If you need a family lawyer for any sort of issue in family court, contact me, Attorney Antonio G. Jimenez, today to schedule an initial discussion. I will work closely with you to understand your situation and identify the best outcomes in your case while assisting you in navigating the complicated processes of the family court system in Florida. Take a look below for a list of major family law issues I handle in Miami, but do not hesitate to contact me about any issue that you believe you may need legal representation for if it is not included in this list.
Marital vs. Non-Marital Property
One of the first things a Family court judge will do in any divorce proceeding is determine which property that is owned by the parties is considered marital property and which property is considered non-marital property. This process is of particular importance in cases involving spouses with multiple assets, businesses, and high-value assets, because under Fla.Stat.§61.075, a family court is required to distribute marital property under the rules and procedures of equitable distribution. However, non-marital property, which is property you acquired prior to the mariage, is returned to its original owner. Some common examples of non-marital property under Fla.Stat.§61.075(6)(b) are:
- Assets and liabilities incurred by either party prior to the marriage
- Assets acquired and liabilities incurred in exchange for such assets and liabilities
- Income derived from non-marital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset during the marriage
As such, you should gather any documentation in your possession to support your entitlement to your non-marital property such as car titles, financial statements from your business, proof of home ownership, etc. This information will be used by your family law attorney to define which property is non-marital property and which property is marital property.
After a divorce, there is often one spouse who is left with less financial support after their previous living situation and shared income is changed. An alimony proceeding in Florida addresses this issue by determining which spouse was the primary earner in the household, whether or not the other spouse will be left in an unstable situation because of the divorce, and if so, how much the primary earner should pay for alimony. You or your spouse will only receive alimony payments for a limited period of time, and these payments are meant to give you or your spouse some time to get on your feet and establish your own financial independence. If you are planning on filing for divorce or are in the process of a divorce and are concerned about your finances, then alimony is an important option for you to understand and consider.
In many divorces, there are children involved who will need to be cared for by one or both of the spouses after the divorce is finalized. I will work hard to ensure that you have the financial support you need in order to give your children the life that they deserve. If you will be required to pay child support following your divorce, I will work to make sure that your payments are fair and reasonable so that you are able to maintain your own financial stability while ensuring that your children are financially supported as well.
Aside from the many issues that arise during a divorce, such as alimony or custody issues, the actual divorce proceeding can be complicated depending on the situation each spouse is in and the position they are taking throughout the process. In many cases, spouses can reach an amicable agreement through mediation and file for an uncontested divorce, but in other cases, both parties will be forced to contest the divorce and go through a full hearing.
In a contested divorce, the parties are unable to reach an agreement on their own, and as a result, the case will normally go to a contested hearing with a family court judge. The judge is the person who will decide issues such as the distribution of marital property, custody arrangements, alimony, etc. Normally, I will work to try and reach a divorce agreement that both parties are satisfied with in an effort to avoid a hearing, but I have handled hundreds of contested hearings throughout my career as a family law attorney. As such, if your case needs to be taken to a hearing, you can confidently go into a the hearing with the knowledge that your lawyer has the experience needed to build the best case possible in your unique scenario.
An uncontested divorce is a much simpler approach. In an uncontested divorce, both parties normally agree on most of the big issues through mediation or some other type of mutually acceptable agreement, and are able to finalize these issues without the ruling of a family law judge.
Uncontested divorces are often the result of a successful mediation process. In a divorce case, the parties can elect to participate in a mediation willingly, or in other scenarios, the parties can be ordered by the court to participate in a mediation. In both instances, both parties along with their respective attorneys will meet with a neutral third party called a mediator who will try to negotiate a settlement agreement that is acceptable to both parties. If you are able to reach a settlement agreement through mediation, you will be able to avoid a full contested hearing, and as a result, an extensive amount of time and legal fees.
I will work with you and spouse's lawyer to address each aspect of the divorce and to find a fair and equitable outcome that you are satisfied with. When you are dealing with this option, it is very helpful to have the assistance of a family law professional with lots of experience in negotiating family law cases. Your goal in a mediation is to reach an agreement that is reasonable and that protects your financial interests.
If you are planning to marry, you may have heard of prenuptial agreements. These agreements are becoming more and more common in Florida marriages, because they act as a protective measure for each spouse in a worst-case scenario. Florida has very specific rules regarding prenuptial agreements, which is why hiring a family law attorney with experience in drafting prenuptial agreements is so important. For example, under Fla.Stat.61.079(3), prenuptial agreements have to be in writing and signed by a both parties, and the prenuptial agreement becomes enforceable once the parties are married. A prenuptial agreement can be a great option in many respects, because entering into a prenuptial agreement can avoid a lot of unnecessary issues if the marriage were to ultimately end. However, there are several legal requirements a prenuptial agreement must meet under Florida law to be enforceable. As such, hiring an attorney to draft your prenuptial agreement can prove to be an invaluable investment that will ensure that the agreement is enforceable in court.
Contact Us Today
If you need help with anything in the family court system in Florida, contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I will use this time to discuss your situation, explain how I can help, and identify the legal remedies that are available in your family law case. No matter the circumstances, it is always a good idea to obtain the services of a legal professional who will ensure that you are protected in any family law dispute. So don't wait until your divorce has become unmanageable. Call my office today.