Divorced Spousal Rights in Florida

By Bernadette A. Safrath

When a marriage ends, each spouse has certain rights during the divorce process. With no consideration of gender, Florida courts will divide the spouses' property between them. Either spouse can seek alimony and either spouse may be awarded custody of their children as well as child support. Florida does not require grounds for dissolution of marriage so either spouse can file based on "irreconcilable differences" as long as at least one of them has been a state resident for a minimum of six months.

Division of Property

Florida law requires the spouses' property be divided according to "equitable distribution." This means spouses have an equal right to the property, but the property is actually divided fairly, but not always equally. Under Florida law, each spouse retains ownership of non-marital assets and anything the spouse owned prior to the marriage. All marital assets are divided between the spouses according to several factors. The court will consider the length of the marriage, each spouse's role in the marriage -- i.e. wage-earner or homemaker -- the value of each spouse's non-marital assets, whether a spouse specifically requests to maintain ownership of a specific asset (such as a business or interest in a corporation) and whether the custodial parent should maintain ownership of the marital residence. Lastly, the court will consider whether either spouse attempted to wastefully deplete or hide assets prior to or during the dissolution proceedings.

Alimony

One spouse may be entitled to alimony if she has significantly less assets than the other. A Florida court can award alimony at its discretion after consideration of the factors set forth in Florida law. Factors include: value of each spouse's assets, length of the marriage, standard of living enjoyed throughout the marriage and each spouse's employment situation, including any factor that prevents employment such as illness or custody of young children. Gender does not play a role in the awarding of alimony. However, the court is permitted to consider any fault that led to the divorce, including abuse, adultery and abandonment, which may affect the requesting spouse's right to alimony as well as the owing spouse's obligation to pay.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Custody

Custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the child, regardless of the gender of the child and parents. Both parents have an equal right to custody. Florida considers factors including which parent serves as the child's primary caregiver, whether each parent can provide a stable home environment, the bond each parent has with the child, each parent's ability to help foster the relationship between the child and the other parent, the child's preference and any evidence of spousal or child abuse.

Child Support

The parent who is awarded sole or primary custody of the child will be entitled to child support. Florida courts issue child support orders in accordance with state law. The support amount is based on the parents' total income and then adjusted in proportion to each parent's percentage of that income. Additional adjustments are made based on the number of children being supported as well as the amount of time the children spend with each parent. For example, if parents share joint custody, each having the child for half the year, child support is apportioned differently because both parents spend money providing for the child when the child is in their care rather than for a parent who does not have custody of the child and therefore does not spend a lot of money providing for the child other than the support obligation.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Iowa Divorce Rules & Regulations
 

References

Related articles

Divorce Rules in Florida

An understanding of the grounds for divorce in Florida and the factors a judge looks at in dividing property and awarding support can help couples better prepare for the marriage dissolution process. Although one party need not be deemed at fault in the marriage, it must be demonstrated to the court that the relationship is irrevocably broken.

Florida Divorce Laws on Infidelity

No-fault divorce states, such as Florida, grant divorces on the premise that sometimes marriages just don’t work out. The spouse who wants to end the marriage doesn’t have to prove that her partner committed any wrongdoing. She only has to tell the court that the marriage can't be saved. However, if her spouse was unfaithful, and if she can prove his infidelity, Florida law allows judges to take it into consideration when deciding certain issues.

Does a Spouse Receive Alimony When Divorced in Ohio?

Spouses can receive alimony during or after a divorce in Ohio, but it’s not an automatic right. Judges make alimony decisions on a case-by-case basis and after considering numerous factors. Section 3105.18 of the Ohio Revised Code lists these factors, but it doesn’t instruct a judge how to weigh them. Ultimately, it comes down to the opinion of the judge whether to award alimony and for how long.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Divorce in Florida Family Law

Florida is a pure no-fault divorce state, which means the only reason for divorce in Florida is that a marriage is ...

Will He Still Have to Pay Alimony With a No Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania?

When spouses file for divorce in Pennsylvania, a financially weaker spouse may be entitled to alimony. Pennsylvania ...

New Hampshire Law on Wedding Rings After Divorce

In New Hampshire, a spouse can seek either a no-fault divorce or a divorce based on the other spouse's fault. In either ...

Divorce Law on Alimony or Spousal Support in Iowa

For couples divorcing in Iowa, an alimony award can help maintain a spouse's financial stability. It is not uncommon ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED