Frequently Asked Questions
Lesley Turmelle Abbott, Florida Family Attorney
The State of Florida does not have "legal separations". However, parties can enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement. A Marital Settlement Agreement allows parties to divide their assets and liabilities and live separate and apart without getting a divorce. This same document can be used by the parties should they want to get a divorce and it shortens the process.
The Courts treat child support and visitation/timesharing as two separate things. Visitation/timesharing is for the benefit of the minor child/ren.
Child support is based on the net incomes of the parents. The calculations do not include the incomes of their spouses.
As a general rule, the Courts do not consider the "new"spouse’s income when setting or modifying alimony.
In the State of Florida the term "custody" is not generally used by the Courts or our Statutes. Parents are entitled to Shared Parental Responsibility.
This allows the parties to share in the decision making for the minor child/ren. Rarely does one parent get to make all of the decision making for a
child. As for time with the minor child/ren, the Courts use the word timesharing. This is what is used to describe the time each parent spends with the child. A Parenting Plan is developed for the parents and the minor child/children to the weekly schedules, parental responsibilities. In some instances child support, uncovered medical and dental expenses, extra-curricular activities, taxes, etc..
Sometimes during a divorce it is better for the parties to separate and not live under the same roof. If you leave the house, you are not relinquishing any interest you may have in your home.
In the State of Florida there is different types of alimony. The Florida Statutes provide for temporary, lump sum, durational, rehabilitative, bridge
the gap, and permanent alimony. Not every marriage qualifies for any or all forms of alimony. The Courts also look at the requesting party’s need and the
paying party’s ability to pay.
It depends on the circumstances. If you are going through a divorce, you cannot move without the permission of the Father/Mother of the child or
the Judge. If you have a Final Judgment, you cannot move without the permission of the Father/Mother of the child or the Judge. If there has never
been a Court’s Order entered in your case, in some cases you may be allowed to move without the Court’s permission.
An Inheritance is not a marital asset. This is separate property. When a party inherits tangible or intangible property, the other spouse is not entitled
to the inheritance. The smartest thing is to always keep an inheritance separate and apart from any marital monies.
Until there is a Final Judgment you cannot change the beneficiary on any life insurance policies, IRA, 401(k), etc.. Any changes to your Last Will and Testament cannot be done until the Court enters a Final Judgment. Everything must stay as it was prior to the filing of the divorce action.