The legal term for divorce is dissolution of marriage. Most dissolution of marriage actions involves one or more of the following issues and you will likely hear these terms throughout the process:

1. Child Support
2. Parental Responsibility / Timesharing
3. Spousal Support or Alimony
4. Marital Property Divisions or Equitable Distribution

1. CHILD SUPPORT: The child support amount a parent is obligated to pay is based on the number of children born or adopted during the marriage, the current income of both parents, the parents timesharing (visitation schedule), the cost of health insurance and/or daycare, and any special needs of each child, among other factors. A child support lawyer specializing in family law can be of great with related matters.

2. PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY/TIMESHARING: The Court currently requires parents to enter into a “Parenting Plan” for each child. The plan sets forth each parent’s timesharing rights with the child. Timesharing means a visitation schedule. However, the Court no longer uses terms such as “visitation.” Additionally, the “Parenting Plan” is the document that also sets forth parent’s rights and obligations regarding each child’s physical, emotional and financial needs.

3. SPOUSAL SUPPORT/ALIMONY: The Court may award many different types of alimony in the State of Florida. Alimony is the financial support paid to a spouse. The spouse seeking financial support must first prove that he or she needs alimony and that the other spouse has the ability to pay it. Once one proves need and ability to pay then one can move on to asking for a specific amount of alimony and for the length of time the other party must pay the alimony. In order to make those decisions, the Court must consider numerous factors such as the length of the marriage, your age, and the standard of living during your marriage and many other factors.

4. MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION/EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: The Court must first identify the assets acquired and liabilities incurred during your marriage. In the State of Florida the Court divides those assets and liabilities identified as marital property based on equitable distribution. Equitable distribution means that the Court must divide the marital property fairly. But equitable does not necessarily mean equal, as in some cases one spouse may receive more than fifty (50%) percent of an asset or the liability depending on the circumstances. Examples of marital assets are real property, bank accounts, pensions and retirement accounts, cars and boats that were acquired during your marriage. Examples of liabilities are credit card and student loan debts.