By Stuart R. Manoff, Esq. –
Somewhat ironically, the five issues that need to be addressed in a Florida divorce can be summarized by the acronym P.E.A.C.E.:
Parenting – Parenting issues include designating parental responsibility, which may be shared parental responsibility or sole parental responsibility, establishing a timesharing plan, and other issues surrounding the divorcing parties’ minor children.
Equitable Distribution – Equitable distribution issues involve the assigning of assets and liabilities accumulated during the course of the marriage between the parties. Pursuant to Florida Statutes, Florida courts make a determination of which assets and liabilities are marital and which are non-marital (for example, assets obtained prior to the marriage, by way of inheritance, or by way of gift). Values are then assigned to the marital assets and liabilities and equitably distributed between the parties.
Alimony – After determining a schedule of equitable distribution, the Court may determine whether or not alimony should be awarded, and if so, the amount and type. There are many types of alimony: Bridge the Gap, Lump Sum, Rehabilitative, Durational, Permanent Periodic, and Temporary. If the Court makes a finding that one spouse has the need and the other has the ability to pay alimony, the court then considers the statutory factors as listed in Florida Statute 61.08 to determine the amount and type of alimony, which include (but are not limited to) the standard of living established during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the earning capacity of the parties, and other factors necessary to do justice and equity.
Child Support – Child Support is a basic right of every child in the State of Florida that cannot be waived or contracted away by the parents. Florida Statute § 61.30 provides a basic formula for determining child support in the form of Guidelines. The amount each parent is to pay is determined, generally, by the net income of each spouse, the number of children to be provided for, and the number of overnights each parent will have. The legislature has pre-determined a dollar amount for the estimated costs to support the children, and each spouse contributes a percentage of that cost pursuant to the guidelines. Children are entitled to this support until they reach the age of 18, or the age of 19 if there is a reasonable expectation the child will graduate high school by the age of 19, or until they are otherwise emancipated.
Everything Else – After parenting issues, equitable distribution, alimony, and child support are determined, the Court then looks to any remaining issues, which may include legal name changes, entitlement to attorney’s fees, or other considerations
The issues contained in the above list are not exhaustive, but provide a basic outline of issues, and the order of the issues, that a Florida Court must determine in a dissolution of marriage case. If you are considering a divorce in Florida and have questions or concerns regarding issues particular to your case, contact a Florida Marital and Family Law attorney.
Stuart R. Manoff, Esq. – Founder
Nothing is certain in life. The best of friends grow up and apart, in trying circumstances wear away trust and strong bonds. Attorney Stuart R. Manoff, founder of Manoff & Associates P.A. of West Palm Beach, has protected the interest and emotions of thousands of people experiencing the uncertainties of divorce for more than 25 years.
“We’re more than attorneys, we are counselors-at-law”, Manoff said. “Divorce is uncharted territory for many people, and we’re here to help them navigate this difficult heart wrenching process.”
Mr. Manoff, an experienced and trusted expert in marital and family law, has both successfully litigated high-profile cases before the court and quietly negotiated settlements resolving high-asset and income matters maximizing the benefits tailored to the needs and interests of his many clients.
He is a seasoned attorney sensitive to the emotions involved in every family law and divorce case. He and his staff take the time necessary to get to know his clients, their individual concerns and their needs. This time-tested approach has launched his stellar career and gained him widespread respect in the legal community.
Mr. Manoff’s success is the result of more than 25 years of research, study and practice. His team of attorneys, paralegals and support staff, approach each case with compassion and sensitivity. Even in those rare cases when all efforts to negotiate are exhausted, Mr. Manoff has the knowledge and courtroom savvy to fight for his clients’ interests through the daunting process of a trial.
“Every client deserves a strong advocate in the board room and the court room,” he said. “That’s my job.”
Board Certified in Marital & Family Law Since 1994, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Alimony, Equitable Distribution, Enforcement Proceedings, Marital Settlement, Agreements, Modification Actions, Timesharing
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 27
B.A. Psychology: University of Maryland,
J.D.: University of Miami School of Law
THE LAW OFFICE STUART R. MANOFF
515 N Flagler Dr., Suite 2125
West Palm Beach, Fl. 33401
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Boca Raton, FL 33432