Divorce and Family Law FAQ
Answers from Our Melbourne, FL Divorce Attorneys
Navigating a divorce or family law case – especially for the first time – can be extremely overwhelming. With familial relationships and your financial future at stake, it is understandable to be anxious about moving forward. That is why our Melbourne, FL divorce attorneys have provided helpful answers to some of the most frequently asked family law questions. We hope this FAQ will serve as a valuable resource in your time of need.
How long does a divorce take?
The process depends on whether the parties are willing to come to an agreement on their issues. In the situation of a settlement, the case can take as little as a few weeks to a few months. If the parties elect to actively litigate their case, the process can take anywhere from six months to two years on average.
How much will the attorney's fees cost?
Our attorneys will analyze the specific issues in your case to determine the time and services required. Good communication and cooperation with your attorney can help minimize the fees and costs. In some cases, attorney’s fees may be awarded on a temporary basis or at the end of the case where the other party has a greater ability to pay.
What is considered marital property vs. non-marital property?
Marital property refers to assets that belongs to “the marriage” and are to be divided between the spouses in a divorce, including the passive appreciation in value of property such as real estate. Non-marital property refers to personal assets that are acquired by a spouse before the marriage, acquired by a spouse as a gift or inheritance from someone who is not their spouse, or an asset that is excluded from the marriage based on a written agreement between the spouses. Unless it was used by the spouses as a marital asset, income derived from non-marital assets during the marriage is also considered non-marital property.
What is a QDRO?
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) refers to an order of the court for the division of pensions, savings plans, 401(k)s, or other retirement accounts. QDROs can be complex to prepare and involve crafting careful language to protect the division of the asset. Some companies may pre-approve the Order and some will determine approval after the judge signs the Order. This process may take several months.
Who gets custody of the children in a divorce?
In Florida, custody is treated as a time-sharing arrangement with the parents having shared parental responsibility in most cases. The details of the time-sharing arrangement are set out in a parenting plan. In some cases, one parent may be designated as the majority time-sharing parent.
How is child support determined?
Child support is based on various factors including but not limited to each parent’s income, allowable deductions, and the percentage of overnight time-sharing.
When can I stop paying child support in Florida?
Unless there are special circumstances involved (e.g. the child is physically or mentally challenged), child support in Florida stops at the age of majority (18 years old). However, if the parties agree, or if ordered by the court, payments may continue up until the child graduates from high school, if the expected graduation date is prior to turning 19, whichever is sooner.