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Planning Your Divorce

Divorce is a life-changing event that can be a significant challenge for any family. Here in Miami, where extended families are closely connected, the impact of divorce can affect lives more widely and deeply. Still, many families face it head-on. While divorce can be a tough emotional journey, the legal system also poses challenges.

Attorneys Nora Rotella and Patricia Hernandez try to minimize the disruption and tension of family law problems and keep the process moving forward. At Rotella & Hernandez Immigration and Family Law, they often employ mediation as an alternative to litigation in court. This less aggressive approach enables couples to work together collaboratively to build new separate but still intertwined lives. This friendlier approach can be constructive if the couple has children and plans to work together closely while raising their family.

While our lawyers encourage this approach, they still protect our clients’ rights and interests, both financially and emotionally. Suppose your ex-spouse is being unreasonable or untruthful or is not acting in your children’s best interests. In that case, our team would take aggressive action on your behalf.

There Are Legal Details To Address

Regardless of whether the couple uses mediation or litigation, there are specific legal steps and rules to follow. These include:

  • Dividing marital assets: Florida law requires equitable distribution of assets, which means that the courts consider each spouse’s financial situation, the marriage’s duration and the spouses’ contributions to the marriage when determining the division of marital property, which includes assets acquired during the marriage.
  • Parenting plans: These outline each parent’s responsibility, the designated times that the children are to spend with each parent, schedules for holidays and special occasions like birthdays, how transfers from one parent to the other are to be handled and other considerations.
  • Custody: Regardless of where the child lives or how much time they spend there, states typically favor joint custody because they believe it is best for the child when both parents are active in the child’s life. A part of the parenting plan, custody gives parents the power to make decisions (or joint decisions) regarding the child’s schooling, residence, health care, religion, discipline and other matters involving parental consent.
  • Support: Used to pay for the expenses of raising a child, child support is based on the spouses’ joint income and other details. Spousal support, known as alimony, is based on each spouse’s income, age and the length of the marriage. Permanent alimony is less common than it used to be.

Once the couple has made their decisions and documented them in a marital settlement agreement, a judge will review the documents to ensure that they are legal and equitable.

Filing And Responding To A Petition For Dissolution Of Marriage

In Florida, divorce involving children requires specific forms like the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) and the Family Law Financial Affidavit. The filing process involves:

  • Submitting these forms to the court
  • Serving them to your spouse
  • Possibly completing a parenting course 

If your spouse has filed, you’ll respond with an Answer to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, addressing claims and requests. Timely responses are crucial – typically within 20 days. Child support, time-sharing and parenting plans are addressed, adhering to Florida’s best interests of the child standard. Legal counsel is recommended for guidance.

How Are Assets Divided In A Florida Divorce?

In Florida, assets and liabilities are divided equitably during a divorce. This means that the division is based on fairness, which is sometimes different. Courts consider factors like each spouse’s economic circumstances, the duration of the marriage and their contributions to the marriage (including caregiving and homemaking). Both marital and nonmarital assets are identified, with marital assets typically being subject to division.

A New Beginning Awaits

Our lawyers understand that divorce is not just a legal process. It’s an emotional one that affects parents, children and others. Their assistance and guidance can minimize the turmoil and help ensure that there is a fair and equitable arrangement. Call Rotella & Hernandez Immigration and Family Law at 305-596-3618 or contact us today to schedule a meeting with our attorneys. Se habla español.