do what’s best for the child. Usually, that means ensuring both parents remain a part of the child’s life to some degree.
Custody may be equally shared and that’s often the preferred arrangement made by judges. Sometimes, circumstances may require that one parent has more time with the child than the other. Perhaps one parent lives outside the child’s school district or travels for work. Any number of circumstances may cause the judge to grant greater custody privileges to one parent over the other.
Even in shared custody, child support may also be required. The court will look at each parent’s income, expenses and debts, and the custody arrangement to determine what support is to be paid. This is another reason it’s important to have an attorney working on your side. Custody and support issues are complex and only an experienced legal advocate can help you obtain the best possible terms.