There are a lot of myths about divorce, many which are discussed on forums and blogs meant to provide legal advice. For most people planning a divorce, working with a divorce lawyer is an important first step.
It is possible to represent yourself in a divorce in Jacksonville or across the state. However, there are considerable risks involved in a pro se divorce, not the least of which includes failing to understand how to divide marital property and the long-term tax implications of specific financial decisions. Additionally, it is very common for people to make mistakes in filing documents or providing evidence, which can result in delays in the divorce as well as additional costs.
Talking to Your Attorney
It is important to convey or communicate specific information to your divorce lawyer. This will include information about the property and assets as well as liabilities and debt.
Florida is not a community property state but rather uses Equitable Distribution in the Family Code statutes. This allows the court to award any property owned prior to the marriage to the individual, provided it has not become part of the assets of the marriage. This can occur if the other spouse is placed on the title or if bank accounts are commingled.
Assets obtained during the marriage will be equitably distributed based on the length of the marriage, the financial situation of the parties as well as other factors such as retaining the home until the children are of legal age. The court will also consider if one of the spouses has willfully destroyed or sold marital assets during the 2 years prior to the divorce.
In addition to property distribution in Jacksonville or elsewhere, a divorce lawyer can provide information on the options for alimony through the divorce. This is essential information to use during mediations, mutual agreement of the couple or through litigation when an agreement cannot be reached without the court.