Factors That Affect How Much Marital Property and Alimony You Get in Your Divorce
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which is a nice way of saying that you could be in for a surprise regarding which property you get to keep after your divorce and what the court awards to your ex-spouse. In community property states, of which there are only ten and all of which are west of the Mississippi River, the court divides the couple’s marital property in half. In equitable distribution states, though, the court decides on a case-by-case basis, according to what it deems fair. How does the court decide what is fair in your case? Most likely, it will not have to, because many couples, even in contentious divorces, eventually reach an agreement through mediation. If you don’t, though, you will need the help of a Boca Raton divorce lawyer to convince the judge to award you the marital assets that you want and need.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
If you signed a prenuptial agreement before your marriage or a postnuptial agreement during your marriage, the divorce court will follow its instructions about property division and alimony awards. The burden of proof is on you if you try to persuade the court that a prenup that you signed is legally invalid because your spouse defrauded or coerced you into signing it.
Your Sources of Income and Financial Support
The goal of equitable distribution is for both spouses to remain at the same financial level where they were during the marriage; if they lived beyond their means, it means that they must both downgrade their lifestyles. The court only awards alimony if the lower income spouse would be so poor as to require public assistance without it. It determines the amount based on how much the recipient spouse would need to avoid poverty in addition to his or her employment income, unless the recipient spouse is unable to work due to age or health.
Your Children’s Best Interests
The court calculates child support separately from division of marital property, since the beneficiaries of child support are the children. Your co-parenting arrangements could affect the division of marital property, though. Specifically, the spouse who has parenting time on the majority of school days is more likely to keep the marital home.
The 20/20/20 Rule in Military Divorce
The 20/20/20 rule may apply in certain military divorces. This rule states that, if the couple was married for at least 20 years, and only one spouse served in the military for at least 20 of those years, then the non-military spouse is entitled to certain marital assets or alimony that he or she would not otherwise have received. The purpose is to compensate the non-military spouse for his or her contributions to a military family.
Contact Schwartz | White About Getting Your Fair Share in Divorce
A South Florida family law attorney can help you get a fair share of the marital property through divorce mediation. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.